Leica M Dual Range vs. rigid 50/2 Summicron lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ron_gregorio, Nov 6, 2000.

  1. I'm curious to find out what other differences there are between the 50/2 DR Summicron and the rigid Summicron aside from the closer focusing and "eye" mount on the DR based on your knowledge and experiences. According to Stephen Gandy, some people think it's sharper than the rigid version and was even rated the sharpest lens ever tested by Modern Photography. Is it worth it to pay more for this lens version if you really don't need the closer focusing feature?
     
  2. Ron, it is a very good lens and definately better than the
    collapsibile 50mm Summicron I had before it. MY DR had some coating
    problems inside that required a lot of work to repair, which is
    common on 40 year old Leica lenses. The current formula is supposed
    to be even better, is more compact, and focuses to .7 meters without
    the eyes, and is more flare resistant for sure. (The DR goes only to
    1 meter) It doesn't have the same feel to the construction and isn't
    finshed as nicely as the older DR However.
     
  3. Ron,

    <p>

    Hope this doesn't sound condescending, but in the interest of
    accuracy, especially if you are researching... the DR Summicron is
    also RIGID. This was the narrative designation to differentiate the
    collapsible Summicron.

    <p>

    The Dual Range cosmetically looks like the Summicron of that day with
    the addition of the detachable eyes to take it into the close-up
    range. Close-up is a comparative term for rangefinders, since SLRs
    can easily get closer. Also, back in the day, the M3 rangefinder and
    Summicrons of like vintage only went to 40 inches, so it was a good
    selling point to "brag" about close focusing capability. My new
    Summicron goes to 27 inches on my M6, so progress has rendered the
    feature moot.

    <p>

    I have seen some good work with the DR Summicron from photographers
    that worked in the '60's. The biggest thing that would dissuade me
    now is the fact that all of the reports I have read mention the
    softness of both the glass and coatings of the time. Any potential
    sharpness advantage could be eliminated by some veiling flare, or
    contrast reduced by micro-scratches.

    <p>

    I have used and tested (un-scientifically) all of the Summicrons
    since 1954 and I would use the Black 1969-1979 or the 1980- to
    present (cosmetically changed but optically identical) without
    reservations. I would seriously test the chrome lenses, but a good
    example can deliver great results.
     
  4. Thanks for the links and the answers everyone. They're actually very
    informative. I asked because the local second-hand shop here is
    selling a 50/2 DR Summicron w/ eyes attached to an M3. I was
    thinking whether this set would be better than a second-hand M6 and a
    black 50/2 rigid Summicron (non-DR) in another shop. The M3 and DR
    Summicron cost more than the M6 set and both sets are in good
    condition. I guess I'd go for the M6 and black 50/2 Summicron.
     
  5. Ron, I have both the collapsible 50 and the Summicron-M. The latter
    is not the current version, it's the one with the focusing tab. I am
    hard pressed to see a difference in sharpness between them. Small
    architectural details look about the same when comparing at the same
    aperture. I limited my test to f2, 2.8, 4, and 5.6, so as to keep
    the shutter speeds high with Velvia and Technical Pan. Now, when it
    comes to contrast, the M is contrastier. Shadows are darker, not
    filled with diffused stray light. So, I guess the question is, if I
    can barely tell the oldest from the latest, how much difference can
    there be between the oldest and the second-oldest?

    <p>

    Just something to ponder . . .

    <p>

    Regards,
     

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