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Thread: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

  1. #1
    yuetk
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    35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hello everyone...I am debating between these 2 lenses for my M8. I hear about the focus shift on the lux, but I like the fast lense and its character. However, I also read all the good things about the summicron and are much gentle on my wallet. I am kinda stuck and not sure which lense to pick-up. I would really appreciate with some of your inputs and thoughts. Thanks in advance.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Tom,
    the question is on how often you are going to use the lens fully open.
    If this is your preferred way to use it, go with the Summilux (which one btw, asph or pre-asph?) otherwise the Summicron is by far easier to use (also in this case you have different options starting with the magic 8 lens up to the almost perfect current asp).
    They are all excellent, it is mainly a matter of personal taste.
    Do not worry too much about focus shift, you can manage to live with it.
    Cheers,
    Ario

  3. #3
    wilsonlaidlaw
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    The Summilux ASPH 35 probably has the greatest quality variation of all Leica lenses. I tried quite a few before I was lucky enough to find a stellar one. I knew it was good but I did not realise how good until I ran full focus tests. It has been set up so that it has a tiny bit of front focus at 2 M wide open (focus fields split 50/50). As you stop down, it only aperture shifts a tiny amount so that the focus fields change to the traditionally correct 1/3 behind and 2/3 in front. It also has first class contrast, which again varies from lens to lens. There is a strong rumour that the chromed brass bodied lenses have a higher incidence of good lenses than the aluminium alloy bodied black ones. The chrome was last made in September 2006 (the date on the box of my one) and was never made as an originally coded lens. The downside is that the chrome/brass lens is about 33%+ heavier than the black one, which in itself is not a lightweight. If you get a good one, you can have your cake and eat it. It does everything that the Summicron does and has one extra stop. If you get a poor one, you will quickly want to sell it and buy the much safer Summicron. All a bit of a lottery I am afraid.

    Wilson

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I agree with Arlo
    if you're going to shoot it wide open - then think about the lux. If you aren't then don't.

    However - don't ignore the 35 summarit either. I haven't had a 'lux. but I've had both the 'cron and the summarit, and I sold the 'cron as I like the feel of the summarit better (and it's smaller and not much more than half the price!)

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    In my experience the focus shift of the 35/1.4asph can become a (slight) problem when shooting wide open and small distances.
    It seems that some lenses seem to suffer more and others less from that phenomen.
    Personally I feel my copy suffered only slightly but in the end I like to have the focus plane spot on.
    I now use a 35 Summarit - I just have liked the bokeh and drawing I saw from images posted by others - Really like that little lens a lot.
    2.5 is not so bad for a 35mm lens andits fully usable.
    I am very happy with the Summarit. The only thing is that the shortest focusing distance is a little long for my taste.
    Besides the IQ I find the smallish size and handling great. And I love the traditional metal lens cover. Its the first lens I use without hood and no problem with flare at all so far.
    I have to say that I have a 50/1.4 as well so I have that option if I need /want to go f1.4
    Cheers, Tom

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi Tom,
    I do not understand your statement about focus shift shooting wide open.
    Focus shift, by definition, occurs because the optimum focus plane is shifted because the lens is focused wide open, but the image is made with the lens stopped down, and this due to spherical aberration, not unusual in fast lenses.
    The rangefinder and the lens cams in fact are calibrated for the wide open position (and also the AF systems) and when you stop down the increased DOF is sometime insufficient to compensate the focus shift.
    If you pic is out of focus wide open either there is an error in focussing or the lens or the camera has to be calibrated.
    Cheers,
    Ario
    Last edited by Ario Arioldi; 9th November 2009 at 08:02.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ario Arioldi View Post
    Hi Tom,
    I do not understand your statement about focus shift shooting wide open.
    Focus shift, by definition, occurs because the optimum focus plane is shifted as a consequence of the lens is focused wide open, but the image is made with the lens stopped down, and this due to spherical aberration, not unusual in fast lenses.
    The rangefinder and the lens cams in fact are calibrated for the wide open position (and also the AF systems) and when you stop down the increased DOF is sometime insufficient to compensate the focus shift.
    Are you sure that this is the case? I thought that they were often calibrated to focus perfectly at some compromise point to reduce the effect of focus shift.

    Whatever, this has been done to death, the truth is that some lenses suffer, and the 35 'lux is one of those lenses.

