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Your Top Five 50mm lenses (RF)
Old 02-26-2018   #1
bluesun267
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Your Top Five 50mm lenses (RF)

As a lover of 50's I have a query: What are your top five 50mm lenses? (Rangefinder only please...any mount, or even fixed lens cameras).

Not necessarily what you own at the moment.

Rate them on a purely subjective, emotional level.

Here's mine:

1. Summicron Dual Range (M)
2. Nikkor SC 5cm f1.4 (ltm)
3. Zeiss Sonnar f2 (Contax)
4. Summitar (ltm)
5. Elmar Red-Scale (ltm)

Honorable mention: Schneider Retina-Xenon on a IIIc
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Old 02-26-2018   #2
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I have quite a few excellent 50mm RF lenses, and I will only give my Nr. 1 here:
Rigid Summicron 50/2.

I also love using the Hexanon-M 50/2.4, Nikon Millenium 50/1.4, Summicron DR, Zeiss 5cm/1.5, Pentax-M 50/1.4 in M mount, Schneider Xenon 50/2.8 in M mount, Canon 50/1.5 50/1.4 50/1.2, J-3 50/1.5. CV 50/1.5, CV 50/1.1. Elmar 50/2.8.

There are so many superb 50mm RF lenses out there. I forgot to list my CV Heliar 50/3.5 and 50/2.
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Old 02-26-2018   #3
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Huh, turns out I've only used four. But of the ones I've owned/used, these are my favorites.

1. Summilux ASPH
2. Millennium Nikkor
3. DR Summicron
4. Collapsible Summicron (this lens was actually terrible, but makes the list owing to the fact I have only used four RF 50s; also, it was terrible because it was beat to all hell.)
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RF Cameras: Leica M2, Leica M3, Leica M5, Leica M6, Mamiya 7II,
RF Lenses:
75mm Summilux, 50mm DR Summicron, 50mm "Millennium" Nikkor, 35mm Zeiss Distagon 1.4, 35mm 2.8 Summaron, Mamiya 43mm, Mamiya 80mm, Mamiya 150mm


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Old 02-26-2018   #4
helenhill
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no particular Order
50 Elmar 2.8 and 3.5 ... love ALL Elmars
50 Summicron v3
50 Sonnar ... be it C Sonnar or Nikkor HC ltm
50 Nokton 1.1
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Old 02-26-2018   #5
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On color film - Rigid,
On bw film - J-3,
On color digital - Cron v4,
On bw digital - Nokton 50 1.5 VM.

Honorable mention: any 9$ 50mm FSU will do.
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Old 02-26-2018   #6
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B&W only.
Summitar
Elmar 3.5
Elmar 2.8
Jupiter 8
I wish I had a Cron DR (no goggles) or Rigid
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Old 02-26-2018   #7
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My favorite focal length and I've had quite a few but only on SLR's and faux rangefinders such as Fuji Pro2's...

except for a Voigtlander Color-Lanthar ... my one and only 50 on a real RF.
So, yeah, this one.
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Old 02-26-2018   #8
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DR Summicron, 5cm f/1.4 Nikkor, 50mm collapsible Elmar 2.8.

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Old 02-26-2018   #9
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Summicron V4
Anastigmat from the 0 Serie.
Elmar-M (latest)
Summilux ASPH
Summitar

The humble Summicron V4 is a really remarkable lens. For something of this age to perform at such stunning quality on the M9 completely surprised me.

The Anastigmat on the 0 is a very close second, or a toss-up in my book. I really wanted to yank mine off the 0 and have it adapted to M, but better judgement won out. Someday perhaps. A very lovely rendering.

Elmar-M is my go to for shooting XX these days.

Summilux ASPH for low light and Ortho film.

