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Thread: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

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    Super Duper
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    Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I've got a bit of a problem. I ordered a Summicron-M 28mm f/2.0 from B&H only to have a 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit show up instead. The outer flimsy box was marked as a 28 however the actual lens box shows 24mm. Clearly someone at Leica was on an extended lunch break when they packed this lens up.

    Both are the same price. The Elmarit is slightly slower at f/2.8 however it is much wider thus giving me some focal distance from my 35mm.

    While I hadn't about going wider than 28 I must admit I like the test images I've taken and the appeal of going slightly wider than 35 has merits. Either way I will contact B&H as soon as they are open however since I'm such a new guy with Leica I'd like to get opinions. Which is a better glass, the Elmarit or Summicron or it it just a marketing hype. Any other remarks/suggestions are welcome as well.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    Don

    I've had both lenses and they are both exceptionally sharp, especially at f/2.8. Depending upon your desired focal length preference you'd find them excellent choices for the landscape work you do. Personally I actually found that the 24 was probably a little sharper with more micro contrast but obviously at the expense of that extra stop. (I had the same experience with the 90 cron asph vs 90 elmarit too btw - I chose the elmarit).

    I simplified my system down to a smaller number of lenses but I'd get another 24 Elmarit in a heartbeat.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I'm leaning forward to keeping it. I'm just glad the mix-up didn't include the Summilux f/1.4 which runs $2,500 more!

    We're in the middle of a thunderstorm and I haven't been able to really try it out however the limited images I have I like.

    You think Leica was trying to tell me something?

    Don
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I don't think it's so much hype as a reflection of the extra exotic materials and engineering required to eek out great performance at f/2 or f/1.4. Stop them down and the field levels pretty quickly.

    The 28 cron was my mainstay on my M8 for three years or so and I confess that I never had any complaints with it at all. It probably accounted for 80% or more of my shots and the only bad ones were due to the person behind the viewfinder.

    The 24 Elmarit was a bit bulkier but not significantly so. I also had a great copy of that lens too. If you are shooting at f/4 or higher then I doubt that you would be able to tell any difference in either lens (other than FoV obviously).

    I went to a 21/1.4 / 35/1.4 and 90/2.8 combo with my M9. The 21 lux is fabulous (as I'm sure the 24 lux is too) but stop it down to f/4 onwards or so and again I think that the Elmarit version of that focal length is probably every bit as good.

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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    Don, I have both lenses and they are my favorites. It all depends on your choice of perspective really.

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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    Thank you all for responding and your advice. I've been shooting with a 35, 50 90mm lens combination and recently ordered a 135 as well as a 28. There's not much difference between a 28 and 35 while the gap is more significant between a 24 and 35mm.

    Bottom line for me is personal choice in focal lengths as shooting at f/2.8 versus f/2.0 isn't that big a deal in landscape photography. Seeing as how B&H is closed till Sunday I plan on going out today and test the 24mm focal length. If I like the IQ I'll keep it otherwise it'll be returned.

    My primary landscape camera is a Cambo WRS1000/Phase One P45+ along with a trio of Schneider lenses in 35, 72 and 120mm.

    I'm still very new to Leica so again many thanks to all who have responded.


    Don
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  7. #7
    tokengirl
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I suspect this is going to turn out to be a happy mistake.

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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    You've read my mind!

    I just returned from a fast down and dirty test.

    First I set the camera on my tripod (using the RRS base plate) then tested each lens beginning with the 24 then 35, 50 and finally the 90mm. I did this in order to better see the differences in focal length. Then I replaced the 90mm with the 24 and did a couple handheld test shots in the area starting from a distance of around 3' and beyond (the lens test had been all shot at infinity). I keep a color enhancing filter on all my lenses to include the medium format however I don't have a 55mm filter so the 24 was left bare.

    What I saw - I'm pleased with the difference in focal lengths between the 35 and 24 and now believe that the 28 would have been too close. Of course I wouldn't have known this as a fact had this mistake not have happened. Simply put how could you not like a Leica lens?

    I used the camera viewfinder and found that my composition was very close to what I thought it was. I'm back in the studio now and after loading the images in CS5 and looking at them all at actual pixel and beyond I'm very pleased with the sharpness of the lens to include the corners. I'm equally pleased with the color rendition. I also feel I can live with the 2.8 f/stop as after all I shoot mainly with a technical camera and medium format and those lenses are considered fast if they're f/4.5.

    So here's the bottom line...

    I'm keeping the mistake lens and will contact B&H in the morning to alert them of the shipping/packaging problem and to have my invoice corrected.

    Sometimes mistakes are good!

    Don
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    "I'm just glad the mix-up didn't include the Summilux f/1.4 which runs $2,500 more!"

    Hi Don

    If I had received a 24 f/1.4 Summilux instead of a 28 f/2.0 Summicron, I would sit quietly in the dark and giggle.

    I shoot mostly landscape like you and I find that 24mm is the widest focal length I need. The 28 is very useful also but sometimes its just not quite wide enough. The 24 is easily cropped in post. The only downside is the frame lines on the M9 only cover down to 28mm I believe.

    I had a similar mistake with B&H except it was the wrong size filter in the correct box, so I suspect the lens was being demoed & compared and got put back into the wrong box. Somewhere out there is a Summicron in an Elmarit box.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul_Kerfoot; 7th August 2010 at 11:35.

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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I thought I'd close the loop on this story.

    I contacted customer service at B&H this morning and explained the incorrect packaging/shipping. I also went on to explain that while this was a mistake it turned out to be good as I had decided after testing it to keep the 24mm. I'll be getting a revised invoice to show the proper lens and serial number within a couple days so my records will be correct. All in a very pleasant experience.

    I've also gone on-line to Leica and registered the lens so all is good.

    I've taken a couple images that I'll be sharing soon.

    I do want to thank everyone that responded to my query however it reinforced the notion that in the end it takes boots on the ground to make the actual determination of what works best and for me I'm pleased with the 24mm focal length and that's all that matters. In hind sight I should have thought about and ordered the 24 all along but then who knows, I might have been shipped a 28 instead....

    Don
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    Don
    Like your self I am just getting started with a m9 I actually don't get mine until this Tuesday though
    I only have the 35mm elmarit to start but now I want to either get the zeiss 25 biogon or the 24 elmarit I'm on a budget and I want to keep my kit as small as possible then I'm thinking about the 75 mm also for my 3 lens kit.

    Steven
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    I started out thinking the M9 would be a "companion camera" to my Cambo WRS/P45+ however it quickly surpassed that and became a full partner. I also thought that a trio of lenses would be satisfactory with a 35, 50 and 90mm. I soon added a 135mm to that list and while I don't have it as yet I am looking forward to having it. My last trip out I used the M9 equally as much as the medium format and found that I'd like to go a little wider. While I normally don't shoot landscape with a wide lens preferring to shoot longer and stitching I nevertheless can see the need of a lens wider than the 35, thus my "mistake lens".

    I just finished processing several test images which I hope to share soon. One of the things I like to do when I first get a lens is to shoot it against my other lenses and to that end I'll be sharing a series of test images all shot off tripod showing the 24, 35, 50 and 90mm lenses. I hate to be a tease however I'm not currently in the studio now but will return there in the morning and I'll post the images then.

    The only advise I can give it never say never - 1 lens quickly turns into 2 then the next thing you know they multiply into 4 then soon 5. I could have sworn I had those lenses separated before I went to bed...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Summicron 28 vs Elmarit 24mm

    Here's the lenses test/comparison...
    Don Libby
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