Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 M ASPH

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by asad_shah, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. I started loving Leica rangefinders about 12 years ago, and once I really started understanding the system I realized I
    like to shoot with a 35mm lens. I just liked the amount of image I could capture with that focal length, and when I
    had bought my first pre-asph cron I noticed that I never needed another lens. It stayed on my M6 at all times and
    that was that. Its a decade later and at some point through college that camera system was sold due to being broke
    in college (in part due to that camera). I can finally own and actuall afford a Leica now so I got an M6 again and am
    looking to buy a 35mm lens. I have always been told and have read about the incredible ASPH 35mm LUX and now
    have the opportunity to purchase a black one used for $2k. My reason for posting is this: Is that a good price?
    With lenses
    like the Voigtlander f1.4 and f1.2 out is the LUX still the BEST on the market, and if you could buy a used LUX ASPH
    for $2k or a new Voigtlander for far less, what would you do? I have read some of the threads out there stating and
    showing the Voigtlander lens performance as quite impressive. Any thoughts would be appreciated. For clarification
    this is not the 6-bit version. Can someone also explain if that makes a huge difference in price. I am assuming I can
    still use it on the M8 if I ever buy one.
  2. Since posting this message I have done some research and have found that quality wise I amgoing to stick with the Leica brand lens. I would still like to know from the group though what is a good price for a used version of this lens? It is a black Leica 35mm f1.4 ASPH non 6-bit lens. The condition is described as very good with very slight barrel wear and on the front element he mentions 2 pin point (NOT pin head...only pin point) dings that are not visible by the naked eye. He only noted them on viewing with a 10x loupe. There is no effect on image quality. Comes with caps and hood. How much should I expect to pay for this lens?
  3. "How much should I expect to pay for this lens?"

    Here's one standard source for estimating prices for Leica lenses:


    (Note that many of these prices are currently on the low side, largely because of the fall of the US $.)

    You can also check the inventory of online camera stores (say, KEH, PopFlash, etc.) as well as completed eBay
  4. Hi Asad, the answer is usually see what this lens is selling for on fleabay, KEH, etc. But there really hasn't been many for sale. I paid a few hundred more for one that was babied, coded, and no marks in the description. Not being coded isn't an issue on an M camera. Going by your description, KEH offers about $1100 for it to purchase.

