"50 Jahre" 50mm Summicron what's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by fred_obturateur, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Hi,
    I am considering buying a "50 Jahre" 50mm Summicron but I'd like to
    know what you photo.net think about it... What i'd really like to know
    is is it better than a standard modern Summicron or is equal?
    I'll add this : I have been using & abusing a DR late-50's Summicron
    for 9 years now & I think it's time to invest in a modern one. I have
    NO interest in buying a collector's item for the sake of it (I am a
    Leica user not a Leica victim/fan).
    I kind of want this particular lens mainly because its design is close
    to the one I'm used to, so I (or my fingers) wouldn't "lost" using it.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Hi Fred, are the "50 Jahre" 50mm still easily obtanaible?
    How many did Leica make?
    And how much are they going for nowadays?
    Having asked you that (you probably know the answers, since you are considering buying
    one...), I bought one last year after a long research and I know that the lens computation is
    the same/equal as the latest 50 Summicron, but the "50 jahre" looks/feels really beautiful
    and I find it easier to use than the standard one (which I use more often though, because I
    feel (I am occasionally also a Leica "victim"...) IT IS a collector's item more than one to
    use...you'll see what I mean if/once you buy it and get the lens out of its fancy box.................
     
  3. I don't know which version this is. As a guess, perhaps a version III, aka model 11817. A very fine lens, but the "50 Jahre" designation doesn't make it better! That is only a commemorative engraving, which does indeed make it pricier! If you will post the first 3 or 4 digits of the serial number, I can tell for sure which one it is.
     
  4. REVISED POST:
    Hi Fred, are the "50 Jahre" 50mm still easily obtainable? How many did Leica make? And how
    much are they going for nowadays? Having asked you that (you probably know the answers,
    since you are considering buying one...), I bought one last year after a long research and I
    know that the lens computation is the same/equal to the latest 50 Summicron, but the "50
    jahre" looks/feels really beautiful and I find it easier to use than the standard one, even
    though I use the standard one much more often because I feel (I am occasionally also a Leica
    "victim"...) the "50 Jahre" feels/is undoubtly more like a collector's item than one to
    use...you'll see what I mean if/once you buy it and get the lens out of its fancy box.................
     
  5. Luigi, et. al.: I'm having trouble with this. The earliest lens with current formula is the 11819. There was one in a 70 year commemorative for the anniversary of the Ur-Leica. I have a 70 year commemorative 35mm v. IV, made from 1979-80 to 1996. It also commemorates the Ur Leica, begun in 1913. That postdates the 50 year point by 20 years. So 50 years from 1913 would be 1963, which puts us in the era of the version II, rigid or DRS. If they figured from 1923, the Leica "O" then we are looking at 1973, which is then the 11817. Seems too early for the 11819 or later.

    So, I would think it is a version II or III. The 70 Jahre ought to be version IV, 11819. No?
     
  6. Here's more: The 50 Jahre Leicaflex SL, the CL, the M5, and M4, were all issued in 1975. Reference here is Leica Illustrated Guide, p. 62. Surely the 50 Jahre Summicron was issued at the same time. That makes it a version III, not the later 11819.
     
  7. Rob, the "50 Jahre" Summicron 2/50 was produced in February 2003 to commemorate the
    50th Anniversary of the production of the very first Summicron 50mm f/2 lens in 1953. This
    lens has the present series' proven optics, but is fashioned from a special silver finished
    brass mount to resemble the original version.
    Once at home I will also able to tell you the Leica product code.
     
  8. I briefly owned the 50 Year 'SE' version you're referring to and I returned it. Optically it was the same as the current model and lens testing revealed no optical benefit. Mechanically Erwin Puts says it's tolerances are a tad tighter. Although it's vey pretty in a classical Leica sense and does use the better clip-on shade, the absense of the infinity lock tab makes mount/dismount a little harder because of the absence of a milled gripping surface. Consequently, if your fingers are a little sweaty, they slide off the smooth contours of the lens barrel especially on attempted removal. I also found that it seemed more sensitive to RF focus error if you inadvertantly put pressure on the hood while cradling the lens on camera support. This probably caused the RF cam to change position ever so slightly.
     
  9. Okay, thanks, that clears it up. Apparently they have a "50 Jahre" to commemorate something-or-other, every few years, ad lib, even after they've already had the "70 Yahre."
     
  10. Fred, I own a 50 Jahre Summicron and regularly use it in the street.

    As has been mentioned, it combines the most modern formulation of the Summicron in a 1950s-style housing. In an article on his website, Erwin Puts explains how the differences are not merely cosmetic: the tolerances are tighter and I believe he mentions other quality differences as well. It also looks great, especially on a silver chrome body, if that matters to you.

    The 50 Jahre Summicron has a relatively short focus throw, which is qucker in use but, in theory, potentially less accurate than the longer focus throw on the 11817. Practically, I find the short focus throw entirely adequate for any use to which I have ever put the lens, including focusing at the closest focusing distance at f/2 in dim light on a .58 viewfinder.

    I'm glad I bought one and would buy one again...unless I opted for the 50 Lux ASPH. To my mind, that's its only real competition.
     
  11. Same optical forumula as current model. I had one -great pictures -- but gave it to my brother, who apprreciates the retro look more then I. A little lighter then the current silver 50mm Summicron. Probably a more effective shade, but the built in shades are more convenient. Its a very nice lens when I had it, and my brother now is very happy with it; I just went to a Summilux for the extra speed.
     
  12. They don't seem to appear much on the second hand market...does anybody think that it will
    become a real collectable?
     
  13. And does anybody know how many were actually produced...?
     
  14. I believe 1000 were produced for worldwide distribution. To be certain, I think Leica would probably answer this question for you directly.
     
  15. http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/magazine/Summicron/historycron.html

    Same formula as the current model, in a very elaborate mount.


    feli
     
  16. I bought one of the last new 50 Jahre lenses. If your a Leica user, not collector, you don't need this lens. As stated, its mostly about comsetics and the glass is the same as the current Summicron. You will save a lot of money buying the regular Summicron easily available new or used. I like the advantage of the built in hood in the current Summicron for regular use.
     
  17. I was lucky enough to buy one for less than the price of a regular new
    Summicron. As has been stated before, it's the optical equivalent of the
    regular 50s no more, no less. It looks nice on my M3 and is particualrly well
    made. However, I don't think it's worth paying over the odds for one. The only
    reason why I bought mine is because of a very generous deal I got.
     
  18. The 50 Jahre 50mm Summicron is an absolute joy to use. It feels great in the hand. I do like the shorter focus throw. I still use the 50mm Summicron that I purchased new in 1971, but I do like my 50 Jahre even better. And, do you know what? I actually have two of these 50 Jahre 50mm Summicron lenses. And, no, I don't want to sell one. :)
    00F1nJ-27793284.jpg
     
  19. jack,

    that is very nice modified M4 you have there :)
     
  20. Thanks a lot for the tons of replies pix etc. I think I'll stick to my old Dr for the moment. So I'll be more than ready for the "60 Jahre" edition! (just kidding)
     

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