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Thread: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

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    Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    I have a thing for black painted Leica stuff I saw a BP 50 lux asph on ebay for $8200. And a BP pre-asph for $3782. How much of a difference are these lenses optically? Are there other BP 50 lux asph out there and what should one be ready to pay for it? And for the heck of it, add the BP 50 cron into the mix, if it exist.

    My dilemma is this. Save up some more and buy the nocti. Or buy a M9, or order another ala carte M7, and then save up again for a BP 50

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Buy them all!

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Nothing wrong with enjoying the fine things in life and black paint Leicas are pretty great .

    The 50 1.4 asph is considered one of the best all around M lenses . IMHO it has the best balance of IQ,speed and handling of any M lens except maybe the 35 1.4asph FLE . It has excellent contrast from wide open .

    The 50 1.4 pre asph obviously an older design has some of the aberrations that soften contrast wide open ..but add character to your images . Its nice that you can alter the look by adjusting aperture ..portraits wide open can be special . At f5.6 you get the typical Leica strong IQ .

    On the M8 I liked the pre asph a little better but when the M9 came out (jump from 10-18MP) I went to the asph version . This is purely preference but in strong light the pre asph has a nice balance but in diffused light like northern europe or winter ..the apsh version can create great IQ . Depends on what you shoot,the type of light and what you like to see.

    Black paint is beautiful (highly impractical unless you want the scared look) and the lenses are not as hardened as the current black paint bodies . The mounts for BP are brass and the asph 50 has a different mount altogether (see E Puts ) . The heavier brass (also used on the chrome versions ) has the best feel of any off the Leica glass...yes its heavier .

    The 50 pre asph BP is darn near perfect handling ..it has the modern style with a short pull out shade . The 50 asph BP is retro styled and requires the older clip on shade . Very impressive until you dent it and its $400 to replace and impossible to find.

    The chrome asph version is actually the most practical ..its the current formula in a brass mount . But thats semi rational thinking....I have on my wish list the BP 50 asph .

    I think its a good bet that you will see a 50 summicron asph at photokina .

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    I have owned both. The ASPH is surgically sharp, great for landscapes, still life. The pre-ASPH is more flattering as a portrait lens. I also like the bokeh better on the pre-ASPH - it's a little "creamier" and not as technical, if that makes any sense.

    -Brad
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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Unless Leica brings out another Limited Edition the only BP 50 Summilux ASPH is the one that came with the Leica MP-3 Sets. Hard to find on its own and priced accordingly. Its a very beautiful lens, 'retro' style of the original Summilux, with the round clip-on hood (more effective in preventing flare, and better physical protection), and a solid brass focus mount. Of course the modern optic unit of the regular ASPH lens which as many folks say 'the best 50mm lens ever made'.

    The other option you mention is the pre-ASPH BP lens. Kind of a hybrid of a new and older lens; brass mount, 'scalloped' focus ring, and older lens formula, but with more modern coatings, and a pull out hood (that doesn't lock so you need to be a bit careful in regards to the front element). Its still a very good lens and has its own 'character'.

    And there is the original 50 Summilux in black paint from the 60s. Prices have gone up on these a lot in the past few years, and most of them have been well used for a look of BP with brass showing (or if very well used brass with still some BP) that can be attractive.

    The 'dilemma' as you say is just a priority issue. Set your sights on what you want. A Noctilux is a different animal, an M9 is a different way to make images than film, and a Summicron in BP is another story. Good Luck with your search!

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Agree with all the things Brad says. I'm lucky to have the pre-asph BP (last version) which is a joy to handle. I'll add one more reason- the focus ring is very smooth and fast. This lens lives on a M3 painted black by Shintaro. I also have the chrome asph which has a stiffer focus ring but smoother than a regular black asph I had before. If I had to let one go, I'd keep the BP pre-asph. best....Peter

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Quote Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
    I have a thing for black painted Leica stuff I saw a BP 50 lux asph on ebay for $8200. And a BP pre-asph for $3782. How much of a difference are these lenses optically? Are there other BP 50 lux asph out there and what should one be ready to pay for it? And for the heck of it, add the BP 50 cron into the mix, if it exist.

    My dilemma is this. Save up some more and buy the nocti. Or buy a M9, or order another ala carte M7, and then save up again for a BP 50
    With all those essential problems I guess you are in real trouble
    I like the black paint stuff but wouldnt pay one cent more for it. But thats me.
    Regarding asph vs pre asph - Personally I prefer not to have to deal with focus shift - so its the asph. and no, I dont find it "clinical"

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Yes, two different lenses really. Though you can't go wrong with either.

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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    Echoed what's been said. Can't go wrong. COnsider what other glass that you have, and whether you want something similar or different. The pre-asph has a classic look that reigned for 40 years, and the lux asph has a modern pop that's popular now...
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Black Paint 50/1.4 ASPH and Pre-ASPH

    I went with the BP Summicron after all. Nocti is off my "need" list for now, so. BP M9 is what I'll save pennies for now.

    I have to say, I always liked the "feel" of the rigid Summicron and dr cron, so you can imagine my pleasure to find out about the BP cron and was lucky enough to find one for a good price.

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