The Summitar for high contrast situations or films (RPX 25)
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Old 02-26-2018   #10
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Contax G 45/2 Planar...converted to M if necessary for eligibility
50/2 Zeiss Contax Sonnar
50/1.5 C Sonnar
50/2 Summicron v3
50/2 APO Summicron

In no particular order...
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Old 02-26-2018   #11
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It's better if I just list what I have:

Voigtlander 50mm f1.1 Nokton VM lens
Voigtlander 50mm f3.5 Heliar Vintage Line VM lens
Voigtlander 50mm f2.0 Heliar Classic VM lens (Limited Edition)
Voigtlander 50mm f3.5 Heliar with LTM adaptor lens (Limited Edition)
Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f2 ZM lens

Of these the Voigtlander 50mm f1.1 Nokton VM lens is my favorite because of the wonderful things it does. The Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f2 ZM lens is my work horse 50mm. The 50mm f3.5 Heliar Vintage Line VM lens is special - sharp as can be, nice when wide open as well; never disapoints. My least favs are the other two Heliars because I'm not so fond of collapsable lenses; I mainly keep them because they're parts of limited edition camera sets that I own..
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Old 02-26-2018   #12
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No "bad" ones
Summicron DR
Summilux v2
Canon 1.4
Summicron V4
Canon 1.8 v2
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Old 02-26-2018   #13
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1. Leica Noctilux f0.95
2. Leica Summarit f1.5
3. Leica Summilux e46
4. Leica Summicron APO
5. Leica Summilux ASPH
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Old 02-26-2018   #14
Charlie Lemay
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Zeiss C Sonnar f1.5
Summicron DR
Voigtlander 50mm f1.1
MS Optical 50mm f1.1 Sonnetar
New Jupiter 3+ 50mm f1.5
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Old 02-26-2018   #15
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OK, I'll play.

1: Summitar 50/2. Great character, fast enough for all-purpose use.
2: Elmar 50/3.5. Love the look, ergonomics less so, but oh so compact.
3: Canon 50/1.5. Glorious Sonnar goodness.
4: Canon 50/3.5. Optically very similar to the Elmar, but with better ergonomics.
5: Canon 50/1.9. Summar-like with better coating.

Totally subjective of course, but I prefer the look of vintage lenses, and these together give me a very wide range of options for almost any circumstance.
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Old 02-26-2018   #16
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Zeiss ZM 50 1.5
Canon ltm 50 1.5
Zeiss Planar 50 F2
Canon ltm 50 1.4
Jupiter 3
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Old 02-26-2018   #17
alan davus
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Hex M 50 2.0
Hex LTM 50 2.4
CV 50 3.5 LTM
CV 50 2.0 M

I love and use them all. Three of the four are collapsible. Would love to add the Leica Elmar M 2.8 so I would then have all the modern collapsible 50's.
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Old 02-26-2018   #18
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Favourites are those that i have - in order of preference:

Zeiss f1.5 C Sonnar
Voigtlander f3.5 Heliar
Elmar f2.8 collapsible
7Artisans f1.1

Cheers, Peter.
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Old 02-26-2018   #19
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5. Elmar Red-Scale (ltm)

I've only had one 50mm RF lens and it is the above. I got it in 1964 and used it until now.

But I didn't realize what a great lens it was until I started to use SLR 50s. Some of the greatness might have been the RF focusing and the IIIf's precise film placement. But I'm still loving the combination in 2018.
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Old 02-26-2018   #20
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In no particular order: collapsible Summicron; Summicron 11817 (the version 3); Summicron DR. Although I don't have it at present, I will include the 50/2.8 Elmar, the earlier one; I haven't tried the Elmar-M yet, but would like to. And I have recently acquired the 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar. I haven't used it enough yet to see if it goes on the favorites list.

The 11817 is one of my most-reached for 50mm lenses. It is small, lightweight, handy, and focuses nicely. The Zeiss may be in that category, too. I like that it has both a focusing ring and a tab (OK, a bump). Best of both worlds. The collapsible is both painterly used wide open, and sharp when stopped down.
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Old 02-26-2018   #21
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Contax Zeiss 45/2.0 Planar G. That'ts the only one I'm with. I admit I find 50mm angle of view to narrow for the images I make.
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Old 02-26-2018   #22
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Ah, the 50. My long-time favorite focal length. I've used several of them. Here are my favorites:

Summilux-M e46 f1.4
APO-Summicron f2.0
Zeiss C-Sonnar f1.5
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Old 02-26-2018   #23
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I only have one ICL RF, a M4-2 and one lens, a FSU N-61 50mm lens, (well, it's marked 52mm, close enough).
So....I guess that makes it my top lens. Cannot comment on any other 50 for RF, never owned any other 50.
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Old 02-26-2018   #24
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In order of acquisition:

