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View Poll Results: Bigon VS Cron
Zeiss 35/2.0 Biogon 488 50.57%
Leica 35/2.0 Summicron ASPH 477 49.43%
Voters: 965. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2007   #81
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Old 12-12-2007   #82
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heh.. like I figured.. so far... 126 votes - 63 for the Biogon, 63 for the Cron..

flip a coin folks.. flip a coin

Dave
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Old 12-12-2007   #83
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Two 35mm Summicron ASPHs and a 35mm Biogon have been listed in the classifieds since yesterday. Looks like this thread had a few people thinking (or not...)
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made it even
Old 12-12-2007   #84
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made it even

I just made the poll 50/50 a minute or two ago with my vote for the 'cron. I'm also in Roger's cat.#2 - own only one (35 though) So I'am really interested about Dave's results of the comparision. I guess real world streetshooting is much more about being at the right place at the right time and getting the shot. If it turns out to be a great shot it would have been with either lens - if it's crap it would also be crap with the other of these two . Inbetween great and crap of course there a fairly large area of personal taste. Nothing to get all excited about ....
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Old 12-12-2007   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear
I just made the poll 50/50 a minute or two ago with my vote for the 'cron. I'm also in Roger's cat.#2 - own only one (35 though) So I'am really interested about Dave's results of the comparision. I guess real world streetshooting is much more about being at the right place at the right time and getting the shot. If it turns out to be a great shot it would have been with either lens - if it's crap it would also be crap with the other of these two . Inbetween great and crap of course there a fairly large area of personal taste. Nothing to get all excited about ....
Totally agree - I've just been shooting mainly wide open to see the "bokeh" or such - I would like to try the old "let's see if I can make this thing flare" shot but then I think I'd also not like to burn a hole in my M7's curtain

Cheers
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Old 12-12-2007   #86
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Oh, man. I was totally happy with my Biogon until I now see that the poll is 50/50 and am now thinking I should get the Summicron ASPH....

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Old 12-12-2007   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich815
Oh, man. I was totally happy with my Biogon until I now see that the poll is 50/50 and am now thinking I should get the Summicron ASPH....

At 50/50 it means that you HAVE to get both and use them alternately
- but wait the poll is now in favor of the Biogon by a margin - so be happy again
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Old 12-12-2007   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear
At 50/50 it means that you HAVE to get both and use them alternately
- but wait the poll is now in favor of the Biogon by a margin - so be happy again
Oh good. I'm now happy with the Biogon's performance once again. For now.

Thank god we have these polls to help us.
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Old 12-12-2007   #89
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I'm teetering too - should I let biogons be biogons....
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Old 12-12-2007   #90
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Wow, what a great discussion!

I am ready and willing to swap out my mint silver 35 cron asph for the Biogon + something green.
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Old 12-12-2007   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northpole
I'm teetering too - should I let biogons be biogons....
Maybe not if you're a punster!
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Old 12-12-2007   #92
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just canceled my asph order once I saw another vote for bio
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Old 12-12-2007   #93
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about to lower my asph price in the classifieds if another vote goes to the biogon
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Old 12-12-2007   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy
about to lower my asph price in the classifieds if another vote goes to the biogon
... another vote for the Biogon

You have the Noctilux up for sale !?
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Old 12-12-2007   #95
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well

At this rate, I might have to consider trading it for a Biogon!!

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... another vote for the Biogon

You have the Noctilux up for sale !?
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Old 12-12-2007   #96
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Some side-by-side shots of the two lenses which seem fated to compete with one another: the 35 Summicron ASPH and the 35 ZM Biogon. I suppose they’re compared often simply because of their maximum apertures. Not the best basis upon which to deem two lenses to be of a similar class it seems to me. For instance, there’s no reason why the Biogon shouldn’t be compared with, say, the Summilux ASPH or a CV offering. Signature, not maximum aperture, is what defines a lens. Nevertheless, these are the only two 35 lenses I have at the current time, and the debate certainly is popular here on RFF.

From what I've gleaned of comparisons between these two lenses on this and other forums, the following are the key differences: the Biogon has better flare resistance; the Biogon has more pleasing bokeh; the Summicron’s image stamp shows greater, some would say excessive, contrast.

When I carefully compare two contre-jour images on the light table using my 22-power loupe, I notice the following:
  • The seam on the upright of the lighter chair (the shaded side facing us) is crisper in the Summicron image. That's the very point on which I focused both lenses. The Summicron appears to have higher acutance at f/2.0;
  • There is better detail in the Summicron's redering of the Shaw Festival poster on the wall above the chairs. For example, the female standing next to the fellow in the doorway stands out significantly more in the Summicron image. Because the poster is slightly out of focus, I reckon the greater contrast of the Summicron is what's telling here;
  • In the seat area of the burgundy chair, there is (surprise!) significantly greater shadow detail in the Summicron image than in the Biogon image in spite of the Summicron image being a bit darker overall. To me this is the most surprising finding, especially considering what's been noted in previous comparisons regarding the Biogon's ability to render better shadow detail.
Doubtless, you'll notice the rather pronounced flare in the Biogon image. The Summicron has rendered the highlights perfectly. The Summicron appears to show better control of specular highlights. This isn't the only Biogon image that shows this problem. I bracketed this shot; all exposures show the same such flare.

