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Old 01-16-2020   #161
keytarjunkie
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Does anyone have the 50/3.5 Heliar and the 50/2.5 Color-Skopar? I have an idea how each of these lenses renders, but I'm curious to hear which you may prefer. I'm interested in these lenses in Nikon S-mount, but I believe they are just about the same in LTM/M mount...
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Old 01-16-2020   #162
Doug
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Not many of either made in Nikon S-mount I think, might be a little hard to find. I have both in Leica thread mount. The Skopar got off to a bad start, as someone spread the word that it was "soft", not particularly sharp, and this was repeated far and wide by those who didn't have one. So it had a poor reputation early-on. I took a chance on a used one at about half-price and didn't find it "soft" or have anything else to complain about... except a small amount of pincushion distortion. Erik van Straten uses one in Nikon mount I believe, likes it a lot and doesn't see any distortion in his.

The f/3.5 Heliar came along later, and I have to say the non-collapsing Nikon mount version is pretty strange looking. But, having the same optics as the Leica screw-mount version it should be an equal gem in use. And, not collapsible, it might well have better ergonomics.

I am not particularly sensitive to the differences in rendering of various lenses, though I have to admit there are some that just seem to have something undefinably extra. This f/3.5 Heliar is one of them I think. It's a traditional Heliar 5-element design, while the Skopar has 7, surprising for such a modest aperture. IMO the Skopar is an excellent lens too.
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Old 01-16-2020   #163
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keytarjunkie View Post
Does anyone have the 50/3.5 Heliar and the 50/2.5 Color-Skopar? I have an idea how each of these lenses renders, but I'm curious to hear which you may prefer. I'm interested in these lenses in Nikon S-mount, but I believe they are just about the same in LTM/M mount...
I do not have the Heliar 50/3.5, but I have the 50/2.5 Color Skopar LTM and the S Skopar 50/2.5. These lenses are not the same, but both are amongst the best 50mm lenses I've ever used.

The Color Skopar 50/2.5 is very close in performance to the Summicron rigid 50mm f/2. The Summicron is sharper in the middle of the picture but certainly not in the outer regions. Also the mechanical quality is first class. I've been using mine a lot for 18 years but she is still going strong. No problems whatsoever.

The S Skopar is a superlative lens, even better than the Color Skopar, extremely sharp. I think it is a recalculated version of the Color Skopar. By far the best 50mm lens for the Nikon rangefinders. See for yourself:

Color Skopar:




S Skopar:

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Old 01-16-2020   #164
keytarjunkie
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Thanks both of you. Erik, I know you speak very highly of the S Skopar every chance you get! The Heliar looks strange and the aperture seems finicky, but something about the rendering seems so nice and almost indescribable. On the other hand, the S Skopar is more compact and handles the same as the other Voigtlanders. I haven’t made up my mind, but I’m definitely gonna get at least one of them!
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Old 01-17-2020   #165
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Never used the two lenses Erik discusses, but I do have the 50/3.5 Heliar in Nikon S mount. It does look pretty funky, but I'm very happy with the way it renders. I mostly use it with my Nikon Z6, but occasionally also on my Nikon S2. It's obviously slower at f3.5 than your Summiluxes or Summicrons, and also the S Skopar and Color Skopar Erik discusses above, but if you can live with that maximum aperture, I think you'll like the rendering.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #166
Ricochetrider
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I'm pretty well sold by now on the 50/f3.5, conical-shape Heliar lens. Been doing a bunch of research- poring over reviews etc. Seems like a nice fit for my R3m. Clearly it's a bit quirky- and I'm OK with that, as by all (or most) accounts its rendering, sharpness, and bokeh is above & beyond almost all others others.

Of course, it "seems" like I'll also *need* to get a more modern 50mm lens, for, ah... well, um.....

so I'll probably end up with the 50/f1.2 Aspherical lens- later, rather than sooner. ;-)

Cheers!
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