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Thread: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

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    leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    which would you rather have if you could only have (1) 50mm:

    the new 50mm apo f2 or the 50mm lux asph?


    is the 50mm APO a no brainer?

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Maybe the 50'Cron APO if you plan to use it with Monochrom. I did swore to never sell my 50'Lux ASPH...
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    why the 50mm apo with the monochrom?

    what makes this match so special?

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    The monochrom's resolving power and detail demand the most from lenses. Look at the MTF curves of the two lenses at f/2 for an enlightening comparison.
    Brad Husick

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    Senior Member Taylor Sherman's Avatar
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    With my Nex-7? I'd take the APO

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    That's a good response, Brad. Indeed, the 50mm Summicron apo even looks a little better at f/2 than the Lux does at f/5.6 -- at least, this is true in the corners. But you mention MTF curves at f/2. Can you point me to f/2 MTF curves for the lux? Nettar

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by gooomz View Post
    which would you rather have if you could only have (1) 50mm: the new 50mm apo f2 or the 50mm lux asph?
    Anyone who can afford to spend $8K on a lens does not need to worry about "only having one".

    By all accounts the new APO is a marvelous lens, as is the 50 Summilux ASPH and the 0.95 Noctilux. I believe much of the APO's improved IQ will only be appreciated in viewing large prints (which of course is always the case, isn't it?).

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    First ..all the 50 s are superb lenses . I can t think of any summicrons ,summiluxes or noctiluxes that aren t great lenses . The new APO summicron is clearly capable of the highest IQ of any Leica lens ....yet ...I have never found myself feeling that the 50 summilux asph was in any way deficient . So assuming you could buy either...how would you decided?

    The 50 s do however differ in their character ...is the bokeh smooth and how does the transition to OOF areas roll off . Do the aberrations contribute to the aesthetic or are they distracting . How strong is the contrast and what is the balance between resolution and micro contrast . How is color rendered and does the lens impart a signature "tint" Sean Reid described this a few years ago in test as being similar to an artist selecting from his paint brushes . This is what causes the endless discussion of clinical verse flawed renderings .

    The 50/2 APO is not yet in general circulation so you have to rely on the early tests and sample images . It seems a given that new lens will set the standard for the technical view of IQ ....MTF at given apertures , resolution edge to edge , micro contrast and freedom from aberrations . This will translate into image rendering that is exceeding sharp and approaching perfection . This of course will be most visible on the MONO because of its ability to render the finest detail of any M body .

    What is not discussed much and needs to viewed ..is how this translates into color photography . You can see in the Noctilux 0.95 a brilliance and color purity , a fineness in the micro contrast that separates the tones that exceeds the 50 1.4asph . The best samples I have found are from ByBrett ( linked on the Leica User Forum) . Here the performance of the new 50 APO seems to render color similar to a Noctilux .

    My feeling is that the elements of IQ that are defined by the MTF charts ,review of edge sharpness and apparent image contrast exceed my requirements and abilities (focus,camera motion etc) . But those that define the character of the lens ...bokeh,color fidelity ,aberrations etc can be seen in every capture .

    Based on what I have seen so far and ignoring cost factors ....I would prefer the newer 50APO but I am not selling my 50 1.4asph anytime soon.
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by StephenPatterson View Post
    Anyone who can afford to spend $8K on a lens does not need to worry about "only having one".

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Interesting question.
    I have not yet seen enough images to make my own opinion how these compare at f.2.0 and stopped down.
    However if it is about "just" one 50mm than it is also about the question if you want f1.4 here and then.
    Personally I can not safely say I would be out of danger to want the new sum micron. However still believe it is getting to a real "extreme" level if we discuss the question of the 2500$ normal prime 50/1.4asph is good enough for us or if we need a better 50mm prime.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Simply put - they'll bury me with the Lux.

    The APO is nice, but nothing can really take full advantage of it right now save for perhaps the MM. Not that you won't see improvements with the M9 - just not enough to justify the price I'd say. The new M? Who knows at this point.

    It comes down to speed and cost. Do you need that extra stop? Do you care about spending twice as much in losing it? Does the ultimate quality matter that much to you?

    Can't go wrong with either in the end.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I have a 50 Lux ASPH and a MM, And I cannot see any reason to want more resolution. The resolution is extreme even wide open with this combo.

