PDA

View Full Version : Review of 24/1.4 Summilux


Roger Hicks
08-17-2009, 02:34
There is now a review of the 24mm Summilux on my site (which is now ALL FREE), here:

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/reviews%20summilux%2024.html


Cheers,

Roger

leicashot
08-17-2009, 02:43
Interesting read, thanks Roger. I've tested the lens briefly and found it to be a winner. Definately on my list.

Cheers

sebastel
08-17-2009, 04:33
six thousand dollars for a lens? you _are_ kidding.

sepiareverb
08-17-2009, 04:57
Thank you Roger- this is a lens I'm considering, though the 18 is more likely to be next- one question, about intrusion of the hood into the aux VF- the thing I disliked most about the ZM21 was how much one lost in the VF when focus got closer. How much does the 24 Summilux block the view through the aux finders?

Roger Hicks
08-17-2009, 05:17
Thank you Roger- this is a lens I'm considering, though the 18 is more likely to be next- one question, about intrusion of the hood into the aux VF- the thing I disliked most about the ZM21 was how much one lost in the VF when focus got closer. How much does the 24 Summilux block the view through the aux finders?

I use the tiny Voigtländer 28/35, which you hardly notice is on the camera. The top of the hood fills the gap between the 28 + 35 framelines and encroaches a tiny amount -- maybe 5% -- into the 35 frame. As a 'guessed' 33mm finder I reckon you lose no more than 5% in all (the hood fills about 70% of the long dimension of the frames. In brief: hardly noticeable. You've read the 18mm Distagon and WATE reviews, I take it?

Cheers,

R.

sepiareverb
08-17-2009, 05:35
Thanks- I'd be shooting both film and M8 with the 18, film most often with the ZISW8, so it seems on film I'd still have the same woe. As a 24 on the M8 it seems fine.

Just re-read the other reviews, I've been considering the 18/4 and the 18/3.4- I'll have to wait for another trip to NYC to do some comparing of them in the hand. The WATE wasn't in the running, but I may reconsider that. Sounds like a good match with the ZISW.

Roger Hicks
08-17-2009, 06:24
I just tried a Zeiss 25/28 (I don't have a 24 finder) and there is amazingly little encroachment. The hood fills about half the width of the finder and only just cuts into the 28 area. The gap between 25 and 28 is filled, of course, but the total encroachment is (at a guess) well under 5%.

Cheers,

R.

dcsang
08-17-2009, 07:10
Thanks for the Review Roger :)

Looks like a nice lens - but I certainly could never afford it - those that can, I'm sure, will be happy with it. :)

$7000 CDN - that's a lot of dough for one lens - mind you, if you've got it, you may as well spend it because you're not taking the $7000 with you :D

Dave

P.S. Oh.. and thanks for making the site free :) it takes a LOT of work to continually update and maintain a site which has so much useful information - and to make it available to anyone/everyone is truly a generous thing to do. Thank you :)

Turtle
08-17-2009, 21:00
I'd love one, but on a MP you have $10K down the drain if someone nicks it. I also think a 28 cron or a 35 lux really does all you could ask on 35mm FF. Nice, but a real luzury over and above the two aforementioned lenses, at least on 35mm. Makes a lot more sense on the M8 sensor, but at what price?

leicashot
08-17-2009, 21:22
I'd love one, but on a MP you have $10K down the drain if someone nicks it. I also think a 28 cron or a 35 lux really does all you could ask on 35mm FF. Nice, but a real luzury over and above the two aforementioned lenses, at least on 35mm. Makes a lot more sense on the M8 sensor, but at what price?

Turtle, if 24mm is your choice of focal length (either full frame or M8) then a full stop over the 28/2 and 2 full stops over the Elmarit 24mm can make all the difference between making a shot or not. To some it's important and to others it may not.

For professionals or amatuers with money, the price, although expensive, makes a lot of sense if it means making that 1 important image work, even if it ain't every day. If you've never missed a great shot due to light being too low to make the shot, then obviously you probably would never benefit from this lens's capabilities....but it's nice to know you have the capability to tackle very low light, should it rear it's ugly head ;-)

Also, i'd recommend having insurance on any Leica equipment, right? :rolleyes:

Turtle
08-17-2009, 22:42
Reasonably priced insurance for valuable Leica kit that covers you living in Afghanistan is akin to unicorn horn!