    Just this guy you know

  8. #8
    Super Duper
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi All,

    There is very little I can add to what Wilson already expressed (above). My experiences with both a chrome and black one has been exactly the same, esepcially upon close inspection of the files and extensive focusing tests at varying distances and all apatures. I'm not convienced that a chrome vs. black lens and matericals used, is responsible for the differences (with many balcks optomised for 1.4 performance but suffer greatly upon stopping down due to focus shift)...but simply that Leica has changed how thay optimized the lens before leaving the factory. THat change might have occured at around the time production of chrome Summilux 35's had eneded. A systempatic study would need to be performed if there was any truth to this.

    In any case lenses set up for front focuisng wide open, where the subject is at the very back edge of the depth of field and thereby looses some definition, can then be used at every other f-stop with confidence and perfomance that almost matches the Summicron at most f-stops. Slight difference in curvature and edge shapness can be seen at f2 and f2.8 between the 35mm f1.4 ASPH and 35mm f2 ASPH, but one has to examine the files very closely.

    Conversely, if the lens is optimized for f1.4..its bitingly sharp at f1.4 BUT upon stopping down, large focus shifts quickly causes the lens to backfocus and subject is mostly out of depth of field till almost f5.6 and beyond.

    So whether there really are two kinds of optimized 35mm ASPH, I don't know, but it seems many fall into these two catagories and their use (and desire to have one over the other) will be quite subjective. For me personally, I prefer those that are set up with front focusing wide open as described..as I can also focus slightly behind subject wide open at that one particular f-stop, if biting sharpness at that apature is required.

    Lastly, one other advantage of the lens subject to slight front focus, wide open...and putting subject at the very rear of the depth of field is the incredably soft and dreamy bokeh just behind the subject....something thats not as prominant in either the Summicron ASPH nor Summilux's optimized for f1.4.....although those lenses have their own unique strengths.

    Dave (D&A)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi Jono,
    to the best of my knowledge, by default the Leica lenses are intended to be calibrated to perfectly focus when wide open.
    Of course errors may have occurred and in some case people had lenses calibrated on demand.
    My copy of the Noctilux, for instance, has been adjusted (not by Leica) to slightly front focus when wide open so to compensate the focus shift in the range 1.4 to 2.8.
    In this way I can use it "safely" in the whole range.
    In case of the Summilux 35 asph. I prefer to keep the calibration as it is because the focus shift is not so evident as in the Noctilux and I can manage to live with it.
    The same happens with the AF cameras which usually focus wide open and with many fast lenses you will get out of focus when stopping down, until when, with even smaller apertures, the DOF will prevail.
    Cheers,
    Ario

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I think the 35 ASPH Lux has a unique signiture, I love it..I believe I've posted this recently but its handy.


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    Mike

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  11. #11
    Mango
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Get both and decide for yourself (that's what I did). Selling either of these lenses will not incur you any (or a minimal) loss. This method is cheaper than renting or making a choice based on someone else's preference, which might cause you regret after you see your own results.

    If you ask enough people, I find that you inevitably are recommended the fastest glass, just because it's there. There must be some law of convergence that applies to Leica glass recommendations.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I bought Tom's Summilux and am quite happy with it. this one is as described above, front-focussing a bit at 1.4, but then spot on till diffraction kicks in. In the attached PDF you can see the effect. they are 100% crops at all apertures, focussed at the needles's pin, distance about 1.5m.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I'm resurrecting this thread and asking some more specific questions. I've owned the 35mm Summilux ASPH in chrome before, and as has been said, it is a stellar lens.

    Some points:
    I found the Veiling glare when shooting near any light source to be a major headache.
    The hood makes the lens as long as a 50 lux so I tended not to use one.
    I liked the rendering at f/1.4.

    My friend Nate says flare is the reason he change from the 35 cron to the 35 lux asph! Has anyone had a similar experience? Ugly flare from the 35 cron asph?

    Size is a real motivator for me. I find I can handhold slower with a smaller lens, and I find it much easier for getting around with a single lens kit.

    I have the 35mm C-Biogon which trumps the Cron at comparable apertures according to many reviews, but is actually a larger lens and a stop slower.

