Summicron, Elmarit? A new language...
Old 07-20-2005   #1
Pat
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Summicron, Elmarit? A new language...

Hi,

I'm about to take the leap and purchase a Leica M7. I would like a 28mm lens. Apart from the obvious difference in speed, are there any major differences between the Summicron 28 f/2 and the Elmarit 28 f/2.8? I've been told that Leica lenses have very different qualities, some softer than others etc.

Thanks,

Pat
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Old 07-20-2005   #2
rover
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Hi Pat,

I think you will find that all Leica lenses are sharp. The differences in the lens names mostly points out differences is lens speed and generally lens construction. You forgot the Summilux, which is generally a fast lens, f/1.4 ish, and Noctilux, which is a warp speed f/1 50mm. The Summicron is considered the fast sharpest lens (they are all very sharp and this point is one of opinion) f/2 and Elmarit are "slower" f/2.8.
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Old 07-20-2005   #3
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my experience is....
the elmarit tends to render more contrast compared with the summacron. sometimes this is good, sometimes this hurts the eyes (well i maybe exagerating a bit here).
of course, like Rover said, all leica lenses are razor sharp. even though all aperture range will give excellent picutres with the leica lens, I tend to use F4 or above when taking photos, so a 2 or a 2.8 doesn't make too much of a difference to me.
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Old 07-20-2005   #4
billbarber
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here's a link to some information you may find helpful regarding the differences.
http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm
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Old 07-20-2005   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I've found an ex demonstration Summicron 28 f/2 at the local camera shop and was really wondering if the extra cost was worth it. Since it's such a good deal, I seem to find myself photographing in low light a lot and you can't take $$$ to the grave, it looks like I'll take a deep breath and get it...
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Old 07-20-2005   #6
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Hi Pat.

The 2/28 Summicron-M has been described as the best 28mm lens ever made.
http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/ms...stm/m2-28.html

It is therefore not a bad choice, but the much, much cheaper Voigtländer 1.9/28 is no slouch either.
http://www.imx.nl/photosite/japan/voigt2890.html

As a responsible husband & father of three, I chose the second lens.

More to the point, and if you plan to use this lens most, my suggestion is that you plan to get a camera with a .58 magnification viewfinder. I can't reliably see the 28mm frames in the (standard) .72 finder without my glasses... and, alas, I wear glasses.

Keep us posted !

Regards from rainy Paris,

ag
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Old 07-20-2005   #7
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Well, Pat, I had to make a decision about this recently, and I went with the 28 Summicron. It features a unique combination of small size and fast speed along with its reputation for extremely high optical qualities. At the time I already had the 3.5/28mm Color Skopar, a tiny gem of a lens... but slow. And also the 2.8/28mm Carl Zeiss Biogon-G in mount only for the Contax G, but also an incredibly good lens.

But for the environmental portraits project I'm doing, I found that even f/2.8 was just not fast enough in some shop & office interiors. And there's still enough DoF at f/2 for what I'm doing. If there were a 28mm Summilux, I suspect the f/1.4 would be a little too much of a good thing in having too little DoF for my taste. And I expect Leica couldn't have maintained such a tidy size as the Summicron.

Edit: By the way, my Leica is an M2 so I use the 28 'cron on my Minolta CLE, a good pairing.

I've only had the Summicron for a few rolls of film so far, and it's glorious. Mine was "new old stock" at the old stock price, so I feel pretty fortunate in that deal, perhaps along the same lines as yours.
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Last edited by Doug : 07-20-2005 at 16:28.
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Old 07-20-2005   #8
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If the (gasp) price of the Summicron 28mm/f2 is an issue for you, really give some thought to the Voigtlander 28mm/f1.9. It is quite a sharp lens and perhaps all that you'll ever need.

