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Which 50 for Travel?
Old 05-25-2019   #1
ktmrider
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Which 50 for Travel?

Oh my god! This is another of those which lenses would you take for travel threads whose answers are as individualistic as the people who answer but with a bit of a twist.

I am getting ready to go around the world leaving in late September and taking 4-6 months, most likely closer to six. For ease of travel, I have decided to only take digital equipment which presently consists of a MP240 and X100F. I have a variety of focal lengths from 25-135 for the Leica and the 28 aux lens for the X100F.

I have not decided on the exact lens mix yet but since the 35FOV is fixed on the X100F I will probably leave that focal length out of the mix for the Leica. I have two 50's: the 50f1.1 Nokton and the latest 50 Summicron. My question is would you take the Nokton over the Summicron. Does the lens come up to the standards you would want for travel? I know it is large but that is not the factor I am asking about.

I bought the lens and then started having doubts reading the negative comments on the web. Recently I have been using it and have been impressed. Granted the Summicron brings home the bacon as well and is much more compact but again not asking about its size. For those of you who own the big Nokton, would you carry it as your prime lens for six months?
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Old 05-25-2019   #2
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Good luck with your trip.
Take with you lenses that you have been using a lot in recent years.
Now let's address your main question. Here is my suggestion to you: No. Take the Summicron.
I was packing my travel camera gear for the past few days, and picking a 50mm lens (or not), and then deciding which 50mm to pick took me to these rounds of uncertainty:
1. Zeiss Jena 5cm 1.5: light and very sharp in the center with lovely OOf rendering. I then got second thoughts about using this 50mm lens as I also have many other 50mm lenses that I may have liked more in the past. I went to my smugmug site to inspect dozens of folders that are filled with my past images, and I realized there that I would be happier with a Pentax-M 50/1.4 in M mount.
2. Pentax-M 50/1.4: I inspected my past images that were taken with the Pentax lens. I decided to pick instead a Rigid Summicron.
3. There is nothing wrong with a Summicron 50mm lens, but why choose a 50mm lens?!
4. I replaced the 50mm lens with a pre-asph Lux 35/1.4. Ihave been using this lens as a main lens in my travels for many years. I am happy now.
5. Yesterday, I realized that my tiny camera backpack allowed me to add a small lens to my two cameras and two lenses. I went back to step 1 above. The Zeiss Jena lens is light and compact.

In your case, recall which 50mm lenses you are most familiar with and which ones you really enjoyed using. I held in my hand a 7A 50/1.1 and a CV Nokton 50/1.1, but each lens felt too large and too heavy for a trip by airplane.

Good luck with your long trip.
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Old 05-25-2019   #3
Steve M.
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Take the smallest and lightest. I honestly don't think any manufacturer ever made a bad 50 lens.
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Old 05-25-2019   #4
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The Nokton 50 1.1 is my prime lens on my M5. Size and balance is perfect, and it is faster and more flare resistant than a Summicron.

I don't pay attention to noise on the web, that tends to be hearsay from people who have never seen let alone used the gear. And the couple of reviews I have found quite frankly have terrible images which reflect on the user not the gear.

But the bottom line is this, which one gives YOU better results on the M240?
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Old 05-25-2019   #5
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I agree .... "In your case, recall which 50mm lenses you are most familiar with and which ones you really enjoyed using"
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Old 05-25-2019   #6
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Have owned the latest 50 Summicron for twenty years or more and I like it. Have owned the Nokton for about six months and have been using it a lot recently. If size becomes a factor, then I would take the Summicron.

