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View Poll Results: what is the best 50mm
heliar 50mm 3.5 9 19.15%
summicron rigid 50/2 38 80.85%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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what 50?
Old 03-15-2011   #1
crist
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what 50?

What is the best 50mm in your opinion , the heliar 50/3.5 or 50/2 (Rigid Summicron-M: 1957-68
)???

Last edited by crist : 03-15-2011 at 18:40.
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Old 03-15-2011   #2
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Why limiting to those two? Are you considering a purchase? Personally, the choice of a 50 is determined by a large number of considerations. One day "best" might be a 50/1.5 Sonnar, the next a Summitar 50/2 or, much more likely for me, either a 50/1.4 Gausian or 50/3.5 Tessar.

I've used a Summicron and it's good.
So too is everything I've seen of the Helliar.
But on a nice bright spring day, a good "eagle eye" Tessar will do just as well for a fraction of the cost.

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Old 03-15-2011   #3
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I have the heliar, but is the summicron better??
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Old 03-15-2011   #4
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I'd have a hard time telling you. What do you like to shoot? What film? What kind of light?

A Summicron is one of the best all around lenses ever made. I sold the ones I've owned. I kept a Summitar on my Leica and shoot mostly very old and slow Tessars on LF. I've got a Gausian design as my main ax right now (50/1.4 Nikkor) but it's far from the sharpest wide open that I've ever owned. But it does have a look I like.

I'm willing to bet that in Santiago, there has to be an authorized Leica dealer that would rent you a Summicron for a day/weekend/week/month and let you see if you like it better than your Helliar. I think that might well be your best bet.

Or perhaps another RFF'er lives in Chile? A temporary swap could be fun as well.

Good luck!

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Old 03-15-2011   #5
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OK thanks a lots
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Old 03-15-2011   #6
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Can the heliar 50/3.5 vs the Rigid 'cron 50/2?
I have not the heliar 50/3.5. But I think the Rigid 'cron 50/2 is best lens of the 50.
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Old 03-15-2011   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crist View Post
I have the heliar, but is the summicron better??
The Summicron is awesome for B&W, but color seems off.
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Old 03-15-2011   #8
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I suspect if you ask 5 RFFers their opinions about 50mm lenses you'll get at least 25 answers

Me, probably my favourite 50 is the M-Hexanon but for some subjects I prefer the ZM C-Sonnar. The Elmar-M is my most-used 50. My most-used LTM 50 is a Canon 50mm/f1.8 but sometimes I prefer the "look" from my Summitar.

I think I've met my quota there (and mentioned neither of the lenses listed by the OP as I've never used 'em).

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Old 03-15-2011   #9
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The Summicron is definitely better at f2.
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Old 03-15-2011   #10
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Neither one (both are too dang slow)
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Old 03-15-2011   #11
Doug
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Some knowledgeable people have said the Heliar f/3.5 is the best 50 ever made... but if you need a faster lens I think there are several that are nearly as good. Certainly at openings wider than f/3.5!

I have only just received a Heliar f/3.5, so I can't yet comment on it. But the 50mm Planar ZM is hard to beat.
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Old 03-16-2011   #12
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I own and use both. Both are great lenses. The Rigid flares, but is the best for overcast/rainy days and also early morning and late afternoon light. In bright-bright light it can be an exciting challenge because of flare. Mucho heavy when compared to the 50/3.5 Nickel Heliar.

When its bright out or close to noon I will use my 50/2.0 Nickel Heliar instead which is very flare resistent. Signature of soft corners is similare to the Rigid open and one stop from fully open.

But I like using my 50/3.5 Nickel Heliar for street. I added a thick o-ring to the cyclinder as a focusing ring and because the diameter is so narrow the focus throw is very-very fast. I love this lens for the quick focus, and although it is slow as far as lens speed its sharp across the frame. I like the blend of moderate contrast and the blend of old and new.

I understand that the Heliar is somewhat of a modified Tessar that has symetrical front and back elements. Kinda has its own unique look that really can't compare with anything. Very distinct, individual and hard to say which is the fav. I use them all.

I shoot B&W and rarely color.

Cal
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Old 03-18-2011   #13
Erik van Straten
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Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 rigid, HP5, negative scan.

Erik.

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Old 03-19-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 rigid, HP5, negative scan.

Erik.

Very nice-love the 'geometry'! Nice and full toned too!
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Old 03-19-2011   #15
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I have both, and I like both, with an edge for the Summicron. It feels to better built. Optically, the Cron is faster but the Heliar is sharper. Both lenses have very high resolution.

Summicron at 4.0:

Heliar at 4.0 [focus may not have been perfect]:
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Old 03-19-2011   #16
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I know it doesn't really help when people start offering 276 different suggestions ;-) but I'd second the Hexanon 50. I really feel it's worth considering as an only 50. Yeah it's not super fast, but it offers lovely rendering and ergonomics in a very affordable package.

It's sharp wide open and great all round but still with enough 'character' that makes it just a little different from the norm. To my eyes it has a little less contrast compared to say the Planar 50. Anyway, sorry not to answer the question but you had to expect this! ;-) The good thing is that at used prices, you can try one and if you don't love it, usually sell it for the price you paid. It's worth having fun exploring what you like.
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Old 03-20-2011   #17
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The question posted was whether a rigid Summicron is needed when he already owns a Heliar 50 3.5.
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Old 03-20-2011   #18
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Skating around the issue of exactly what you mean by 'best', then if you need speed, there's no contest, and if you don't, not only is the Heliar design 50 years newer (and easier to make) but so is the lens (think haze, hamfisted 'repairs', cleaning marks...)

Confronting 'best', I prefer the C-Sonnar to either.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-20-2011   #19
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The 50/3.5 sounds very good for what it is. If you want to add a lens for low light, you might just try a Jupiter 8, Canon 50/1.8, or Jupiter 3. Cheap and good enough for when you want to shoot at f/2. For about the same price, the C-Sonnar is a stop faster and very good. Most Rigid or DR Summicrons under $1000 will have haze, "cleaning marks" and other issues. You pay up for the good ones, almost as much as a new Summicron.
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Old 03-20-2011   #20
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Use the one you got. Or get any of them. Most likely none of them will make any significant difference to your pictures. Concentrate on your praxis.
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Old 03-20-2011   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The question posted was whether a rigid Summicron is needed when he already owns a Heliar 50 3.5.
Yes I read the question but and I am saying the Hex is worth considering too. Chill out mate.
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