Old 06-07-2017   #41
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The reality is, all the 50mm lenses where/are good. LTM and M mount. I can't think of bad ones.
The other than the obvious size/max aperture differences will be,... Minimum focus distance and contrast/flare resistance from coatings (single vs multi coated).
Chose the price point, find something in good condition, ... and go for it.
The Planar 50mm seems to be the lens that will give you the Zeiss pop that you are used to from the hassy.
FWIW,.. My personal favorite at this point is the Voigtlander LTM Color Skopar 50mm f2.5.
It's a beautiful brass jewel of a lens with a nice focus tab and gorgeous slightly centered performance (I like a touch of fall off in 35mm format).

The best advice anyone could give you is to ignore this forum completely and go empty rolls of film through whatever set up you have

Color Skopar a bit gritty
Hickory and Willow by Adnan, on Flickr
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Old 06-07-2017   #42
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haha! ..........
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Old 06-07-2017   #43
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Also consider the CV 50mm lenses... I myself have settled on 2 50's: a ZM Planar and a ZM Sonnar.
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Old 06-07-2017   #44
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These days Color Skopar 50 2.5 is one of the hardest lens to get, with price tag of 400$ and higher. While by 500-600$ you could easily get used Planar ZM, or even Nokton VM.
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Old 06-07-2017   #45
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i'm primarily a 35mm shooter, however, i do enjoy shooting 50 on occasion. that being said, my favorite 50 is the summicron collapsible. the rendering is classic and timeless. the lens collapses into the body for a very nice travel sized kit.

i did spend some time looking at the images you posted on IG. as i mentioned before, the v2 pre-asph summilux would match your existing work quite well. that being said, it's fairly large, heavy and pricey (i own one).

i think your best bet is used zeiss 50/1.5 sonnar-c. classic rendering, beautiful out of focus rendition, and compact. rock that till you find a deal on a lux.
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Old 06-07-2017   #46
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Yeah that lux looks like a good fit but light and compact are definitely factors. I'm leaning to the sonnar c and collapsible summicron /elmar. What are the different characteristics of the elmar vs summicron collapsible? From the prices I'm seeing for these lenses I might be able to pick up a 50 and a 35 or 28. I do do a lot of wide landscape shots living in the desert.


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i'm primarily a 35mm shooter, however, i do enjoy shooting 50 on occasion. that being said, my favorite 50 is the summicron collapsible. the rendering is classic and timeless. the lens collapses into the body for a very nice travel sized kit.

i did spend some time looking at the images you posted on IG. as i mentioned before, the v2 pre-asph summilux would match your existing work quite well. that being said, it's fairly large, heavy and pricey (i own one).

i think your best bet is used zeiss 50/1.5 sonnar-c. classic rendering, beautiful out of focus rendition, and compact. rock that till you find a deal on a lux.

Last edited by Cabledog : 06-07-2017 at 09:56.
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Old 06-07-2017   #47
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search flickr with the term "summicron collapsible kodak". that will bring up a nice set of images that show how it renders on film. i can email you a few samples of mine as well, just let me know where to send them.
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Old 06-07-2017   #48
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I have flickrd for hours lol. Problem is with the amount of post processing it's hard to figure out if that's the true characteristic of a lens or not.

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search flickr with the term "summicron collapsible kodak". that will bring up a nice set of images that show how it renders on film. i can email you a few samples of mine as well, just let me know where to send them.
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Old 06-07-2017   #49
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Collapsible Cron is one of the hardest lens to get in good condition. It is kind of low contrast lens, which is good on BW, but nothing good on color (IMO).
Elmar-M 50 2.8 latest version is classic formula lens with modern coatings. It is very nice lens on BW and just about right on color.
On updated budget of 1.5K you could get used Elmar-50 2.8 and used Biogon C 35 2.8 plus two new protective filters. Compact and great set of lenses for color and bw film, IMO.
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Old 06-07-2017   #50
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That does sound like solid kit. I've read the biogon c has some focus shift issues wide open though. Although using a 35 for a tight head shot or critical focusing probably isn't something is likely do anyways, it'd be for wider landscape shots.