1) Voigtlander Color-Skopar f2.8 (circa 1960)
2) DR Summicron
3) Summilux pre-ASPH type 2
4) Noctilux f.095
5) Apo-Summicron
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Old 02-26-2018   #25
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It seems that the 50/2 Rigid (DR) appears in most of the lists.
Sometimes I regret that I sold mine but 50mm is not my frequent focal length to justify to keep one.
Having said that, my favorit list is based on what I have used:
- 50mm Summicron Rigid
- 50mm Summicron IV
- 50mm Summicron I (Collapsible)

P/S I now own an Nikkor 50/2 HC (cheap enough) just in case I miss the 50mm focal length
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Old 02-27-2018   #26
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This is a great idea for a refinement of the recent thread for favourite lenses. I love the 50 focal length. Of the ones I have or have used, my faves are, in order:
Leica APO Summicron Asph
Zeiss C-Sonnar 50/1.5
Leica Summicron v1 collapsible
Leica Summilux v1
Leica Summicron Dual Range

Let me just say, the ones that I have used and have never grabbed me are:
All the other Leica Summicron 50 versions
Zeiss 50/2 Planar
Leica Summilux 50 Asph

There are a few others which I have found interesting and fun, but not good:
MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1
Canon 0.95
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Old 02-27-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
It seems that the 50/2 Rigid (DR) appears in most of the lists.
Sometimes I regret that I sold mine but 50mm is not my frequent focal length to justify to keep one.
Having said that, my favorit list is based on what I have used:
- 50mm Summicron Rigid
- 50mm Summicron IV
- 50mm Summicron I (Collapsible)

P/S I now own an Nikkor 50/2 HC (cheap enough) just in case I miss the 50mm focal length
Take out that Nikkor and do some work with it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I used the f2 before the f1.4 version and they are pretty much identical at equal apertures. I think the f2 is a very underrated lens. Also, unlike the Summicron collapsible, the Nikkors seem to do great things in color and black and white (Summicron V1 is fabulous in B/W, very lacklustre in color IMO).
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Old 02-27-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
This is a great idea for a refinement of the recent thread for favourite lenses. I love the 50 focal length. Of the ones I have or have used, my faves are, in order:
Leica APO Summicron Asph
Zeiss C-Sonnar 50/1.5
Leica Summicron v1 collapsible
Leica Summilux v1
Leica Summicron Dual Range

Let me just say, the ones that I have used and have never grabbed me are:
All the other Leica Summicron 50 versions
Zeiss 50/2 Planar
Leica Summilux 50 Asph

There are a few others which I have found interesting and fun, but not good:
MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1
Canon 0.95
I agree about the other versions of the Summicron. Though I never used the V3 or APO, the V4 just had too many odd reflections of light sources in nighttime shots (ha, I'm saying this realizing I put the Nikkor SC in my list...). I wanted to like V4 in the worst way, and for sure it was sharp. But ultimately, esp. in B/W, the DR Rigid or Collapsible win).
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Old 02-27-2018   #29
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bluesun, I also wanted to like those other Summicrons. I had the v2 (non DR version of DR) and v5(current non-APO Asph version). I think the v4 is the same optically as the V5. Like you I haven't had a go with the v3. The v5 was just a bit bland for me and I let go of the v2 because it the same as the DR but without that distinguishing closeup capacity.
The APO Asph is a very special lens, as people say, but some of the adulation I'm sure is because these same people look for specialness because of its reputation and price.
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Old 02-27-2018   #30
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50s are a vice I have allowed myself. In no particular order, I find these five consistently produce images I find special in one way or another:

Summilux v.1
Noctilux f/1.0
Elmar f/3.5 (M-mount)
Elmar f/3.5 (LTM, uncoated)
Summicron v.3

Others that didn't make the list:

