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Leica Elmar 50mm 2.8 vs 3.5
Old 03-05-2006   #1
Marko
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Leica Elmar 50mm 2.8 vs 3.5

Hi peoples.

I have purchased a new Leica 2.8 Elmar in black for my Bessa R3a. I shoot now my first film with this lens. I have also seen the postings about the older Elmars (the 3.5 lenses). All peoples say, that the 3.5 is a great lens. Now my question. With lens looks better (sharpness and contrast) the new 2.8 or the old 3.5?

Iam very confused. I have buy 600 Euro for the new 2.8 and the 3.5 i can get for the half of the price!! I have one week for my finaly decision....

Marko
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Last edited by Marko : 03-05-2006 at 11:44.
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Old 03-05-2006   #2
FrankS
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They are 2 totally different lenses. The new Elmar f2.8 is very much a modern lens like the current Summicron. The older Elmar f3.5 and the older f2.8 version of that lens, are vintage lenses with less contrast and more problems with flare.
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Old 03-05-2006   #3
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Marko, based on the other lenses you own, and assuming you like them, my guess would be you'd prefer the new Elmar 2.8 to the older 3.5. Unless, as Frank points out, you're searching for a more vintage appearance in your photos.
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Old 03-05-2006   #4
FrankS
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The Elmar 50 is confusing because of the different versions produced. The original 50mm f3.5 Elmar was made in the 30's, 40's and 50's. Then for a short while they made an f2.8 version of that lens.

Skip forward in time to the new milenium, and Leica reintroduces a 50mm f2.8 Elmar, but it is totally new and modern. This is the lens that Marko bought. It is more like the current Summicron than it is to the original Elmars f3.5 and f2.8.

Marko can be excused for worrying about paying big bucks when he sees the original versions selling for less than 1/2 of what he paid. But rest assured Marko, that your new Elmar 50 f2.9 is a great modern high contrast, sharp lens, and many people even prefer it to the current Summicron that sells for $1000.

(I left out the red scale Elmar f3.5 and was not precise in the years, to keep the explanation simple.)
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Old 03-05-2006   #5
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I am interested in 50's with a different "look" from the current Summicron. Been thinking of the current Elmar 2.8, but according to Frank, I would be wiser to investigate the older 2.8 instead. Correct?

The only alternative to the Summicron I've tried is the (Sonnar clone) Jupiter 8, and it is really good. Nice out of focus areas and with a tonality that is different from the Summicron. Perhaps I should go down the Sonnar road, rather than the Elmar/Tessar road? But the original Sonnars were made in small quantities 50 years ago, and are very expensive. Zeiss should have made modern Sonnar 50's for the Ikon, not Planars ...
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Old 03-05-2006   #6
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Wilt, welcome to the group looking for vintage results! You may want to try an uncoated Elmar, a Summar, a Summitar, or a Summarit. Then there are the f1.5 Canon and f2 Nikkor lenses. There are many many more. So many 50mm lenses, so little time!
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Old 03-05-2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beniliam
I dont know what are the quality of the other Elmar lens. I have too the new version, and I like very much. I love the manual focus ring, its very smooth, you can focus very quickly... I dont have the Summicron, I had in the past the 50 mm Nokton, and now the Elmar and the Hexanon, and I think both are excellent lens. The Elmar have very good flare resistance, I have a lot of photos with the Elmar in my gallery. See in this 2 pictures the properties of the Elmar.
Charles, that's a great shot of the "puppy". Judging by the look on it's face, it's probably a good thing that we can't read a dog's mind. I think it wants to eat your camera. LOL.

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Old 03-05-2006   #8
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I have both lenses and it is essentially what Frank said in his first two posts. The f3.5 is an unbelievable lens for the money (and the FED Industar-22 is even better value) but the current f2.8 is just a wonderful modern lens; sharp with good contrast. A perfect travel lens IMHO. You have bought a modern classic Marko!

