Do I need a 50mm?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by per_pettersen, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. I have an M6 with a Summicron 35mm. Should I get a 50mm as well?
  2. This question is laughable. Who are we to be advising you what to buy! You should be able to answer this yourself! Is 35mm too wide for a single lens? Do you think you would use the slightly tighter 50mm lens significantly?
  3. There's currently a thread, "One focal length" in the classic camera forum where people give opinions on a "best' focal length.
  4. I always have felt the Leica was designed for and is best used with a 50mm lens. The summicron is such a peach, why not? Some days 35 is what you need, sometimes 50. The 35 summicron is a great one, but a used 50,even an old collapsible will not disappoint and will be useful. And not a big investment.
  5. I feel very sorry for having wasted your time with a laughable question, David. I was hoping that you pros could write something like "I have a 35mm but have always missed a 50mm when taking portraits", or "I have both but always use the 35 mm for all purposes; I feel the 50mm is a waste of money", or something like that.

    I like to be advised by experienced users after having read a lot of theoretical articles about photographic equipment.

    Instead, I have made you laugh. It`s a pity.
    Thanks, Charles and Charles!
  6. SCL


    The various 50s are great lenses...but totally unnecessary unless you like working at that focal length. I went almost 10 years with my first Leica (M4) using a 35 as a primary, a 90 and a 135 (occasionally). Occasionally I borrowed a friend's 50, but really didn't use it often. Even today, although a 50 travels with my camera, I'm much more inclined to use a 35 or a 90. My advice, if you really want a 50 is to read Putts' analyses of the 50s, and then make some choices to narrow things down, namely: how much do you comfortably want to a Noctilux the right lens for you (I had two but found that they got scant usage, and their value for the price was outrageous); is razor sharpness important to you...then look at the current Summicron...if speed isn't critical the Elmar does a great job. Do you like the "dreaminess" of older lenses... lots of choices here, the Summilux of the 1960s or a collapsible Summicron from the 50s may be just the ticket. I've owned all these over the years and used them, and finally pared down to my favorites a current model Summicron (VI) and a 1950's collapsible Summicron (I).
  7. Personally I would get a longer lens. When I use my rangefinder I usually take my 21, 35, and 85 and leave the 15 and 50 at home.
  8. There are rf users carrying a kit with two lenses: 35 and 75, or 35 and 85, or pairings in which a 28mm is the wide lens. Quite a few available permutations. I agree that this is personal, and highly dependent upon what you like to photograph.
    For quite awhile, I used only a 50mm on the rangefinder ... because it was the only lens I had for the camera. And I didn't feel deprived, because it fit nearly all of what I was trying to photograph. (That lens, which I still have, is the 50mm f/2.8 "modern" Elmar, a collapsible lens. It's excellent.)
    By the way, 50mm feels more than "slightly tighter" than 35 to me, but again that's personal.
    [There are some 'pros' on this forum, and non-pros who regularly exhibit and sell photos, but I'm not among them.]
  9. It's not really long enough for a flattering tight portrait, which takes an 85mm of 90mm lens. You can (of course) get some feel using the frameline preview feature on your M6.
  10. "I feel very sorry for having wasted your time with a laughable question, David. I was hoping that you pros could write something like "I have a 35mm but have always missed a 50mm when taking portraits", or "I have both but always use the 35 mm for all purposes; I feel the 50mm is a waste of money", or something like that.

    I like to be advised by experienced users after having read a lot of theoretical articles about photographic equipment.