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Collapsible Cron is one of the hardest lens to get in good condition. It is kind of low contrast lens, which is good on BW, but nothing good on color (IMO).
Elmar-M 50 2.8 latest version is classic formula lens with modern coatings. It is very nice lens on BW and just about right on color.
On updated budget of 1.5K you could get used Elmar-50 2.8 and used Biogon C 35 2.8 plus two new protective filters. Compact and great set of lenses for color and bw film, IMO.
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Old 06-07-2017   #51
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I have flickrd for hours lol. Problem is with the amount of post processing it's hard to figure out if that's the true characteristic of a lens or not.
I think you answered a question. It's not really going to matter. A 50 is a 50. Pick an aperture and whether you want modern coating or not.
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Old 06-07-2017   #52
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Also the collapsible lenses aren't really that compact. I have an elmar-m, when it's collapsed it's roughly the same size as the planar.
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Old 06-07-2017   #53
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I have flickrd for hours lol. Problem is with the amount of post processing it's hard to figure out if that's the true characteristic of a lens or not.
It's not till death do you part, try two and keep the best, try another and keep the best, rinse and repeat until you get the desired results.......

B2 (;->
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Old 06-07-2017   #54
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That's true
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Old 06-07-2017   #55
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That does sound like solid kit. I've read the biogon c has some focus shift issues wide open though. Although using a 35 for a tight head shot or critical focusing probably isn't something is likely do anyways, it'd be for wider landscape shots.
Many RF lenses I have tried with tripod, focus scale and cable release did focus shift on me. Including Summicron 50. But it real life photography it was not the factor to me.

Taking close up portrait commands small aperture with any format. Something like f8 on 35 and smaller on larger formats. You are not going to be affected by focus shift, IMO.

Old Leitz 50mm lens with close up attachment on Leica. I needed f8 to get the portrait, not the portrait of one eye.


Lollipop.

And for this one it was around f16, Mamiya 6x6:


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Old 06-07-2017   #56
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i wouldn't downgrade older lenses for use with color film. eggleston, herzog, levitt, leiter...great color even back then.
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Old 06-07-2017   #57
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These days Color Skopar 50 2.5 is one of the hardest lens to get, with price tag of 400$ and higher. While by 500-600$ you could easily get used Planar ZM, or even Nokton VM.
Well, that is $100 cheaper for a very good and very handy lens that can be used on any Leica, M or LTM. You have to look for them, but they are around.

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Old 06-07-2017   #58
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BTW

Have to thank the OP for the topic.
This subject is probably one of the favorites to write about, read about, and think about on RFF.
It's a topic matter that does not seem to get old
Cheers!
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Old 06-07-2017   #59
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BTW

Have to thank the OP for the topic.
This subject is probably one of the favorites to write about, read about, and think about on RFF.
It's a topic matter that does not seem to get old
Cheers!
True that.

My 2: I find the Elmar-M 2.8 performs great in color and B&W. Compact, lightweight, good flare resistance, modern coatings. Well within the budget and easily available.

The Planar I shot always seemed a bit chalky on B&W film, not sure I ever shot color with it.

For a smoother, more MF vibe you might consider a Summitar f2.0? Also compact, also in budget. Fussy with its weird filters, but my coated version delivers great color to the M9 (I've not shot color film with it). Might take a little longer to find one with perfect glass that doesn't need a cleaning, but they are around.
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Old 06-07-2017   #60
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Well, that is $100 cheaper for a very good and very handy lens that can be used on any Leica, M or LTM. You have to look for them, but they are around.

Erik.
OP has no LTM. Just one M. Personally, I dislike LTM lenses handling on M bodies. Nothing, but hassle. Plus, it needs another 50$ or more for adapter which is trustable.
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Old 06-07-2017   #61
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OP has no LTM. Just one M. Personally, I dislike LTM lenses handling on M bodies. Nothing, but hassle. Plus, it needs another 50$ or more for adapter which is trustable.
Yes, you need an adapter and also a shade. The Elmar-M shade fits however. It's advantage is that you can use Leica caps on those. The aluminium cap of the Color-Skopar itself is not as nice as the Leica 14038. The shade that is delivered with the Color-Skopar is a bit on the short side.