    The main thing about the 50 Lux ASPH for me is it's flexibility. Due to the way it renders subjects and background at f/1.4 I can actually use it as a portrait lens and be very happy with the results. I can also use it as a regular 50 for anything that I desire, and It works brilliantly in low light due to f/1.4, and it's about the same size as a 50 Cron...

    At f/2 the APO-Cron will not be as flexible by any means. that extra stop makes a bigger difference than the resolution increase, which already is superb/stellar with the 50 Lux.

    I guess it depends on the use. Print huuuge? Then the 50 APO will probably be a very nice lens to ensure pin-sharp large prints.

    It will be interesting to see how the APO-50 Cron will render images. What draws me to the Lux is the very 3-dimensional feel of the images that it renders, and the way it renders out-of-focus areas when it's wide open. I've tried a 50 Cron (the current non-APO version) and yes it is very nice, and the ergonomics are better than the Lux (easier to focus), but it doesn't have the lux's image characteristics - which is what I personally love about the lux.
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Indeed, it's not always about resolution ("sharpness") but rather character. And speaking of wide open on the Lux... The Cron can't do this (for better or for worse). Also My 5000th (online) photo.


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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    This opens an interesting discussion I have had with a photo friend.

    Are you better off capturing the maximum possible detail and resolution and contrast and micro-contrast in an image and then applying image processing to make the image the way or ways that you prefer, or should you just capture that way in the first place? It's a one-way ratchet - you can't extract more detail after the fact, but you can always subtract. I can shoot a sharp image and create the very soft one that Michael shows of the sunset and lights directly above.

    Does it only come down to whether you like messing around with software or prefer just using out-of-camera images, or is there a flexibility gained in capturing the "max" image and manipulating later that offsets the extra work involved? Do some feel that this is in some way "dishonest" or "unpure" to the nature of photography?

    When people ask me, "Did you use Photoshop on that image?," my answer is always, "That's the image as I saw it when I took it."

    So, are you better off with the new 50mm APO-Summicron uber-lens or an old 50 collapsible cron with "character"? Perhaps the answer is "both", depending on how we feel at the time we shoot. Your thoughts?
    Brad Husick
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I like your answer of "That's the image as I saw it when I took it." Says it all, really.

    Some interesting things for discussion there. Of course, you're right in that you can take an über sharp photo and scale down the focus as you see fit with things like Alien Skin's Bokeh plug-in. Depends on how much of a "purist" you are, I guess.

    I tend to do as much as possible in camera, but use post-processing where needed. When shooting digital, it's a fact of life if you ask me. Just as dodging and burning were "in the old days." In any event, I prefer my bokeh to be the real deal...
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I know it isn't on your list, but my choice would be used current 50 regular-old-Summicron and $7000 for some other great lenses.

    If that doesn't appeal, get the new 50 'cron. Smaller and lighter than the lux, and it would be fun to be part of the initial exploration of a new certain-to-be-classic lens.
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Design wise, this is only the 4th version of the 50mm Summicron (# 2&3 being identical, optically). This is quite remarkable, given the long history!

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I am fan of the summicron look even though I have never owned one

    In fact I have bought the Zeiss Planar specifically because it draws somewhat similarly, a bit like a poor man's summicron

    So if I had the funds, the AA would be the one to get IMHO.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Actually Vivek, it is the 6th version:

    1. Collapsible.

    2. Rigid and dual range (optically the same).

    3. Wetzlar made, black anodize without focus tab.

    4. Mandler design with tab (Midland and Solms).

    5. Same optical design as #4, made in Solms with built in hood (no Tab).

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Hi, There is a rare black paint version of the DR Summicron.

    I did say "design wise", perhaps I should have said "optical design wise"?

    PS: There might have been odd Titanium versions and Hermes versions as well. :-)
    Last edited by Vivek; 14th October 2012 at 17:24.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi, There is a rare black paint version of the DR Summicron.

    I did say "design wise", perhaps I should have said "optical design wise"?

    PS: There might have been odd Titanium versions and Hermes versions as well. :-)

    Don't forget the Panda version :-)

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Anyone know when the 50 APO is shipping or when it might be shipping?

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    @onesixeight

    Today, according to B&H's website. Let's hope B&H DID NOT have them arrive just before the storm & flooding and had them stored in their basement!