    Instead, I have made you laugh. It`s a pity.
    Thanks, Charles and Charles!"
    Get used to it on this forum. My experience with both the 35 and 50 is a preference for the 35. I like a little wider angle of view for what is now called an environmental portrait showing more of the person AND what they do instead of the more traditional head and shoulders shot. Still a used 50 can be picked up reasonably and is an excellent lens for the H&S shot, that being said I went for the 75 so I can have a little more working distance between me and the subject. A 35 & 75 combo is not a bad choice. Hope this helps.
  11. First off, I think the question is legitimate. What else is a forum for? I'm tired of the forum snobs.
    I think it depends on whether you plan to just carry one lens at a time, or have two with you.
    If you now plan to carry two lenses with you, you may not find enough differentiation between a 35 and 50. A portrait length between 75 and 90mm may be better.
    If you still plan to just carry one lens, the 50 would be a good idea. If I only want to carry one lens, and I forsee most of my photos will be landscapes but want to have the option of taking a portrait, I'll bring the 35. If I only want to carry one lens, but forsee most of my photos will be of people, I'll bring the 50.
  12. Good question!
    I have 50mm DR Summicron and 50mm f2.8 Elmar -M and have rarely used the Summicron only when it was the first M lens I had and never used the f2.8.
    I mostly use a 35mm Lux ASPH and 75mm ASPH. I would use your 35mm for at least a year and then if you catalog situations in you mind where you would have liked a longer focal length, you can try to determine what you want next to allow you to do what you couldn't do with only the 35mm unless you just have GAS!.-Dick
  13. Forum snobs...? Call them what you like. I am not a snob, but feel free to call me one - I have no issue with that. This is such a subjective question that nobody can answer it except for the OP. If you have a FF DSLR with a zoom lens covering 35mm and 50mm, try them both out and see if you would enjoy the 50mm setting.
    Per, I enjoy laughing so thanks for the post, no need for apologies!
  14. For a 2 lens outfit - 35 and 75 or 90mm
    For just a camera - a 50mm
    That is my preference
  15. The majority of Bresson's best shots came from one focal length -- the 5cm Zeiss --
    50mm is a must have in my book...
  16. I found that 35 and 50 were too close for my liking. I'm guessing 35 and 75 would be a better fit.
    That being said, I didn't get along all the great with 35, and went with 28 and 50 instead.
  17. Per, HCB couldn't live without the 50 but Eisenstaedt wrote that he made 90% of his shots with a 35.
    I don't put myself in the same class as either of them, but here's my approach. I usually use the 35 indoors and the 50 outdoors. They are both in the "normal" range, but the 35 is useful when you can't always move back to show the environment, i.e., indoors; and the 50 is useful when you want to bridge the gap to the subject, i.e., outdoors. So, yes there is a difference between them and you might find yourself using both.
    If I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose the 35, even thought I use the 50 more often, because you can always crop a 35's image down to the field of view of a 50, but not vice versa. So, when traveling with one lens, I take the 35.
  18. Per,

    My first foray into Leica rangefinders was with an M6 Classic and the 4th version 35mm Summicron. For me, the 35 just feels natural. That was over twenty years ago. I also use a 90 & 135. I never owned a 50 for the M and I never felt the need or desire for one.
    However, in the past few years, I bought my first screw mount Leica (a IIIf RD with a 5cm Summitar) and use it with a SBOOI bright-line finder. Again, for some reason, *that* feels natural to me and have I no inclination to add another focal length to my LTM. Weird, I know, but it just feels right.
    Hope that helps :)
    - Ray
  19. In my day, sonny, the 35mm was a wide-angle lens, and the 28mm was an "ultra"-wide.
    There's enough difference in perspective to make both a 50 and a 35 reasonable, in my opinion (unspoiled as it is by these new-fangled zoomar lenses.) ;)
    The old standard 35mm lens assortment was a 35mm, a 50mm, and a 135mm. For portrait work, you would have added a nice 85mm or 100mm short telephoto.
    Signed, Cranky old git.
  20. Per -

    Your question is very legitimate and realistic, please disregard abrasive and rather unfriendly responses as perhaps just not well considered. I am strictly an amateur with several decades invested in this hobby, here are my thoughts as to your 35mm plus 50mm question.

    I use an M-6 with 35, 50 and 90 lenses, I find this mix to be not ideal. The 50 being the normal perspective I consider a bit boring much of the time, often not wide enough to get what I want in the photo. I use it pretty much limited to longer landscapes, or wherever it just works as the best choice. The 90 is the least used lens, staying mostly in the bag.

