Leica Summarit 50 2.5 or a 50 1.4 Summilux v2?
Old 05-23-2017   #1
kknox
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Leica Summarit 50 2.5 or a 50 1.4 Summilux v2?

Just need a good all around 50. I have a 50 2.5 Summarit in my sights then I see a black v2 50. 1.4 Summilux for not much more $$. I have owned a v1 1959 Summilux before and sold it. This lens would be used both in film and digital.

Your thoughts.
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Old 05-23-2017   #2
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Are you talking about buying a new Summarit? If so, a Summicron is not much more money and I'd think a better lens. Or you could find a good used current Summicron for less than either one new.

Check with Sam Shoshan/Classic Connection.
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Old 05-23-2017   #3
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It's a used Summarit 50 2.5 or a used black v2 50 1.4 Summilux.
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Old 05-23-2017   #4
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Each one is a very nice lens indeed with excellent result.
Summarit-M 50mm is a more modern design with flat field in mind.
Summilux 50mm v II has some curvature so more 3D in photos with same aperture (as 2.5 for example) and more geometric distorsion than Summarit-M.
Focus to 1m or 80cm if closer is important.
Tab focus or not.
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Old 05-23-2017   #5
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I loved the 50mm 2.5 Summarit on the M9. It was great for photographing on the streets because it had a very short focus throw. The results were very Leica to all but the snobbiest of snobs. f/2.5 is not sexy to most.
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Old 06-10-2017   #6
Daryl J.
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You sold a V.1 Lux? Why?

Curved images bug me so my vote is the new Summarit-M design. It renders beautifully too. And the 2.5/50 is very well made.

Enjoy whichever lens you choose!

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Old 06-11-2017   #7
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I have seen v1 and v2 test shots wide open on M9. At Leica forum, German part. You must be really into the "retro" look to use v1 on M9 wide open. IMO. On film I'm impressed with Erik van Straten examples here from v1. To me it looks like better lens for BW film vs v2.
And new Summarit isn't boring lens on film and digital at all.
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Old 06-11-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl J. View Post
You sold a V.1 Lux? Why?

Curved images bug me so my vote is the new Summarit-M design...
Me too. Sold the V2 because of this.
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Old 06-11-2017   #9
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For an all-around lens where f/1.4 is not important, I have and use my V3 Summicron. This is the black one without the focus tab, catalog number 11817. I reach for it most of the time. When I want more atmosphere, I use my V1, the collapsible. For great black and white performance, I use my Dual-Range Summicron; but as an all-around lens, it is a bit heavy.

I have the version 2 Summilux, but it seldom occurs to me to use it, as it is heavier and larger, and I haven't been shooting in low light for quite a while now. It's on my to-do list to get it out and do some shooting with it!

For optical quality, enough speed, and small size, I like my V3 Summicron and my collapsible Summicron about equally. You can't go too far wrong with a Summicron!
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Old 06-11-2017   #10
Erik van Straten
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The v2 Summilux 50mm pre asph is not nice on film due to the severe barrel distortion, but this is not a problem on digital because you can correct it in Photoshop.

The v1 Summilux 50mm pre asph is free of distortion so it is a fine lens to use on film.

I have no experience with the Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5. I can recommend however the Color-Skopar 50mm f/2.5. I've used it for 15 years and still like it very much. See the thread devoted to this lens on this forum.

Erik.
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Old 07-20-2017   #11
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I'd be interested to know what the main differences would be with these lenses (summarit 2.5 50mm / summilux 1.4 50mm version 2) when shooting at f8 - f16, would they be difficult to spot the difference in the results?
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Old 07-22-2017   #12
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Skip them both and get a rigid summicron.


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Old 07-22-2017   #13
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Kevin, that Summarit M is very compact, especially overall length. I'd get that for sure. I carried a version 2 Summicron on my M2 for years but it was stolen. The Summicron was a vast improvement in weight and handling, especially the tab. The little Summarit would be even better, sitting under a coat, slipping in and out of a bag. Good choosing.
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Old 07-22-2017   #14
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Best all around 50 is a zm planar, not too pricey either

For film and digital, I'd take the newer lens, unless you need the extra stop
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Old 07-22-2017   #15
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I traded my v2 Summilux years ago against binoculars and am not looking back, the VM 1.5 Nokton is just so much better, even wrt built and handling. I never understood the attraction to a 1k$ 50/2.5 Leica lens either.

The truly unique 50mm Leica lenses are Elmar-M and rigid Summicron (if you shoot digital; DR if you shoot film only). For different specs, I recommend to go the CV or ZM route.

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Old 07-22-2017   #16
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I have an Elmar and not Elmar-M, so my lens is older and it may be less resistant to flare. Still, it is a very good lens, with 15 aperture blades and not just 6 blades in the last version Elmar-M. Yes, the Rigid Summicron (or DR version) is special.
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Old 07-22-2017   #17
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Hi Kevin

Lots of answers here.....I'll add mine.
Between the two you list I would go with the Summarit.
The shorter focus action is as John Rocket motions a real advantage for street as well as other photography.
I had the 75 Summarit and the focus on that lens was also very short yet well matched to the lens.... it's an advantage.

I owned the V3 Summilux 50mm and loved it for most things I was doing then as I spent my time in the forest or on beach.
For a city lens the V2/V3 Summilux probably have too much distortion for general use.
It's never bothered me shooting environmental type portraits and such.

Not from the 2 you listed, Erik Mentions the Skopar f2.5/50mm. It's my favorite lens for B+W film. Just has a special look and possesses overall excellent ergonomics.
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Leica Summarit 50 2.5 or a 50 1.4 Summilux v2?
Old 07-22-2017   #18
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Leica Summarit 50 2.5 or a 50 1.4 Summilux v2?