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Old 06-07-2017   #62
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I have flickrd for hours lol. Problem is with the amount of post processing it's hard to figure out if that's the true characteristic of a lens or not.
You won't get a true characteristic of a lens with commentary, either. The only 'trueness' are your own impressions.

There are no bad 50s other than those with mechanical or optical issues
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Old 06-07-2017   #63
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Plenty of oppourtunity for deep diving in the dark recesses of the interwebs here on this quest

I think the size of the MF neg is a major factor in what you like, and perhaps the T* pop.

I would probablly choose the Elmar-M latest 50mm 2.8 to match with your M4.

But for more soul searching and some comparative images of lenses you are considering here are some tests done by RFF members very generous with their time.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=75668



https://ferider.smugmug.com/Technical/Raids-50mm-Tests



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Old 06-07-2017   #64
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You won't get a true characteristic of a lens with commentary, either. The only 'trueness' are your own impressions.
Very true indeed. My distaste for the Planar is my own.

And let's not forget the newest Summarit. That 2.4 draws quite beautifully, and is also pretty compact.
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Old 06-07-2017   #65
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I'd vote 50 Summicron, having originally started with a 50mm Planar years ago. However, I absolutely agree with X-ray's comment about just choosing what you really want. I got pretty obsessed with Leica awhile back and bought just about every lens I could get/afford. I've since narrowed it a little bit, but my biggest influence was going into FlickRiver or finding groups on Flickr, etc. What's nice about this is that it's a somewhat randomized sampling, and you can browse a ton of samples from the lens you're interested in. Many groups on there are specific, so you can find a Zeiss Planar 50 group, or a 50 Summicron ver.3 group, etc. What you'll see, as X-ray points out, is that depending on the photographer/processing, etc. things will look totally different. With that said, I still found specific nuances in the various photos from the same lens which would eventually convince me one way or another, but I look at a lot of photos in this "research" period.

On another note, handling is potentially the biggest issue for me. I'm not a huge fan of focus tabs (despite having plenty of lenses that have them), so if those get in my way, I usually find myself getting annoyed at the physicality of the lens. Most of the time I'm more concerned with the enjoyment/comfort of shooting, where a great lens is made greater by not getting in my way of taking photos. As I've gotten older I find myself worrying less about the rendering, but I may be in the minority here.
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Old 06-07-2017   #66
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I'd vote 50 Summicron, having originally started with a 50mm Planar years ago. However, I absolutely agree with X-ray's comment about just choosing what you really want. I got pretty obsessed with Leica awhile back and bought just about every lens I could get/afford. I've since narrowed it a little bit, but my biggest influence was going into FlickRiver or finding groups on Flickr, etc. What's nice about this is that it's a somewhat randomized sampling, and you can browse a ton of samples from the lens you're interested in. Many groups on there are specific, so you can find a Zeiss Planar 50 group, or a 50 Summicron ver.3 group, etc. What you'll see, as X-ray points out, is that depending on the photographer/processing, etc. things will look totally different. With that said, I still found specific nuances in the various photos from the same lens which would eventually convince me one way or another, but I look at a lot of photos in this "research" period.

On another note, handling is potentially the biggest issue for me. I'm not a huge fan of focus tabs (despite having plenty of lenses that have them), so if those get in my way, I usually find myself getting annoyed at the physicality of the lens. Most of the time I'm more concerned with the enjoyment/comfort of shooting, where a great lens is made greater by not getting in my way of taking photos. As I've gotten older I find myself worrying less about the rendering, but I may be in the minority here.
There are subtle differences in lenses especially aspheric vs spherical. After owning Leicas newest aspheric lenses I sold them and went back to my roots, 60's vintage Leica glass plus a Planar and 35 f2 Biogon. I just found the aspheric glass a touch over the top looking plastic and artificial. Leica was catering to the pixel sharp fan base for sure.