I am not planning to travel with a 35 because the X100F covers that focal length so damm well. In fact, I think the X100F is probably a better camera overall then the Leica (cost, size, weight, technology) and the great film simulations. But I still enjoy the Leica experience.
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Old 05-25-2019   #7
Larry H-L
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If you are a frequent low-light shooter, take the Nokton. If not, take the ‘cron.
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Old 05-25-2019   #8
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Most lenses are better than their photographers. Do you think you'll be limited by the image quality of your lens when shooting handheld?
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Old 05-25-2019   #9
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Kinda hard to beat the Summicron. The ISO Of the M240 should be enough for F2 in all but the lowest light. IQ, ergonomics, and size are all right where to be for travel. What a fantastic opportunity!
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Old 05-25-2019   #10
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It depends on self-limits....
I'm taking it @2500 with M-E, because I'm ISO400 @3200 film pusher and I'm using my 2008 made DSLR max ISO12800, because I learned how to use high ISO on APS-C and larger sensors. It was great to have 50 1.2 lens on ISO1600 max DSLR, but it was 2005 model.
With M240 usable 4000ISO I see no reason for f1.1 lens to haul on the long trip.

But I'd rather take wide and tele conversion lenses for Fuji, plus extra battery and USB charger, battery pack, than another camera, single lens kit worth of 6K$.
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Old 05-25-2019   #11
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I am actually going to the Philippines for July returning to the US in early August due to a planned motorcycle trip to Sturgis with my sister. I will be leaving for my around the world trip in October.

For July, I plan on traveling super light with just the X100, extra batteries, the WCL, and a Godox flash unit. I may add the TCL but it is large and the 50mm crop on the X100F seems about as good. I am planning on diving with whale sharks and just purchased the new DJI Osmo 4K Action Camera. It has a couple features the GoPro Hero 7 lacks and is $50 cheaper. It also does 12mp photos so we will see how well it works. I have never used and know next to nothing about the "action camera".

It continues to amaze me how good and how cheap technology is when it does not have the "Leica" brand on it. It is too bad the Pacific is so damm BIG.

And I am heading to the national BMW motorcycle rally near Nashville, Tn., in a couple weeks before the Philippines. I figure the action camera and MP240 for fun. Then back to Dallas for a week to visit my daughter before flying to Manilla.

Reason for all the travel: just sold my house in El Paso after 21 years and my wife of thirty wants a divorce so I am literally homeless until I decide where I want to live when I return from the RTW trip next spring. And my wife and I are still friends but she is correct as we need to go in different directions (she is moving back to Anchorage). And even after the divorce I have a very, very generous pension from the government.
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Old 05-26-2019   #12
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I would take the Nokton since this is a great opportunity to really get to know a new lens that seems to be promising. But take the Summicron if you don't want to risk any surprises.
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Old 05-26-2019   #13
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I have the 1.1/50 Nokton and I like it. This said, it's big and heavy. On a six months trip, I'd take something smaller and lighter. Have a nice trip!
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Old 05-26-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
The Nokton 50 1.1 is my prime lens on my M5. Size and balance is perfect, and it is faster and more flare resistant than a Summicron.

...
bit off topic, but its interesting how "online opinion" has changed about Nokton 1.1. when it was announced years ago, it was seen as OK alternative to much pricier Noctilux. nowadays with newer lenses available, its almost seen as a poor performer by some commentators and reviewers (personal impression).
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Old 05-26-2019   #15
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How about a collapsible 50? Makes such a nice, small package. One of the great advantages to Ms for travel, in my opinion.
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Old 05-26-2019   #16
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Never mind, if you’re taking a Leica digital. Should have read closer.
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Old 05-27-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ccoppola82 View Post
Kinda hard to beat the Summicron...

For me it's very easy to beat a Summicron 50mm (non APO).
Flaring is their biggest problem and it can't be eliminated by Software or in the darkroom.
I sold my Summicron and switched to a Color Helliar 50 f2.5 which is a perfect solution if a small travel package is required.
Beside this one I own a new Nocton 50 f1.2 - a wonderful lens
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Old 05-27-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVIL_Guy View Post
For me it's very easy to beat a Summicron 50mm (non APO).
Flaring is their biggest problem and it can't be eliminated by Software or in the darkroom.
I sold my Summicron and switched to a Color Helliar 50 f2.5 which is a perfect solution if a small travel package is required.
Beside this one I own a new Nocton 50 f1.2 - a wonderful lens
I'm not familiar with the color heliar 2.5. I thought they only came as f2 or 3.5. I have a color skopar 2.5 that I love carrying around though. I have a nokton 50 1.5 but have always been tempted to replace it with the 1.2 though.
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