    OT, Zeiss has been making Biogons for a long time, the 35/2.0 is a pretty nice lens, but I was enamored of the legend of the ASPH, so I shelled out the money.
  5. Average pre-owned price $2100+/-. I bought mine mint, complete - leather case, certs, box, caps, hood -- $2150 and do not regret the purchase in the least. Quality built, small form factor (relative), ergonomics, glass -- easy choice here if you have the $. They are now $4000 new. Ten years from now you will look at it as one of your best investments IMHO.
  6. I checked KEH, old fleaBAY auctions, B+H used, the above mentoned AOL site, and just my experience over the years of what I've seen out there. It looks like this one is priced at about the right place. The reason I asked the question was that some places on photo.net people had mentioned that one could be picked up in good shape for $1200-1800. I haven't seen any in this range and wanted to make sure before shelling out out $2k. thanks for the replies.
  7. Just out of curiosity, why are you not considering the 35/2 ASPH Summicron? Do you need the extra stop? Granted the price is probably not too different.
  8. Regardless of the price "2 pin point (NOT pin head...only pin point) dings " signifies that the lens was abused at some point in its life and took a hit without a UV filter being present. Even though $2K is a very good price for this lens, the fact that the price is low signifies that the lens is damaged. Find another example.
    The 35mm Lux ASPH is a fabulous lens. I have one and would never part with it.-Dick
  9. I've seen mint condition 35mm F2 ASPH lenses available at about $1500-$1800. I have used that lens before and I
    liked it a lot, but I like to sometimes take pics at night with streetlights in the background. From everything I have
    read the lux was meant for that sort of stuff. I like the size of the Cron better as it would fit in my medium snout
    Kameraleder case with its hood on, but the Lux probably wont fit with its hood on. Any one know that for sure?
    AND on that note, thanks to all who replied. I bought it this morning. Will have it in a few days. Woohoo!
  10. I wont deny I am a bit concerned about the pinpoint defects he is telling me about. But, I do plan on using the lens and not trying to resell it. The seller seems to be a decent person with a good feedback profile and he sounds like an honest person on the phone. I suppose in this case I have to just trust the guy that what he is telling me is accurate and he states that the size is so small that he could not tell they were there until viewing with a 10x loupe. That is pretty small. As long as it doesnt affect the image quality, and as long as they truly are near invisible to the naked eye, then I can live with that. If it turns out to be much worse...well I will just stay positive and hope thats not the case. I will keep you posted. The alternative is ...pay $4k for a new one....I think that would bother me more than 2 pinpoint specs on the front element.
  11. The simple and straightforward on this is that you have to have the lens in hand and look at it to tell if the flaws and or defects are something you can live with. I had both the Summicron Asph and the Summilux. My Lux was user grade. It was a fantastic lens but I sold it because I like the size of the Summicron more. But of course that is a very personal decision. The guy I sold my Summilux to got it at a very good price but I'm sure he was hoping it was more pristine. I could have sold it 20 more times at the price. I like the look/signature of the Lux a little better. I think it represents the very best qualities of the Leica lens. The 35s; Summilux Asph, Summicron Asph, the Leica pre-asph 35s, Zeiss 2.0, the Hexar 2.0, and the CV 35mm 1.4 are all outstanding but they all have a slightly different look/fingerprint. If I was in the market right now I'd probably have the Summicron Asph I have or else the Zeiss 2.0. The Summicron Asph is very sharp and contrasty but perhaps a little bit more prosaic in image quality. Since I use digital Canon more and won't prioritize the cost of the M8 the point is not as pertinent as it used to be. Once again, see if you can handle the 35mm Summilux Asph before you complete the deal. You are correct that they have become scarce. If it is one you can live with go for it otherwise walk away and wait for 'the one'. Good luck!
  12. Meant to include a picture from my 35mm Summicron Asph. [​IMG]
  13. A last word, if I was unsure of which 35mm to get for my M6 I'd buy one of the CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar "C" $229 Black to use while I was deciding. Cheap, great image quality, and did I mention almost disposable cheap. http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtlen.htm I believe for a lot of us the perfect is the enemy of the good. You can take a lot of good pictures while you are sitting around debating bokeh and glow. JMNHO of course!
  14. Unfortunately the lens is in Hartford, CT and I am in Ohio so I cant put my hands on it and see the condition for myself. I wish I could.
  15. I dont doubt the other lenses are very good alternatives, but I've waited a decade to get my Leica set that I can afford
    to keep. So no offense to any of the voigtlander, konica, etc folks.....I just want the lens and body to match in
    performance and build quality as well as asthetic beauty. My only concern is the condition, and I will likely be
    nervous until I see it for myself.
  16. $2,000 is a good price for this lens, so long as the glass is in excellent shape. Just be sure to work out a return policy if you're worried about the imperfections. I got mine for a little less than that--a great deal--and I had it coded with a coupon from Leica. So I've been very happy with that acquisition.
  17. I think its a good price too and I agree with James above. I know you're not thinking return but a good idea is to test immediately. I use both the Summilux ASPH and the Summicron ASPH in 35mm and much prefer the size of the Summicron but the "look" of the Summilux is more pleasing to my eye at least. Below is a handheld taken with the Summilux wide open, you will love that extra stop!
  18. That B&W night shot is exactly what I imagine this lens doing...hand held with motion blur and sharp buildings in the background. Thanks for the at post...great shot..
  19. One thing you need to know about the lens Asad is that it can vignette at wide apertures so don't be surprised if /when it happens. You can see it a bit in the shot I posted above and also in the one below which is the next one on the roll and a full-length of the monument in the middle of the street shot. Personally I like it but I've read posts where some users seem to be upset that a modern lens that costs so much actually vignettes...
  20. Asad: Shoot a few rolls and make sure it all checks out - glass front/rear, focusing smooth (not too fast), crisp aperture, general overall cosmetics. Hopefully you get the hoods as well, as they now cost $200 at B&H NYC.

    Very difficult to locate good lux ASPHs <$1800. These are not cheep and becoming more expensive all the time.

    I shoot with both the 35 Summilx ASPH and the 35mm Cron IV. Depends on what I am doing, the gig, time of day, and if I am carrying my F803 Domke. Good luck.

  21. Does the one extra stop on a lux f1.4 matter versus a cron f2? It sure does, when you need it.
  22. Peter N, You are making me miss Dublin. Stop it!
  23. I will be getting mine on monday. I'll shoot a test roll and post some samples. This is going to be a long few days....
  24. "I wont deny I am a bit concerned about the pinpoint defects he is telling me about. "