Summilux ASPH - the all-rounder I reach for less often than expected
Summilux v.2 E46 - unrivaled haptics
Summicron v.5 - my copy had unpredictable "flare" caused by internal reflections
Summitar "dog leg" aperture blades version - did produce the single most "3-D" photo I can remember taking
Elmar f/2.8 (original version)
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Old 02-27-2018   #31
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Modern Look: IV Summicron.
Vintage with character: J8
Vintage, Correct Look: Industar 50
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Old 02-27-2018   #32
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optical:
1. Elmar 50mm f/3.5 first uncoated version
2. Summicron 50mm f/2 rigid
3. Summicron 50mm f/2 collapsible
4. Cosina Voigtländer Color Skopar 50mm f/2.5
5. Summilux 50mm f/1.4 v1

ergonomics:
1. Cosina Voigtländer Color Skopar 50mm f/2.5 black paint
2. Summicron-M 50mm f2 v4 chrome (tabbed)
3. Summicron 50mm f2 rigid black paint
4. Summicron 50mm f/2 collapsible chrome
5. Elmar 50mm f/3.5 v1 (LTM) nickel

Erik.

Leica M3, Color Skopar 50mm f/2.5, 400-2TMY/Adox MCC 110:

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Old 02-27-2018   #33
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I've owned quite a few 50s over the years and still have a bunch. The ones that I currently gravitate to are:

1. Summitar
2. Voigtlander Color Skopar 50/2.5
3. Summicron 50 v. III
4. Canon 50/1.5

Two more may get added to the list as I become more familiar with them:

5. Nikkor-HC 50/2.0
6. Zeiss Planar 50/2.0

Honorable mention:

7. Leitz Elmar 50/3.5 LTM
8. Canon 50/1.8
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Old 02-27-2018   #34
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Many years ago, I did some 50mm lens comparisons, and with Roland's assistance, the results were shown at his website.

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

RFF members mailed me their lenses. It even included a Nikkor 50/1.1 and a Leica 50/1.0 ... etc. Good stuff!
I used a Bessa T with film then.
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Old 02-27-2018   #35
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I have only ever used five 50s. So, in no particular order:

Summicron V4
Summicron collapsible LTM
Eleven O’clock Elmar
Chrome Serenar 50/1.8

That leaves out the chrome Elmar f3.5, because I have not used it enough since it had a CLA. And I have a black Canon 50/1.8 that has not been in the rotation yet.
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Old 02-27-2018   #36
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Summicron DR
Summilux ASPH
C-Sonnar f1.5
Nokton ASPH f1.5
Jupiter 3
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Old 02-27-2018   #37
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All right. I'll play.
I've used all of these, but only own a few of them "permanently".

Not ranked in order of "best". They each excel at one thing or another and that's why they are listed.
1. Summicron v4
2. Canon 50/1.4
3. Summilux e46
4. Jupiter-3/Pre-war Sonnar 50/1.5
5. Industar-22 (yes, I said I-22)

Honorable mentions:
Canon 50/1.8 -- my copy has stiff focus and aperture. Otherwise a true sleeper
Summilux ASPH -- Almost too perfect, but I still hated to give it back to its owner
Elmar 50/3.5 -- the obvious choice for a sleek Barnack package

A few 50's I'd like to try based on what I've seen and read:
Canon 50/1.2 LTM. I have a newer FDn version of the 1.2 but don't use it. I'd use the RF version.
Canon 50/0.95...
... and while we're at it, a Noctilux -- not necessarily the 1.2, but either 1.0 or 0.95 would be nice to hold.
Oh, and maybe that first Voigtlander Nokton, the one that came with a Prominent. Seems a little unique.
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Old 02-27-2018   #38
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Summilux 50mm preasph E46
Miyazaki Sonnetar
Summilux 50mm ASPH
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Old 02-27-2018   #39
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Noctilux
Noctilux
Noctilux
Noctilux
Noctilux

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Old 02-28-2018   #40
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For me the most sentimental is the Zuiko, but all of the my favourite

1. Summicron 50/2 DR - beautiful articulate rendering for b&w
2. Summicron 50/2 Collapsible - same as DR just more classic
3. Summicron R 50/2 Type 1 - wonderful creamy rendering
4. Summicron R 50/2 Type 2 - superlative for color
5. Olympus OM Zuiko 50/1.4 MC - wonderful handling and contrast
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