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Thread: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

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    Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I just got a good deal on a mint m7 which will be my first leica

    I'm going to buy a 50mm for it but have no idea which one to get.

    What about these three? Any pros an cons? Is the nokton to big and bulky?

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    The Nokton 50/1.1 is about as big as an SLR 50/1.2, smaller than an F2.8 35~70 zoom.

    It's a good lens, if it is ever discontinued will get "cult status".



    The 50/1.5 C-Sonnar much smaller, give up 1 f-Stop.

    The Summicron- the "best behaved" in terms of focus shift- give up two stops.

    So the question is: what type of photography will you use it for?

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Do you need a certain speed, or are you after a particular 'look'?

    The 'cron is close to optical perfection in a 50 - flat field, no focus shift, outstanding wide open, great sharpness across the field. The Zeiss Planar performs virtually the same, with a bit more contrast and flare resistance. If F2 is all you need, look no further.

    The C-Sonnar is the most compact and has the most 'character' of the three. Lots of focus shift and field curvature at wide apertures. Some people love it for portraits... others can't stand its quirks. Stopped down to F8, it performs like any other modern 50. As a Sonnar with Zeiss coatings, it has the best flare resistance of the group. Most people like the bokeh from this lens.

    The Nokton 1.1 has good sharpness wide open, though not very strong in the corners and noticeable vignetting. On film you'll be able to see focus shift at F2.8 to F4, so I usually avoid those. Moderate contrast, and good flare resistance. Lots of fun if you don't mind the bulk/weight and love shallow DOF or low-light shooting. Bokeh is a bit unpredictable; you'll see bright edges on the circles sometimes.

    A good compromise is the Nokton 1.5, costs around $500, no focus shift, and good copies can rival a Summilux ASPH in performance. The M-Hexanon and Zeiss Planar are good alternatives to the Summicron (very close performance yet much cheaper).

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Since this is your first M camera ...you will have a learning curve to go thru especially with focusing . I would start with a used 50 summicron..the formula has been consistent it seems forever so most used ones are similar optically .

    The other option is often the 35 summicron which will be a little more expensive . Getting a little closer and using a wide angle lens is style often used with the M .

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I have all three lenses and would recommend the Summicron for an M7 .

    The alternatives are the Leica 50mm Summarit or the excellent and cheaper Zeiss 50mm Planar, as you don't need 6-bit coding with a film body.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I concur on the Summicron 50. Optically it's probably the most "well-behaved" of the three and unless you need the extra light-gathering abilities of the others, you can't go wrong with a Summicron 50.

    The Nokton is quite large but can see in the dark...as long as you are able to focus it properly.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I've own the C-Sonnar and owned the Nokton, now have the 50mm summilux-asph. If I was going to recommend one for film, it would be the C-Sonnar. My uses for film are either large format landscapes or impromptu portraits, and the C-Sonnar can really deliver. However, there is of course focus shift to contend with.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Thanks for all the replys.

    I shoot people/portraits. And i want a sharp lens with a great dof. Will mostly shoot black and white iso 400, 800 and 1600. Will use it alongside my digital equipment on diffrent assignments. Pls check my webpage

    www.dkj.se

    Size and sharpness whats the diffrence beteween 1,5 sonnar and 2.0 summicron? Is the summicrom dead sharp at 2.0? They handle focus as good?
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?


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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    For the price of a Summicron, you can get the excellent Planar, which is as good if not better in the "well behaved" or "no surprise" disciplines as well as the uniquely rendering Sonnar. Just my 2 cents.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Are we talking about this one?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Zeiss-Pl...item415e980343

    IS this better then the 2.0 Summicron?

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    This one you're talking about?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_ZM_Lens.html

    IHow come the sonnar is uniquely rendering?

    The summicron is more expensive

    Think I'll go with the sonnar 1.5

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I can find the summicron used here for 1250 and the sonnar for about the same price new.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    look at www.overgaard.dk .....similar subjects long time M user ..uses 50 summicron (old chrome version) wide open. He has an excellent blog and post here frequently.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    with regards to sharpness and focus.
    Sonnar less sharp
    Sonnar has noticeable focus shift
    Summicron is very sharp
    Summicron has no focus shift

    Summicron has nice neutral bokeh (similar to a planar design)
    With a good background the Sonnar produces very nice slightly interesting but more painterly bokeh, at certain distances it can look nasty.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I use a 1964 summicron 50/2 and its excellent, I got it for 400 dollars . The lens has a few scratches and cleaning marks, but they dont affect the image quality at all.

    check out my blog and/or flickr stream if you want to see what it can do at f2 etc

    here is my flickr sorted to cron 50

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=summ...44%40N05&s=rec

    my vintage lens blog is in my signature
    Last edited by dude163; 12th November 2011 at 03:32. Reason: Added flickr link

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Cool.! Looks like i should pick the summicron then.

    Thrice what do yo mean no focus shift?

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Focus shift means that at certain apertures, the true point of focus is in different places. This is a problem, because the rangefinder is calibrated to put the focus only in one place.

    How this looks in practice is that if you have a C sonnar and you focus on someone's eye at f/1.5, the focus point will be on their eye. If you stop down to f/2.8 and focus on the eye, the point of focus will be on their ear or nose (I can't remember if it back-focuses or front-focuses), even though you focused on their eye. Basically, at certain apertures it cannot be focused using the rangefinder. For some photos this will not matter, for others it will mean the photo does not work. It is something you either learn to work around, or sell the lens.

