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Thread: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

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    35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Well, I just got my 35 summilux back from New Jersey for the second time.
    It looks spot on at 1.4, sort of ok at 2.0 and terrible until dof catches up at f/8.
    This is the only 1.4 I have for the M and I am sorry to say that I am getting frustrated.
    Does anybody know if this is correctable, or shall I propel it at Leica's front door at mach 2?
    thanks
    -bob

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    there was somebody here mentioned as having a really good skill in lens adjustments. I would try him/her. If they can't adjust then the focus threads may be off.
    A lot of lens variability is blamed on the alignment, but if the threads for individual groups are off, then nothing will work.
    was this a new lens?
    I would like to know the name as well, since I have some older lenses that have just gone off a little.

    BTW, ocassionally there are 'troublesome' lenses the 35mm lux seems one of them. I stuck with the 2.0

    if you need a fast lens and can stand a bit narrower FOV, I find the 50mm lux a dream to use. Focus, even in moving situations is pretty easy event for these medicare eyes!

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    The repair person is Don Goldberg of DAG Camera Repair.
    www.dagcamera.com

    You can get all of his contact info at the above website or email him at [email protected]




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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Yes it is a new lens and has now been in the shop for most of the almost nine months I have owned it.
    I also have the 2.0 and it needs a tweak as well but I have been waiting for the 1.4 to be workable.
    -bob

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    The one thing I have learned is that the 35 lux seems to be the worst offender in the land of focus shift. Tim Ashley had a horrible time with more than one copy.

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    gtmerideth
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    If you search on LUF the subject has been discussed a great deal and my belief is that Leica has stated that the lens works better with film than a digital sensor and can only be adjusted to be perfect in part of it's range.
    Call Don and discuss it with him. He is a magician but not for the impossible.
    g.

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I suppose that I can use it close at 1.4 or 2.0 at one meter and far away at the rest.
    Maybe a test at 5 meters or so is in order.
    -bob

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Well, I just got my 35 summilux back from New Jersey for the second time.
    It looks spot on at 1.4, sort of ok at 2.0 and terrible until dof catches up at f/8.
    This is the only 1.4 I have for the M and I am sorry to say that I am getting frustrated.
    Does anybody know if this is correctable, or shall I propel it at Leica's front door at mach 2?
    thanks
    -bob
    Bob

    This probably won't make you feel any better but you might try to get a silver chrome or titanium version. They apparently have much less of the focus shift problem (due to brass focus helicoids etc) than the black aluminum versions. My copy , silver chrome, had no problems I could discern but of course that is not statistically significant. Other than that I have no offerings.

    Best
    Woody

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Bob,

    I had a 35 Lux ASPH that did the same thing which is why I now own the 35 Cron ASPH. Even the 35 Cron ASPH does focus shift at 2.8 & 4.0, but Leica was able to adjust my starting point well enough that it stays in focus at all ranges and apertures.

    However, the 35 Lux ASPH I had was off at all apertures to begin with so it went to Germany for a long vacation. When it came back it was spot on at 1.4 then 5.6 & smaller. The back focus was from aperture shift and was very noticeable at 2.0-4.0 when focussing at a close distance. At mid and long distance, the lens was fine due to the additional DOF gained with the distance. My problem is that I often used the 35 in the 1 meter to 3 meter range where the focus shift really showed.

    Leica really did try to improve the lens and they did, however all of the 35 Lux ASPH lenses which I have actually used myself did exhibit this problem.

    Mine and the loaners were all black - aluminum bodies.

    Sorry, for the bad news.

    However, you can get a 35 Cron ASPH to work very well. You will basically need to almost front focus at 2.0 and close distance, but then you will stay in focus at all apertures.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I gave up on the 35 lux for the same reasons...

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Well - thats bad news ...

