35mm Lens Most Complimentary to 50mm Cron v4?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by baisao, May 18, 2016.

  1. I use a 50mm Summicron v4 for my film work and have been very pleased with it. My favorite focal length, however, is 35mm. I am
    looking for a 35mm lens that has complimentary look to the 50mm Summicron v4.

    The obvious choice would be the 35mm Summicron v4 since it is also a Mandler design from the same generation of Leitz lenses. There
    may be other candidates, however. The Zeiss 35mm ZM is apparently sharper and renders OOF better that the 35mm v4 'Cron but I have
    no way of knowing if its character, a sum of the parts, more closely matches the 50mm v4 'Cron.

    What I like about the 50mm v4 'Cron: somewhat neutral look, very low distortion, flat enough corner to corner for me wide open, no coma,
    pleasingly sharp without being distractingly sharp. I tend to shoot between f2 and f11 mostly.

  2. You could rent the 35mm F2 Zeiss ZM from Lensrentals, that is what I do when I really want to get down to the nitty gritty.
    Because I also favor the 35mm focal length for Leica, I actually have two of them. I have the 35mm V4 'Cron that you refer to and the insanely good 35mm 1.4 Asph FLE. I love the super small size of the 35mm F2 for most work but the 1.4 FLE is simply in another league, so sharp and transmissive of light, just a phenomenal lens. But it is big and obviously much more expensive.
    The Zeiss is likely a good bit sharper overall than the V4 'Cron but the latter is very sharp in the center. The Zeiss is also about the same size as your 50mm Summicron which is twice the size of the V4 35mm.
    That's all I got sir, I like having both Leica 35's for sure.
  3. My impression is that the v4 Summicron 35 has a stellar reputation in the bokeh department. I have had the 35/2.8 Summaron which was very nice and the 35mm ASPH. The latter is undoutedly sharper, but I was always very happy with the Summaron in my film days, although its slower speed counted against it in the end. My friend pronounced that the 35 v4 was not as sharp as a dual range Summicron 50mm in the edges. The differences he showed me seemed not very significant, however. The v4 is not as well made as the current (1990s+) or 1960s 35s.
  4. Both version 4 Summicrons gave me much pleasure when I used them in the late 80s and 90s. There is something about the color neutrality and the balance between contrast and definition that Leica mastered quite well. If center to edge sharpeness is important to you at wide apertures the 35mm might not satisfy you in landscapes, although its out of focus rendition in other use is pleasing (apparently better than the 50mm). The aspherical 35mm Summicron is sharper in the corners at wide apertures, but I am not sure how its rendition compares to the 50 which I regrettably sold. Two things may be of interest if you are not already aware of them: Erwin Puts' Leica lens comparisions (available in a free edition on the internet). You might also want to try the inexpensive V-C 35mm f2.5 classic lens, which I find very good for B&W shooting. However, I am not anaytical enough to be able to tell you if it is similar or not to the 50mm Summicron. A camera lens bothers me if in enlargement the corners or edges of a print are fuzzier than that produced by my enlarger lens.
  5. The Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 has outstanding reviews, at a very reasonable price. It is much larger than the Summicron 35's, and will partially obstruct the viewfinder, but is arguably the best 35 mm lens on the market.
  6. One advantage of the Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 is that it has been designed for the digital sensor. For film use, I wonder how it compares overall and from f2 downwards with the aspherical Summicron 35mm? Leica optics are now particularly expensive (not so long ago the ASPH was at about the same price as the ZM) and even a mint used 35mm version IV will likely cost as much as the ZM.
  7. Sum micron 35 ver 4 if you want the most complimentary 35. Same look, contrast, same era why would you consider anything else if you want the same look?
  8. I agree with Barry.
  9. From the standpoint of simply trying to keep lens choices simple, if I'm carrying my 35mm Summicron ASPH, the 50mm Summicron (current non-APO) either stays at home, or is, maybe, mounted on my M6 film body and in the bag for black & white shooting, or just the opposite. A 35 and 50mm option in the bag for one body at the same time is more conflicting than complementary for me.
    I have two lens setups and use the one I think most appropriate for the subject(s) of the day, or I simply swap for the fun of it. 21-35-75, and 28-50-90. I also have a 135mm Tele Elmar but it usually only goes if there's a specific reason I think I might need it.
  10. Zeiss ZM lenses are not optimized for digital, or if they are, fall short of accomplishment. They are as good if not better than leica in this endeavor, so far as the M series.
    Zeiss' collaboration with Sony has been more cutting edge, with the Loxia and Batis lenses, which are sharp in the corners, unlike ZM and Leica lenses used on digital M cameras, or for that matter, the Sony A7 series.
  11. Jim, check the pic of the week thread. I put up examples of both ver 4 Summicrons. Oh, you might want to post something there too. Just say'n:)
  12. Quit masturbating about "what lens" -- You'll drive yourself crazy. Just get the 35mmV4.
  13. I can't easily thank you individually but everyone of you have contributed valuable insight into this. Fortunately, I don't
    have GAS in this instance, just a knowledge that I will need a wider lens suitable to my style of shooting, preferably
    equivalent in look to the lenses I already have.