I'm a fan of 35mm motion picture in the theatre vs digital production in some cases. I'll admit cameras like the Arri Alexa have brought the two mediums much closer but there's a presence in film and subtlety of tones and tonal transitions that isn't as good in digital capture. Part of it might be that film is what I've seen most of my life and to my eye it's superior.

Ok, there's a parallel in lenses. I posted a link here a couple of months ago to a video shot by one of the Hollywood directors of photography testing lenses. The test I was impressed with was between a new set of aspheric Leica cine lenses and a set of Cooke cine lenses. I don't remember which series of Cooke. It was obvious the Leica lenses lacked the tonal roundness, 3 D effect, and tonal separation of the Cooke. It reenfirced why I sold my Leica aspheric glass. Another thing tjat was illustrated was most people don't understand what the 3D effect is. Through samples people post on this forum it's obvious most feel 3D is exaggerated perspective with a wide lens when in reality it is tonal separation and roundness of tones and the ability to reproduce subtle tonal values. The DP believes the subtle nature of the cook lenses is pain part due to less highly corrected optics vs over correction in aspheric glass.

My choosing vintage glass came down to nostalgia and a less corrected and less perfect image. I really got tired of looking at too sharp over corrected images. I went back in my images over 50 years and the most pleasing were in the 60's - 80's. Since all of the images were mine and were all silver gelatin prints I felt I wasn't biased by subject and print quality. Also my printing is very consistent so that wariable was eliminated. My least favorite images were when I started using aspheric glass.

Alright, there are differences between lenses but it comes more down to variables like film, developer, printing technique or in the case of scanning what profile you use and how you handle levels, curves and dodging and burning and you.

I need to scan some prints and post them when I have time. From my previous demonstration folks weren't able to name what the image was shot with. It was very apparent people were guessing. I did a second version but only a couple of people participated. Folks didn't want to play the game because they knew they couldn't name the lenses the images were shot with. Actually they couldn't identify large or medium format from 35mm.
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Old 06-07-2017   #67
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There is loads of great advice on this thread. I'll add my own, and hope it stacks up favourably to the rest of the suggestions offered.

My own personal take is this: because it is Cabledog's first Leica, I think he would be most happy ultimately with a Leica lens on it. As he has expressed an interest primarily in a 50, the ultimate classic lens (in terms of history, "mystique" and performance) is the Summicron. (I'm not dissing any of the lenses mentioned here, particularly the collapsibles--I'd love to have the latest 2.8 Elmar...and a couple of the other lenses mentioned above. But the Summicron is kind of *the* lens for the Leica, particularly when starting out.)

The question would be which one. I have both the Rigid (a very nice 1964 version) and the Version IV (and I also own the 50 Summilux pre-asph version 2, so I do know a bit about 50s, lol).

While the Rigid is a very nice lens indeed, *the* classic Leica lens, I don't know that it's best for a first Leica 50. It's hard to find one in good shape, it does tend to flare a bit, and it's not *quite* as nice wide open as the later ones. (Again, I'm not putting it down--my own Rigid is the second specimen of the lens I've owned--and this is my second time owning it. I traded it in when I bought my Summilux, someone else bought it, and when they decided they were going with the Tri-Elmar it became available again. And I decided I just *had* to buy it back, despite owning two other 50s.)

Of the three 50s I have, each of which I love in its own way, the only one I'd probably *never* sell is the Version IV. Sharp as anything, light, fairly compact, focusing tab, focuses down to 0.7 metres, reasonably priced second hand--not much at all to hate there. And from what I've seen, the Version III is also quite nice, despite being occasionally maligned for questionable reasons--and they're generally significantly cheaper than Ver. IV as a result.

So, ultimately, I'd recommend a Summicron Version III or IV, use the heck out of it while you decide if you actually like and get on well shooting the Leica RF system, and when you get a chance, try out some of the other fabulous alternatives available, and maybe change/add to your primary lens at that time. I mean, who could possibly be satisfied wih just *one* 50, really?
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Old 06-07-2017   #68
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The collapsible lenses are intriguing to me. What's the difference between the elmar and summicron? Lens design?
Yes. And if you're talking about the collapsible 'cron v. the modern elmar (also collapsible), the coating on the latter will be better. As others have noted, it's hard to find a collapsible 'chron in good condition these days.