Sure, I understand that the 24 FL may be one's choice, but I imagine for FF users it would be less common for them to need the speed on a really wide lens than one somewhat longer... but for those who need fast and 24, I understand the need. For M8 users its 32mm or so, which I imagine appeals to a lot of people. I would imagine most 35mm users find themselves asking for more speed mainly in the 28+ bracket.

I rarely have issues with needing faster lenses, but I do sometimes wish for faster films with finer grain. The issue I have is that while a super fast lens may allow for sufficient shutter speeds, I get very shallow DOF. With the sort of shooting I do (mainly reportage if I could characterise it as such) I want a certain amount of DOF and don't appreciate the look I get with super fast lenses apart from very occasionally. I personally think that a lot of people make a mistake in thinking that professional reportage/street/documentary shooters need super fast lenses - they forget about DOF and the need to show more than a sliver of the scene in focus. What about the images shot over the last 70 years and aperture? fast lenses have been about for ages, but not that many images are shot wide open and the reason is not image quality, but the desired DOF. It can work or even be desirable, but more so with medium wides and longer because you don't invariably have to include loads of the surrounding area (as you do with very wide lenses, even with portraits). Most of the most well known street/reportage/docu images seem to be at f4-f11 and I think this is something more people should consider before determining that a 24 1.4 (on FF) is the solution.

I would love a 24 1.4 in my arsenal (A 28 1.4 would be more appealing) but cannot think of enough situations where, as a 35mm user, I would really need to combine very wide and very fast, but i realise thats a personal thing. I have already seen some super work done with the summilux 24 wide open on FF, but did not recall thinking that the lens was the only solution to the problem.

FWIW I have found monopods more useful than super fast lenses. I can get more DOF and use it as a club if the worst comes to the worst. A lot cheaper too. I am sure for a few niches the 24 lux on 35mm will be the ideal lens, but I suspect that far more people will buy one because they want one than because there is any real need for one. Call me a cynic, but I suspect far more will be used to take dreary images under poor light when 'no other lens would do' than anything inspiring. Sadly, this also seems to be the fate of most noctiluxes.

I am not attempting to bash the lens (or the Noctilux) - I would love to own both - but do find their use frequently gratuitous rather than necessary. Still, for those who need them, the new 21/24 luxes are peerless!

leicashot
08-17-2009, 22:57
Reasonably priced insurance for valuable Leica kit that covers you living in Afghanistan is akin to unicorn horn!

Sure, I understand that the 24 FL may be one's choice, but I imagine for FF users it would be less common for them to need the speed on a really wide lens than one somewhat longer... but for those who need fast and 24, I understand the need. For M8 users its 32mm or so, which I imagine appeals to a lot of people. I would imagine most 35mm users find themselves asking for more speed mainly in the 28+ bracket.

I rarely have issues with needing faster lenses, but I do sometimes wish for faster films with finer grain. The issue I have is that while a super fast lens may allow for sufficient shutter speeds, I get very shallow DOF. With the sort of shooting I do (mainly reportage if I could characterise it as such) I want a certain amount of DOF and don't appreciate the look I get with super fast lenses apart from very occasionally. I personally think that a lot of people make a mistake in thinking that professional reportage/street/documentary shooters need super fast lenses - they forget about DOF and the need to show more than a sliver of the scene in focus. What about the images shot over the last 70 years and aperture? fast lenses have been about for ages, but not that many images are shot wide open and the reason is not image quality, but the desired DOF. It can work or even be desirable, but more so with medium wides and longer because you don't invariably have to include loads of the surrounding area (as you do with very wide lenses, even with portraits). Most of the most well known street/reportage/docu images seem to be at f4-f11 and I think this is something more people should consider before determining that a 24 1.4 (on FF) is the solution.

I would love a 24 1.4 in my arsenal (A 28 1.4 would be more appealing) but cannot think of enough situations where, as a 35mm user, I would really need to combine very wide and very fast, but i realise thats a personal thing. I have already seen some super work done with the summilux 24 wide open on FF, but did not recall thinking that the lens was the only solution to the problem.