    If anyone can steer me in the right direction it would be great. I know from an investment perspective if I can get a 35mm lux asph at retail prices it's a good idea, but I'm not really into investing in Leica stuff.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    daniel

    If you can get the new 35 1.4asph fle ..IMHO this lens is as close to perfect as I ve have in the Leica M glass. It has a balance between resolution,contrast and color that works for me . It creates files with a clarity of color that is similar to the Noct. The 0.95 Noctilux is better but so much more glass to carry .

    The focus shift in the prior 35 1.4asph was bothersome . I had my copy calibrated at 2cm forward at 1.4 at 2M distance ....this gave the best balance . Keep in mind that a focus shifts you get to an edge of DOF ..not the middle . People assume that you don t need any DOF for your focusing error. I learned to shoot the previous 35 1.4 asph at 1.4 and then 5.6 . The prior 35 1.4 asph had a more distinctive signature ...sharp edge contrast but a smooth fall off .

    The 35 cron asph has a strong high contrast rendering almost similar to the zeiss glass. It also seems to render slightly warmer with very high color saturation. This is my go to lens when I want POP in the images .

    The pre asph cron is not as sharp but has a very smooth bokeh . Preferred for portraits and images where softer rendering is preferred. This isn t a look I wanted in my 35mm...I would rather use a pre asph 50 lux . But for the right applications its a great lens.

    IMHO they really got the design of the new 35 lux asph fle right ..but they are so hard to get at at such a premium. I would avoid the older 35 lux unless you are looking for a specific rendering . They are selling at a premium because you can t find the new 35 lux.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Without repeating everything Roger expressed, especially regarding his discription of the 35mm Lux asph fle vs. the previous verion of that lens...I would say Roger hit the nail on the head and it very much reflects what I found when comparing both. The latest FLe version is near technical perfection, not unlike the 50mm Lux asph, but somewhat different. My 35mm f1.4 Lux asph (previous version) was also set up to have slight front focus at f1.4, so that upon stopping down, subject remained extremely close or within the DOF at all times.

    Only issue was shooting random/moving subjects close up at f1.4, where it was often times near impossible to achieve critical focus. That alone at times would be fustrating and some key shots often missed. On the other hand, the signature of the lens and the OOF bokeh and it's "fall-off" is some of the best I've encountered with a lens that performs so well wide open and stopped down. In many ways, this is one area I feel that the newer FLE version doesn't quite achieve. Other well known photographers I know who shoot Leica also felt the same way regarding these two versions.

    One thing I personally would avoid is a version of the previous 35mm Lux asph (prior to current FLE version) is one who's focus is optimized for f1.4...which would then mean the subject quickly goes out of the depth of field upon stopping down until approx. f5.6 is reached. Again that is just my personal preference.

    The 35mm Cron asph is a safer bet in that it is uniformly excellent from f2 and beyond...with no percieved focus shift to speak of, excellent resolution and color reproduction and not really any issues to deal with. I personally never had an issue with flair with this lens but then again I wasn't looking or testing for it...so it may be something to look out for.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    My friend Nate says flare is the reason he change from the 35 cron to the 35 lux asph! Has anyone had a similar experience? Ugly flare from the 35 cron asph?
    Daniel, are you sure your friend was referring to the Asph version of the Cron 35? The Asph version is very flare resistant - in fact it is a very contrasty lens, producing highly saturated colors. No problems with flare. I do use it with a hood, though (it is a compact lens, the hood doesn't get in the way). On the other hand, the previous version (Cron 35 version IV - the so called "king of bokeh") flares a lot - I called in "king of flare" when I posted an image taken with it on this forum about 6 months ago. Regards, Martin

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I had a 35cronV.4 and a 35asph before.
    The slight focus shift made it difficult for me to focus the 35lux reliable.
    I then sold it and got a 35 Summarit.
    I also sold the 35cron IV because I thought (and still think) the Summarit is better.
    The Summarit is flare resistent, small, nice bokeh and kind of "classic" gentle rendering.
    The chance to check out a 35 Lux asph fle made me add this lens, and its the 35 I use mostly now.
    After a calibration it focuses near perfect and reliable. Having f1.4 opens more "dramatic" shallow DOF and (I find) the color rendering and the way it renders "dark" scenes is great. The images look very "alife"/ warm/clear.
    So for me the new 35Luxasph and the Summarit are the best two choices, depending what you need/want.

  18. #18
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Thanks Roger, like I said, I had the 35 lux asph before, never had a noticeable issue with focus shift. I'm well aware of the rendering style. Any perceived difference between the old and new style (of asph lenses) is purely a placebo as the formula and coatings have not changed. Would you agree?

