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Leica APO 50/2.0 vs. Voigtlander APO 50/2.0

algrove

Well-known member
In review of the excellent reviews of the new Voigtlander APO lenses available for the M, is the Leica APO 50/2.0 worth seven times the price in today's world in terms of IQ?

Many lenses of today offer excellent image quality rarely seen 8-10 years ago when Leica M lenses had the reputation of being the best. The best at what today? Old reputations? High prices?

I have never shyed away from spending plenty on truly excellent lenses as I have owned 3 of the Leica APO 50/2.0 M lenses over the years. But I just wonder if a side by side test on an M10 variant body will show why spending over $8k on the APO Leica is worth it instead of spending just over $1k on the APO Voigtlander.

Can anyone who OWNS BOTH LENSES please chime in. Thanks.
 
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tcdeveau

Well-known member
In review of the excellent reviews of the new Voigtlander APO lenses available for the M, is the Leica APO 50/2.0 worth seven times the price in today's world in terms of IQ?

Many lenses of today offer excellent image quality rarely seen 8-10 years ago when Leica M lenses had the reputation of being the best. The best at what today? Old reputations? High prices?

I have never shyed away from spending plenty on truly excellent lenses as I have owned 3 of the Leica APO 50/2.0 M lenses over the years. But I just wonder if a side by side test on an 10 variant body will show why spending over $8k on the APO Leica is worth it instead of spending just over $1k on the APO Voigtlander.

CAn anyone who OWNS BOTH LENSES please chime in. Thanks.
+ 1....also curious about this.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
To have any usefulness reviews need to specify two important factors .

1. What camera do you plan to use the lenses on ? Leica M lenses preform best on Leica M or SL bodies and frequently under perform on Sony bodies . The Voigtlander APO lens come in two varieties one for Sony and one for Leica M mount .

2. What type of photography do you base you observations ? Huge difference between evaluating landscape images at infinity from portraits at 6 ft ? Implied is that you would primarily use the lens for landscape at the limits of diffraction (typically F8 or F11). verse portraits which might be photographed at anything from wide open thru f4 .

These two aspects are "BIG DEALS " in evaluating lens or system performance .

1. Field curvature can be a problem if you shoot at infinity wide open ....but you would normally be stopped down . . For portraits forward field curvature can actually create more subject isolation ...I rarely want MORE detail on the edges when photographing people .

2. Focus shift ...this is a big issue if you focus wide open and stop down to photograph . You can adjust your technique and get terrific sharpness but its a factor . On a RF camera focus shift is a true limitation as you have to guess on the point of focus .

The bottom line is that its very difficult to use anecdotal evidence to judge lens performance ...UNLESS you know well the anticipated usage .
 

algrove

Well-known member
I specified the M right up front. I believe good reviews should address what you deem essential-brick walls, landscapes and whatever else is important to M usage.

Roger- I have a great idea why dont you buy Vthe oigtlander APO 50 and do the test yourself.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
Lou.

I have read all the tests ..looked at the sample images . There is no doubt the Voigtlander is an exceptional lens on the M or the Sony .

You know I have a dozen Leica 50mm lenses . Each have very different renderings complimenting a desired output aesthetic . For example ...the 50/1.4 SL is my preferred for portraits(on an SL2 body ) while I enjoy the 50/1.4 ASPH for color travel and street work . The version one Summicron 50/2 is terrific on my M3 with Acros 100 film . I like the 50 APO M on my MONO bodies .

So spending less on a Voigtlander doesn t really benefit me . If I had a Sony body ....Yes I would consider it because it was designed first for the Sony and M lenses are iffy on Sony bodies .

Frankly I believe much more can be gained by learning the post processing tools and tuning them to specific applications .

Roger
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
With the M to L adapter would you expect the voigtlander 50mm to perform the same on the SL2 as the M body?

Paul
 

fmueller

Active member
In review of the excellent reviews of the new Voigtlander APO lenses available for the M, is the Leica APO 50/2.0 worth seven times the price in today's world in terms of IQ?

Many lenses of today offer excellent image quality rarely seen 8-10 years ago when Leica M lenses had the reputation of being the best. The best at what today? Old reputations? High prices?

I have never shyed away from spending plenty on truly excellent lenses as I have owned 3 of the Leica APO 50/2.0 M lenses over the years. But I just wonder if a side by side test on an M10 variant body will show why spending over $8k on the APO Leica is worth it instead of spending just over $1k on the APO Voigtlander.

Can anyone who OWNS BOTH LENSES please chime in. Thanks.
I've owned both lenses--but not at the same time. First the Voigtlander APO 50/2.0. I returned it because I just didn't get along with it. It was sharp alright, I couldn't really fault it for that, but it was bigger than I was expecting and was worried it would just end up sitting on my shelf, and anyway I had a new 50 Summilux also that is a pretty fine lens and at f1.4 has more "character" (pleasing aberrations?). Nonetheless when I found a pre-owned APO-M 50/2.0 I took the plunge. It is much more compact and of course performance is second to none (OK, well maybe to the APO-SL 50/2.0 according to the lens designer himself Peter Karbe). It is pretty much my lens of choice on my M10M, which is my favorite M. Right now I'm using the 50 Summilux on the M10R but should swap them around.

My sensible thought is that the Voigtlander APO is a suitable stand-in for the Leica APO, the price premium of the Leica will get you a more compact lens, that is a simple fact, whether the Leica delivers the value premium optically and with build quality is a complex question that is more about the buyer.
 

algrove

Well-known member
Thanks for your opinions. Isn't the Summilux 50/1.4 as big if not bigger than the VM 50/2? Some have said that a 2012 design is not as good as a 2020 design. That becomes personal as you note. I have owned 3 Leica APO 50/2 and loved each and every one of which 2 of them I bought new and unused.
 

vieri

Well-known member
Just my very personal take on this one. For photographers using their Leica M cameras to actually take photos, to me it's a no brainer: get the Voigtlander. It's an amazing lens, it offers pretty much the same level of performance as the APO-Summicron in real world use (meaning when you factor in the way Leica Ms work, focusing rangefinders on the go and so on), at a fraction of the cost and with just a small penalty in size. For my Leica M10R, I moved to an all-Voigtlander lens setup and couldn't be happier. I guess I run out of Leica Kool-Aid supply 😂
 
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