Best/Smallest LTM 50

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by subhash_tiwari, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. I am trying to set up a small kit for my IIIg and Canon IVSB2. I love the VC
    35/2.5 (tho' a bit contrasty), the Leica Summaron 35/3.5, the Leica 90 Elmar,
    and the 90 Apo Lanthar. Any recommendations for a small"ish" 50 amongst the
    Leica/Canon/Nikkors ?
  2. I agree with the Nikkor 50/1.4. It's smaller than my previous 'cron. BTW, I've had a Canon 50/1.2, and the Nikkor is better at normal focus (close) lengths.
  3. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    The Canon 50mm f1.8 Black and chrome is an outstanding lens and it's coatings stand up real well I have a pair of them great little lens.,
  4. Subhash,

    this is a very nice nostalgic kit you are setting up. For small, you can't get any better (or smaller) than the elmar 3.5 LTM. If however, you need a faster lens, the summitar is a fine lens and collapses as well.
  5. Victor, the guy is asking for a 50.
  6. The Elmar f3.5 is a 50. My recommendation would be for either the Elmar f2.8 or the Summicron collapsible, which I've used for years on my IIIf. It is a great lens.
  7. As you go back in time through collapsible 50/2 Summicron, Summitar, and Summar, the lenses get smaller, but sharpness and contrast also go down. The Summitar can be a happy medium, especially if you get a coated one. I view it as a variable-contrast lens, low contrast wide open, lots more stopped down. Not that any of the three are "high contrast" by modern standards.

    Problem with all three is condition. Very soft coatings. The Summar and Summitar have very soft front glass, a flint (lead) glass that scratches very easily. So many of them are ruined...

    The Canon 50/1.5 is smaller (shorter) than the Canon 50/2. It's a Sonnar clone, so it's got a more distinctive look, less sharp in the corners. But it's actually heavier than the 50/1.8.
  8. A collapsible lens is a PITA, IME.
  9. Old school lenses are made with old school technology, lead and Arsenic based glasses, which are relatively soft when compared to "modern silica based" glass. The coatings, however, were Mg/Floride, which were harder.
  10. the summarit 50/1.5 has a wonderful signature. i use it on my m3 and m5 as well as my IIIc. it has been surpassed by the summilux 50/1.4 in terms of sharpness at f4 or higher, but the summarit's bokeh when wide-open and in oof areas is just about as subtle and wonderful as the summilux's. though you have to be sure any summarit is in good shape, when you find a good one, it will be a small fraction of a summilux: this makes the summarit 50/1.5 a very attractive ltm lens for those who are budget-contrained but yet want to approximate some of the low light photography their wealthier leitz-user brethren do with the summilux and noctilux lenses.
  11. The elmar 2.8, as well as the summicron LTM (collapsible)are rare and can be pricey. And sorry Stephen if I left off the "f". I've used the summitar for years and don't have a problem wih it being collapsible.
  12. Try the 3.5 Elmar 50. Simply, it makes a great negative. There is a small lens shade avalibe
    for it, that I keep on all the time. I have a coated one with standard f-stops. It is a great lens.
  13. The IIIg originally came with the 50 Elmar f2.8. A really nice lens that stopped down seems as good as my 50 Summicron. However I have been working with a 50 Nikkor f 1.4 and like the results. I don't know if it applies to all of the 50 Nikkor 1.4's made for the LTM's and Contax, but the focus works in the opposite direction as the Leica LTM's. Flare is a problem with all the older lenses to some degree, so I've made a point of using a lens hood whenever possible.
  14. 50mm Elmar -- coated from app. 1949. Tiny & wonderful IMHO. I use no filters or shade.
    No flare yet!
  15. "A collapsible lens is a PITA, IME." <p> Yeah, it is a real chore; and pushing that little button, or turning that knob will wear you out if you do it too often -- even a couple of times a day are just too much strain on the intellect!
  16. Hi, Subnash. I own an excellent 1955 Leitz Summitar 50 mm f/ 2 that i love very mutch. Another excellent choice are the last Canon LTM 50 mm f/ 1,8 or 1,4 with black focus ring, or the Nikkor 50 mm f/ 1,4 (il LTM mount, obviously). In the modern range, there are the VC Nokton 50 mm f/ 1,5 or the VC 50 mm f/ 2,5.
  17. Another excellent choice are the last Canon LTM 50 mm f/ 1,8 or 1,4 with black focus ring
    I believe that all examples of the Canon 50/1.8 are optically identical.
    There may have been some slight revision to the 50/1.4 design, but I believe that all examples have a black focus ring. And whatever else it is, the Canon 50/1.4 isn't small.
  18. Harry, AKA Dan, Yes, a PITA, like lens caps, reversible hoods, and reversible hood caps. I wonder who's bright idea was that? Take off hood cap, stow, reverse hood, shoot, reverse hood, find cap, place cap, yada, yada, yada. You shoot your way, I'll shoot my way, agreed? I just want to lift the gear to me face and shoot. I don't want all these gadgets to stow and replace.
  19. ...whose, not who's...

    Spell check didn't catch it.
  20. The Nikon 5cm/1.4 Nikkor-S is a small lens, but pretty heavy. If you don't need f/1.4, I would suggest a collapsible 50/2 Summicron &/or 50/1.9 or 50/2 Canon Serenar, which aren't large even when extended & are still faster than the Elmars & other slow Tessar variants. Contra Steve's posts, just because they collapse doesn't mean you have to collapse them; I normally leave all of my collapsible lenses extended & only collapse them for long-term storage or if space is really @ a premium in a bag, etc. Same goes for hoods, just leave them on if you want.

    Christopher, the focus direction on every Nikkor-S in LTM is the same as that on any Leitz/Leica lens. The aperture ring does turn in the opposite (to Leica) direction.
  21. Chris, you are correct, I went back to see if it was the focus or aperture ring. As my Nikkor is on a Kiev Contax, I usually use the body focusing wheel, not the lens. The Nikkor 50 f1.4 is a much better lens overall than my rebuilt Summarit f1.5. The only time I prefer the Summarit is for available light portrait work. Summarit f1.5 to f2.8 image softness is flattering to ladies "of a certain age". I am film only so I can't post, but I'd like to see a comparison of Nikkor v. Summarit v. Canon 1.4 portrait images.
  22. jtk


    From experience, the 35 3.5 Summaron can be wonderful. Typical of elderly Leica lenses, many suffer from age, but a good one is wonderfully sharp and has everything anyone would want from a Leica lens (with the exception of f2, SLR-style aperture ring, and snap-on shade).
  23. jtk


    ...but for 50mm, the answer isn't a Nokton 50/1.5 no matter how much you may love its performance :)
  24. I've got a late screw-mount 35 3.5 Summaron, made in the late 50's, and it has the modern aperture ring, takes E39 filters and the snap-on shade. It IS a very, very good lens.
  25. The Canon 35/2 is a wonderful lens and is very small.
  26. The tradtional Summicron rigid 50/2 is a classic and so would be the 50/3.5 Elmar. Do not ignore the Nikor 50/2.0 in LTM.It is a great lens. I very much like using the Canon 50/1.2. It is sharp and it lets me get photos that I would not otherwise get.

  27. Since you want a smallish 50mm lens, the Canon 50/1.2 is out.

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