From time to time I'm searching for a Summicron 50mm on ebay. The prices are not so good. Never done the final step, cause I already have a great 50mm. What do you think about buying a Summicron-R 50mm in 2021?
I do have a "second version" Summicron-R. It is one of my favourite lenses.
I am a fan of fifities and have more than a dozen, all Nikon F mount or converted, most are 50mm, three are 58mm (Noct, Voigtländer, and Helios). The Summicron is highly recommendable.
It is fully manual; there is no coupling whatsoever via the Leitax mount. It takes some time to get used to "counting the clicks" for setting the aperture, and some time to get used to the reverse diaph and focus operation (compared to Nikkors).
This lens has an exquisite rendering, very detailed and not very contrasty (very different from Zeiss in that respect). Sharpness is already pretty good wide open over the whole field. It is sure no APO, but chromatic aberrations are kept low, probably a benefit from Lanthanium glass (50% of the mass...). It may be a coincidence, but the rendering is remindful of the Cosina-Voigtländer Apo Lanthar 180/4 which is however a true APO. At any rate, they are a good match. The lens is well-corrected (low distortion too) without being "clinical".
Night shots look good, with no disturbing artefacts. The diaph has 6 blades "only", but these are slightly rounded, and bokeh (which is only partly dependent on diaph shape) is better than with most other fifties, Noct excepted.
The only downside is, the coatings are not very effective, so the lens is prone to flare or contrast loss on backlit scenes. There is also some minor color shift on stopping down, for unclear reasons.
Needless to say, manufacturing quality is on a par with all other Leica, focus action is smooth, etc.
Bottom line, it is one of my most used "fifties". I use it on a Nikon Df, but also tested it on a Z7 with very good results.
My favourite 50mm lens is the Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 2/50mm This lens is the reason why I have not bought a Summicron up to now. I like the Nikon Micro 2.8/55mm Ais and the Nikon 1.2/50mm Ais. Last autumn have purchased Zeiss ZF.2 Planar 1.4/50mm and Zeiss ZF Makro-Planar 2/50mm and Voigtländer SL II 58mm f/1.4 Nokton. So I'm looking forward to spring.
What Leica-R did you NOT like ? and why ? For my part, the other Leica-R is an Elmar 180/4, which has pros and cons - sure not overwhelming, but well worth the (low) price. Meanwhile I'll check that Olympus. They can be converted to Nikon F mount, so...
I cannot afford the Leica highend stuff, so tried a few less expensive lenses out. Leica Vario-Elmar-R 35-70mm f /4 Leica Macro-Elmar-R 100mm f/4 Leica Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm f/2.8
The 60mm is okay, but not superior to other lenses. The other lwo lenses are disappointing. The one that I can recommend is the APO-Telyt-R 180mm f/3.4. Love it.
Another lens that I'd like to have is the Summicron 35mm. This shot www.juzaphoto.com/galleria.php?l=en&t=3309908 has this look which you usually get from medium format lenses. Unfortunately the Summicron 35mm is quite expensive.
The Summicron 90mm is nothing special. It performs less than Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 2/90mm.
Still, there is one special thing about the Summicron 90: manufacturing quality, aesthetics, you name it. Perfect for showing off.
The Summicron 35/2 is expensive indeed. I do not feel attracted, given that my Zeiss 35/2 ZF2 (bought used, hence not overly expensive) is excellent, especially in low light and night (no contrast loss in the presence of strong light sources). PLus, it is chipped. Maybe you have considered it.
Apo-Telyt : right, but I bought a Voigtländer Apo Lanthar 180/4 two weeks ago, and I'm delighted.
Still feel interested in another horribly expensive 50, the Summicron-R 50/1.4, E60 version. Never came across any. I tested an E55 sample, was pretty good but the 50/2 does a similar job.
There is a guy in Singapor using Leica and writing a Photography Blog. He has some comparisions published. He isexplaining a lot why on lens is better then the other, but I see only why one shot was better then the other. www.streetsilhouettes.com. I think another 50mm, should have a different lens design like the Zeiss Milvus.
I want all Zeiss ZF.2, some are difficult to get. Among those is the 2/35mm. The 1.4/35mm is easy to get. I have it, but I think the 2/35mm is better - more useful.
I like the Voigtänder Apo Lanthar 4/180, too. The only think is that I don't want to start to collect Voigtländer. The Voigtländer 58mm have bought because sometimes I prefer to go out with the camera and one lens.
The Milvus 50/2 is top notch, probably on a par with the Zuiko, but more contrast wide open. Surprized to read that you have trouble finding a 35/2 ZF2. They can be found en eBay for instance, right now. The Voigt 58/1.4 is one of my most used walkaround lenses. Paired with a 28/2, it is a perfect travel kit.
But, back to subject, I hope you get an opportunity to try out the Summicron. Only then you will know if it worth acquiring it, considering the variety of "fifties" you already have. Thanks for hinting at the Zuiko 50/2; before that, I only considered the 50/1.2 to be of interest.
Nice shot. Your being pleased is not surprizing, and good to hear.
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