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Old 03-05-2006   #9
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Walker thanks for your words. My name is David, not Charles The name of Charles Baudelaire is one french poet of the XIX century. I remember the day that made the photo of the dog... what memories...
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Old 03-05-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beniliam
Walker thanks for your words. My name is David, not Charles The name of Charles Baudelaire is one french poet of the XIX century. I remember the day that made the photo of the dog... what memories...
Oops! Sorry David. The only name I saw was Charles and I'm not familiar with French Poets..... or many American Poets either! I did wonder about the name Baudelaire and if it was really Spanish. Then again, I once knew a French Colonel by the last name of Schneider.

I have some great memories of Madrid and if both of my submissions to the 2nd RF book are used, one was taken at a Madrid bus stop.

My neighbor across the street has a dog that looks exactly like the one in your fine picture.

Walker
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Old 03-05-2006   #11
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Dont worry Walker. My 2 pictures too for the RFF book are in Madrid.

I dont know what is the name of the these dogs, but I love their face and calmness
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Old 03-05-2006   #12
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The new Elmar 50/2.8 is probably the finest lens of its type (four element triplet) ever made for the 35mm format (practically zero distortion, negligible corner light falloff). I have a late model Summicron 50, but unless I need the extra stop, the Elmar is what I use on my M6.
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Old 03-06-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard_l
The new Elmar 50/2.8 is probably the finest lens of its type (four element triplet) ever made for the 35mm format (practically zero distortion, negligible corner light falloff). I have a late model Summicron 50, but unless I need the extra stop, the Elmar is what I use on my M6.
Richard - I am very interested in your opinion, since you use both Summicron and the current Elmar. Would you say that the current Elmar is like a 2.8 Summicron, or would you say that it has a different "look" (whatever that is) when it comes to tonality &c, compared to the Summicron?

The reason I am posing the question, is that I have a Minox 35 GT-E and I really like the look of that lens. Can't really explain it in "objective" terms, but there is something about the pictures I would like to have in a 50 on the Leica. Since the Minox lens is a Tessar design, it would be fun to try out an Elmar, but before deciding on getting a current or old (or even a 3.5), any advice is welcome!
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Old 03-06-2006   #14
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I just got back the first roll from my new Elmar 2.8. I'm amazed at how sharp this lens is. I also have the modern Summicron and it's hard to believe but the Elmar may be sharper. Here's the only shot from the Elmar that I happen to have on my computer at work: (Ilford XP2 scanned from print)
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Old 03-06-2006   #15
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It is not your imagination. The latest elmar is a great lens.
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Old 03-06-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beniliam
I dont know what is the name of the these dogs, but I love their face and calmness
The dog breed is Basset Hound. The one across the street is very friendly.

Walker
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Old 03-06-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilt
Richard - I am very interested in your opinion, since you use both Summicron and the current Elmar. Would you say that the current Elmar is like a 2.8 Summicron, or would you say that it has a different "look" (whatever that is) when it comes to tonality &c, compared to the Summicron?
The difference is in the contrast/clarity. The Elmar is slightly crisper than the Summicron. The "look" is not unlike that of the Rollei 35 Tessar.
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Old 03-07-2006   #18
Ronald M
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The old 3.5 takes small 36mm filters and a $75 shade. Unless you use an adapter to bring it up to 39mm. The aperture is controled in front, not around the barrel with the advantage it collapses flatter. You will also need a screw to bayonet adapter. Bottom line is there is less cost saving than first appears. Most of these also need interior cleaning which is more money, 50/100 dollars

The pics while very nice, are not the same as the current one. I`m refering to the last coated 3.5 models. There are lots of uncoated ones around and the pics are much less contrasty than modern single or multi coated glass.

2.8 elmars from the 60`s take pics much like the 3.5 coated ones.

If you like what you get from the new one, do not change for a cheaper one. It would be ok to have one for vintage looking pics if you want two lenses.

Last edited by Ronald M : 03-07-2006 at 03:34. Reason: add more info
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Old 03-10-2006   #19
Marko
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Thanky you @all.

I think i will take the new Elmar 2.8. I have load my Bessa with one of the best b/w film from germany, the Gigabitfilm 40. Now i will look for pictures )
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