Since you're looking for a lens for travel purposes (among others), compactness and weight may be considerations. Those considerations would argue in favor the M-Elmar 50/2.8 or the CV Skopar 50/2.5. I have the latter, btw, and it's very flare resistant; I never use a hood on it other than short one the lens comes with. The Skopar 50 also handles very well (it has a focusing tab, like a 'chron 35). Produces great images in bw or color (see Erik van Straten's photos in this thread).

The v.3 summicron (recommended by others on this thread) is also a beautiful lens, a little larger than the Elmar and Skopar but not too heavy. Beautiful blend between modern and vintage; some folks don't like the long focus throw, but I like it. You can find them for sale for under $1000.

X-Ray also makes an excellent point about vintage Leica lenses. I suspect it's easier to find a coated, post-war Summitar in great condition than a collapsible 'chron, and for much less $$$. The Summitar is collapsible, superbly constructed, and a sample with clean glass can be a joy to shoot with. I bought a beautiful Summitar sample from X-Ray and can vouch for its being an excellent travel lens.

In short, lots of choices, probably none of them bad. Given your travel interests, though, size, weight, and handling might be important considerations for you.
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Old 06-07-2017   #69
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The v.3 summicron (recommended by others on this thread) is also a beautiful lens, a little larger than the Elmar and Skopar but not too heavy. Beautiful blend between modern and vintage; some folks don't like the long focus throw, but I like it. You can find them for sale for under $1000.

X-Ray also makes an excellent point about vintage Leica lenses. I suspect it's easier to find a coated, post-war Summitar in great condition than a collapsible 'chron, and for much less $$$. The Summitar is collapsible, superbly constructed, and a sample with clean glass can be a joy to shoot with. I bought a beautiful Summitar sample from X-Ray and can vouch for its being an excellent travel lens.

In short, lots of choices, probably none of them bad. Given your travel interests, though, size, weight, and handling might be important considerations for you.
I told myself I wouldn't sell that Summitar. They are very nice lenses and reasonable. Again many have scratched glass.

In the 70's i owned the v1 Noctilux 50 f1.2. It was a bit disappointing to be honest. The one thing it did well was handle bright sources of light within a dark field like a street light at night. Resolution topped out around F4.

I traded it for several items of which one was the V3 Summicron. It was a nice blend of flare control approaching the Noctilux with the resolution of the V2 Rigid Summicron. It was especially nice because there was no focusing tab and lock. As good as it was, I wouldn't put it in the same class for flare control with the Planar. The Planar imo is the king or coatings and flare resistance.
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Old 06-07-2017   #70
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Boy, I came to the right place with this question! You guys have a ton of knowledge! And even with all that I'm still torn haha. I reckon I'll just need to pull the trigger on one and see how it works out
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Old 06-07-2017   #71
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Boy, I came to the right place with this question! You guys have a ton of knowledge! And even with all that I'm still torn haha. I reckon I'll just need to pull the trigger on one and see how it works out
I think we have some knowledge, but the knowledge is far outweighed by our opinions
I agree, you need to pull the trigger. Buy used and you can just keep selling and buying for the rest of your life until you die having never found the perfect 50 for the Leica. I mean, buy used so you can try a different one with not much cost penalty if you really don't like the first one you get. I'd try the Elmar-M 2.8 (newer version) first if I were you.
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Old 06-07-2017   #72
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I think we have some knowledge, but the knowledge is far outweighed by our opinions
I agree, you need to pull the trigger. Buy used and you can just keep selling and buying for the rest of your life until you die having never found the perfect 50 for the Leica. I mean, buy used so you can try a different one with not much cost penalty if you really don't like the first one you get. I'd try the Elmar-M 2.8 (newer version) first if I were you.
That is not bad advice, particularly given your travel interests. If you can't find a good M-Elmar in your price range, I'd look for a Skopar 50. Just sayin...
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Minolta XD11, Pentax ME Super, and assorted MD Rokkor and Takumar lenses, Rolleicord III, Rolleicord Vb, Rolleiflex Automat MX-EVS




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Old 06-07-2017   #73
Rob-F
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Creamy tones and pop? Well, my 50mm collapsible Summicron came to mind, and here is a photo with it:



this was wide open, by the way.
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Old 06-07-2017   #74
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You can never have too many 50s.