To add another lens to the running, I recently found a like new 50 summicron v4 (tabbed) for well under $1,000. It's been fantastic for shooting film. If I was shooting on a digital M, I would consider this as fast as I need with the ISO capabilities these days. IMHO the Summicron lineup is a great balance between price point, speed and build quality.
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Old 07-22-2017   #19
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I had Collapsible, Rigid and now same IV tabed, but above 1K$, which is common price now for III and newer. To be honest, after scanning color negatives and comparing them to Rigid... I don't think it is the keeper for me. But nor was Rigid. I'll sell it later to get trusty Summarit-M. Those are much easier to find in working condition and well under 1K$.
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Old 07-22-2017   #20
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I would go with the Summilux primarily for the faster glass, and I did. I don't use it as often as I could but I still use it occasionally and find it very useful for those very low light scenarios and for portraits.

Never used the Summarit so cannot advise, but I do use the Elmar 50/2.8 (earlier version) and find it a wonderful lens as well.

But...If I was going to carry one 50 all the time I would still choose the Summilux.
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Old 07-23-2017   #21
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Regarding the summilux, some of you have mentioned distortion and curved image, what is that exactly? Any examples to get an idea?

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2017   #22
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Kidd View Post
Regarding the summilux, some of you have mentioned distortion and curved image, what is that exactly? Any examples to get an idea?
Here you see an example of barrel distortion from the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v2. Just look at the pavement edge.

Leica M3, Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v2, Tmax100.

Erik.

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Old 07-23-2017   #23
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Go to lens browsing here
select - SUMMILUX 50mm f/1.4 PRE ASPH (E46).
At very first page you'll see it in three portraits. The Swirl of bokeh. Some like it and call it Pertzval lens and asking $$$ for this lens. Some, including me, thinks it is the flaw. I could get this swirl with dirt cheap Helios FSU lens, I was getting it with older and cheaper Leitz made (Leica) 50mm lenses, but it is not something to be in the 1500$+ lens. IMO.
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Old 07-23-2017   #24
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I was getting it with older and cheaper Leitz made (Leica) 50mm lenses, but it is not something to be in the 1500$+ lens.
It is the consequence of a complete correction of coma in a non-asperical lens.

However, I prefer a bit of coma instead of this distortion. The Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v1 (1959-1961) was distortion free.

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Old 07-23-2017   #25
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Thanks for that, I see the issue now, not sure it was something I would have ever noticed, mind you now I may find it hard not to.
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Old 07-23-2017   #26
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Hi Kevin,

There's lot's of solid advice here. I'll add that the more modern lens coatings of the Summarit bring an advantage in flare resistance over those in the Summilux V2.

I had a DR Summicron and sold it due to its high propensity to flare.

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Old 07-23-2017   #27
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Kidd View Post
Thanks for that, I see the issue now, not sure it was something I would have ever noticed, mind you now I may find it hard not to.
I find this issue for some reason more disturbing on a computer screen then on an analogue print.

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Old 07-24-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It is the consequence of a complete correction of coma in a non-asperical lens.

However, I prefer a bit of coma instead of this distortion. The Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v1 (1959-1961) was distortion free.

Erik.
I checked HCB "Inner Silence" portraits this morning for background swirl and barrel distortions.
Coco Chanel portrait has very visible barrel distortion of interior trim in OOF background, but it is analog print and it is not something disturbing at all (to me). Also, here is absolutely none of the portraits in this book with swirl in bokeh. Is this defect most present if lens is wide open? It doesn't looks like HCB took portraits on maximum aperture.
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Old 07-25-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I checked HCB "Inner Silence" portraits this morning for background swirl and barrel distortions.
Coco Chanel portrait has very visible barrel distortion of interior trim in OOF background, but it is analog print and it is not something disturbing at all (to me). Also, here is absolutely none of the portraits in this book with swirl in bokeh. Is this defect most present if lens is wide open? It doesn't looks like HCB took portraits on maximum aperture.
The only 50mm lenses I am sure about that Henri used them are: Elmar 50mm f/3.5, Summar 50mm f/2, Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 LTM, Summarit 50mm f/1.5, Summicron collapsible 50mm f/2 and Noctilux 50mm f/1.2.

I think he used for this particular portrait a Summicron 50mm f/2 collapsible. Many of his portraits were taken with this lens (and a lot of them wide open).

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Old 07-25-2017   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The only 50mm lenses I am sure about that Henri used them are: Elmar 50mm f/3.5, Summar 50mm f/2, Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 LTM, Summarit 50mm f/1.5, Summicron collapsible 50mm f/2 and Noctilux 50mm f/1.2.

I think he used for this particular portrait a Summicron 50mm f/2 collapsible. Many of his portraits were taken with this lens (and a lot of them wide open).

Erik.
How about Nikkor 50 1.4? He used it as well.
Some of the portraits in this book are soft, if not OOF. But I don't mind.
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Old 07-25-2017   #31
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Personally I don't think he used a Nikkor, but of course it is not impossible that he did. He used Zeiss lenses in LTM in the years after WW2.

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Old 08-13-2017   #32
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I am using the 50 Summarit 2.4 currently and I quite like it to be honest. It’s a great size and the rendering is quite nice paired with my 28mm Elmarit ASPH.
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Old 08-13-2017   #33
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Summilux has lots of barrel distortion and not that sharp to 5.6 or 8. I rate it a dog.
The big advantage is little to no coma in pics with light sources. I kept my 1.5 Summarit until I found a current `lux.

Since it is not that great wide open and has barrel distortion that does not go away,
but the 2.5 Summarit
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Old 08-13-2017   #34
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to add further confusion, have you considered the zeiss sonnar ? If you can deal with the focus shift, its a really fast, compact 50 with a signature look. Price isn't too bad either
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