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Bob, I have one thats spot on out of the box, I wonder why some are and some aren't? Sorry for your frustration.
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Mike,

    I like your photos in the gallery. At the distances you seem to be shooting, the 35 Lux ASPH is probably fine.

    The issue with this lens is in the close focus area out to about 3-4 meters.

    I would be interested to see you shoot a test at 1 meter with a series of apertures while not changing the focus point. My bet is that you will notice the focus shift we all see.

    If for some reason you don't, I would love to buy your lens.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    Well - thats bad news ...
    Pete

    Trust me your copy does not have this problem. If I am wrong, just send it back and i will fully reimburse you. I still believe the chrome silvers and titaniums are near faultless compared to the aluminum based black lenses

    Woody

  15. #15
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    The one thing I have learned is that the 35 lux seems to be the worst offender in the land of focus shift. Tim Ashley had a horrible time with more than one copy.
    Hi Terry,

    I wouldn't say that its the worst offender but, rather, that it has received a lot of Internet forum attention because of this problem. The focus shift is worse, in my experience, with the CV 35/1.4 whereas the CV 35/1.2 and CV 35/1.7 have shown no noticeable focus shifting in my testing. The 35 Lux ASPH that I formally tested on the M8 showed some focus shift but not a dramatic amount. You've seen the test results.

    In practice, and I've used the 35 Lux ASPH for assignments where the stakes were high, the pictures I make with this lens don't show a noticeable focus problem at any aperture. The pictures I've made, in normal use, with the two CV 35/1.4 examples I've tested so far, do show focus problems at 2.8 and 4.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Last year I shot one of the most critical assignments of my career with the 35 Lux ASPH... my daughter Sophia's birth! The shots came out great. I'd show them, but my wife would probably not be that happy....

    That said, I've since found the 35 Cron ASPH to be more to my liking and taste. The cron has less shift, for sure. I would have to second Woody's assesment, though. The chrome luxes do seem to exhibit less shift than the standard black ones.


    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Seems like this subject keeps coming up all the time. Just for statistics I had one uncoded chrome one that I sold and my current coded black newer one. Both work great with manageable (negligible) focus shift 2.8-4.0 so to me both identical. Since there is some focus shift due to design even on the optimum 35 asph lenses, it's best to make sure that at 2.0 the focus is toward the front part of focus to give it leeway to move back a bit within the DOF at 2.8-4.0. If adjusted this way, no real problem in real life photos (for me anyways).

    Jan

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Frankly I gave up on this lens and bought a Cron.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    This is all good information but out of curiosity, why is it less of an issue with the silver 35-luxí lens? Of course, Iím spooked as well and thatís I why I ordered a silver 35-cron so as to stay as far away from this anomaly as possible.
    Regards,

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I am not sure that it is less of an issue, since I have only tested one copy and it was an aluminum model.
    One thing to keep in mind is that the effect becomes pretty small at three meters whereas it is very noticeable at one meter. So if all of your shots are at three or more meters away, you are not likely to notice it at all.
    In the state of California, which puts notices on everything, one might see "This establishment is aware that f stops of 2.8 through 5.6 may be hazardous to your focus target at distances under three meters"
    -bob

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    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I must be lucky. My 35 Lux is the first used Leica lens that didn't require a trip to DAG for focus adjustment and the lens looks far from mint.

    After owning a dozen lens from 21 to 135 her is my final M8 lens kit:

    35/1.4 Summilux

    That's it. It's now permanently attached to my camera.

    Attachment 2737

    Attachment 2736 Attachment 2735

    Attachment 2738

    Attachment 2739

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Great shots Hank
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I have correct focus at 1.4, after that it is all over the place.

    I have bought a 'cron 35 to replace it while I consider what to do with this
    $3500+ paperweight !

    very disappointed.