    If I could only have one lens for the camera it would surely be the 35, it gets the most use by far. For my application, there is no compelling reason to consider the 50 as the most usable lens. The 35 is wide enough to make the photo interesting by encompassing what I want, usually, but not so wide as to make the image seem exaggerated, or distorted.

    Having lived with this combination for some years, if I could go back to the time of purchase I would go home with just the 35 and a 75. Do you have any opportunity to rent or borrow a 50mm to try out? A short time with one would answer your question, as to how useful it might be for you. Enjoy your M-6.

  21. Yes. The 50 is a brilliant focal length. Great for portraits, also surprisingly versatile for landscapes. The tighter framing can help composition. The 35 is good for travel. Go for a Summicron and you won't be disappointed.
    Please disregard rude feedback; such posters do themselves no credit and are best ignored.
  22. > The majority of Bresson's best shots came from one focal length -- the 5cm Zeiss --<p>

    My favorite lens.

    a 1941 5cm F1.5 Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar "T", in LTM. Wide-Open on the Canon P. <p>

    <img src=""><p>

    <img src=""><p>
  23. And - yes, yes you should get a 50mm lens for your Leica.

    Own one, try it out, and see if it is for you.
  24. Unofrtunately, the only definitive way to find out whether or not you need a 50 to complement your 35 is to try one. Wrt RF gear I have 2 50's and 2 35's. Different uses, different characteristics.
    This one's from a ZM 50mm Planar.
  25. 35mm & 90mm are my choices for a two-lens kit. The 35mm is my main lens; the 28mm & 50mm too close to the 35mm (for me) to take along. I prefer one fast lens (35mm Summilux asph) and then another significantly diff lens (90 cron asph). In actual street shooting I want to trek light.

    This is a good question even tho its asked often and many of us are happy to consider it anew.
  26. Since no one has mentioned it yet, I will. Leica lenses are not "normal" lenses in the sense that they do not lose value, and in the case of all of the lenses that I bought "used" or formerly owned in like new condition (to me), the prices have gone up substantially. That means I can easily sell any of them for no loss whatsoever, and in some cases for profit. This takes the sting out of trying out a lens, in this case "after buying it." As said above, you can find good used summicron for a good price. Use it exclusively for a while until you get used to it. Then decide if you want to keep it or not. Become a 2-lens photographer rather than a one lens one. But everyone will warn you that even if you still favor the 35mm most of the time, it's always very hard to sell any Leica lens once you own it. The argument I made above works in reverse: if the prices may be going up and you want to use it some of the time for specific purposes, then why sell it at all. It's a good investment, certainly better than the stock market right now. I don't think two lenses is extravagant. So, search the used lens sites (this forum and others, KEH, Photo Village, even Kevin Cameras for a vintage 50mm in great shape), and if you see a good price, go for it. You won't regret it. This will not stop you from wonding if you should then go 35/50/and 75 or 90. Nothing puts a break on those thoughts.
  27. My normal lens is a 90, my wide angle is a 60- go figure, its just the way I see and photograph things.
  28. i have three bodies. one with a 35 'cron, one with a 50 'cron and one with a 90mm elmarit. i occassionally use the 90mm however the 50 and 35 get even use.
  29. As I learned - - - questions are not laughable - but answers.
    Or in other words - questions can not be silly, but answers.
  30. The 35mm is kind of a natural on a RF because of the short focus throw and wide coverage area. Having said that, I don't always want the slight wide angle look of a 35mm. I like photographs that see the way my eye usually sees, and that means a 50mm. I use a 35, 50 and 90 on an M4. You can spend some time changing the framelines of your M6 and composing different images without using film, just to get a feel for the different focal lengths. Also, you can try this with an SLR and a zoom to perhaps better visualize them. To show more distance perspective, make use of lines, add a little drama, and get more in the picture, the wide angle is best. To not embellish, and capture a feeling just as you see it with your own two eyes (if not your brain), I feel the 50 is best. For isolating distant subjects, minimizing depth-of-field, and headshots, use the 90. Good luck and have fun.
  31. Do I need a 50mm?:

    >> Everybody needs...!
  32. Thanks a lot for your great answers!
  33. I like the 35/ 50 Summicron combination: sometimes a 35 is just too wide. The longer focal lengths are better served with an SLR.
  34. Divide 50 by the square root of 2 (1.41) and you get 35. That's the reason for making a 35mm. THe area covered by a 35mm is twice that of the 50mm. So the difference is not insignificant.
    The recommendation from Leica, as reported several times in Leica Fotografie over the years, is, for a 2 lens combination, 35/75, or 35/90. (35 X 2 = 70, so a 75mm lens covers about 1/4 the area of a 35mm. A 90mm is getting close to 2X50.) For a 3 lens combination, add the 50mm.
    The angle of view of 50mm is about 45ยบ, so it approximates the perspective of the human eye. Whereas for the 35mm, the angle of coverage equals the distance from the subject. In other words, the width of the image equals the distance of the photographer from the subject. So it approximates the angle of attention of the human eye, again very natural.
    Hope this helps.
  35. As a single only focal length I like a 40mm, it just feels right to me.
    To me a Leica is for more "intimate" photography and my two lens preference would be 40mm and 75mm. From 85mm and longer I feel a DSLR works better.
  36. Per. Whilst owning a new MP I would not call myself a Leica snob. In fact I think you will find the guys on the forum's very helpful
    and their combined knowlage would fill many a book. I bought a 35 for my MP. I then went out for a few days with my D700 with a 24-70.
    I used that to see what I really wanted. The 35 and 50 are IMO to close. I wold go for something at the longer end. The OP is right if you buy right you can sell with little or no loss.
    Whatever you choose enjoy and welcome to the World of Leica.
    Oh by the way Per. You just need to chill a little. Some guys (myself included) often answer in 'rough' way. We don't mean it.
  37. Yes. I think you do need a 50mm. I couldn't say enough good things about this length if I could hog the whole thread. Close to the perspective of the human eye. A classic default choice. Incredible versatility--from portraits to landscape. The natural fault line between "long" and "short." Availability of incredible glass at modest prices. Etc., etc.
  38. I strongly recommend you to go for 50mm if you can afford F 1.4 and enjoy low light shots and strong portraits. Missed my 50mm f2 which was stolen.
    Best of luck Bangash
  39. I use the 35/2 ASPH and three 50's: the Nocti, the "modern" 50/2.8 collapsible Elmar and the latest 50/2 Summicron (plus some other lenses).
    I find the 50mm Summicron sharper than the 35mm and with better color rendition; as for distortion, the Elmar is practically distortion-free with a superb plasticity in imaging. I would never abandon either of the two. Nocti? Superb but so limited in general-purpose use.
    My experience, however, is that the main difference between the two Summicrons is in street photography. Assuming I aim at a person's figure, I need to cover about 2 meters in the vertical. With the 35mm I have to approach 3 meters, with the 50mm 4 meters. When I shoot in the street, I always preset the exposure and the distance, so that 1 meter is critical for me. Staying a bit away from the subject with the 35mm, I usually find too broad a coverage.
    Perhaps you should enjoy the 35mm as much as you can, but eventually get the 50mm Summicron. Don't ask me why but a lot of experienced M users in the past have claimed that this lens is a "must". So, make it a future goal to have both!
    One last thing. I don't know David Bell and apparently he doesn't need this but, with all due respect to the others, I find his reaction somewhat reasonable. 50 and 35mm focal lengths are so close to each other, in general, that only personal taste and preference may justify the choice of one upon the other.
  40. When I owned a series of M3s years ago, I had the full range: The fish-eye 35mm, a collapsible 50mm, a 90mm and a 135mm. Over time I got rid of them all because I didn't take time to learn how to use what I had.