    I will agree with most everyone else and say that, especially if this is your first rangefinder, get a 50mm summicron or 50mm Zeiss Planar. F/2 is still very fast and good in low light, and the lenses both perform extremely well at all apertures and distances. They will allow you to think about the photography, rather then how to work around your equipment. It will make learning a bit less difficult. Then, once you are very used to using rangefinders, you can decide if you need a more specialized lens like the C-Sonnar.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Thanks guys!

    Looking forward to shooting with my new gear just have to buy it first

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Can't go wrong with the 'cron...good luck...
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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    What about this one as a compliment?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leica-Summ...ht_1349wt_1344

    What is pre asph?

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    pre asph means it is the version of the lens before Leica started using aspherical lens elements. These elements help further correct lens aberrations, and generally increase sharpness while decreasing distortion, coma, chromatic aberration and so on. Some people prefer the look of the older lenses -- they like the way the bokeh looks, and prefer the softer look wide open. The newer lenses are sharper and better corrected, but some feel they look "harsh" in comparison to the older lenses. It is entirely a matter of taste.

    The lens you link to is an excellent version, though you will likely have to pay a large price premium for the so called "king of bokeh". It won't finish at 400 something dollars, trust me! The best price/performance ratio in 35mm is either the Zeiss 35mm f/2 Biogon (by all accounts a fantastic lens), or one of the Voigtlander 35mm lenses (particularly the older f/1.7 model if you can find it...it is a better performer than their current 1.4). The Leica 35mm lenses are fantastic, but are extremely pricey. Only you can decide if they are worth the premium.
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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Thank you guys! Will start out with the 50mm.

    But as i wait for my stuff i'm borrowing a friends m6+351.4

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    I owned a Nokton 1.5 and I still own the Zeiss 50 Planar. I tried a 50 Summicron out last year when I got my M9 and I preferred the look of the Planar (nevermind it was 1/3 the price too.) None are really bad so there's no wrong choice just go with the one that's most appealing to you.

    I will buy a 50 Summilux or maybe a Noctilux (as soon as I find one) for the low light stuff but if I was willing to work with the focus shift the C-Sonnar compares well with it.
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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Check out the Lens Shoot-out (50mm) to compare at least the Sonnar and Nokton (along with the Planar and Color Skopar).

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo13 View Post
    What about these three? Any pros an cons? Is the nokton to big and bulky?
    50mm Sonnar if you mostly do portraits of people

    50mm Summicron if you want the best overall 50mm of the bunch

    50mm Nokton if you absolutely need f/1.1 because it isn't a great overall 50mm at normal apertures due to size and distortion.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    ^ And focus shift (re: Nokton).

    But agreed. The Summicron is an "easy to use" and very good lens. The Sonnar and Nokton are not everyone's cup of tea. You can substitute the Planar T* 2/50 ZM for it if you don't want to spend the money for nearly the same performance.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Quote Originally Posted by geronimo13 View Post
    Don't buy that one for your M7! That is the Summicron R, for the Leica R series. It may appear to be a good buy because the R cameras have been discontinued.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    50/1.5 C-Sonnar wide-open on the Leica M8:



    "Subject moved during Exposure", this lens is spot-on at F1.5 with my M8.

    So it should be off at f4?

    At F4, Jamestown Settlement, Thanksgiving day.



    This little Lad played Soccer with the visitors. Including me.

    Also at F4.



    Focus shift is not much of an issue with a Film camera. 1) Film does not hold as flat as a digital sensor, 2) you are not going to pixel-peep to see the shift.

    Me- I slightly offset the rangefinder image for F4. Focus "ever so slightly" toward the close end of the focus ring. We're talking 1" at 3ft, which is will not be noticed at F4 with film.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    This is with the world's worst Summicron, wide-open at F2.



    I recoated the front element with an Eye-glass repair kit. So no matter what Summicron you buy, it will be better than this.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    You can substitute the Planar T* 2/50 ZM for it if you don't want to spend the money for nearly the same performance.
    At increased size as well though... which may or may not matter to the OP.

    I've used all 4 lenses... nokton, sonnar, summicron, and planar... I've made great images with all of them, but I've missed a lot with the sonnar and nokton due to shift which can be very frustrating. I now use a 50mm Summarit 2.5 which I love.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSRockit View Post
    At increased size as well though... which may or may not matter to the OP...
    True, true. Zeiss doesn't place as much emphasis on size as Leica does and the Summicrons are pretty sweet. I wish Zeiss would embrace aspherical elements a little more... But they seem to hold their own optically at least.

    In their defense, they're lighter.

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    Re: Zeiss 50mm 1.5 sonnar, leica summiconr 2.0 or nokton 1.1?

    . . . . . a plug for the Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnar, a fine lens. Samples of some photographs with a M9 and M6 TTL can be found here: .flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157627847756632/with/6285017673/


    Also a plug for the Voigtlander 50 1.5 Nokton, another LTM lens that is sweet.
    Sample photographs take with a M8.2, M9, and MP can be found on page 5 & 6 here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2667261...693002/?page=5

    If cost is an issue you can get the Zeiss with a Hood for about 60% of the Summicron and the Voigtlander, which comes with a hood at about 40% of the cost of the Leica Cron.

    . . . . . then there is finding one. The Voigtlander lens are readily availble, the Zeiss have been hit and miss for new and used lately, and a new 50mm cron just doesn't appear to often and the used are going for the price of new lately.

    Lots of good choices in the 50mm range, good luck with your search and decision.

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