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Thread: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

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    My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Hi guys,
    Thanks to Robert (monza) at Precision Camera, I was able to get a hold of this outstanding lens last evening. Given the first winter snow storm in Seattle in 2 years (and the fact that I couldn't bike, plus public transportation was hit-or-miss at best, I got to take the 35 lux asph II and M9 out for a maiden voyage through the snow....

    The whole set of test shots is here:

    SLIDESHOW

    SET

    And here are a few examples:














    The one above is heavily cropped...

    Images were processed solely in lightroom. I did some color adjustments (direct positive and old polar, 1 B&W coversion using an "orange filter" conversion)....It was a cool, evening day, around both sunrise and sunset, when I took the shots...part of the coolness in color rendering is due to the time of day and setting. Some was due to processing in LR3.

    My initial thoughts
    1. No detectable focus shift (maybe the best lens for this that I own...)
    2. A bit more contrasty than the prior lens, with a slightly cooler rendering
    3. A mix of modern asph look, with a touch of the classic creaminess, similar to the first version
    4. Aperture and focusing rings turn smoothly, and are not stiff
    5. THe lens hood is a real winner, though it takes a bit of force to get a 46 mm UV-MRC filter in....
    6. It seems smaller than the prior asph version, mainly due to hood design
    7. It's build quality is tops, no faults here (no element wobble)

    Seems like a winner to me. Thanks for humoring my mini review!

    My best to you all, and happy holidays!
    Last edited by ashwinrao1; 23rd November 2010 at 17:14.
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Congratulations. This look great. Love the rendering.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Thanks, Terry! I am a fan as well...I am glad its not too far from the prior 35 summilux asph
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Nice. Love the backlit 10-speed with the pie plate.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Terrific set, Ashwin, and I enjoyed the review as well. Love the second photo in this thread.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Nice! I'd love one of those, and the only fault I can see is the price...

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Yeah, the price was a bit nauseating, and the primary reason I didn't jump up at first and put my name on a list. However, I was able to make a fast sale on the v1 summilux for a reasonable price, and was able to turn that and a bit more ( ) into this ....

    Thanks for the kind words, Jan, Amin, & Mike!
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Great set of shots Ashwin!!! Thank you for sharing. Love the rendering of this lens
    Charles Kalnins
    Tallai, Queensland Australia.

    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    gosh, and i thought the latest 50mm lux was special, this one has great rendering too!

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Enjoy it...it's a special lens.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin,

    Extremely nice series of diverse shots to show off some of the characteristcis of this lens. In my testing, I actually found the new 35mm Lux asph (Ver II) slightly warmer than the previous one (Ver I)...just the opposite of what you observed. Possibly due to lighting. In any case, enjoy the new lens!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Thanks, Charles, Alfonso, David, and Dave.

    Interesting findings, Dave. I admitedly was shooting in very "cool" lighting circumstances, and some of my post-processing in LR3 may have accentuated that. As I get to know the lens more, it'll be interesting to see how things turn out, given your experience....

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words!
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
    My Photography

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Hi Ashwin,

    Interestingly, as much as your posted images were shot under "cool" lighting type circumstances, much of mine were under "warm" lighting...both indoors under tungsten and warm end of day light. So there might have been some bias in each of our situations. At the time though, I shot both lenses (Ver I & II) side by side, so differences seen I suppose would be relative to one other regardless of the temp. of light present. The differences weren't profound, but neverless obvious.

    A second difference, which I noticed (and had previously been observed by others who have made direct comparions). were the OOF areas (bokek), which appeared to be somewhat more diffuse and soft in Ver I lens, especially with reflections and somewhat direct light sources in the background. There appears to be a set of tradeoffs, in order for the Ver II lens to perform the way it does. In any case, both lenses are truly amazing in their image capturing prowless.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Fascinating. I didn't run a side by side (had to sell the v1 before I could buy the v2). The additional confounder there is that the M9 doesn't always do white balance well, but given the same lighting, subject, and warmth, it should come out that the lens makes reproducible results. I will try to test the lens soon in warmer circumstances and see what happens.