FWIW I have found monopods more useful than super fast lenses. I can get more DOF and use it as a club if the worst comes to the worst. A lot cheaper too. I am sure for a few niches the 24 lux on 35mm will be the ideal lens, but I suspect that far more people will buy one because they want one than because there is any real need for one. Call me a cynic, but I suspect far more will be used to take dreary images under poor light when 'no other lens would do' than anything inspiring. Sadly, this also seems to be the fate of most noctiluxes.

I am not attempting to bash the lens (or the Noctilux) - I would love to own both - but do find their use frequently gratuitous rather than necessary. Still, for those who need them, the new 21/24 luxes are peerless!

I agree 100% with your explanation. As much as I like shallow depth of field for some portraits, for documentary, telling a story requires DOF for the most part.

Too many keen camera goers think that shallow depth of field makes a photograph, especially with lenses like the Noctilux and other old lenses that have this so called 'bokeh character' in their images. While I agree that a lens's drawing style can affect the feel of an image, I personally I think that using shallow DOF and interesting bokeh to 'make an image' just means you're attempting to make very boring subjects/content into a nice image with a unique or distracting bokeh, kind of like compensation. I see too many images posted where people are stunned due to the 'stunning' bokeh, when the image has very little overall appeal.

It's all too easy to get caught up in the technicalities of the link between an image and it's maker. Funny enough, most of the best Leica M images ever taken in history have been shot beyond maximum aperture to show content in the image for the purpose of telling a story, and not for technical display of bokeh.

Sorry if I sounded like I was schooling you. You seem to know what you're talking about ;) and again, great explanation. Hope mine has added positively to it.

thomasw_
08-17-2009, 23:22
Thanks Roger for allowing me to read your review.

Roger Hicks
08-17-2009, 23:58
. . . The issue I have is that while a super fast lens may allow for sufficient shutter speeds, I get very shallow DOF. . . I am sure for a few niches the 24 lux on 35mm will be the ideal lens, but I suspect that far more people will buy one because they want one than because there is any real need for one. Call me a cynic, but I suspect far more will be used to take dreary images under poor light when 'no other lens would do' than anything inspiring. Sadly, this also seems to be the fate of most noctiluxes.. . . Still, for those who need them, the new 21/24 luxes are peerless!

Exactly, though shallow d-o-f is less of a problem than I expected: only in a handful of shots (out of many hundreds, probably well over 1000) have I been caught out, but it does happen, as I remarked in the review. You have to work at it, usually, to get truly shallow d-o-f 'cat and bokeh' pics -- which, like you, I find are rarely successful.

Certes, most Summiluxes will be bought because they're wanted rather than needed, but this is true of most photographic equipment. And perhaps I did not stress enough the truly stunning image quality at sensible apertures. I regard the 24/1.4 on the M8.2 as a 'wide standard' for normal use, with f/1.4 as a useful bonus when you want/need it.

And, as you say, the 21 and 24 Summiluxes are much more specialist lenses on 24x36, whether film or (in due course) an M9.

Cheers,

R.

Turtle
08-18-2009, 00:35
Roger,

The DOF issue for me is more related not so much to nailing focus (although this is an issue when shooting quickly or the subject is mobile) but wanting more in focus than shallow apertures allow. I can imagine that 1.4 on 24 still allows a fair amount at medium distances. In fact, it should be similar to a 50 2.8 using the approximate 'double FL, add two stops' rule heard years ago. Seems to hold true!

One aspect of the 24 lux that does sound very appealing is the signature. Sounds very smooth and old school.

Roger Hicks
08-18-2009, 05:18
Roger,

The DOF issue for me is more related not so much to nailing focus (although this is an issue when shooting quickly or the subject is mobile) but wanting more in focus than shallow apertures allow. I can imagine that 1.4 on 24 still allows a fair amount at medium distances. In fact, it should be similar to a 50 2.8 using the approximate 'double FL, add two stops' rule heard years ago. Seems to hold true!

One aspect of the 24 lux that does sound very appealing is the signature. Sounds very smooth and old school.

Sure, that's what I meant. There really is enough d-o-f there most of the time -- more often than I expected.

Cheers,

R.

35mmdelux
08-18-2009, 05:42
THKS for the insightful review.

sepiareverb
08-18-2009, 05:53
...(A 28 1.4 would be more appealing)...

Here here. I do hope this is on the drawing boards, or whatever the digital equivalent is these days.