    OP-Just get the APO and be done with it.
    Last edited by algrove; 1st November 2012 at 16:57.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I don't get it. The 'lux asph will out-resolve any 35mm sensor on the market. Those that think they "need" the APO are deluding themselves. You can want it, but don't say you "need" it, because no one does...
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    There is a difference especially at the edges, so no, they don't perform equally on a 35mm sensor.
    Last edited by bradhusick; 17th July 2014 at 09:25.
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    No one said equally. But they will both out resolve any 35mm sensor, therefore print size will always be limited by the sensor not the lens. So unless you shoot test charts for a living, you don't need the APO. Its perfectly ok to want one, but any technical justifications to 'upgrade' from the lux asph just don't make real world sense

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    If you own an MM and can afford it, then get the APO for that camera and use your 1.4 or 0.95 on your M9.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokoshawnuff View Post
    No one said equally. But they will both out resolve any 35mm sensor, therefore print size will always be limited by the sensor not the lens. So unless you shoot test charts for a living, you don't need the APO. Its perfectly ok to want one, but any technical justifications to 'upgrade' from the lux asph just don't make real world sense
    Maybe I missed something in selecting my M lenses over the years . Its seems that the lenses often render images differently and rarely am I concerned about resolution . Rendering of fine detail is of course important and the 50 summilux ASPH is for anything I might do plenty good enough .

    However a part of the 50SLX bitting sharpness comes from strong macro contrast which gives the appearance of sharpness. In harsh light it can overwhelm the M9 s DR ..in diffused available light it can be a joy .

    In a Leica M lens I look at how the lens transmits color ...in a Noct 0.95 you can see a brilliance in the highlights that come from clean whites . The 50SLX is no slouch but you can see the difference if you shoot side by side with 50NOCT.95 . The 2nd area I look at is the bokeh and I want a smooth roll off from sharp to out of focus and a back ground that is smooth and without swirls and clumpy areas of high contrast . Then finally I look at the microcontrast in the various colors ..do I see a nice transition of the tones .

    Now granted the sensor plays a big part in how the final rendering comes out ..but the signature of the lens is always apparent . Which lens is sharper doesn t seem to apply to the current Leica M lenses ?

    Most of the 50 APO photographs have been done using the MONO and much has been written about the advantages of a APO lens for use in B&W . But Leica also commissioned ByBrett to shoot some samples in color . I don t have the link but its not hard to locate . I was impressed and I have used the 50SLX in very similar shooting conditions .

    Whether the 50 APO is a worthy higher priced alternative to the 50SLX will depend on the subjects you shoot,your technique and the desired aesthetic. The differences I think will be obvious (to be proven out ) whether they justify spending twice as much for the APO is rarely based on logic.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    But Leica also commissioned ByBrett to shoot some samples in color . I don t have the link but its not hard to locate . I was impressed and I have used the 50SLX in very similar shooting conditions .
    His flickr page..Flickr: Brett LEICA M Photographer's Photostream

    And one of my favorites: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotogra...in/photostream

    Bob

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    With regards to the purity of whites seen with the 0.95 Noct (especiallly in highlighted regions) as compared to the 50 Lux asph, I suspect that it may incorporate some form of APO elements in it's optical design. If so, I'd be curious to see a matchef pair of color images taken with the 0.95 Noct and new 50mm Cron APO.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Thanks Bob

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    You could just buy a used, newest version 50 Summicron V for well under $2k and spend the other $4-6K on a photo vacation.

    In all seriousness, all of the current Leica 50s are technically great enough to satisfy most of us up to a pretty nice print size. As others have said, the "look" of the lens is more important to me, and I'm not sure how great that "look" would have to be to buy an f2 lens for over $7K, even though 50mm is about all that I shoot.