If you want Zeiss pop/contrast, then IMO it's a Planar, such as the 50/2, but perhaps even better is getting a G45/2 converted to M-mount. That lens IMO is sharper and bolder than the 50/2, but has a 6-bladed aperture, meaning not so pleasant rendering of OOF specular highlights when stopped down.

That said, I'm not sure trying to emulate what you achieved, rendering wise, with the Hasselblad is the best path to take with the Leica. There are so many 50 options available, so why try to force the smaller format to emulate something else?

You'll not find much love of the modern Leica glass here due to its direction towards technical perfection, but if the budget allowed, I would suggest trying the 50 Lux ASPH because wide open at nearer distances it's got a good balance of soft/sharp thanks to some SA. And if you like super creamy/smooth background rendering, it's got some of the most Gaussian rendering available in an M-mount 50, IMO. Sure, stop it down past f/2 and it becomes higher contrast and high sharpness, which can be useful, too. Close to it is the Voigtlander 50/1.5, either version. The Voigtlander is actually a bit sharper centrally wide open with slightly less smooth background rendering and a bit more moderate overall contrast (the current version has improved coatings which may achieve higher contrast). But across the frame the Lux ASPH is better once stopped down a bit.

For more character and less predictability (the ZM 50/2 is a very predictable and easy to use lens), go for the C-Sonnar. I'm a big fan of Sonnar rendering. It can be a bit wild wide open (which can be fun) and calms down and smooths out nicely, stopped down a little. Background rendering retains a nice degree of structure without being overly busy. The C-Sonnar would be the most 'technically perfect' 50 Sonnar option (in M-mount) due to modern coatings resulting in greater color saturation, contrast, etc. My Sonnar heart lies more with the older versions, such as the post-war Opton-Sonnar (not sure these are available in M-mount - you may have to buy the typically found Contax RF mount and use an adapter), but there's also the Canon 50/1.5 and the very funky Nikkor 50/1.4, which can be found in LTM, though the Nikon mount version is much more common. That lens has a big dual-personality swing between f/1.4 and f/2 contrast/sharpness/rendering changes.

I also like the 50 Cron Rigid. It sits between modern and vintage. It's not as wild as some of the earlier 50s, but has a very pleasing (to me) look wide open. Stopped down and it's sharp, only giving up some contrast to modern options. Similar can be said of the Canon 50/1.4 LTM and Canon 35/2 LTM. There's enough vintage character wide open to make them interesting, but stopped down a bit and they're very sharp, just lacking a bit of saturation compared to modern coatings. But IMO, their slightly muted color rendering reminds me of 60s-70s era color photography. The 35/2 is also tiny, if perhaps a bit on the delicate/fragile feeling side.

I did a boring but hopefully informative foliage rendering comparison of many of these 50mm lenses (and the Voigtlander 40/1.4) here. At the bottom of the page is a link to higher rez downloads. Yes, these were shot on digital... and unfortunately at the time I didn't have, or have access to the ZM 50/1.5 or 50 Cron Rigid.
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Old 06-07-2017   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I told myself I wouldn't sell that Summitar. They are very nice lenses and reasonable. Again many have scratched glass.
The Summitar was a lens of its time - well corrected, good contrast for the era, not toooo many reflective spaces for the basic coating tech.

What it has against it is the limited background rendering - "bokeh" if you will.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&postcount=48

This is vs a prewar Sonnar - and an uncoated Sonnar is severely limited by the lack of coatings, needs specific use (such as a dark environment!). Indoors there is little between these lenses, but outdoors a coated Sonnar eats the Summitar for breakfast when it comes to distant OOF. For in-focus definition at full open aperture the tables would be completely turned.