    A year ago, at the recommendation of two pro photo friends, I bought an M6 in top condition and a mint-in-box 50mm Summicron. I prefer the 50mm because its "see" range is approximately that of the naked eye. In other words, if I can see "it," whatever "it" is, my 50mm, properly focused, can and will see "it", needing only my correct setting of f/stop and shutter speed. Unlike my great, old M3s, the M6 built-in TTL light meter makes those correct settings easy. Good seeing -- and good shooting -- to you.
  41. Per Petterson
    I would invest in a 50mm. lens not because it is considered a normal lens but the overall advantages when using it for taking available light photos. I say this because I know from experience taking available light photos using a 50mm. lens having a 2.0 maximum aperture thus allowing the journalistic approach as opposed to the traditional approach.
  42. I own 4 Leica M bodies and 5 lenses, 15mm Heliar, 28 Summicron, 35 Lux asph, 50 Lux asph and 50 collapsable for a chrome M3.
    Notice how I am not longer than a 50? This is mainly do to my shooting style and frame line / VF area inefficiencies. In order of what I use the most, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 28 2.0, 15 4.5 and 50 2.0. I just don't like the feel of the 75 and 90 lenses in terms of total VF area when shooting on Leica bodies, it feels like sitting in the back row of a movie theatre to me, so a 50 is as long as I go.
    A 50 feels really nice for portraits of people, close but not as distorted as the 35, I can see why HCB loved it so much with an M3, mine pretty much lives on it. The 50mm 1.4 Summilux aspheric is reason enough to own a 50 and an M3 for that matter, I could shoot for the rest of my life with that combo and be quite happy.
    So my main trio is 28, 35 and 50, they feel great, are different enough from one another and make shooting two bodies a joy, less lost shots to re-loading. I also feel like I have to move around less with this combo and I stay in close to my subject.
    The 50 Collapsable is a sweet little lens, compact and really beautiful with black and white and looks gorgeous on my chrome M3 ( I use a black one with the 50 1.4 ) The collapsable has a old world cinematic look to it while the 1.4 is just stunning image quality at every setting.
    This is in a sushi restaurant with the 50 1.4 on the M3 at 1/25th of a second, it does not get any better than this:
  43. Per --
    If you are thinking about buying a second lens for your Leica after a 35mm, I would suggest considering a short telephoto (75mm, 85mm or 90mm) before getting a 50mm. Lenses in that range are useful when shooting candid environmental portraits, most have maximum apertures sufficiently large for available light shooting, yet the focal length is short enough to allow considerable flexibility. If you're on a limited budget, maybe an old Nikkor 85mm f/2 LTM with an adapter; if you have a bit more, a used pre-aspheric 90mm f/2 Summicron; if you can afford something expensive, a 75mm f/2 Summicron. There are, of course, many other good choices as well.
    Having said that, a 50mm lens is certainly something worth having ahead of a number of other focal lengths. In use, the 50mm focal length is noticeably longer, has a more selective field of view, and offers a somewhat more natural perspective, than the 35mm focal length. Because the focal length provides a visual perspective so close to that of normal eyesight, rather than something obviously different, it can seem a little bland at times, but its characteristics also allow it to get out of the way of the photographer, rather than forcing an approach dominated by an exaggerated perspective. It can be a highly flexible and effective photographic tool. This focal length has the most affordable lenses offering a maximum aperture of f/1.4 for shooting in dim available light. Quality lenses in this focal length also offer some of the highest optical quality available.
    While many people recommend the 50mm f/2 Summicron, and it clearly has an excellent reputation for very high optical quality, f/2 is a little slow for my taste for a focal length whose greatest strength may be available light photography. (Older 50mm f/2 LTM lenses, such as the Summar or Summitar, do not match the more recent Summicron in optical quality.) By the same token, lenses such as the 50mm Noctilux, whether in f/1.2, f/1 or f/0.95 flavor, are sufficiently large, heavy and expensive, and have sufficiently shallow depth of field at maximum aperture, to fall into the category of special-purpose tools rather than general-purpose lenses -- superb for really dim available light, but somewhat impractical for everyday use.