    My 50 Summicron I and 50 Summicron V give me a nice selection of "looks" for under $2K combined. Add another $1K-ish and you could add the ZM 50/1.5, which gives yet another distinct look.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Or one could buy a used Contarex Planar 50/2.0 for close to $500 and a Contarex - M adapter for around $130 and mount both on future 'M'. It is not a given that the result would be in any way inferior to the APO's. The Contarex MTF's look strikingly similar to the APO:
    Contarex lenses
    and there exists some anecdotal evidence about it being superior to the old Summicrons and any other Zeiss Planars. There are plenty of samples on Flickr with both Contarex Planars (this and 55/1.4) somehow mounted on D700 or 5DII.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by vdeakin View Post
    Or one could buy a used Contarex Planar 50/2.0 for close to $500 and a Contarex - M adapter for around $130 and mount both on future 'M'. It is not a given that the result would be in any way inferior to the APO's. The Contarex MTF's look strikingly similar to the APO:
    Contarex lenses
    and there exists some anecdotal evidence about it being superior to the old Summicrons and any other Zeiss Planars. There are plenty of samples on Flickr with both Contarex Planars (this and 55/1.4) somehow mounted on D700 or 5DII.
    That's interesting. Where can you find a Contarex to M adapter?

    That Contarex Planar looks pretty nice and flat field, although the overall resolution doesn't look all that amazing, according to those mtfs.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    And one of my favorites: Massive Winner | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Bob
    I was a bit surprised to see CA on the OOF areas from this APO lens.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    I assume that APO means all wavelengths are coherent at the focal point for the plane in focus...and that for OOF areas this is not the case...this holds true for my astronomic APO's.

    Bob

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Hi Bob,

    The astronomic APOs are never ever used outside of infinity. That isn't the case with a regular photographic lens (despite the astronomic price).

    If the bokeh is distracting because of the CA, it is a problem, especially for Leica lens, I would think.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    That's interesting. Where can you find a Contarex to M adapter?

    That Contarex Planar looks pretty nice and flat field, although the overall resolution doesn't look all that amazing, according to those mtfs.
    There is an Italian outfit called COMA which makes all possible Contarex adapters including two for Leica (for M and M39). They are usually a permanent fixture on Ebay, but today I found only one for M39:
    Leica ZORKI Voigtlander M39 Adattatore Lens Contarex | eBay
    - when searching use "adattatore".
    I personally debated how to adapt my Contarex to 5N and chose the most direct route with Kipon, but the one from COMA is definitely more versatile.
    I thought the Flickr samples looked amazing enough, especially the 'pop.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Lotsa funny info going on here and in the Leica world in general.

    APO is beneficial for Color where all three primary colors match at the same focus point. The people and the weekend-reviewers who want to sound expert about it and who recommend the APO for the MM are not to be listened to. They give very weak arguments.

    Also, the APO is not a no-brainer. Just look at a HCB print, or McCurry print, for example. The last thing you'll even think about it all this technical junk. And no, none of their images would have benefited from a better lens. Not even Capa's famous blurry/soft image of the soldiers. All the magic is in the eye connected to the finger.

    At last, I have always been very disapointed in the Leica crowd in general as they're usually proven that they don't really know much about photography in general. Take the 50 Lux Asph for example: It used to be maligned because it was "too perfect", or "too clinical", which just isn't true. That particular lens is a top performer on all aspects and it has plenty of character. Plenty. Exactly the opposite from "clinical", a term that I suspect was simply coined by a couch photographer who couldn't' afford it and was looking for a reason to love his old glass a bit longer. And now, it seems that good old "modern 50 asph lux which is too clinical" has suddenly become old glass to the Leica crowd. Quite funny.

    The 50 APO is a status symbol. Your girlfriend loves Gold and big Diamonds? You love the 50 APO. It's as simple as that.

    At last, my take on the APO is very simple. It is a status symbol. And probably a very solid performer. A total waste on the MM. And a total waste if you want to improve your photography. And I don't believe in diffraction. It's true in theory, but in practice it vanishes. This is why even cheap glass picks up more and more details as the sensor has more and more MPs. And it's all about viewing distance, anyways.

    The 50 APO? Only for fondlers. Capa wouldn't have benefited from it even if he had run for his life, case proven by his famous shot. Or Ulevich's Pulitzer image, where he almost got killed. No APO or ASPH would have been relevant at all. A Pulitzer just doesn't doesn't care. I believe the APO, beyond any of its "perfections" will show a unique character.
    Will it be worth it? If the resale value doesn't drop, it's always worth it, even at 25,000$. Simply logical.
    ---------------------

    A great book that I recommend to all those who think that photography is about the equipment, be prepared to be smashed: Moments: The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs by Hal Buell
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  40. #40
    Senior Member Taylor Sherman's Avatar
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Indeed. I see it on the goggles in this picture too. Which, by the way, I think is great (the picture, that is).

    Happy Chap | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Bob,

    The astronomic APOs are never ever used outside of infinity. That isn't the case with a regular photographic lens (despite the astronomic price).

    If the bokeh is distracting because of the CA, it is a problem, especially for Leica lens, I would think.
    Sorry,

    Focus on the Moon ... and then focus on a deep space object...not the same... so what is infinity?

    The DOF even with an APO refractor is exceedingly small ... so OOF areas indeed show CA...no big..just an indication you need to turn the focusing knob a bit.

    I agree that excessive CA is distracting...I do not see this with the 50 APO. And I do not think it is too clinical...then again my favorite camera was the Mamiya 7 with 43, 65 and 80 .... or the ALPA TC with 35 and 47 APO's .

    A beautiful lens that is sharp and well built does not negate the need to focus, frame and have a context in mind when one exposes a picture...neither does it diminish the content ....

    JMHO.

    Bob
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    BTW,

    I almost never shoot wide open...most always at F 4 to 5.6 on these micro cameras...so the 50 1.4 or older Summicron works for me.

    Bob

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Not even Capa's famous blurry/soft image of the soldiers. All the magic is in the eye connected to the finger.

    The 50 APO is a status symbol.
    At last, my take on the APO is very simple. It is a status symbol. And probably a very solid performer. A total waste on the MM. This is why even cheap glass picks up more and more details as the sensor has more and more MPs. And it's all about viewing distance, anyways.

    The 50 APO? Only for fondlers. Capa wouldn't have benefited from it even if he had run for his life, case proven by his famous shot. Or Ulevich's Pulitzer image, where he almost got killed. No APO or ASPH would have been relevant at all.
    WHich begs the question as to why Capa bothered with the Leica at all...one assumes he picked the best camera and lens extant at the time...the inherent slowness of focusing is why his beach landing pics were all so full of energy and out of focus...engaging, but would they be more so if they were in focus. No one knows but it does not diminish the value of good optics, sensors or film and technique.

    I posit that these were the best of the captures and are what we are given...please understand that I love them...but do not think that Capa threw out all the in focus captures to leave us with these...in spite of their merits.

    And I agree that the 50 APO will be a very compelling lens...if Leica were not selling them we would not have the option of buying such a superb optic.

    I personally can justify the 50 APO prior to the 11K of the Noctilux....

    I imagine that HCB would have loved the 50 APO for his portraits...consider
    An Inner Silence...The Portaits of Henri Cartier-Bresson....90 percent ultra sharp but the pathos and immediacy of the pictures is wonderful.

    Bob

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Lotsa funny info going on here and in the Leica world in general.

    APO is beneficial for Color where all three primary colors match at the same focus point.
    Actually, three wavelengths, if you really care about funny info. The primary colors are actually a spread of wavelengths.

    The 50 APO is a status symbol. Your girlfriend loves Gold and big Diamonds? You love the 50 APO. It's as simple as that.
    Sorry, your equipment does not matter argument can only be taken so far. Technical control and perfection does matter or we would still be shooting glass plates with doublets. How important it is is up to the photographer. To simply brand a photographer that wants this lens as shallow is really unfair and not a bit insulting. I personally think either lens the OP is interested in will make fine images. But it is up to the OP to weigh the pros and cons of each and then decide.
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    And one of my favorites: Massive Winner | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Bob
    Terrific and not a hint of CA...

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    APO is beneficial for Color where all three primary colors match at the same focus point. The people and the weekend-reviewers who want to sound expert about it and who recommend the APO for the MM are not to be listened to. They give very weak arguments.
    First, let me apologize if I'm wrong, but I thought the reason to use APO lens on the MM is precisely for the alignment of the focus point of the 3 wave length on the sensor. As the red wave length will likely focus behind the sensor from a non-APO lens, one is more likely to get an out-of-focus shot with a red filter. I'm no expert, but this is what I've learned from this lively discussion from LUF thread.
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    David, you are right. CA is a problem with monochrome images as well as color ones. It does not matter whether the camera can distinguish color, but it has to do with sharpness--the CA will affect that. It is emphasized when a color contrast filter is used. Apochromatic optics has benefits.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    There is a difference especially at the edges, so no, they don't perform equally on a 35mm sensor.
    How does the APO50cron perform at F1.4 or F 0.95?

    I'd suggest that for lux and Nocti owners that is the MTF they are interested in seeing if they are into stuff like that - just guess.


    Me? I own and use 3 different verions of a 50 lux - never on a tripod so my shots will never test the outer or inner boundaries of sharpness or resolution - I reserve that fuss for Rodenstock or Schneiders on an Alpa or Artec.

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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    If it were my money I'd probably buy the 50 Lux and a 35 Cron ASPH. If money were no object I'd own every Leica M body/lens and an Leica S kit as well.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: leica 50mm apo or 50mm lux

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Lotsa funny info going on here and in the Leica world in general.


    Also, the APO is not a no-brainer. Just look at a HCB print, or McCurry print, for example. The last thing you'll even think about it all this technical junk. And no, none of their images would have benefited from a better lens. Not even Capa's famous blurry/soft image of the soldiers. All the magic is in the eye connected to the finger.

    At last, I have always been very disapointed in the Leica crowd in general as they're usually proven that they don't really know much about photography in general. Take the 50 Lux Asph for example: It used to be maligned because it was "too perfect", or "too clinical", which just isn't true. That particular lens is a top performer on all aspects and it has plenty of character. Plenty. Exactly the opposite from "clinical", a term that I suspect was simply coined by a couch photographer who couldn't' afford it and was looking for a reason to love his old glass a bit longer. And now, it seems that good old "modern 50 asph lux which is too clinical" has suddenly become old glass to the Leica crowd. Quite funny.

    The 50 APO is a status symbol. Your girlfriend loves Gold and big Diamonds? You love the 50 APO. It's as simple as that.

    At last, my take on the APO is very simple. It is a status symbol. And probably a very solid performer. A total waste on the MM. And a total waste if you want to improve your photography. And I don't believe in diffraction. It's true in theory, but in practice it vanishes. This is why even cheap glass picks up more and more details as the sensor has more and more MPs. And it's all about viewing distance, anyways.

    The 50 APO? Only for fondlers. Capa wouldn't have benefited from it even if he had run for his life, case proven by his famous shot. Or Ulevich's Pulitzer image, where he almost got killed. No APO or ASPH would have been relevant at all. A Pulitzer just doesn't doesn't care. I believe the APO, beyond any of its "perfections" will show a unique character.
    Will it be worth it? If the resale value doesn't drop, it's always worth it, even at 25,000$. Simply logical.
    ---------------------

    A great book that I recommend to all those who think that photography is about the equipment, be prepared to be smashed: Moments: The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs by Hal Buell
    NB23

    Hope you feel better having gotten all that off your chest . Reminds me of a political debate where you string together so many insults ...the other participant can t remember them all in the rebuttal .

    I see no reason to defend having an interest in equipment as I pursue photography for the "joy of the process". In a thread where the topic is really ..."what do you think about a new Leica lens " ..generally that a tip that the discussion will be about finer points of equipment . Receiving a lecture about how equipment doesn t matter ..isn t appreciated .

    Over the past five years ..I have spoken to or discussed photography with some of the worlds best including a number of Pulitzer prize winners . While they clearly focus on a more practical application of their equipment ..they appreciate and are constantly looking for an edge to improve their work .

    You mention HCB and Steve McCurry as two examples . While HCB had a simple kit ...he was obsessive about his black and white prints . He would accept only the best printers and provided strong feedback on his prints . Steve McCurry has always been well know for his Nikons and Kodachrome . His archive is priceless and he has spent a small fortune in post processing to wring the last possible IQ out of his masterpieces . If you follow his work you will see that he transitioned to HB for his field portraits a few years back .

    One of my good friends actually won the Pulitzer and while he clearly doesn t obsess about equipment ....he pays attention to things that he can apply to his work . He called me to learn about the MONO and was interested in how it would affect his black and white work . When he does a gallery exhibit he has huge prints larger than 30x40 and he cares about how the images will hold up . He cares about high ISO performance and his ability to work with out constraint in low light . He cares about the ability to shoot at F1.4 and still have sharp detailed images . He cares about the tonal quality of his prints .

    No you will not find the great photographers debating the fine points of Leica M lenses and clearly having the very best equipment has little to do with capturing a Pulitzer .... But in the context of creating a body of work (a more attainable goal ) it does matter . Part of the fun of debating equipment is to learn about what others see or perceive .
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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