50/1.4 pre- asph v 50/1.4 Aspherical

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tony_salce, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Just wondering if users could comment on which is better for portraiture, mainly colour but some black and white.
    Any comments would be appreciated.
  2. This will come down to preference in rendering. I have owned both, and I like both, even though I have chosen to keep the ASPH. The mandler design of the pre-ASPH at f1,4 renders slightly more impressionistically than the ASPH. The ASPH is contrastier wide open. I recommend looking at the M mount group on flickr; there are numerous image samples of each lens. FWIW, strictly for portraiture, I'd get a pre-ASPH v3.
  3. If you want to flatter women, get the pre-Asph. The Mandler lenses are great for portraiture. The Asph lenses are sharp, contrasty, clinical, and show all the signs of aging, not that there's anything wrong with that.
    The Noctilux has an even more painterly look.
  4. Another vote for the non ASPH design. It's my 'money' lens when shooting weddings.
  5. The golden rule is never use a lens that is younger than the subject. I own the pre-aspherical 50/1.4 and love it for the reasons mentioned here. The only other f1.4 50mm lens I can compare it to is the Nikon S 2000 50/1.4 which does show wrinkles much more sharply. The Summicron 50/2 is absolutely perfect for showing every crease and pimple in all its glory. So what you want to use for portraiture depends on what sort of portraits you want to make. Are you into stark realism or do you want to make money?
  6. The ASPH if you want detail, the pre- if you want a slightly softer rendering. I use both and intend to keep using them. I would recommend the pre- for portraiture as most people don't want a dermatology lesson especially from a professional portrait, but the ASPH is an incredible lens that does really well in street work and for close-ups that are on the gritty side. Any version of the pre- is good, but the last one (v.3) focuses down to 0.7M, has a shorter focus throw and (perhaps) more modern coatings. It also has that annoyingly useless slide-out hood that Leica has inflicted on some of it's lenses, I use a 46mm wide screw-in hood on mine.
  7. Agree with all the above, although I love built in lenshoods and do not understand why other lens makers don't generally use them.
  8. I've not used the pre-asph, but I do have the asph and like it a lot. Mostly people pictures. I like the built in hood - I'd probably not use a hood if it wasn't built in.
    I don't find this lens harsh at all, with respect to bokeh or sharpness. I do like how it is pretty sharp wide open and also close in. The floating element helps keep things looking good at shorter distances.
    Here's some of my shots from this, both in color and B&W. There is one photo that might be from a 28mm in the link...
  9. Thanks gents for your responses.
    Much appreciated.
    Obviously both are very good lenses, better than my photographic ability.
    Most of my photography is portraiture of children so I think I will look for a pre asph.
    If anyone has one to part with please let me know.
    Many thanks for your assistance.
  10. If i were shooting children, i'd want the ASPH. No problems/worryies about too much detail, wrinkles, skin imperfections, etc.
    As Tim says, there's nothing "harsh" about it. I think the ASPH's bokeh is fantastic.
    I've owned both. The ASPH is the best 50 i've ever owned. The Pre- was quite nice, but it's more 'romantic.' If i had it to do it all over again, and could justify the price, i'd get the ASPH. No lens is ever sharp enough in my shaky hands....
  11. Alex, I never heard that rulebefore, sounds funny.
    I'm curious, would the aspherical and a Softar be a be a good choice? That way you'd get the best of both worlds.
  12. i use the current 50mm summilux but just took delivery of the voigtlander 1.5/50 nocton. i have been told that it draws alot like the pre ashp lux, and for $250 I can't go wrong.
  13. The 50mm f1.4 asph focuses down to .7 meters. ONLY the most recent pre-asph 50mm Summilux lenses focus to .7 meter - most focus to minimum of 1-meter. IF that makes a difference. The Noctilux all focus down to 1-meter only and as far as I know all the 50mm f2.0 Summicrons focus to .7 with exception of dual-range which focuses closer.
  14. Sharpness should not be an issue. With photoshop softening an image is easy.
  15. There is also the cost factor. A late 50 pre-asph can be had for $900-$1200. While the ASPH cost 2X more.
  16. This comments are very useful as I am in the process of looking for a 1.4 f 50mm either pre, or ASPH. Someone has suggested to me that the ZM Zeiss 50mm 1.5f compares to the Lecia lens. Does anyone have any experence of this lens and how does it compare.
  17. It's a nice lens, but has a different look than the Leica's. The big thing in my mind for portraits with a 50 is the minimum focus distance. Older pre-ASPHs only go down to 1m. I think the ZM 50/1.5 is 1m or .9m. More recent pre-ASPHs go down to .7m, as does the ASPH, Summicrons, and the Zeiss 50/2.
    I also found that newer 50 pre-ASPHs don't seem to go for that much less than a used ASPH. Heck, in Feb/March, you could buy a new 50 ASPH with the 15% rebate from the UK, and due to the exchange rate, you could get it for less than $2k.

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