Opinions on 50mm Summilux R - First Version

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by stephen_york|3, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Any opinions on the 50mm Summilux R, first version. I've read that is it a bit of a dog, compared to the Summicron, but I don't know if that's internet hearsay or based on something. Thanks.
  2. It's definitely not a dog. It is better, I think, at the wider apertures than the M-equivalent (ver 2). It is not as extraordinary as the current ASPH 50mm for the M or the latest R (with 60mm filter thread) versions. But the lens has had a long and good life having been restyled (but not optically changed) in the mid 70s until its replacement this decade by the latest version. It is true however, that this lens is not talked about much, but this probably reflects the relative low profile of the R-system. It's a really good lens. It is not as good as the Summicron, but then the Summilux-M never was as good as the Summicron-M either (until today with the ASPH Summilux, which is as good, if not better, than the current Summicron-M).
  3. I agree that it is not a dog, but considering it a serious alternative for a Summicron would be a mistake. It all depends on what you want it for. It is really showing its age. Wide open there is relatively low contrast, high resolution only in the middle of the frame, and to get the edges sharp you have to stop it down a lot, beyond 5,6 - the 'crons (both versions) are critically sharp all over the frame at 2,8 or 4. I like my Summiluxes a lot, because they really glow in a very old-fashioned way, which sometimes becomes my style of photography. There you are again - the famous Leica "glow" that really is the effect of imperfection. If you want sharp, get a 'cron or a Macro-Elmarit 60, which in my humble opinion is the best choice for almost everything.

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