    As long as you are a photographer there is no need to worry about "pinpoint defect" (giggle!). Leica fondlers may be concerned or upset about these "defects". Look at lenses from professional photographers. Even in heavily battered condition the results are fine - even if these lenses are not as solid built as Leica lenses are. It's not worth thinking about a pinpoint defect or even a scratch. Use this wonderful lens and enjoy! The Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH. and the (nearly as excellent) Nokton 35/1.2 Aspherical are my favourite M-lenses, too.
  25. I am buying this lens to shoot with. I agree I dont care if there are a couple of pinpoint defects on an area of glass that wont impact the quality of images. And as long as it works well, from everything I know about this lens I dont think I will ever be in the market to sell it so resale value should hopefully never be an issue for me.
  26. Peter N, You are making me miss Dublin. Stop it!
    I miss Dublin too Peter. It has changed a lot in the last 10 years. At first I hated the Spire but after I realized all the photographic opportunities it offered it didn't seem so bad... So much human activity around it but it can also attract dodgy characters as you can see below.
  27. Minute imperfections on the _front_ element should have no effect on the pictures the lens gives.
  28. I highly recommend the Summilux 35/1,4 ASPH. It is roughly the same size as the ZM 35/2 but more versatile in lower light. It gives me the impression that it is faster than it is listed, often due to what might be just chemical fog on the negatives ;) Wonderful tonality in B+W. Great inside in very dim conditions. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/2663483322_c19e74241b_b.jpg
  29. The 35/1.4 ASPH is one of those lenses that makes you stop thinking about other lenses in that focal length. I can't think
    of anything that I find bothersome with the 35/1.4 ASPH -- it has incredible performance, good ergonomics, nice size and
    weight, great speed, nice bokeh. I suppose it can flare a bit more than some slower 35mm lenses, but it is rarely a
    problem. Overall it is a outstanding lens. <P><img src="http://www.stuartrichardson.com/jietai-mae-gallery.jpg"><P><img
    src="http://www.stuartrichardson.com/vik-trucks.jpg"><P><img src="http://www.stuartrichardson.com/night-guitar2.jpg">
    <P>The second two were at f/1.4. The first around f/4 or f/5.6
  30. The lens arrived early. Well, I was worried about nothing. The guy has never cleaned the fornt element apparently and there was a lot of little imperfections on it not just 2 pin point defects. I blew some compressed air on it, breathed on it, then cleaned it off with a filter paper with a tiny bit of lens cleaning solution on the filter paper. Defects ALL GONE! Glass is spotless. And I must say this is a nice looking lens. One question though...how does the hood come off???? Will shoot some test shots.
  31. I tried to post a pic of it...i'll try again
  32. rgh


    Great lens, f1.4 is nice on a wide/normal angle lens. The supplied hood of the APSH is move complicated than it needs to be, the grooved ring on the hood tights it onto/off the lens with a short twist, and the slots on the hood side are both pressed to remove and take it off.

    A more elegant and easier way is by using the hood 12547 for the 3rd version 28mm Elmarit. It is a copy of the hood for the original two ground glass element 35/1.4 Summilux aspherical and has the clip-on style and works well.
  33. I figured out the hood....pretty nifty.
  34. Stuart, those pics are incredible...
  35. Stuart what type of film did you use for the pic of the trucks?
  36. Thanks Asad. I am glad you like them. The first is Tri-X in Rodinal 1:100, the second is Fuji Neopan Acros in Rodinal
    1:100, and the third is the M8 at ISO 640.
  37. I ditched the hood and use a 3rd party 46mm wide about $6 from eBay. It's about the same diameter as the lens and short.
  38. The 35mm Lux Asph is an outstanding lens; the design on which the 50mm Lux Asph was based. Both of these are modern designs and brilliant performers. The black version of the 35mm Lux Asph will be your best bet ... I bought the Titanium version, and it is heavy. It is an excellent lens for indoor photography with existing light in tight quarters. Flare is very well controlled ... it doesn't flare, even with light sources in the frame.
  39. Ditch the hood. It does not flare. :)
  40. Bruce,

    I would also like to say that your photos are fantastic. I especially like the top one, with the passenger looking out the window.
  41. I have been planning to get a 35mm lens as well, to accompany my 50mm f2.5 Summarit on an M6TTL. I'm wondering if
    this might not be an interesting approach:-
    a) buy a 35mm Summarit - I definitely like the small size & weight of the Summarits, and reviews seem to suggest that the
    35mm is a fine lens. Its only drawback is its speed, in fact;
    b) also buy a CV Nokton f1.4. True, not as good a lens as the Leica lenses; but it does go to f1.4, and when you need that
    then perhaps other considerations are secondary?

    Then I'd use whichever lens is appropriate for the photographic task in hand.
  42. After shooting my first roll I would say this is the best lens I have ever used. By far the sharpest. I initially thought I could get rid of all my other lenses after getting this one, but there is something special about my first version 50/1.4 that this 35 ASPh seems to not do: the soft glowing effect I get with the older lens is a pretty special characteristic that I think the newer asph lenses must not be able to obtain because they are so sharp. Anyway, I love this lens...its definitely a kepper. Thanks for all the advice. I will try to post some pics i've taken with it.
  43. Well that is nice to hear. Here's another one from me that is taken close to wide-open. How close I'm not sure but this pic shows the sharpness in the plane of focus yet pleasing OOF rendition and good control of those light reflections in the window. It's really a very good lens.
  44. Thats another great shot Peter. I love the clarity of the out of focus areas....just in focus enough to give you a sense of whats going on in the room but not enough to distract from the main person. Thanks for sharing.
  45. Peter,

    I really like your photos titled "outside the GPO" and "planes of focus". Great eye and composition!

    One aside question (if you don't mind), about your 35mm F1.4 M ASPH lens, not relating to it's wonderful imaging qualities. What
    state and/or dealer did you purchase it from? I ask this, because I have the same lens and the serial number on mine is
    "very close" to yours. Just curious. But, you don't have to answer if you'd rather not say. I'll understand.

    Again, nice images...
    J D'A
  46. thanks for all the replies to my initial post. here are some shots i got with the new lens..
  47. another one i like
  48. Hi Peter,
    Gorgeous picture.
    Just wondering, which aperture did you use?
    See you,
  49. Peter N! Is the photo "Planes of focus" taken with flash?

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