Is the 50/1.5 Summarit really THAT bad ??

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by soeren_engelbrecht|1, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. I just finished a series of test shots with a rebuilt, front element polished and rebuilt LTM version. The polished and recoated front element gave it good results stopped down, and much improved wide open. I've yet to shoot it with b/w film. Comparing pre-restoration shots with the current post rebuilt lens results made it again a nice vintage lens giving good, but not great, results.
  2. Depends on your tastes...

    Fuzzy focus, blown highlights, is my thought.
  3. You might look at the CV Norton 50 1.5 I have one and its pretty good. Nice glow wide open with b/w and extremely sharp when closed down a couple of stops.
  4. Mauro, I like your two images, very nicely done. Please tell us more about your film, and the lens opening. The first shot appears to be wide open or f2. Did you use any post processing?
  5. It’s probably the case that the “character” some old lenses have is the product of age rather than original characteristics. I’m not sure all lens makers really shot for “sharp to the corners” in the old days. Leica and Zeiss both have been working toward that goal for decades, especially. Leica with it’s “quality at any price” mentality. For many lenses, wide open wasn’t great, it was more of a vanity thing. That dream of surgical sharpness corner to corner is a pretty recent achievement for many lenses (recent measured in the last couple of decades) and now that they have, it turns out many people don’t quite approve, at least for some purposes (for portraits for example).

    My old DR Summicron 50 was a good lens, but not the equal of my modern Summicron 50 (pre Aspherical). At the time the Summarit was made, I’m guessing even for Leica f/1.5 was somewhat soft, at least in the corners, but probably only by today’s standards.
  6. I own a Sumamrit that may have some internal issues, but when I mailed Don Goldberg this lens for repair, he avised me not to touch it and to use it for special portraits. I kept the lens as is.


  7. I shot my test photos with fuji 400 C41 wich took away a bit of the pastel effect. Wide open my results were just a little better than #2 above. Stopping down, with a tripod and even lighting, resolution improved, contrast just slightly. I'm looking forward to testing it with b/w. Corners were very low res, but better stopped down, not at all near modern but not ugly as the transition is smooth. I see it as a special purpose lens. My experience matches Carbon's comment old Summicron v. newer version.

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