The most telling difference in bokeh is in the lamp detail. Notice how the two lenses render the rim. To me, the rim seems more integrated with the rest of the lamp in the Biogon rendering. In the Summicron rendering, the rim stands out more. I believe what we see here is the classic 35 Summicron ASPH ‘double vision’ bokeh, something I’ve seen in other shots taken with this lens.

Notice the ‘double vision’ bokeh on the right-hand tombstone in the background. Incidentally, I think this shot illustrates rather nicely a classic 35 Summicron ASPH characteristic--namely, the ability, in selective focus shots, the make a subject seem to float above the background (the effect is much more obvious when viewed on the light table).

Returning to the side-by-side images, notice the rendering of the metal brackets. In the Biogon image they seem to me to be a little less out of focus than they are in the Summicron image. Generally, when I compare bokeh between these two lenses, I note that the Biogon consistently renders its out-of-focus objects in a purely soft manner. Out-of-focus objects taken with the Biogon are simply out of focus. The 35 Summicron ASPH, on the other hand, tends to introduce a bit of distortion into out-of-focus objects, which leads to a harsher bokeh. In this particular side-by-side comparison, such differences only become obvious under high magnification.

Conclusion

I find that at f/2.0 the Summicron outperforms the Biogon. In this scene the Summicron's acutance is higher, its greater contrast aids in causing certain details to stand out (e.g., the lady in the poster), and in shadow areas more detail has been realized. In this contre-jour setting, the Summicron doesn't suffer from veiling glare any more than does the Biogon. When it comes to control of specular highlights at f/2.0, the Summicron clearly wins out over the Biogon. Perhaps the 35 Summicron ASPH is one of those great lenses which allows Leica to enjoy a reputation for unequaled wide-open performance, at least from a technical standpoint.

For my taste, bokeh, a purely subjective consideration, tends to be rendered at f/2.0 in a more pleasing manner by the Biogon. Your tastes might vary.
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Old 12-12-2007   #97
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nice comparison. color seems to be the biggest difference, and here i prefer the biogon.
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Old 12-13-2007   #98
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JJ, thanks for the comparison images. I personally prefer the Cron in every example, except that tombstone bokeh (how did the Biogon fare?).

But to be fair to the biogon, those shots seem grainier, and maybe some water spots on the negatives or slides?

I think these tests should be shot on the same roll, and no photoshopping.
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Old 12-13-2007   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan
nice comparison. color seems to be the biggest difference, and here i prefer the biogon.
The Biogon does seem to render a bit more warmth. To me this is apparent in the teak lamp, the Kleenex box and the vertical blinds. A bit more orange is brought out by the Biogon.

Ampguy:

The two side-by-side images were shot on the same roll.

As for the tombstone shot, I don't have one with the Biogon. I included that image simply to illustrate the Summicron's 'double vision' (or 'cross-eyed') bokeh.
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huh?
Old 12-13-2007   #100
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huh?

My summicron does not have that bokeh rendering. If shot on the same roll, why do the Biogon images have more grain? Is the asph just a sharper lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J J Kapsberger
The Biogon does seem to render a bit more warmth. To me this is apparent in the teak lamp, the Kleenex box and the vertical blinds. A bit more orange is brought out by the Biogon.

Ampguy:

The two side-by-side images were shot on the same roll.

As for the tombstone shot, I don't have one with the Biogon. I included that image simply to illustrate the Summicron's 'double vision' (or 'cross-eyed') bokeh.
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Old 12-13-2007   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy
...If shot on the same roll, why do the Biogon images have more grain? Is the asph just a sharper lens?
That might be a bit of digital noise resulting from the scan.
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Old 12-13-2007   #102
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Wow, that's a pretty detailed comparison. The 'cron made a better showing than I expected. I'd like to see the difference in flare reduction. Here, I would expect the Biogon to shine (so to speak).
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Old 12-13-2007   #103
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I had been shooting with a Biogon for a year and got rid of it because I found the images at f2 unusable. I don't know what the reason is, but they looked slightly washed out. Did I have a bad sample? At f2.8, the problem would disappear. From what I understand, the ASPH doesn't suffer from this problem, and b/c of its size, I think it's a better lens. But maybe the point is that I don't own the ASPH because of how much it costs!
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Old 12-13-2007   #104
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hehe..

you guys kill me.

We all know that everyone that wants to view a framed image gets out a magnifying glass and gets within centimeters of the print to see exactly how sharp it is or how the bokeh is rendered

I think at "regular viewing distance" you'll see very little difference at all - and, again, for the price, I doubt the Cron is worth the extra $1500-$1700.