    The 50mm f/1.4 appears to offer the best overall balance of high speed, compact size, reasonable weight, high optical quality and affordability. If you're going to get a 50, that's probably the one to get. If you're on a limited budget, the old Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM with an adapter is hard to beat for quality, affordability, and handling characteristics. It's a classic for good reason, and certainly more than good enough for amateur shooting, although it may be a step behind by current professional standards. For a bit more, the Voightlander 50mm f/1.5 Nokton seems to have a good reputation. If you can afford one, the current 50mm f/1.4 aspheric Summilux reportedly offers just about the highest optical quality of any lens ever offered for a 35mm camera.
    The good new in all of this is that there are many choices available, and it's hard to go wrong no matter what you choose in this general range, whether 50mm, 75mm, 85mm or 90mm, whether fast or a bit slower, whether current production or several decades old. Many of the lenses in this range that will work on a Leica M body are pretty good, some are exceptionally good, and most will deliver quality results in the hands of photographers who pay attention to what they are doing.
  44. Several people in this thread have stated that the 50mm has a natural perspective, but that is surely not correct? Perspective is determined solely by the position of the camera relative to the subject. What the focal length determines is the angle of view.
    I've gone the other way. Having operated with a 50mm Summicron as my sole lens for several years, I felt a need for something wider and have just bought a 35mm Summicron ASPH. This was after some soul-searching, because in the past when using 28, 35 or 40mm lenses on various cameras, I have always longed for something longer, faster and sharper. Also, rather than fuss with equipment, I prefer to choose a particular set of constraints and work within them. But my photography was stagnating, and I felt the need of different constraints to liven me up, if possible. The angle of view of the 35mm feels un-natural to me, so it may be just what I need.
  45. 50mm and 35 are rather close imo. You might need a 75 or a 90 or... nothing at all! In this case your wide will love you and you'll be a happy man.
  46. Daniel,
    That's a great picture. Did you process it digitally/ scan? Or enlarged the neg in a darkroom? If it is the latter could you please indicate the paper, developer and toning used?
  47. No. One camera; one lens; one mind.
    Focal length of lens does not matter. If you want to take the picture of the bird on top of the tree and do not have a telephoto, then take the etree and the bird with normal. if only have wideangle, then take the bird and tree and the child playing under the tree.
  48. It really depends on what you take pictures of......
    ....but, if you do low light photography, like I do, the 50mm lenses always have the fastest glass. For that reason alone, I always buy a 50mm lens (or equivalent in medium format) for whatever camera I have
  49. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. I have 4 of them at the moment.
  50. My take anywhere set is 21/28/50 for film. Forced to choose just one lens - definately a 50 on M.
  51. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    When I had only one lens, a 50/2 Summicron, I took my best pictures. I agree that the 50mm length is one of the best for the style of photography for which the Leica M really shines. That, and the 35mm length. Get a 50.
  52. I use an M3, and that camera combined with a 50mm Cosina Zeiss Planar is pure magic. I wish I could use a 35 with it too, but the finder conks out at that range. The RF works fine, but no framelines. I am trying to use a 40 with the M3 and will report on the results later.

