Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    GTA, Canada
    Posts
    587
    Post Thanks / Like

    50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I'm looking to get a fast 50mm lens for my M8.2 and would like input from those who have experience in these lenses:

    - Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar (I realized this lens can be optimized at different apertures..)
    - Leica 50mm f/1.4 E43
    - Leica 50mm f/1.4 E46

    For the price difference, I think I like the 50 lux E43 over the Zeiss Sonnar (I like the signature from pre-asph lenses), but I'm having some second thoughts about 50 lux E43 vs. E46. Does the improvement in MFD (Is this the only improvement?) warrant the more significant increase in price? Since I'm using M8.2, would that make 0.7m MFD more/less critical?

    Thanks in advance.
    Scott

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    297
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    There are two versions of E43. V1 up to serial no. around 1844000. V2 from sn 1844xxx up to the change to E46. Both versions have detached hoods.
    V3 is E46 and has pull out hood.
    As far as I know, the MTF difference is between V1 & V2. V2 already had the recomputed optical formula which basically remain unchanged except for coating until the asph version.
    I have both the v2 and the asph. Sure the asph is sharper in comparison. But the V2 is sharp enough with a beautiful signature. I think it is a great value if you can find one in excellent to mint condition. I especially like the chome version with the scalloped focusing ring. Mine is from 1962 and it is still an impressive lens.

    Alan

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    GTA, Canada
    Posts
    587
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Thanks for your input.

    However, through my research, it indicates that all E43 versions are 1m MFD. Only the E46 version is 0.7m MFD.

    It looks like the differences between V2 and V3 are MFD, filter size, and weight (V3 is lighter in black).

    How has the coating changed and what effect did it have on the image?

    In the end, I suppose you can't go wrong with either lenses..
    Scott
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    534
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I have the late version of this lens. I guess it all depends on what you want to do. If shooting portraits then the focus distance is important. However I don't think there's a big difference in image quality between a late E43 and the E46.

    The coating may change flare resistance slightly and/or color which of course is only a problem if shooting slides.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Posts
    11
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I have a limited black paint version of E46 it's very sharp and colors are breathtaking.
    you can see the 50s w M9 shoot out here.http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threa...-Open-using-M9

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    297
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Quote Originally Posted by SYGTAFOTO View Post
    Thanks for your input.

    However, through my research, it indicates that all E43 versions are 1m MFD. Only the E46 version is 0.7m MFD.

    ...
    Yes you are right about the MFD. I was reading MFD but thinking MTF .
    IMO the only Lux 50 to avoid is the E43 V1 (SN <1844000). But if you want 0.7m MFD then you have to go with the E46.

    Alan

  7. #7
    nex100
    Guest

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    i actually like the zeiss over the e43. the only reason to choose the e46 version is the close focus.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jason Muelver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    and you really don't want to do close focus portraits w/ a 50 unless you want alien bug heads!
    http://jasonedwardphoto.com http://jasonmuelver.tumblr.com
    Nikon FX, Leica M8, Mamiya 645, Canon F-1

  9. #9
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Muelver View Post
    and you really don't want to do close focus portraits w/ a 50 unless you want alien bug heads!
    Well, I like to do it with the Asph.

    However - I'm not really qualified to join in this conversation in that I haven't owned any of the pre-Asph luxes.

    However, I do know the Asph lux, and I also know the sonnar.
    I suspect that the 50 asph lux might be the best lens ever made (and I'm not alone in thinking this). The Ziess sonnar isn't that at all . . . but it is a wonderful and rather schizophrenic lens. between f1.5 and f2 it's a thing of dreamy wonder, after f2.8 it's sharp as a pin, and just like a modern Zeiss lens. in fact, it's rather like a noctilux moved along a stop - but it's small. The downside is that the focus shift is there, and has to be learned, but it's not such a big learning curve.

    all the best with your decision . . . of course you could cut the crap and buy a 0.95 noctilux! . . . and get the best of all worlds

    Just this guy you know

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    GTA, Canada
    Posts
    587
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Noctilux would be awesome as well but I'm not a fan of large/heavy lenses (Speaking as if I can pull it off financially!)
    ASPH version would be awesome too but I think I like the dreamy look of the pre-ASPH versions better and I can live with slightly lower sharpness.