    I primarily want to know how much flare the 35mm summicron exhibits and whether it suffers veiling flare when shooting into the light as the 35 lux does.

    At apertures f/2.8-f/8.0 the summicron is sharper on centre due to focus shift (which is still present on the new version) and I think technique will play a bigger part in sharpness than the lens itself. I am thinking the convenience of having a shorter lens will outweigh a stop.

    I think I'm slowly talking myself into the cron (especially since it is available in chrome). I just want to know if anyone has flare examples or can recount times when the flare has been an issue with the cron.

  19. #19
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by baudolino View Post
    Daniel, are you sure your friend was referring to the Asph version of the Cron 35? The Asph version is very flare resistant - in fact it is a very contrasty lens, producing highly saturated colors. No problems with flare. I do use it with a hood, though (it is a compact lens, the hood doesn't get in the way). On the other hand, the previous version (Cron 35 version IV - the so called "king of bokeh") flares a lot - I called in "king of flare" when I posted an image taken with it on this forum about 6 months ago. Regards, Martin
    Yes I'm sure. Thanks for sharing your experience
    Nate shoots a lot, and has no romantic ideals about any lens or brand so I trust him, but he may have come across some very unfortunate situations over and over which put him off the lens, so I would like to be sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    So for me the new 35Luxasph and the Summarit are the best two choices, depending what you need/want.
    I have owned the previous summilux asph, and like I said, no focusing issues in practice. I also owned the Summarit, and mirror your experience, it is an exceptional lens, but I currently have the 35mm C-Biogon, which I consider superior to the Summarit in every respect barring build quality. Your experience mirrors mine, and while I loved the Summilux ASPH rendering the size (especially of the new version) puts me off carrying just the camera and 1 lens all day.

    Does anyone with a 35mm Summicron ASPH find flare to be an issue? Ideally I'd love to see some sample photos shooting with the sun hitting the front element but out of frame, and also shooting straight at the sun

  20. #20
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    ....

    Does anyone with a 35mm Summicron ASPH find flare to be an issue? Ideally I'd love to see some sample photos shooting with the sun hitting the front element but out of frame, and also shooting straight at the sun
    I have no problems; I´d say it´s one of the least ´flare-prone´ lenses I´ve used (together with my old Hassy CF 50/4 FLE). FWIW, I never use filters.

    Here´s a recent shot, from a nice morning in Dalecarlia, Sweden (even bigger version here). And, it´s straight from the raw file; no cropping, no PP at all. Not even a trace of those ubiquitous diametrally opposite ghosts that plague most lenses in shots like this. And look at the detail and contrast in the birch trunks (not bragging, just praising my gear... )



  21. #21
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Thankyou Per, just what I wanted to see!

  22. #22
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi Daniel,

    I'll just add a bit to my previous postings in this thread (above). I too never experienced any issues of flair with the 35mm cron asph...in fact it was extremely flair resistant (I always used the hood). The primary and often big differences in rendering many experience between the previous 35mm Lux asph and the new FLE version is as you say, partly due to focus shift when the previous 35mm Lux asph is a version focus optimized for f1.4. Yet when you obtain a copy of the previous 35mm Lux where it's focus been adjusted (optimized) for approx f2 (or thereabouts), as Roger (and myself) described whereby it very slightly front focuses wide open and then for the remainder of apertures, the subject generally stays within the depth of field, differences in rendering between older and new 35mm Lux asph FLE become more narrower. It was this type of adjusted 35mm Lux asph (previous version) that I compared with the new 35mm Lux asph FLE, and although rendering was closer, still noticable and real differences existed as described "above".

    On LUF there was a discussion regarding these two lenses and one of the most prominat differences readly seen was how highlights in the OOF were rendered, when identical shots were compared with both lenses shot at all compariable f-stops. Differences in the shape and the way these highlights were drawn was quite evident and results were easily repeatable. It would be easy to pick out which lens was responsible for each shot in a double blind test and often the older version appeared to be more pleasing to most who judged. With all this said, the newer FLE though has many optical advantages I believe over the older version and although focus shift is slight, it doesn't get in the way, even surpassing the best adjusted previous 35mm Lux version. Additonally field curvature appears less so in the FLE, so that when wide open images are compared between old and new 35mm Lux lenses, sharpness torwards the sides and edges of the frame appear superior in the latest FLE version. The FLE is a more precise and exacting lens and appears to have less noticable aberations and leans to the more proficient technical side of things, much like the 50mm Lux asph.