As for "size" - there's really not that much difference between the two.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2007   #105
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Not much difference in size, especially when you consider that the hood for the 'cron makes it slightly longer and wider (thus obscuring the viewfinder much more) than the Biogon and that the Biogon doesn't really need the hood because it is bloody nearly flare-proof IMHO.
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Old 12-13-2007   #106
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dcsang,

I don't think one needs to use a magnifying glass to evaluate bokeh. I can see the 'cron's characteristic bokeh (the apparant doubling of out of focus vertical lines) in my tombstone shot looking at my screen from a "regular viewing distance."

And as for what I noted in my comparison, the extra price of the 'cron might be worth it to a professional who has to sell images taken at f/2.0. Although my comparison makes note of what I see using my 22X loupe, the Biogon's specular highlight flare is apparant to me when I view the uncropped two images on my computer screen.
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Old 12-13-2007   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visiondr
...the Biogon doesn't really need the hood because it is bloody nearly flare-proof IMHO.
You mean veiling glare. As for flare, the close up images show that at f/2.0, the Biogon is susceptible, but certainly a lens hood wouldn't help in that case.
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Old 12-13-2007   #108
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Yup, you have it correct, Sir.
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Old 12-13-2007   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J J Kapsberger
Some side-by-side shots of the two lenses which seem fated to compete with one another: the 35 Summicron ASPH and the 35 ZM Biogon.

<snip>

I find that at f/2.0 the Summicron outperforms the Biogon. In this scene the Summicron's acutance is higher, its greater contrast aids in causing certain details to stand out (e.g., the lady in the poster)

<snip>

Perhaps the 35 Summicron ASPH is one of those great lenses which allows Leica to enjoy a reputation for unequaled wide-open performance, at least from a technical standpoint.
I haven't been able to compare a 35 ZM Biogon with any 35mm Summicron, side by side, but one thing I did notice is that the 35 ZM Biogon is a little "dimmer" when shooting the same aperture and shutter speed as the 40mm M-Rokkor, 40mm Summicron-C, 50mm Summilux pre-asph, 50mm Summitar f/2...

I see evidence of this in your comparisons, where the highlights have "better detail" with the Biogon than the Summicron, and I believe this is to be due by what I've stated above.

The Biogon has 9 elements; the 35mm Summicrons range from 6 to 8, with the ASPH having 7, I believe. ...?
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Old 12-13-2007   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J J Kapsberger
dcsang,

I don't think one needs to use a magnifying glass to evaluate bokeh. I can see the 'cron's characteristic bokeh (the apparant doubling of out of focus vertical lines) in my tombstone shot looking at my screen from a "regular viewing distance."

And as for what I noted in my comparison, the extra price of the 'cron might be worth it to a professional who has to sell images taken at f/2.0. Although my comparison makes note of what I see using my 22X loupe, the Biogon's specular highlight flare is apparant to me when I view the uncropped two images on my computer screen.
ya.. like I said.. a framed image on the wall at regular viewing distance - I sell images professionally for my wedding photography - people rarely get as anal as we do here with respect to bokeh or corner sharpness.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2007   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjovin
There is only one thing in the whole wide world that fulfills the criterion “built like a tank”. Zoran
yahhhh......and it has a cannon mounted on it. (two "n's")

wasn't it Wimpy who said, "I'll glady pay you Tuesday for a biogon today."
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Old 12-13-2007   #112
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Ah c'mon fellas... Let's let Biogons be Biogons

(OK, someone had to say it)
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Old 12-13-2007   #113
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I think Northpole did in post 91.

Kim

Quote:
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Ah c'mon fellas... Let's let Biogons be Biogons

(OK, someone had to say it)
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Old 12-13-2007   #114
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What did he get in the end ? This thread seems to be going on forever
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Old 12-13-2007   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Coxon
I think Northpole did in post 91.

Kim
Kim, you're correct.
Oops, what a dufus I am.
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Old 12-13-2007   #116
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Quote:
...people rarely get as anal as we do here with respect to bokeh or corner sharpness.
Right. The bouquet is important, not the bokeh.
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Old 12-13-2007   #117
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Could not resist getting the Biogon after reading this thread. OT a little here, would the silver 43mm Leica UV/IR filter fit the biogon, or I'm better off using Heliopan or B+W?
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35/2 Biogon pics
Old 12-14-2007   #118
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35/2 Biogon pics

Hi, I'm a newbie and have only had my 35/2 Biogon for 3 weeks and tested it out on Holiday in Hong Kong with some Velvia

I posted the pics below in the Bokeh thread that's been running, so have a look and cast your own opinions regarding OoF renderings etc, I'd be interested to hear what you think.

The lab that processed my films, also scanned the images, and they've severely crushed the colour spectrum when compared to the trannies on a lightbox





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Old 12-14-2007   #119
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ah! I love the third for some reason.
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Old 12-14-2007   #120
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Quote:
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Right. The bouquet is important, not the bokeh.
:groan:

Well, I have seen many women punch their way to catch it
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