I' quite pleased with mine, all the more so since I can use it on LTM cameras as well as the M series.
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Old 07-20-2005   #9
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The 28 Summicron is an excellent lens! It was the second Leica lens that I bought and it stayed on my camera almost constantly. The 35 Summilux is the better "view" for me though. Both of my cameras are .72 as well. It is kind of difficult to frame with glass' though but not impossible. I say that if you can get the 28 Summicron at cheaper rate then go for it. But if by chance you can find a 35 Summilux then that would be better choice for the .72 viewfinder.
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Old 07-21-2005   #10
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Hi Pat! Welcome. As for lenses: the general rule is: don't worry be happy. Not only for Leica, but for any other RF lens the simple rule is: decide what focal length you want, what lens speed, and how much you want to spend. The character of a lens may come into the equation as well. There really is no pecking order regarding lenses on this forum. Leave the agonizing about "bad copies", " is the 1.4 15 mm sharper than the 8.0 500 mm?"etc. for the guys on the Nikon and Canon forums. Over here the tone is quite different. Which doesn't mean we won't be happy to swamp you with well-meant advice......
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Old 07-26-2005   #11
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I got it!! But a lot has happened since...

Went with the Summicron 28, I shoot alot in low light and after all the advice I decided that the extra stop was worth it. Got it home and noticed the apperture ring was really sticky coming off f2. Shot a roll of film and took it back. A very sheepish shop assisstant took it back and has lent me the Elmarit until the warranty is sorted out. So now I can compare first hand!

I went for the .72 rangefinder and found because the 28 fills the finder I don't even look at the border lines. Guess I'm just used to using SLR's. I also plan to get a 50mm, (which one.. Just kidding!) and figured .72 would be best with both.

Anyway I now own the Leica I've been saving for for ages and after only one roll i know why I did it... Amazing... But I'm preeching to the converted I guess!

Thanks for the "swamping" with well meant advice!

Pat

Last edited by Pat : 07-26-2005 at 05:13. Reason: forgot something!
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Old 07-26-2005   #12
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Congrats, Pat. I bought a 28 Summicron recently; found it at a going out of business camera store and got it at more than 1/3 off list price. I disagree with Alice who claims that the Summicron is less contrasty than the Elmarit. This Summicron has become my lens of choice, and I have yet to take it off my M6 body. Tremendous lens: shoot it wide open. Amazing.
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Old 07-26-2005   #13
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Yes, the 28 Summicron is known for having "magical" properties. One of my favorites.
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Old 07-26-2005   #14
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Congratulations Pat! I just picked up a 28mm too and I'm really happy because that was/is my standard wide-angle on my SLR. However I'm getting a Hexanon-M (thanks laptoprob!). The build quality is very good on those Konica lenses...

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Old 07-26-2005   #15
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Peter, congrats yourself, again! I don't know anything about that 28's optical signature, nor the Rokkor's, so I'll be interested to see your samples and impressions.
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Old 07-26-2005   #16
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Thanks Doug, gotta stop buying though! This lens suddenly popped up here on Sunday and one or two other people here could have had it before me but they declined so I was really lucky to get it.

I'm excited to get a quality 28 without a tab and I'm a fan of the Konica lenses having had the 90/2.8 for a while and the 35/2 briefly. Will post pics from the lens, I have a specific couple of days set aside in August to use it on a project.

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Old 07-26-2005   #17
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....your evil messages pulled me to the dark side!!
Now I want one too........(sick)
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Old 07-27-2005   #18
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Sorry mate! Unfortunately it happens to many people who join the forum so at least you are not sick by yourself...

BTW I had a short vacation in Madrid a couple of months ago - loved it!

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Old 08-02-2005   #19
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According to Erwin Puts the Summicron 28mm Asph is better than the Elmarit.
Incredibly the Summicron is not bigger than the Elmarit, but more expensive.
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Old 08-02-2005   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric76
According to Erwin Puts the Summicron 28mm Asph is better than the Elmarit.
Yeah, amazing... Just the very best there is, and that can never be TOO good, can it?
Quote:
Incredibly the Summicron is not bigger than the Elmarit, but more expensive.
In all my studying this over, it became clear that at least for me the 28 Summicron was really the optimal choice... except for the impossible price. I just set the idea aside, on the back burner so to speak. Until a few months ago I encountered a Leica dealer clearing "new old stock" from his shelves at old prices. That did it; I just had to suck it in and go for it!
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Old 08-03-2005   #21
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Doug, seduced by the dark side. Muuuaaahahahaha!
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Old 08-05-2005   #22
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My new 28mm Hexanon-M arrived on Wednesday from laptoprob. Very frustrating being out-of-town and not able to get at it. I finally got to open the package last night and the lens looks good. Will be testing/using it this coming weekend. Beautiful rings on this lens: The aperture ring is as smooth as silk and the focus ring is heavily damped. Looking forward to this!

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