75mm Summilux-M

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by steven_teh|1, Jun 6, 2001.

  1. Hi all,

    <p>

    I am a fairly new M user. I currently owned an M6 TTL 0.72 and a 35mm Asph Summicron. I would very much like to find out more about the 75mm Summilux-M such as how good or bad it is (in terms of sharpness, bokeh, usefulness). I am especially interested to know how it compares to the 90mm Apo Asph Summicron.

    <p>

    My photographic interests are mainly travel, landscape, architecture and portrait.

    <p>

    Thanking you in advance.

    <p>

    Regards,
    Steven
     
  2. I owned a 75 Summilux. It was my "brilliant" idea to substitute a
    fast 90 and a fast 50 with one lens. The outfit of 21-35-75-135
    seemed a perfect progression. Eventually I sold the 75, for the
    following reasons: 1.shot wide open at closer distances the DOF is
    so shallow and the focus calibration with the rangefinder so critical
    that I wasn't able to get very many shots to work. 2. The lens is
    very heavy and bulky, by M standards, the focus ring turns very
    stiffly through a long travel, and I could never find a comfortable
    way to hold it for a vertical shot without my hand in front of the
    rangefinder window. 3. The lens (even with the hood retracted)
    obscures a good part of the viewfinder frame. 4. The E60 filters were
    one more whole set I needed to carry.
    I have no experience with the 90 APO, but I did sell my pre-APO for a
    90 Elmarit with absolutely no regrets. For the types of uses you
    mention, you will probably not miss the extra stop as much as the
    extra money.
     
  3. We Leica m users have as an option probably the two best 90mm lenses
    on the planet--The 2.8 Elmarit and 2.0 APO Summicron. The Elmarit is
    so sharp even wide open I have to use a Tiffen Soft EFX filter for
    any close up portraits of anyone older than 10 years old. The lens
    has never flared on me, and is nearly totally free from distortion.I
    personally think the APO 90 is overkill, as when you add in cost and
    size, the Elmarit is still my first choice. F2.8 on a 90 that is
    fully useable wide open is more than fast enough for that focal
    length. Don't forget all those huge fast "pro" 80 to 200 2.8 zooms
    only have 2.8 as well--and are not even as good as our compact
    Elmarit either.
     
  4. I enjoy using the 75, but because I also use a 135 to get in closer
    when needed. I also enjoy the 35mm, but because I have the option of
    going wider with a 21. I also enjoy using the 1.4 limited DOF.

    <p>

    Without these longer and shorter alternatives, I would choose instead
    the 28 and 90. The choice between 90mm Elmarit and Summicron depends
    entirely on how important f/2 is to your style.
     
  5. I've been blessed with both these lenses, and I find that I use the
    90 a fair bit, and the 75 not nearly as much as I thought I would.

    <p>

    The 75's optical fingerprint is to die for, IMO - very sharp with
    smooth cohesive tonality, gentle smooth bokeh, and a sense of
    dimensionality that few other Leica lenses approach. However, I
    almost never use it. The reason is that it's heavy and balances
    poorly on the camera, its large diameter obscures a lot of the
    finder, the focus ring is stiff, and I still haven't gotten used to
    the frame lines in the finder. Optically, it may be one of Leica's
    very best. Ergonomically it's a real bear.

    <p>

    The 90 AA is, overall, much nicer to use. It's almost the same
    weight, but it's longer and seems to balance much better. The focus
    ring is lighter and easier to use. The image quality has its own set
    of positives - it's very sharp and very contrasty, and the bokeh is
    OK (sort of okey-dokey-bokeh). But, it doesn't have the coherent
    tonality or sense of dimensionality that the 75 exhibits.

    <p>

    I'd love it if Leica would produce a 75/2.0 Summicron with the
    current 75's image quality. I'd buy one in a second.
     
  6. Hi,

    <p>

    I think Paul, on the the real guru's around, hit it on the head. I
    own both lenses the 75mm/1.4mm and the 90mm/2.0 ASPH-APO. In my
    opinion there is no lense better for color gradation, resoluton
    sharpness and bokek than the 75mm/1.4. I think it is the best Leia
    lens that I own (21ASPH, 35/2 ASPH, 50/2, 75/1.4, 902/ASPH). Most of
    my photography is similar to yours, especially the travel
    component/landscape portrait component.

    <p>

    The 75mm/1.4 just does not balance as well on the M6 as the 90 APO.
    If you carry it around for a day it can get heavy. However, the extra
    stop can sometimes make a difference. Beleive it or not the extra
    weight and balance are annoying with it around you neck if you are
    out all day. Again, in terms of balance the 90 wins hands down.