As I said earlier - if you like full correction, get it (and pay the money). If not, chose what sort of incomplete correction you want. Opinions will vary. Wildly.

That said, anyone who can't pick which of the photos in the link above is an uncoated Sonnar and which is a coated Summitar hasn't been paying attention on this site.
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Old 06-07-2017   #76
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What about 35mm? What's everyone's go to 35mm lens?
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Old 06-07-2017   #77
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Earlier you asked what the difference is between the Elmar and Summicron.
Elmars are 4 element lenses, a variant of the Tessar, or ultimately a variant of the Cooke triplet. They were common before the advent of lens coatings because they minimized the air/glass interfaces which caused internal reflections and loss of contrast. The latest Elmars from Leica are the 50mm f/2.8 M - collapsible lens, now discontinued. High contrast, and high resolution, no distortion.

There is also the 90mm Macro Elmar-M. This can be used as a regular 90mm lens, but with the accessory extension tube / viewfinder adapter, you can focus closer to a 1:3 image magnification. I just got one of these, for close up use, although I have Canon and Nikon SLR macro lenses. I guess I'm just a masochist.

Summicrons are typically double Gauss variants. Many of these were designed by Dr. Walter Mandler, whose PhD thesis was on double Gauss lens design.

Sonnar is Zeiss's name for a variation of a triplet (my limited understanding, probably not entirely correct), made up of various different elements cemented together as much as possible to minimize internal reflection . For all the yelling and screaming against the Zeiss C-Sonnar, it is a lens with a distinct and smooth look to the background. Yes, there is focus shift, but it is in the order of 1-2cm at most. It will be an issue only at minimum focus distance (0.9m), and at wide apertures. Earlier lenses had the focus optimized at f/2.8, but mine (a more recent one) seems to be optimized at f/2. Some have had their lenses adjusted to have exact focus at f/1.5. If you are shooting anywhere beyond about 3m, then focus shift should be irrelevant.

The C-Sonnar is one of those lenses that don't seem outstanding on paper. But, once you look at a photograph or two taken with the lens, you soon love the images that it gives you. So much so that when I had a rough patch economically, I sold almost all of my equipment for funds to carry on. I hung on to the collapsible Summicron (mine has a perfect front element), and the C-Sonnar. Everything else got sold.
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Old 06-07-2017   #78
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You have almost as wide a variety of 35mm lenses as 50mm lenses!

Vintage - smooth bokeh, high resolution, moderate contrast:
Summaron f/2.8. I have this in LTM.

Modern - high contrast, high resolution:
Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Color Skopar. I found this to have rather too high a contrast level for black and white. It can become "soot and chalk" very easily unless you use a lot of fill flash / reflectors in sunlight, or wait for an overcast day. For color, it's as punchy as you can get.

Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7 M - a bit bulky, but optically excellent. Less expensive then Leica.

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH - tiny but dense. This is my go-to 35mm lens, as it is so compact and so powerful. This lens can really do it all.

The 35mm focal length was what prompted me to get into rangefinders. No matter what Nikon 35mm lens I put on my F3, I could never get the corner to corner sharpness and absence of distortion that my father in law could get with his goggled Summicron (version 1) on his M3. I sold off all of my Nikon 35mm lenses. I snuck back in via a Voigtlander 40mm f/2 which is really a great lens in Nikon F mount.
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Old 06-07-2017   #79
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My go to 35 is a Jupiter-12 - but really that's not a technical lens at all. It's a pre-WW2 design with some coatings added. Lateral quality is laughable - but I still like what it does overall.

My alternative has been a 40mm Rollei Sonnar in Leica mount - but it's up for sale in the classifieds (shameless plug).
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Old 06-07-2017   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabledog View Post
What about 35mm? What's everyone's go to 35mm lens?
An early 35 v2 Summilux, of course.

Dreamy wide open rendering...tack sharp when stopped down a little.

I sold off my other 35's...I have no need nor want for them.
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