M 50 Summilux Not VS Anything

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by m m, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. m m

    m m

    This is not intended to be a this vs that post.......
    The "pre-asph" 50 Summilux (version II and III) is a lens that's been seducing me for a long while, but I've yet to pick one up. I've shot a lot with the V4 35 Summicron, but have never had an M 50 that satisfied me. Not to say that the current 50 'cron isn't phenominal, I just need the extra speed of an ~f/1.4 lens , and have so far screwed around with less costly fast 50's (like the 50/1.5 Serenar, and the 50/1.5 Nokton-which is nice).
    I really have one question though, and that is how is this lens (the 50 pre-asph M Summilux) for central sharpness, wide open? My favorite 50 ever is the Pentax 50/1.4 (any multi-coated version will do!), and aside from barrel distortion, that is one fine lens. So, I am left to wonder, simply as a point of reference, is the M 50 Summilux sharper, wide open, than a very good SLR 50/1.4?
    Again, I'm not looking for which is the better lens: I think I can assume the Summilux will have higher overall contrast, and perhaps my Pentax 50/1.4, or a Canon EF 50/1.4, will be similar in overall sharpness, but does the 50 'lux offer more visual impact, wide open?
  2. I think the pre-aspheric 50 'lux is a phenomenal lens. At f2 it's better than a 'cron. At f1.4, though, it produces a lovely liquidity that I like in portraits. The imagery is definitely different to that of an f1.4 rangefinder Nikkor (of which I have two). What are you going to use it for?
  3. m m

    m m

    Hi Steve,
    It would be used a lot for environmental type portraits, waist up portraits, and general purpose; Lots of low light, people pictures.
  4. Here are some wide open hand held shots with the M8 - most, if not all are wide open, and many at min distance (mine is the E46 millenium black paint version, with .7m close focus).
    It is as sharp or sharper than good SLR primes, at least in the center. Haven't pixel peeped edges.
  5. Since this isn't a vs. post I won't comment on how it compares to the other lenses you mention. I find the lens renders very nicely, especially when it comes to environmental portraits. The ASPH is nice but I think it is too sharp, the pre-asph is crisp without being clinical.
  6. m m

    m m

    OK, how is the pre-asph 50 Summilux on point of distortion? Is a straight line rendered straight near the edge of the frame? That's a big one for me, I'd have a hard time plunking down over a $1000 for a lens with noticeable distortion. That's really my biggest complaint with my current SLR 50/1.4. I think the 'cron does a good job here, but how 'bout the 'lux?
  7. Here's a helpful comprehensive review of the Summilux: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/50mm-f14.htm#perf
    Lots of info with great links included in the article. Ken can go a little overboard in his praise sometimes, but in general, this one isn't that far from the truth. Your concerns about distortion are nicely covered in this review for which I'm in total agreement.
  8. V3 is a very good lens, especially portrait, or pictures in dark with light spot it offers you some "glow" effect. I have this lens too. I love it more than the ASPH version. More signature on V3.
  9. Buy a lens with SN over 1854000, this will be the last of 50 lux before aspherical, frankly it's very good in the center wide open , the edge gets even only around5.6 but it's definitely a super lens with high quality results and smooth images. I sold mine to buy a 28mm and still regret this move!

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