    I realize your question concerned the 35mm Cron asph and specifically flair. I think in most shooting situations, you're safe in this regard and the lens has high contrast and punch as others have pointed out. At F2 (wide open), it outperforms even the best samples along the sides and edges of the older previous 35mm Lux asph (possibly due to the older Lux having considerable field curvature), and the 35mm Cron asph in this way is more like the newer 35mm Lux asph FLE...although the FLE and 35mm Con asph do draw differently. All three lenses are superb and diffferences seen become in some situations a personal choice more than anything else.

    Of course knowing how much you like silver-chrome versions, the 35mm cron asph in silver-chrome will no doubt easily outperform all versions of the various 35mm focal length lenses discussed in this thread

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 28th August 2011 at 07:23.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Daniel,

    When I move to FF this coming year, I will be adding a 35 and have also been pondering the Cron 35 asph vs. Lux 35 asph fle. Keep us updated on what you decide and how you like it, etc.

    R
    Last edited by ramosa; 29th August 2011 at 09:29.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi Daniel!
    For what it's worth, I sold my 35 pre ASPH 'Lux a couple years ago, due to many of the issues others have covered in depth above. I kept my 35 pre ASPH 'Cron though, as it has none of the problems nor is it as "clinical" as the newer ASPH versions are. It's got plenty of contrast, no flare problems I've ever experienced, yet still has the sharpness along with that magical "glow" wide open. Won't cost you an arm and a leg either....

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    In response to Daniel's request to see images shot against the light with the 35 Cron Asph (not much artistic merit but demonstrates my claim, I think):


  26. #26
    FrankJ
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi everyone, my first post here... Since this discussion is very interesting, I would like to join.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    ...I kept my 35 pre ASPH 'Cron though, as it has none of the problems nor is it as "clinical" as the newer ASPH versions are. It's got plenty of contrast, no flare problems I've ever experienced ...
    If you mean with "pre ASPH 'Cron" the Cron V4, I agree that this is a wonderful lens. I have used mine extensively during the past 15 month. Wide open it has a special signature that I like very much. On the M8 it was great for slightly wider portraits and on the M9 it is my main lens for street. However, during a recent trip I used it mainly for landscape shots and had problems with flare! Whenever the sun was close to the edge of the frame (just in the frame or outside) the flare was annoying. Below is an example with some magenta blotches that are difficult to remove.

    It is surprising to see that in Per's example flare is really absent. It is also confusing that others here confirm the flare resistance while at the LUF it is discussed that the Cron Asph. would flare easily.

    While I will definitely keep my Cron V4 for street and people, I am also interested in alternatives for landscape work where flare resistance is important for my type of pictures.

  27. #27
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Thanks Dave, Chuck and Baudolino, all very interesting points. The shot baudolino shared is very insightful.

    Frank, thanks for further insight into the v4, since I shoot a lot of landscape, and have even managed to get the 35/2.8 C-Biogon to flare (meant to be almost impervious to flare) I might have to stick with the more clinical ASPH version.
    Great image!

  28. #28
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Daniel, having seen a lot of your work, I think you would be happiest with the Summicron ASPH. It is the least vulnerable to flare, and the one that will give you exactly what you feed it without changing things. I've seen you do a lot of things with light control and motion blur of water, and I think that's where your images get their "character."

    That said, here's what I use. The v.4 Summicron is my regular "daylight" lens and the v.1 'Lux ASPH is my indoors and after dark lens. Of course, I have an M8, so they're my "normals." Another thought is that the v.1 Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 is a wonderful people-shooting available light lens, and it does not focus shift. It's also got the nicest combination of aspheric sharpness and classical smoothness of any lens I've seen. Downsides: It weighs a ton and it will purple-fringe in extreme contrast edges (leaves backlit by full sun, etc.). But you could buy an ASPH cron and pick up a used Nokton for less than a 35 Lux FLE.

    For some good examples of the Lux Asph v.1 in varying conditions, have a look at my Israel folder (if the EXIF says 35mm, it's the Lux). Mine is optimized for spot on at f/1.4, I've just learned to compensate.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2484456...7625331595331/

    --Peter

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Thanks Peter! I've also owned the 35/1.2 Nokton, and the size was a problem for me. Hence why I'm so keen on the cron

    I looked at your Israel shots and it makes me want the 35 Lux ASPH again But I guess if I want low light or shallow DOF I can use the 50 Lux ASPH and take 3 steps back (if there's room).

