Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Which 50mm Sum?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Which 50mm Sum?

    I've looked at previous threads and couldn't find something similar to what I am asking. But I have a line on two 50mm Summicron f2 M lenses. One a version 4 and one a 5. The price difference between the two is 145. The price isn't the issue, the more expensive V. IV falls below my lens budget. But I was just curious if I will see any difference in the two lenses if I am mainly going to be shooting film. Just wanted some honest opinion. My gut feeling is that I probably wouldn't see much if any difference on film. But i'm not a Leica user (yet). Thanks, Joe

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    On film, it won't make much of a difference (v5 is more likely to be 6bit coded). It really comes down to whether you prefer a built-in lens hood (v5) or focusing tab (v4).

    If the v4 comes with the optional hood, that would push more toward the v4. I would choose the v4 anyhow because I prefer focusing with a tab.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Thanks. I was going to mention the focusing tab... but didn't want to sounds like an idiot. But with the tab, doesn't that make it easier to shoot and focus with one hand if needed? The V.4 doesn't come with the hood, but I see the prices of those are around the 70 mark, so i'd be losing 50% of my saving. I'd love to say i'll pick up a M or M9 soon. But most of my money goes to upgrading my work cameras. Buying a Leica film body and lens is a treat for myself. So just want to make sure I pick the best option. Thanks

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    They are optically identical. Personally I prefer the convenience of the built-in hood as the 50mm is what is usually on the camera, and allows me to travel without any extraneous parts. When I bring other lenses, I generally have a bag and prefer the add-on hoods, which are more effective at reducing flare.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by joetothphoto View Post
    Thanks. I was going to mention the focusing tab... but didn't want to sounds like an idiot. But with the tab, doesn't that make it easier to shoot and focus with one hand if needed? The V.4 doesn't come with the hood, but I see the prices of those are around the 70 mark, so i'd be losing 50% of my saving. I'd love to say i'll pick up a M or M9 soon. But most of my money goes to upgrading my work cameras. Buying a Leica film body and lens is a treat for myself. So just want to make sure I pick the best option. Thanks
    There is no wrong choice. If it were me, I would let the condition of the lens in question make the choice, rather than any preference regarding hoods or focusing tabs.

    Built-in hood is convenient, but not as effective as add-on. focusing tab is nice, but the ring on the v5 is perfectly damped and very nice. Both are fantastic, buy the cleaner one.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

  6. #6
    Not Available
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,864
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Go for the tab, buy a metal hood on fleabay.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Thanks guys, will let you know how I get on.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    I would go with the v5. The focusing ring on the Summicron should be super slick and light anyway, so one finger focusing is easy. A tab means you need to find the tab each time you move from horizontal to vertical format and each time you put the camera to your eye, unless you 'find it' by always resetting the lens to min or max distance, which is ridiculous during active use of the camera. And depending on the size of your hands the tab can involve changing fingers or grip to go from maximum to minimum distance quickly, which defeats the object of doing anything quickly. Tabs are best on lenses that have an inherently tighter feeling focus ring, such as the 50mm Summilux. The built in hood on the v5 is also a bonus for its minimalistic size with maximum function, unless you like big showy hoods.

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Steve, as it goes I love big showy hoods. In fact I often visit, The GetDPI Photography Forums - Powered by vBulletin. Joking! I see what you're saying. I've only ever used a Voigtlander lens on Leica bodies, so this is new for me. Thanks for the advice.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Steve, great photo stream by the way.
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  11. #11
    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    532
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Not sure why no one mentioned the 50 Summarit. Small, light and sharp. Unless you need more speed, of course.

    On the subject of focusing tabs, I'm not a fan. To me they just get in the way. If I wasn't so keen to maintain the value of the lens I'd grind them off.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    34
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    John, thanks for the input. Im going for Summicron for the speed aspect and from the countless people I have spoken to the 50mm Sum is the best of the 50's.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by joetothphoto View Post
    John, thanks for the input. Im going for Summicron for the speed aspect and from the countless people I have spoken to the 50mm Sum is the best of the 50's.
    I thought the same way, but at least in 35mm went for the Summarit. Full disclosure, I have the 50mm Summicron (current model), but even in 50mm, the Summarit is a more resistant to flare, smaller, lighter and just as sharp in the center wide-open, but not in the corners until around f/4.

    The Summarit will have more contrast and more predictable bokeh. The Cron, as many will likely agree, can have wonderful bokeh under some conditions, but can also be quite harsh, and sadly it can be difficult to predict which you will get. The Summarit, in contrast, has very smooth bokeh.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any Leica 50mm, but do yourself a favor and if possible try out the Summarit before you buy a Summicron. I tried both and had a very difficult time choosing, and went with the Cron only for the extra speed because my 35mm (my preferred focal length) is a bit slower at f/2.5. If I had an f/2 or faster 35mm, I would have bought the 50mm Summarit in a heartbeat.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    118

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    I replace all of my lens hoods (except the built-in hoods) with hoods from Heavystar on Ebay. I put the original hood and cap away. I put a cheap generic lens cap over the hood when stored, and put it in my pocket when shooting. I wouldn't let a built-in hood make the decision for me. I would look closely at the glass of both, focus with both in your hand, and check for smoothness and firm detents. Buy the one that feels the best, then join us in the Analog forum Leica M thread!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Analog? I can see an MP or M6 as my next GAS prescription.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,310
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    I would go based on condition first, but I would tend to prefer the version V. The built-in hood has less bulk, and is one less thing to worry about. The ring on the summicron is very smooth and light, as was noted, so I would not think the tab was too useful for this lens. Finally, the Version IV lenses are getting on in years now, and I would say they are more likely to need a CLA or to develop haze than a version V, which is sure to be less than ten years old. Optically, however, they are indeed identical, so if it is between a banged up version V and a pristine IV, I would take the IV. Finally, if you want to add a hood, you can do that just as easily with the version V, but since you have one built-in, there is very little need to, unless you prefer a fixed metal version. The summicron does flare a bit, but the built-in hood does help it enough to where I think a larger metal hood is not really making a huge difference.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Czech Republic and Austria
    Posts
    305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    52

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by joetothphoto View Post
    John, thanks for the input. Im going for Summicron for the speed aspect and from the countless people I have spoken to the 50mm Sum is the best of the 50's.
    Personally, I don't think the 50 Summicron is the best of the 50s. The reasons I don't like it are (a) it is very prone to flare, especially where you have a large light source just outside of the image area (e.g. sun shining through clouds), (b) it caused a lot of moire for me when used with the M9. Also, the character is rather different from the more modern lenses - very gradual transition from sharp to unsharp areas, it almost gives a feeling of a more extensive depth of field than the more modern asph lenses. By comparison, the 50 Lux Asph is much more flare resistant in similar situations and I've never experienced moire with it even though it is razor sharp. Additionally, and this is a matter of personal preference of course, the Lux has a much more defined transition from sharp to unsharp areas, characteristic of the more modern lenses and personally my preferred way of rendering (better helps isolate subjects). I have not tried the 50 Cron Asph due to its stratospheric price and limited availability but if I were to choose between a 50 Cron and 50 Lux Asph, I would choose the latter any day.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    While I own and enjoy the Summicron, my favorite 50mm is actually an old Russian Jupiter 3 that I had tuned by Brian Sweeney. Bokeh is just delicious.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by asiafish View Post
    While I own and enjoy the Summicron, my favorite 50mm is actually an old Russian Jupiter 3 that I had tuned by Brian Sweeney. Bokeh is just delicious.
    Now you've gone and done it. It was supposed to be a secret that nobody can resist having more than one 50mm lens! Get the fish on the hook before striking.

    You are absolutely right though, the beauty of the 50mm lens is the variety, the big differences in rendering, and the generally cheap price of some of them. Some of mine are playthings, but like the Jupiter 3, some are genuinely good in what they can do.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Which 50mm Sum?

    Yes, it is a magical focal length, along with 35mm can be used for almost anything.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

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
  •