    Yes, by all means get a 50mm summicron. That and the 35 make a great combo on the M6. The 50 becomes your portrait lens.
  53. Hell's bells -- go ahead and treat yourself! I don't use the 50mm all that much but I certainly wouldn't want to be without it. I
    find the 35mm and the 50mm to be a great working combination with a sometimes surprising difference in FOV between
  54. Great thread. I like Nozar Kishi's minimalism just earlier and agree with Tony Rowlett. For years I had only a 50mm Summilux and when it was stolen, for even more years only a 50 Summicron. I would now get the Summarit as it is so small, 15mm shorter than the 50 f2. I use a 35 a lot now, and am learning its characteristics, but it makes me appreciate the 50 all the more and with glasses and the M2 finder, the 50 is the most easy focal length. On Rangefinder Forum at the weekend, clicking on Bill Pierce, where a number of his threads are collected, I found a great plug for the 50. (Bill wrote wonderful chapters in the last of the Leica Manuals and is a renowned PJ and Leica user.) Under the heading of THE lens, he describes always using the 35 (the 'get it all in' lens) until he and a colleague swapped cameras so as to have photos of themselves on their own film. He marvelled at the moderate telephoto lens on the other camera and from that day was a 50 user.
  55. Bart S. wrote:
    That's a great picture. Did you process it digitally/ scan? Or enlarged the neg in a darkroom? If it is the latter could you please indicate the paper, developer and toning used?​
    It shot it while in a workshop with Eugene Richards last year, it was scanned at 1 hour lab then quickly toned before it went to the show at Look3.
    Back on topic.....I confess, I just caved and bought a clean Tele Elmarit 90 2.8 (thin) for travel / compressed landscapes...Doh!
  56. I think you are only limited by your imagination. I've seen incredible portraits and sports images done with 35, 50, 90, 200, and 300mm.
  57. Note that the framelines are not accurate. The actual photo takes in more than indicated by the frameline. I think the M3 has the most accurate frameline for a 50, but please search for a more definitive answer.
  58. Yes, my impression is that the M3 does a phenomenal job of close up framing. That is why I am reluctant to use the 40. I have a CLE with 40mm framelines, but it is nowhere as nice to use as the M3.
  59. First point this is a good question ! My view is that 35 and 50 do complement well 35 is useful for city type work with much deeper depth of field and abiliy to frame indoors etc. However 50 is much better in landscape and for people in general. OK it's not a portrait lens but it can do fine images of people with a better close up impresison than the 35 where the background tends to be a bit too intrusive. Surprisingly I often find 50 a better lens for landscape exactly for the same reason. I recently went on a trip to Japan without my 50 (having lent it to my daughter) and missed it every day. I now feel that I need cropping many images!
    In terms of which Leica 50:
    1. If money is no object the new summilux asph is really sharp (but with nit so nice out of focus rendition) ,
    2. I was very happy with the pre asph summilux (warning lenses before sn 1 854 000 are the first version which is not so good) wich was sharp in center when open and sharp all the field from 5.6 (I stupidly sold it).
    3. Summicrons are all good the most recents are more constrasty at full aperture.
    4. Noctilux, hum well , lets say it's a bit heavy (the tag is also heavy..).
    5. Zeiss the 1.5 ZM is supposed to bebased on the old 1.5 for contax, I used the latter and loved it (as someone mentionned above as well). Not as sharp as the summilux but super super out of focus rendition and gradation: Try it !. The Zeiis ZM @ F2 has a some devoted fanatics (see above) so I take that it's pretty good.
    Conclusion: buy a not too well looking summicron on ebay and you will be able to sell it if you realise you do not like 50's.
  60. Daniel Bayer wrote:
    Back on topic.....​
    Actually the only lens I use is a 50mm. The Medium Format equivalent that is: fixed lens on Rollei TLR. I certainly enjoy it for sole focal length; versatile and gets me more or less any picture I want to get.
  61. Shot this about an hour after I got the lens today, 90mm 2.8 Tele-Elmarit, thin. What a great little lens!
  62. Couldn't you just walk around, maybe with no film in the cmera , and just pull up the 50mm frme lines in the viewfinder to see how often you would prefer the 50?
  63. When I got my first good 35mm camera many years ago it came with a 57mm lens. That was my only lens for about the first 10 months. My next lens was a 28 and the following year I added a 135. I was in High School. The 57 was an f/1.4. I did a lot of available light photography so I mostly used the 57mm focal legth just because of the speed. When I got a 35/1.9 that became the lens I used most. It was fast enough for anything I needed to shoot and fit nicely between the 28 and the 57. I have normal lenses in the 45-58 range now for various cameras and I also have fast wide angles and telephotos. If I use a lens in the 50mm range it's because the focal length is right for the shot and not because it's my only fast lens. If you don't do a lot of low light shooting then using a 50mm lens on an RF camera will not make the finder any less bright. RF and SLR shooters often used a pair of lenses like 35 and 90 or 28 and 105 while skipping the 50. For SLR shooting if I take a 35 and a 90 I will also take along a 50 or 55 macro. This isn't something you would consider with an RF camera.
  64. I wasnt crazy at first about the 50/1.4 pre-asph until I started shooting with one. I shot some "hail marys" at full aperture in a darkened church in Costa Rica and the shots came out like nobody's business. Wow. 100 ISO @ 1/8 & 1/15 barced against a column.
    I dont shoot alot with my 50/1.4 pre-asph, but when its portrait time out comes the 50mm black paint lens. What can I say!

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