    I'm not likely to ever shoot digital so having a lens that is optimized for digital is good to know since it will have a different
    look compared to what I am searching for.

    I do like to shoot wide open and have had no problems doing so with the 50mm v4. What had/has me waffling on this is
    the coma on the 35mm v4. I can tolerate a lot of misbehaving in a lens but coma, ghosting, and CA bother me quite a bit.

    I realize that the newer formulas are sharper but I would like to assemble a kit with lenses that have an equivalent look.
    As Barry and others have pointed out, I should simply go with the 35mm v4 since it is the same vintage as my 50mm.

    Thanks for posting in w/nw, Barry. I'll scoot over there now.
  14. Barry's photos and those of others on his current w/nw thread comparing the two Summicrons are very fine shots. As he says, and I agree, the difference in lighting can affect the result. Both the contrasty lighting of the first and the flatter lighting of the second 35mm photo (with its good low light tonal capture) show the capability of the version IV, insofar as a scan can provide that. I wonder, though, just how much difference there would be in using another lens under the exact same conditions? Would we see that noticeable difference? Or, put differently, how much does the lighting influence our perception of the performance of a particular lens, where we may not have a visual reference to another lens used with the same subject under the same lighting conditions?
    Apparently my little V-C 35mm f2.5 lens is similar to the simple Tessar lens formula that was and still is recognised as very competent for B&W rendition (tonal rendition). I use the aspherical 35mm Summicron for my color digital work and some B&W conversions but have not compared it to the V-C under similar conditions. Maybe the version IV look is also that of this inexpensive lens, I don't know, as I have compared it only to a 1936 Elmar f3.5 where the difference is evident even without similar conditions of subject and lighting.
    Maybe the foregoing is much limited by my general inattention to these differences. However, I for one would very much like to see a comparison of the two Walter Mandler Summicrons with the later aspherical and other 35mm designs like the V-C or Zeiss, using simiar subject and lighting under at least two or three subject and lighting situations. That means more to me than simple peformance statistics or detailed technical reviews.
  15. Jim, and others: Check out this thread 'In praise of the Mandler lenses' posted by Andy on Leica Forum
    in 2008. Andy used to be a frequent poster here, not sure where he is now, but he was a good


    The version III of the 28 Elmarit is a Mandler designed lens, and a while back I purchased my 3rd copy
    of it after having sold the other 2 previously because of the size and that the lens flares a bit shot straight into
    the sun. Although the III version was around well before any digital Leica M, it works better for me than
    the 28 Asph on an M240, the combination of which I found way too hot in bright sun. The III version has a nice smooth
    subtle contrast character. I believe Version IV of the 35 Summicron is a Mandler design, along with the
    50 Summicron.

    At any rate, Andy's post and the ensuing discussion is a good read.
  16. Another from the same roll in sun light.
  17. I did a did some commercial fashion shots for a friend over the weekend. Here's my favorite. Fuji Xe-1 with kit zoom.
  18. Sorry, meant to put these on WNW week 21.
  19. A quick check in KEH.com shows that the supply of used Leica rangefinder and SLR lenses is much leaner than a couple of years ago when I was shopping. I suspect that the Sony A7 has a lot to do with that. It is interesting to note that the Summicron 35/2 v1 commands a much higher price than the v4 Summicron-M (in the same condition). The v4 is much praised for its bokeh, notwithstanding fringing and other artifacts which would not pass muster when compared to modern competition.
  20. Edward, why does the v1 command a higher price? I saw a shot with one and thought it was particularly lovely but
    questioned its performance in the bright Texas sun.

    Regarding KEH: I contacted them but they had no idea which versions were in stock. They didn't even have a S/N in their
    system to use as a reference. The buyer must have known the version when they purchased these lenses but they failed
    to capture important information that would be meaningful to a customer. I assume their sales people are not getting
    commissions because the gentleman was far from helpful, just a real shrug of an experience.
  21. The v4 is much praised for its bokeh, notwithstanding fringing and other artifacts which would not pass muster when compared to modern competition.​
    errrr, who's muster? Passes mine and many others, looks great on the new 24mp apc sensors.

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