    From what I hear is that the main advantage of E46 compared to E43 is the MFD. Built-in hood is nice to have but I think I can live without it. Hoods usually stay on my lenses all the time anyway.

    So, is anyone selling 50 lux pre-asph E43?
    Scott

  11. #11
    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,575
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    4

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I have an early 50 lux. The serial # starts with 16... It is very dreamy wide open and has low contrast (an advantage in some light), and the bokeh is ... interesting. Not harsh like a CV 40/1.4, but not creamy like a Canon 85/1.2. I'd have probably gone for a later pre-asph if I could have found one, but 50 luxes have been scarce lately.

    Here's one. Slightly front focused. I know the EXIF says 35mm, but I forgot to change the setting on the camera. Doh!


    Here's another one showing the bokeh...

    For anything other than wide open, I'd use the 50 cron, which is just plain sharp.

    Best,

    Matt

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    GTA, Canada
    Posts
    587
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Thanks for the awesome examples of 50 lux pre-asph shots.
    I love the rendering of the pre-asph versions and even your lux v1 (which now I'm starting to get interested in). I'm actually liking the low contrast look and very subtle transition from focus to blur. I think it's unique in its signature and seems to bring out painterly perspective in its images.
    I'm used to Zeiss lenses and the difference in rendering seems more drastic to my eyes and I'm liking the subtleness in the Leica rendering.
    Scott

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    54
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Here is my E46 image. Sorry for rubbing salt in your GAS wound :-P



  14. #14
    denoir
    Guest

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    About the Sonnar.. a very nice classical portrait lens. I like it a lot for that purpose. It is however a special purpose lens and its raw optical performance isn't brilliant. It gets better stopped down, beyond f/5.6 but doesn't reach the quality of its 50/2 Planar cousin.















    The bokeh wide open is good at portrait distances but can become rather nasty at medium distance due to heavy uncorrected spherical aberrations.

    Here's an example of pretty rough bokeh and that shows the extreme field curvature of the lens





    The bottom line is that as a portrait lens with classic rendering, it's fantastic. Stopped down it's very good but not brilliant. For the rest you are probably better off with a 50 Summilux ASPH or if you don't need the f/1.5 aperture the ZM 50/2 Planar.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Columbus,Ohio
    Posts
    396
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I've had the Sonnar and its a very good lens, but its totally unique and as such, very hard to really compare to anything else. The 50 lux is going to have a similar aperture but draws in a different style.

    The Sonnar I'd sort of call a very expensive "bad" lens that just happens to look good. What I mean by that is that the Sonnar is a rather dated design, rather optically inferior, and yet still sells for over $1000 because the build quality is very high and every bit at modern Zeiss. Just doesn't perform like the rest of the ZM line, though stopped down it does really improve and looks a bit more modern (not that a modern look is "better" of course, just a different characteristic)

    For me, I liked the lens but felt it was a bit of a special application lens. It can look great on certain shots, but overall I didn't feel it was worth $1100 to me. I ended up gong with a Planar instead which is simply a fantastic lens for the money (and much cheaper)

    I think I'm going to keep my eye out for a well tuned Jupiter 3 for when I do want that more unique "classical" rendering and my Planar for more general shooting. The Planar, by the way, while a get modern Zeiss design, certainly isn't sterile by any means its. Its got a very lovely bokeh and while sharp, isn't too harsh. Rather like a 90 Elmarit-M if you will.

    E46 lux though would certainly be my overall choice if I could afford it for a good do it all 50. Great lens that gives you speed, great optics and a very pleasing drawing style. Its a lens thats going to work as well for a portrait as it is for a landscape shot.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    430
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I had my M8 and M9 out today, each with a 5cm F1.5 Sonnar on them. Mine are from the 1930s.

    Wide-Open,


    At F4:


    Sonnar lenses are made to reduce the number of air-to-glass surfaces, increase transmission, reduce reflections. Other corrections for field-curvature and chromatic aberration were secondary. The result- either you like it, or you don't.



    I like mine.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    430
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    I modified this Jupiter-3 for close-focus to ~0.8m, and tuned it for use close-up and wide-open.

    On the M8.


  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    430
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E43 vs. 50mm f/1.4 summilux E46

    Another Jupiter-3, wide-open on the M8.



    Not bad for a $60 lens.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •