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Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical vs Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH
Old 01-26-2019   #1
jonmanjiro
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Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical vs Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH

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WARNING! Boring test photos to follow. Nothing artistic to see here

David vs Goliath! The new little Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical from Voigtlander takes on the mighty Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH on film! All images were snapped with a Leica MP on a tripod using a cable release and the developed film was scanned in one go using a Nikon Coolscan 5000. I didn't get to take as many varied shots as I hoped today, but hey this is a start.

First off, here's some uncropped out of scanner images taken at infinity with the camera on a tripod. To see differences, you need to CLICK on an image below to display the full scan size and compare it with the other images.

My verdict - the Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical does very very well indeed. Dare I say, its sharper than the Summicron

Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f2


Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f2


Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f4


Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f4
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Old 01-26-2019   #2
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Distortion check - this building wasn't exactly the best target for checking distortion since the building itself has some pincushion distortion on the base but it does show that the Summicron has some minor pincushion distortion and the Ultron is pretty much distortion free. Also notice the flare in the Summicron shot around the sign in the top center of the image. It was cloudy, but the sun was trying to peek through just out of the frame to the left. I've experienced flare like this before with the Summicron.

Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f4


Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f4
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Old 01-26-2019   #3
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Now for some bokeh shots with a W-Nikkor 3.5cm f1.8 included just for fun.


Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f2 by Jon, on Flickr


Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f2 by Jon, on Flickr


W-Nikkor 3.5cm f1.8 @ f2 by Jon, on Flickr
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Old 01-26-2019   #4
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@ f2.8


Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f2.8 by Jon, on Flickr


Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f2.8 by Jon, on Flickr


W-Nikkor 3.5cm f1.8 @ f2.8 by Jon, on Flickr
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Old 01-26-2019   #5
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@ f4


Ultron 35mm f2 Aspherical @ f4 by Jon, on Flickr


Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH @ f4 by Jon, on Flickr


W-Nikkor 3.5cm f1.8 @ f4 by Jon, on Flickr
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Old 01-26-2019   #6
Erik van Straten
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Great test shots. The Ultron really looks good. Personally I've never liked this Summicron, too harsh (too hard, too contrasty), but the Ultron doesn't look soft either. Isn't it too harsh? The Ultron 35mm f/1.7 (new) has about the right contrast in my opinion, but I guess you don't have that lens at hand to make a comparison with that one.

Thanks Jon, for sharing this with us.

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Old 01-26-2019   #7
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Thanks, Jon. Really great of you to do these tests.
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Old 01-26-2019   #8
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Erik, I did make some minor curve adjustments to these images to suit my taste, so they're not really suited to judging contrast.
FWIW I'm liking what I see with the Ultron in terms of contrast though.

Thanks Pete.
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Old 01-26-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I did make some minor curve adjustments to these images to suit my taste, so they're not really suited to judging contrast.
FWIW I'm liking what I see with the Ultron in terms of contrast though.
OK, all clear, thanks!

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Old 01-26-2019   #10
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I'm pretty sure it's going to be a sharp lens: it's an ASPH.

What I'd like to see is contrast, like Erik: I've been looking for some time for a lens with high-resolution and low/medium contrast to work with my M10. In 50 mm, there is the wonderful Rigid Summicron, which just sings on this camera.

However, all 35mm lenses I tried (and there were a few, with the notable exception of the V. I 8 elements Summicron) had high/very-high contrast, so I was hoping for a change with the Ultron.
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Old 01-26-2019   #11
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This is why I use regularly the Summicron 35/2 Version 1 with 8 elements. It is is a beautiful lens overall on my M9.
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Old 01-26-2019   #12
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its so nice to see fair manufacturers like voigtlander-making quality and not pushing price to some crazy heights... i know leica is including brand as well in their prices-but its really too much considering that half of their lenses have distortion (i am very sensitive to it-simply cant accept that something that costs few thousands have any kind of mistake). so congratulations to voigtlander guys once again!!
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Old 01-26-2019   #13
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The cost factor is important, but the lens design may appeal differently to different users. Not everyone loves ASPH lenses. Imperfections can result in beautiful images.
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Old 01-26-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horosu View Post
I'm pretty sure it's going to be a sharp lens: it's an ASPH.

What I'd like to see is contrast, like Erik: I've been looking for some time for a lens with high-resolution and low/medium contrast to work with my M10. In 50 mm, there is the wonderful Rigid Summicron, which just sings on this camera.

However, all 35mm lenses I tried (and there were a few, with the notable exception of the V. I 8 elements Summicron) had high/very-high contrast, so I was hoping for a change with the Ultron.
Try the Summilux 35mm f/1.4 steel rim, version 206XXXX. Loveliest of all.

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Old 01-26-2019   #15
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The steel rim version is selling for $6000+ on ebay.
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Old 01-26-2019   #16
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Thanks Jon! You are a king among men.

a few thoughts/observations:
1. the ultron shows impressive performance next to the summicron, particularly in resolution and contrast
2. the ultron appears to vignette quite heavily, even up to f4
3. i prefer the background rendition (bokeh) of the summicron, it just seems smoother and refined
4. the scene used for distortion comparison is probably a bit misleading (based on the state of the structure). it seems the ultron is closer to zero distortion, with maybe just a hint of barrel.

With those mostly-quantitative points made, I'll say that I still prefer the image from summicron. And, I strongly prefer the Summicron ergonomics.
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Old 01-26-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horosu View Post
What I'd like to see is contrast, like Erik: I've been looking for some time for a lens with high-resolution and low/medium contrast to work with my M10. In 50 mm, there is the wonderful Rigid Summicron, which just sings on this camera.

However, all 35mm lenses I tried (and there were a few, with the notable exception of the V. I 8 elements Summicron) had high/very-high contrast, so I was hoping for a change with the Ultron.
I wouln't expect the Ultron with its new optical design (two aspherical surfaces, extra low dispersion glass element, multi coating) to have the low contrast of a 1950s lens such as the 8 element Summicron. I don't think its quite as contrasty as the Summicron ASPH, but its rendering is 'modern' nonetheless. Hopefully someone will test it on a digital Leica for us in due course, and show us some direct from camera results.
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Old 01-26-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
2. the ultron appears to vignette quite heavily, even up to f4
Yes, I noticed the vignetting. Very noticeable at f2!
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Old 01-26-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The cost factor is important, but the lens design may appeal differently to different users. Not everyone loves ASPH lenses. Imperfections can result in beautiful images.
agree but this summicron is also asph-and it costs so much more-without anything better to offer for that money....
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Old 01-26-2019   #20
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Thanks Jon for the time to compare and post.
And Iím always impressed what Azuma et al did in 1956 with the Nikon 3.5cm.
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Old 01-26-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzeeman View Post
agree but this summicron is also asph-and it costs so much more-without anything better to offer for that money....
Maybe this is why I do not own any Leica ASPH lens.
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Old 01-26-2019   #22
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Thank you Jon, nice GAS generating test. Iīm personally waiting for the new voigt 21/35 combo to arrive to Prague to test it.
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Old 01-26-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The steel rim version is selling for $6000+ on ebay.

Yes, I know. I actually have two of them.

Erik.
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Old 01-26-2019   #24
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It would be also interesting to compare the Ultron 35mm f/2 with the recent Ultron 35mm f/1.7. The f/2 is much smaller, but the f/1.7 is hard to beat optically.

Erik.
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Old 01-26-2019   #25
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I am curious how this lens fares in micro contrast and sharpness with the 35 Zeiss Biogons. Anyone have any input?
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Old 01-26-2019   #26
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Also notice the flare in the Summicron shot around the sign in the top center of the image

Nice work! Yeah, my Summicron Asph is one of my most flare affected lenses that I have. Really quite disappointing. I've noticed this too with my other Leica glass such as the Summilux Asph 50. This is shooting without filters and of course using the lens hood. For pics where I don't want flare I use my Zeiss ZM lenses.
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Old 01-26-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Also notice the flare in the Summicron shot around the sign in the top center of the image

Nice work! Yeah, my Summicron Asph is one of my most flare affected lenses that I have.

I saw the flare too in the above shot by Jon. Disappointing.

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Old 01-26-2019   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I saw the flare too in the above shot by Jon. Disappointing.