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Daniel,

    I'm glad you restarted this thread. It hits right at my consideration of the new Lux 35 asph or Cron 35 asph (for the upcoming year, when I transition to FF). I am torn. I love the size and basic feel of the Cron, but also like the speed and dreamier rendering of the Lux at 1.4. I have been looking online at lots of photos taken with these two lenses with the M9--and it seems I change my mind every few days. I plan to downsize to one of these two 35s, plus my Rollei 80 2.8. So there may be a logic to getting the Lux, so I'd have one really fast lens. Well, that's what I think at the moment ...

    R

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Having recently aquired a new Summilux 35, I might add a few observations.

    1. Don't put any confidence in out of box focus calibration. It's a joke. Mine was heavily back-focusing. One has to calibrate body/lens.

    2. This lens still has a serious focus-shift when stopped down. After careful testing I have found a focus shift of about 12 cm when stopping down from 1,4 to 2,8 and slightly more at f4. This at a camera to subject distance of 1,3 meters. A rather unsettling amount and beyond DOF until f8.

    3. The focus shift is not limited to near distances. At infinity the Lux is sharp over the whole field at 1,4, even to the very edge of the image, a feat I've not seen in any lens up to the present, including the 50mm Lux of which I've had two (and returned both btw.). Quite stunning and the reason I decided to keep this sample of the 35 Lux in spite of other weakneses. Howewer, when stopping down the lens, a relatively small circular part in the center of the image gets more and more blurry, until at between f8 and f11 DOF catches up and renders this part of the image sharp. The rest of the field remains sharp when stopping down, so it seems that focus shift is limited to the center of the image, at least at infinity. By focusing slightly short of the infinity mark and stopping down to f5,6 one can achieve quite good sharpness across the field.

    4 I've mailed Leica regarding this findings and asked if they can correct/reduce the focus shift by adjusting/finetuning the lens, but as of writing (11 days) I have not received an answer.

    5 So far , I have adjusted the focuspoint to be slightly behind at f1,4 and f2, which also means slightly in front at f2,8 and smaller. As this is a lens I will use a lot, keeping this in mind is not too difficult.
    Of course all this begs the question, at the price should one really have to accept this kind of compromise, particularly given Leica's obvious competence in lens design?

    6 Somewhat off topic, but it so happened that about the same time I got the 35Lux, I also received the new Nikkor 1,4/35mm. The comparision was rather interesting. The Nikon lens is also very sharp wide open, in the center of the image, but falls of gradually towards the edges in a classical fashion. The outer field sharpens up nicely when stopping down, and importantly, no discernable focus shift. With the new nano coating microcontrast and colour seems very good. Again focus (AF) out of the box was way off, but +15 on the AF fine-tune took care of that.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Rereading the above, I realize that I have inadvertedly exaggerated the focus shift by reading directly off the chart. The chart however isn't printed at 1:1, so compensating for this and mesuring along the optical axis, I find a net focus shift between f1,4 and f4 of about 7 cm. Still quite significant at 1,3m and easily visible in actual photographs.
    I have also tested the Summicron IV at infinity, and it exhibits the same behaviour, with a central zone going out of focus (actually focusing beyond infinity) as the lens is stopped down.
    FWIW, my third 35mm lens for the M9 is the Zeiss Biogon 2/35. No focus shift to speak of and well behaved at infinity.

    Conclusions to the OP: if you can live with the primadonna nature of the Lux, it will give outstanding results, but the Cron is lighter on the nerves, wallet and shoulder and gives excellent images.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Hi,
    I also have the new 35/1.4asph and while I can confirm that in the past I often had to send lenses for calibration to Leica (even new lenses) I can not confirm such big focus shift with the new version of this lens (my sample).
    While I never really managed the previous version I dont find focus shift to be a problem with the new version.
    I think something is wrong with your lens and I woulde definatly send it to Leica.