    I agree that the V1 seems to have a softer OOF based on my soley subjective evaluation...Its almost as if the new lens is behaving more contrasty, more aspherically (I don't know if that's a word), with possibly harsher OOF transitions. I need to test this more doing "ugly tests" to provoke harsh bokeh and see what happens...I was initially a bit nervous about the images that I saw before buying the new lens, in terms of harshness of the OOF regions/bokeh/whathaveyou, but I am a sharpness freak, and suspect that the lens would improved once stopped down....

    The V1 lens is still magic, to my eyes. It is possibly the best balance out there between classic and modern looks....If one has "a good copy" with minimal focus shift (mine was that...no noticeable focus shift), one shoule probably keep it...

    I do think the look of this lens will pair better with the 50 lux asph and 90 cron/75 cron and 90 elmarit....

    But there's a richness there to the files, something different than the clinical beauty of the 75 cron and 50 lux asph...hard to describe...

    I am excited to share more, and Dave, please do the same. We can sort this lens behavior thing out over time! I, for one, am excited, to keep discovering the lens!
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Looking at my own shots, one could postulate areas of "nervous bokeh", which have been mentioned before for this lens...I actually like a slight bit of activity in the bokeh in certain circumstances, can really add to the atmopshere of the shot....
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Great testshots! I particularly like to see how well it controls the direct sunlight in the b&w bikeshot. Excellent.

    The image with the single leaf on snow, the snow is very very blue. Did you put the M9 on auto whitebalance?

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    great shots and a dream lens....I had ordered one but canceled my order because I thought I should resist. I hope I can.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Mine is on a Federal Express truck on the way here. Ashwin is the new bokeh king - for those of you who haven't seen it here's a link to his excellent article on Steve Huff's site: Ashwin's boheh article.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Congratulations Ashwin,
    What a great news I also received mine yesterday from Leica dealer in Bahrain I've got it along with the 75mm APO.
    What a day.

    I can't wait to go out and shot with these lenses.

    I hope that you enjoy your time.
    M (Typ240), Lux 24mm ASPH, Lux 35mm FLE, Cron APO 75mm ASPH, 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R, 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R. Sony a7S
    MohammadTaqi.com

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin, these are excellent images. You sure they are just test shots? Glad you are enjoying it!

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Congrats Ashwin, another stellar lens to you collection! Very nice set of test shots and thanks for sharing your mini review. Can't wait to see more pics from you with this lens.

    Joe

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin wrote >>>"Its almost as if the new lens is behaving more contrasty, more aspherically (I don't know if that's a word), with possibly harsher OOF transitions."<<<

    Interesting. What it appears to me after conducting focus bracket tests to eliminate any possible focusing errors (user created and/or otherwise)...it seems the Ver II on axis in the central part of the frame is very slightly shaper wide open (pixel peeping of course) than Ver I (possibly due to some residual spherical aberations in Ver I when used wide open compared to Ver II). If this hold true, then I have generally found that a slight increase in sharpness/contrast on "subject in focus with Ver. II, can also lead to slight increase in perceived sharpness/contrast in OOF areas and this is possibly what we might be seeing. Another way to put it, is much like you did in your statement above.

    Agree, the lens may be more of a optical match in terms of "look" to the 50 Lux asph/75 cron etc, (a bit more so than Ver. I)...yet in many ways its also different than them. It definitely has a unique signature but so does Ver I in its own right. I believe there were some optical tradeoffs necessary in order to achieve what was changed in Ver II lens compared to Ver. I, yet there are many things that are extremely attractive in Ver I, especially for photographing certain subjects. It leans towards the same analogy (but for different reasons) why some prefer the 50mm Lux pre asph and some the 50mm Lux asph. Each superb in its own right with a series of optical properties that suits the individual needs of those using them.

    Now what I'd like to do is win the lottery, so I can have one of each of all these great lenses. Please forward the winning #'s

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 24th November 2010 at 06:12.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Thanks to you all for your kind words,

    1. Dan, thanks. Yes the camera was on auto WB. I suspect that part of the coolness of the images was my artistic inclination in processing the shots, using direct positive and old polar LR3 filters as part of my workflow....I felt cold and blue, but definitely, the lens contributed to this....