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Well, I think that Leica ought to make good on this lens.
    Do you think it is possible?
    -bob

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    Sean_Reid
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Well, I think that Leica ought to make good on this lens.
    Do you think it is possible?
    -bob
    To a certain degree, its just inherent in the design. Every lens design has to involve some compromises, despite various advertising claims to the contrary.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    it looks like I may be in Walldorf some time in June.
    since it is only an hour from Solms maybe I should drop in
    and see what the factory has to say about it.
    does anyone have a good contact who may be able to arrange
    a visit?
    -bob

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Dude View Post
    This is all good information but out of curiosity, why is it less of an issue with the silver 35-luxí lens? Of course, Iím spooked as well and thatís I why I ordered a silver 35-cron so as to stay as far away from this anomaly as possible.
    Regards,
    Daniel
    Chrome Silver lenses are made with a brass focusing helicoid while Black are made with aluminum. I have never seen anyone fully explain exactly how this helps but anecdotal evidence from a number of folks seem to support this.

    Woody

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Daniel
    Chrome Silver lenses are made with a brass focusing helicoid while Black are made with aluminum. I have never seen anyone fully explain exactly how this helps but anecdotal evidence from a number of folks seem to support this.

    Woody
    By the way, Peter A of this forum just got my silver chrome 35 Lux and confirms no focus shift.

    Woody

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    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Another from the 35/1.4 ASPH. If you can find one without problems it really combines the best characteristics of the old and new Leica glass.

    Attachment 3323

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Mine looks fine to me at 1.4, it is 2.8 and 4.0 when I am close in that is an issue.
    I used it in this shot at 1.4
    -bob


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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I can confirm what Woody says - no problem with focus on the silver 35 lux I bought from Woody. Oh and Hank teh 35 is glued to my M8 as well ..but I have an old style 50 lux and a brilliant 21aspherical siting in teh bag just in case!

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Man, my Nokton Classic 35/1.4 is looking pretty damn good now.

    BTW, has it arrived at your place, Sean?

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Daniel
    Chrome Silver lenses are made with a brass focusing helicoid while Black are made with aluminum. I have never seen anyone fully explain exactly how this helps but anecdotal evidence from a number of folks seem to support this.

    Woody
    Slight correction Woody: Silver and black-paint lenses are all brass, but while black anodized lenses have aluminum barrels, they still have brass-on-brass focus helicals...

    Moreover, focus shift has to do with the effective focal length of the lens changing as one alters aperture. Thus if the optical formulae are identical, one lens is focused at f1.4, stopping down without moving the focus ring should make no difference in brass or aluminum -- after all, you have not moved physical focus in either lens, just stopped them down.

    I suspect there is something else in play here we do not know about...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Slight correction Woody: Silver and black-paint lenses are all brass, but while black anodized lenses have aluminum barrels, they still have brass-on-brass focus helicals...

    Moreover, focus shift has to do with the effective focal length of the lens changing as one alters aperture. Thus if the optical formulae are identical, one lens is focused at f1.4, stopping down without moving the focus ring should make no difference in brass or aluminum -- after all, you have not moved physical focus in either lens, just stopped them down.

    I suspect there is something else in play here we do not know about...
    I yield to the master of all things photographic

    Woody

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I believe that the perceived difference in focus accuracy between silver and black is just a sampling issue. Since many more black lenses are in use than silver you would expect more potential complaints.

    Lambert

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Slight correction Woody: Silver and black-paint lenses are all brass, but while black anodized lenses have aluminum barrels, they still have brass-on-brass focus helicals...

    Moreover, focus shift has to do with the effective focal length of the lens changing as one alters aperture. Thus if the optical formulae are identical, one lens is focused at f1.4, stopping down without moving the focus ring should make no difference in brass or aluminum -- after all, you have not moved physical focus in either lens, just stopped them down.

    I suspect there is something else in play here we do not know about...

