How to inject a fast lens into an existing line up

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by albert_smith, Jun 5, 2000.

  1. I use a classic M6 with a trio of 35, 50mm summicrons and a 90mm elmarit. These fulfill most of my needs, however I would like to add a fast lens that would allow low / no light work, as well as selective focus for enviromental portraits. My problem is economics... a couple of thousand dollars for an extra stop on a focal length that I already own seems stupid. What is the best route to go here? 50mm Noct, 75mm summilux, 35mm ASPH summilux??? Any opinions will be great. Also... is this Idea even valid? Has anyone made this major purpose only to find that the upgrade did not add anything to your arsenal? The Noct' shots on Tony's site were great... any other noct" users out there??? opinions??? Thanks, AL
  2. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    For your purposes, you probably don't actually need f/1, but it sure is nice. You probably want to shoot for f/1.4, so a 'lux is the way to go. The problem is, they ain't cheap. Best bet: check or another prominent used Leica dealer. Keep an eye on ebay.
    Me, personally, I find that even though I own a Noct., I still use my 35 'cron and my 50 'cron the most. The Noct is heavy and hard to keep concealed over my shoulder (under a coat) and makes my neck hurt. Although I don't regret getting it, I only break it out on special occasions. I call it the "special weapon!"
  3. I had a similar lens arsenal to youself and found myself using
    visegrips on my aperture ring to extract every ounce of speed I
    could get. I upgraded the 35/2.0 (last non-asph) to a Summilux
    Asph and have not taken the lens off the camera since! It is a
    truly breathtaking lens. I have shot interiors wide open with huge
    light sources in the picture with absolutely no flare. It is "the lens"
    of the M line-up.
  4. Hi Al,
    I had you problem sometime ago. I had the 35 and 50 'cron. I
    eventually traded in the 50 'cron for a 50 summilux and have not
    regretted. At 2.8 and beyond there is very little to tell between
    them, and I gain 1 stop over the summicron. Compared to a 50 Noct it
    is much more economical and a lot more user friendly, more in tune
    with the character of the M. I would love to have the 35 'lux ASPH
    someday, too.
  5. Al


    In your position I would go for the 75mm Summilux. It is a focal
    length you do not have and I know from experience that is a great
    lens and in my opinion the longer focal lengths are the ones you need
    to be faster as you need to be able to control camera shake and they
    require higher shutter speeds than say the 35mm. Beautiful for
    candids and portraits in particular.
  6. If money is the issue, get a used or third-party lens. Like you said,
    you aren't going to use it that often. I have the Cosina/Voigtlander
    50mm f1.5 Aspherical for this purpose, and also an old 50mm 1.5
    Summarit screw mount.
  7. At the risk of being a wise guy,


    1) which lens do you use for available light photography the most?
    2) with which one do you find the aperture ring bumping against f/2
    or f/2.8 the most often?


    Replace with 1 or 2 stop wider lens and enjoy.
  8. RE: Robin Smith's observation that a fast lens is advantageous in a
    longer focal length (in this case 75mm)because it lets you use a
    higher shutter speed:
    This is certainly a valid argument. But at the same time, greater
    speed could be said to be most useful in a wide-angle lens, say the
    35mm Summicron, because of the greater depth of field compared to a
    50mm or 75mm. also, a lower shutter speed can be used (say, 1/30)
    without risking camera shake. All this presumes that the lenses are
    all at the same distance from the subject. I find the 35mm Summilux
    to be a great available-light lens.


    Bob F.

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