    2. t-streng, you should get your name back on that wait list. Resistance is futile

    3. Woody, thanks so much for the kind words and referencing that article....I'll have to send Steve an update once I complete my assessment of this lens....Congrats, by the way, on getting your copy, and I am excited to see what you magic you can render with it!

    4. Mohammed, thanks as well, and I'd love to see what you are doing with your copy, certainly in warmer climates than I have access to now.

    5. Robert, thanks for the sale and kind words. I leaned upon the "test shots" analogy to make sure that I had a fall back in the event that people didn't care for the images . Seems that the images are going over okay....

    6. Joe, many thanks, and I'll keep shooting.

    7. Dave, thanks for the feedback, thoughts, and input. You have clearly done a lot more thinking about this lens' qualities than I, and I will try to pay more attention in the coming months to see what I think...I agree that the Lux asph II has a more "unique" signature than the 50 lux asph or 75 cron...there's something a bit wilder about it, but at the same time, it's got a certain critical sharpness that the other aspheric designs possess, even more than the prior version.

    In some ways, it could be thought of, maybe, as a "lens with a look", like either of the Noctilux f/1 or 35 lux pre-asph (I'd throw the 24 lux asph and 35 lux asph I into that category as well). Leica seems to manufature a set of lenses that approximate perfection clinically (50 lux asph, 75 cron, 90 cron, 24 elmarit, 35 cron asph), and others that have a certain character....I guess this is all overdramatization of a lens' properties, but it is fun to hypothesize and further the internet fodder
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Looking at my own shots, one could postulate areas of "nervous bokeh", which have been mentioned before for this lens...I actually like a slight bit of activity in the bokeh in certain circumstances, can really add to the atmopshere of the shot....

    Ashwin,

    I can see the nervous bokeh in the images. It's funny, but I find I prefer MOST of the older non-ASPH Leica lenses for this reason, even though there is surely a slight reduction in absolute sharpness at the plane of focus.

    That works out well for me, because the older lenses are cheaper!

    There are certainly benefits to the more nervous rendering in some image types, and ultimately it is an aesthetic preference anyway, so everyone is right, and everyone is wrong...

    The images look great, and I certainly wouldn't feel bad if I had that rendering at all, because it isn't too nervous, but I find I prefer the smoother rendering of the older lenses.

    Thanks for sharing.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin:

    Man, is there a cool lens that you don't have?!

    That, of course, was a rhetorical question. Hey, love the captures. Great glow. Really like the third one. Well composed, fine mood, great blues.

    R

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    hahha, well, I don't have the 21 lux, 35 pre-asph cron, 35 cron asph, 28 cron or 75 lux...used to have a few of those....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin Wrote>>> "I agree that the Lux asph II has a more "unique" signature than the 50 lux asph or 75 cron...there's something a bit wilder about it, but at the same time, it's got a certain critical sharpness that the other aspheric designs possess, even more than the prior version.

    In some ways, it could be thought of, maybe, as a "lens with a look", like either of the Noctilux f/1 or 35 lux pre-asph (I'd throw the 24 lux asph and 35 lux asph I into that category as well). Leica seems to manufature a set of lenses that approximate perfection clinically (50 lux asph, 75 cron, 90 cron, 24 elmarit, 35 cron asph), and others that have a certain character" <<<


    Ashwin, Your description is truly apt for describing what is seen with this lens and some of the others you mentioned vs. the neutral technically perfect lenses such as the 50 Lux asph, 75 cron, 90 AA and some others. I'd also put to some degree (although not completely) the 21mm Lux in that former group.

    By chance I also came across the strange focus anomoly in the Ver II lens that Tim Ashley initially described on the Leica forums many months ago when being one of the first to aquire this lens. I also mentioned it recently over there. It's hard to consistantly reproduce but it relates to something in the optical design and might even contribute to its signature. I won't get into this further unless some can't find Tim's original postings regarding this.