    <p>

    For that reason and more flexibility (75mm vs 90mm), I went to the
    90 APO as my travel lens. The 90 APO lens is spectacular. It is
    razor sharp with superb contrast. The 75/1.4 is a little bit softer
    with portraits;it is a keeper. Both have the great Leica look.
    There are no bad decisions with this one. You will not be
    dissapointed wiht either lens. For travel I will go with the 21,35,
    90 that I believe is ideal( unless I do what Jay has done and use the
    Tri-Elmar).

    <p>

    I suggest you try both lenses on your M6 to see and feel the actual
    difference. Good luck.

    <p>


    Eddie
     
  7. I love the 75mm and find its performance to be outstanding. While
    very sharp, this lens has incredibly clean out of focus areas. The
    90mm APO is a tad smaller, but I do not believe there is a
    significant difference in handling between the two lenses. I also
    believe they are both about as sharp at F2.8 and beyond. At F2, the
    90mm APO is a tad sharper, but the summilux can give you solid
    results at both F1.4 and F2. For portraits, I find the APO too
    contrasty and find the summilux to have smoother gradation and better
    backgrounds. Please keep in mind both these lenses, and the latest 90
    elmarit, are all outstanding. The differences are subtle.
     
  8. Steve,

    <p>

    If you want a lens that will allow you to do "in-cognito" candids then
    the 75 might NOT be the first choice. I own a 75 mm lux and can
    attest to its technical and aesthetic merits but for street tele its
    just NOT long enough. Try a 90 Elmarit 2.8. You will most likely be
    using fast film on the street anyways and you save 160g of lug around
    weight. Furthermore, you can use the Universal Polarizer with this
    lens.

    <p>

    Which reminds me... I just bought a Universal Polarizer from Don
    Chatterton and I have been reading some very NASTY comments about the
    front filter falling off in the LUG archives. Can anyone else
    corroborate this story or is it just disgruntled LUGer bashing?

    <p>

    Thanks,

    <p>

    John.
     
  9. Hi,

    <p>

    Thanks to all you guys for the valuable insights and experiences
    shared.

    <p>

    It seems that many considered the 75 one of the best lense in the M-
    range, however, I don't see many using it. Any specific reasons?

    <p>

    Regards, Steven
     
  10. Steve writes, "... however, I don't see many using it. Any specific
    reasons?"

    <p>

    These are my reasons. I use both SLRs and Leica M's. One of the
    things that I like about the RF camera is the small profile. It is
    my first choice for dynamic candid photography. An M body with a
    35mm or 50mm Summicron is the apex of a small, unobtrusive and
    stealthy camera. When palmed with the strap around the wrist, it is
    not noticed until the shot is captured... and sometimes not even
    then. Having rented both the 50mm f/1.0 and 75mm f/1.4, I was
    impressed by the results, but the Leica was no longer the Leica that
    made me go the M route. I accept size and weight on my motor driven
    SLRs, but the M must remain small for my use of it. This is
    personal, but trying to turn an M camera into a quasi SLR, (motors,
    semi-zooms, flash, etc...), is losing sight of what makes the RF
    camera great IMHO. Please users of Leica M motors and tri-
    Elmarits... don't flame me, I just prefer a small camera.

    <p>

    Secondly, extreme selective focus is a very valuable compositional
    tool, but an SLR allows better pre-visualization of it. When I do
    use my 90mm lens on my M, (not too often!), the images are very good,
    but the slide on my light table is not what I saw in my finder. I
    know what the selective focus effect will be, but it is for the most
    part a guess. I wish to have more control over the final image, so
    when a razor this focus plane is my desire, I grab the SLR and fast
    85 or 105.
     
  11. I agree with Al. It can be a mistake to take something that was good
    because it was small, and try to improve it by making it bigger. A
    penlight using 2 AA or AAA cells is handy. I've tried "improved"
    versions using 3 or 4 cells. They wind up being seldom used. Too
    big and bulky. The same might be true of Leicas.
     
  12. To use the M6/75mm 'lux is to really need the speed: it's heavy. The
    lens will deliver superior results when you leverage the extra speed
    into a faster shutter speed (assume handheld). I don't currently own
    a 90mm although I did many years ago (90/2.8 Elmarit) when I had my
    M3s. (I do have an old 135/4.0 that I love!) I take advantage of
    the 75's speed but I'm mindful of its limitations. I have also used
    the lens for portraits in a studio lighting situation (multiple
    stobes) and was very pleased with the quality of the results. I
    don't yet own the new 28mm but I am leaning to an evolving belief
    that a 28/2.0 + 75/1.4 combination may be a great two lens/two body
    outfit for classic street photograhy IF you use the wide neck strap.
    (!!!) -jb
     

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