    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    Rereading the above, I realize that I have inadvertedly exaggerated the focus shift by reading directly off the chart. The chart however isn't printed at 1:1, so compensating for this and mesuring along the optical axis, I find a net focus shift between f1,4 and f4 of about 7 cm. Still quite significant at 1,3m and easily visible in actual photographs.
    I have also tested the Summicron IV at infinity, and it exhibits the same behaviour, with a central zone going out of focus (actually focusing beyond infinity) as the lens is stopped down.
    FWIW, my third 35mm lens for the M9 is the Zeiss Biogon 2/35. No focus shift to speak of and well behaved at infinity.

    Conclusions to the OP: if you can live with the primadonna nature of the Lux, it will give outstanding results, but the Cron is lighter on the nerves, wallet and shoulder and gives excellent images.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Hi,
    I also have the new 35/1.4asph and while I can confirm that in the past I often had to send lenses for calibration to Leica (even new lenses) I can not confirm such big focus shift with the new version of this lens (my sample).
    While I never really managed the previous version I dont find focus shift to be a problem with the new version.
    I think something is wrong with your lens and I woulde definatly send it to Leica.
    I've been thinking along the same lines. My understanding is that one of the goals for introducing a new version of the Lux was to implement a significant improvement re. focus shift. So I bought it on that assumption.
    I e-mailed Andrea Frankl on Aug.23 with test images, but so far no response. Do you happen to know if she is still in the Customers Relation department? I had som excellent service from her a few years back relating to a 180mm Apo-Summicron.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    35 asph cron for Moi ...though I only shoot Film
    and do not 'see' this Cinical tag thrown on the 35 asph cron
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    have had the 35 pre asph lux in the past...lovely lens but a tad too soft at 1.4
    the cron asph has won my Heart
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    Last edited by helenhill; 4th September 2011 at 11:29.

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    I am with you Helen -- I never found anything "clinical" about any of the Leica lenses, actually! I think it is like the discussion in the Leica "glow" thread, it is a term everyone uses but which has a different meaning for each person. Personally, I use the 35/1.4 ASPH version 1, and have for years. I do see the focus shift in testing, but with a bit of care in use, I find it not to be a problem in actual use. I don't do things to provoke it (such as shoot at f/2 to f/3.5 at .7 to 1.5m), and it serves me well. In practice, I am mostly at 1.4 for shooting in dark situations (mine is spot on at f/1.4) or for shallow depth of field, and at f/5.6 to f/11 for daylight shots where depth of field is less important than sharpness. I would be interested to try the FLE, but it is simply too hard to find and too expensive at the moment.
    As for the summicrons, if you can live with f/2, I would say it is a no-brainer. Smaller, cheaper, no focus shift...For that matter, why not the 35/2 Biogon? By all accounts it is an outstanding lens...no bigger than the 'lux asph, very reasonably priced, extremely resistant to flare and no focus shift. If I did not go with the 'lux, I would probably give the biogon a try.

    Here are some of mine with the Summilux ASPH v.1. I have been told it is unfocusable and clinical, but I make do.









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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    I've been thinking along the same lines. My understanding is that one of the goals for introducing a new version of the Lux was to implement a significant improvement re. focus shift. So I bought it on that assumption.
    I e-mailed Andrea Frankl on Aug.23 with test images, but so far no response. Do you happen to know if she is still in the Customers Relation department? I had som excellent service from her a few years back relating to a 180mm Apo-Summicron.
    Arne-I dont know her so I cant tell you. If you are not lucky with getting feedback then pm me (I am not related to Leica)

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Arne-I dont know her so I cant tell you. If you are not lucky with getting feedback then pm me (I am not related to Leica)
    OK, thanks! Actually I'm in two minds about sending the lens to Leica. Presently it has better resolution in the outer fields of the image than any lens I have seen in this FL. Who knows what might happen if they start finetuning to reduce focus shift

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Stuart: by and large I agree with your observations. I can also confirm the quality of the 35mm Biogon, although it should be mentioned that the lens suffers from moderate softness near the edges at larger apertures, it needs to be stopped down to at least 5,6 for sharpness across the field. At least mine does.
    Nice shots with the Lux!

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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    indeed, pre ashp is too soft wide open, and that is the only reason to want a summilux, to shoot it wide open. The summicrons (apart from version IV which isn't too sharp eiter) all rock....
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    Re: 35mm summilux vs 35mm summicron -which one to buy

    Stuart and Helen, you both make quite compelling arguments! At the moment my mind is swinging towards getting the Summilux and keeping my 35mm C-Biogon.

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