    I look forward to your further work and images with this lens as well as others who are using or awaiting their own. Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    A few more indoor test shots at ISO 640, indoor lighting, LR3 B&W conversions. All shot wide open...







    Finally, pulled away from the cell phone:

    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin, beautiful images!!! Superb rendering in low light.
    My 35 Lux II is arriving this morning I was unsure at first, as there have been varying opinions, but after seeing your images, I cannot wait

    It is wonderful to see how the new 35 Lux II performs in low light.
    Charles Kalnins
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    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin, lovely images and B&W conversions. The signature of the lens really comes through. I especially like #1 where the subtle light from her cell phone reflects off her face while she's in deep thought. The bokeh and tonality of #2 is excellent! These images in some respects show a different dimension/character of the lens, than the first set (of images) you posted. Very Nice!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin: Nice. Congratulations!

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Thanks, Dave and Matt....

    Here's yet another set, indoor lighting, a bit different:









    A couple of more in color:






    I gotta say, that for an f/1.4, this is an easy lens to use...with fun results. Seems to generate the ole' nervous bokeh on occasion, but in other instances, the out of focus areas are creamy. The images, for whatever reason, seem lively....they pop like the 50 lux asph, but in their own way.
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin, subtle lighting in some of these and it looks good! It appears the light of the cell phone (in your previous set & this) is now becomeing the popular choice of adding highlights to ones face...the heck with umbrellas and speedlights, I think you found the ultimate portable light source

    Assume you added grain (noise) to some of these B&W conversions (in this set of images?)

    I believe you hit the nail on the head with your statement---->>> "Seems to generate the ole' nervous bokeh on occasion, but in other instances, the out of focus areas are creamy. The images, for whatever reason, seem lively....they pop like the 50 lux asph, but in their own way."<<<

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    There are some great shots here. But dare I say it, I think I prefer the look of the previous version, at least the OOF areas. Otherwise, the IQ is simply amazing. Tough choice!

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    I agree Double Negative and echoed the same sediments in one of my posts above. It is a tough choice and probably most dependent on what one expects and looks for in such a len....and of course their needs specifically for their type of imagery.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Agreed with both what Dave and Double Negative have said. The older version seems to have a creamier, gentler, and more controlled OOF to me...The new version seems more aspherical, a bit wilder (actually).

    Both would do just fine in most circumstances, though I do feel that if you have the version I and enjoy it, you may want to stick with it. If you want the latest and greatest, a "sharp" low light performer, the new version would be champ....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    From the images I see here I also would agre that from first impression I would slightly prefer the look the Vers.1 of the lens produces - however the fact that the Vers.2 lens doesnt suffer from focus shift any more is a BIG thing for me. It would mean for me that one finally can use the lens at all f-stops without having to worry about correct focus.

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    More gorgeous images Ashwin!

    Regarding the colour discrepancies between our two early adpoters, I note that Ashwin mentioned a UV filter in his first post. Did you use that during the shoot?

    I have never used the 35lux ASPH ver 1, but I shot with the 35cron ASPH for a couple of years and now own the CV 35/1.2 ASPH Nokton. I have to say that the new 35lux ASPH ver II looks very similar indeed to the 35cron ASPH in character. In comparison to the 35/1.2 it looks considerably sharper and contrastier wide open with a very abrupt transition to out of focus, but is not as creamy as the 35/1.2 in those out of focus areas. Flare resistance on both is great. The new 35 Lux really looks like a superb lens. Enjoy!

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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    ...
    2. t-streng, you should get your name back on that wait list. Resistance is futile
    ...
    Ashwin,
    the problem was that my dealer called me yesterday since he forgot to delete me from the list.....
    Last edited by Paratom; 11th December 2010 at 06:27.

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    Aug 2008
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    Ashwin
    Your pictures are really wonderful. So much so that I didn't really look at what the lens did. Especially the first shot at the piano - for me beautiful and moving.
    maurice

  41. #41
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

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    Dec 2007
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    Germany
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    Re: My new buddy: Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 asph II

    somewhat cropped. f1.4:

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