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Well my black ones were terrible my titanuim lux 35 is great. I would never buy a balck lux 35 again. David

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Could it be that the aspheric elements are selected or tuned for each lens?
    I am having a difficult time imagining what else might be causing the variability in aperture related focal length shift.
    -bob

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    I yield to the master of all things photographic
    FTR I do not consider myself as such -- and if my post came across with that tone, my apologies.
    Jack
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  39. #39
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Man, my Nokton Classic 35/1.4 is looking pretty damn good now.

    BTW, has it arrived at your place, Sean?
    Today...should be able to begin testing tomorrow. The two copies I've tested already *do not* look good at all compared to the Leica.

    My own experience, and this is documented in the 35s review, is that while the 35 I tested (black) showed some focus shift, it wasn't major. Moreover, I've used a 35 Lux ASPH for various work (at all kinds of apertures) and the results have always been lovely.

    So count me as a fan of the 35/1.4 ASPH.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 22nd April 2008 at 19:50.

  40. #40
    Jamie Roberts
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Just another data point; I have a chrome 35 Lux ASPH and it is simply superb--one of the best lenses I have, if not the best, and probably the one lens I would keep if I had to get rid of all the others.

    It's so sharp wide open it hurts and the focus point remains in focus while stopping down, though there is some focal field shift.

    As has been mentioned, there's been a lot of internet noise on this one. Tim Ashley indeed had a terrible time trying to get a 35 that focused properly; on the other hand, at least one of his M8s had a mis-aligned sensor (!!) which makes speculation on the lenses a little moot

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    FTR I do not consider myself as such -- and if my post came across with that tone, my apologies.
    Jack
    It had nothing whatsoever to do with your tone. I truly meant what I said and did not mean anything disrespectful or cynical about it. You are the master of things photographic and I totally respect you as a mentor. Hope this clears up any misunderstanding my friend.

    Woody

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Just wanted to report that my 35 lux asph returned from DAG last week, and all focus problems have been fixed. Accurate wide open, and no shift stopped down. Thank you Don!

  43. #43
    SAKIIMAGES
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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Now you all have me worried. I put a deposit on one last week. I will go in tomorrow and do some more test shots. I am not too technical on these matters so is there a series of test anyone can recommend. I can then post the results here and would be great if people can offer their view on whether there is a problem.

    I may sound like a novice :-) but not sure what focus shift actually looks like. I did some shots when I looked at the lens and it seemed to have focused correctly.

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    I have a black 35 lux asph that is absolutely stellar from 1.4 down. Great lens on my M8 and film bodies. best...Peter

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    Re: 35mm summilux asph focus shift

    Quote Originally Posted by SAKIIMAGES View Post
    I may sound like a novice :-) but not sure what focus shift actually looks like. I did some shots when I looked at the lens and it seemed to have focused correctly.
    The test is a little technical, but not a big deal to do, and it is worth knowing where your camera and lens actually focusses. Surprises do happen.

    You need a tripod. Take a sheet of lined or squareruled paper and put a big line down the middle from top to bottom. Draw arrows on the two sides, pointing at the point at which you will focus. You might also make cross-marks at constant distances along your big line, above and below the focus point. (I usually do this every two lines of the pad.) Now put the piece of paper on a low table, set the lens focus to 4' (1.2m), put it on the tripod and position them so that the camera is shooting down at the paper from 4' away, at about a 45 degree angle (precision not too important here). Focus carefully on the line at the arrows -- this is quite precise with a rangefinder.
    Just shoot it at, say 640 ISO and f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, ... up to at least f/5.6 in aperture priority, and look at the resulting raw files in the developing software of your choice at 100%. It is very obvious where the sharpest focus is, and it is useful to see what sort of depth of field you get as you stop down. Focus shift is when the point that is sharpest moves as you stop down. It is a real problem if it moves faster than the depth of field increases. (CV35/1.4 exhibited this recently).

    If you find that the sharpest part of the image is not on the arrows, first try again, more carefully. Then try with another (longer) lens, to see if the problem is the camera or the lens. If you have no problem, enjoy your summilux!

    scott

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