Erik.
I don't understand why Leica gets a pass on this. People bag on the 7Artisans 35mm f2 for being flarey, but it is more resistant than my Summicron!
My 28 Asph is fantastic against flare, so Leica can do it.
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Old 01-26-2019   #29
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The Summicron 35mm f/2 V1 also has a propensity to flare, but different, more spread over the whole image. The Summilux 35mm f/1.4 steel rim is also not free from it in situations like this.

Erik.
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Old 01-26-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It would be also interesting to compare the Ultron 35mm f/2 with the recent Ultron 35mm f/1.7. The f/2 is much smaller, but the f/1.7 is hard to beat optically.

Erik.
it would be fun with both f1.7... i gues new one is better because they changed formula a bit and added a group-so i guess everything is nicely corrected...
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Old 01-26-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The Summicron 35mm f/2 V1 also has a propensity to flare, but different, more spread over the whole image.
Agreed. I just scanned a few photos I shot in 1988 with a Summicron-M 35mm f/2 V1 and now I am quite shocked by the very visible flare, which spreads over the whole image actually, even in situations in which no normal lens should flare the least bit.

This new Ultron looks quite appealing wasn't it for the vignetting. No f/2 lens should vignette like this at f/4.

It would be interesting to have it compared with the Biogon ZM 35mm f/2 at all apertures (something which will be done shortly, for sure).

Thanks to Jon for this anyway.
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Old 01-26-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
The steel rim version is selling for $6000+ on ebay.
Exactly the reason Voigtlander makes the 35/1.4 Nokton, both single and multi coated.

The Ultron suits my need well.
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Old 01-26-2019   #33
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Thanks for posting these. This new Ultron looks really good. Too bad I just bought a new Summicron ASPH .

I did like the Biogion f2 that I used with an M9 some years ago, that was a really nice lens. This new Ultron looks to be even better. I never really warmed up to my 35/1.4 Nokton, the focus shift kept bothering me.

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Old 01-26-2019   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It would be also interesting to compare the Ultron 35mm f/2 with the recent Ultron 35mm f/1.7. The f/2 is much smaller, but the f/1.7 is hard to beat optically.

Erik.
Yes indeed. Iíve been looking closely at the threads. The new ultron looks v promising and the small size is a huge plus for me, but thereís no questioning the performance of the M-Ultron 35/1.7.
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Old 01-26-2019   #35
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the voigtlander lenses have modern optical formulas. why not give them modern ergonomics? the 35/1.7 and new 35/2 leave quite a bit to be desired in that regard.
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Old 01-26-2019   #36
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Is the Ultron only sold in japan? Where can we buy it in the US ?
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Old 01-26-2019   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loneranger View Post
Is the Ultron only sold in japan? Where can we buy it in the US ?

Have a look here:
https://shop.cameraquest.com/vintage_vogit_35f2
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Old 01-27-2019   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzeeman View Post
it would be fun with both f1.7... i gues new one is better because they changed formula a bit and added a group-so i guess everything is nicely corrected...

I don't think it's better than the f1.7 but we will see it soon in a direct comparison.
For me the bokeh is key!
If the new one has the same quality of bokeh and sharpness @f2 as the Ultron f1.7 @f2, I will switch to the new one.
The only thing I'm not happy with from the f1.7 lens is that I'm missing a focus tab or stick.
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Old 01-27-2019   #39
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Originally Posted by EVIL_Guy View Post
I don't think it's better than the f1.7 but we will see it soon in a direct comparison.
For me the bokeh is key!
If the new one has the same quality of bokeh and sharpness @f2 as the Ultron f1.7 @f2, I will switch to the new one.
The only thing I'm not happy with from the f1.7 lens is that I'm missing a focus tab or stick.
sorry i didnt write correctly what i wanted to say-i thougjt new f1.7 is surely better than old f1.7 and f2 because it was corrected old f1.7 formula-while f2 is closer to old f1.7 optically... but i would choose f2 because more compact and it has good enough performance (if i had enough money for it)
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Old 01-27-2019   #40
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the voigtlander lenses have modern optical formulas. why not give them modern ergonomics? the 35/1.7 and new 35/2 leave quite a bit to be desired in that regard.
So you want them to be autofocus? 😂
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