Summaron 35/3.5 VS Elmar 35/3.5 (Uncoated or coated)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by justin_ng|1, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Summaron 35/3.5 VS Elmar 35/3.5 (Uncoated or coated)
    I sold my coated elmar for no reason.. and got the summaron. Which ones softer? Yes, softer :
    Summaron 35/3.5
    Elmar 35/3.5 (Uncoated or coated)
    Thanks :)
  2. I have had two examples of the Summaron 35/3.5 and neither was soft. Can't say anything about the Elmar 35 other than that the Summaron replaced it.
  3. SCL


    Well, it depends on whether you are talking about the field or the central area and which aperture. The MTF charts (thanks to Mr. Puts in his Leica Compendium) indicate very similar contrast and sharpness/softness when the Elmar is at f/5.6 and the Summaron is at f/3.5. Because the Summaron is a double gauss design, the central area of the negative shows finer detail when stopped down than the Elmar, with better distortion control and less vignetting. If you ever get a chance to pick up a copy do so, as the 609 pages answer almost any question one can imagine about the optical and mechanical characteristic of every lens produced by Leica. There's also a free earlier version he put on the web without pictures, charts and diagrams although it stops several years short of the most recent offerings.
  4. My coated elmar is softer & less contrasty than my Summaron, in line with Stephen's post, when used on M9.
    I sold my coated elmar for no reason
    I kept both of mine, also for no reason. If you can't have both, Summaron is better, if clean.
    The Summaron, at moderate apertures is undistinguishable from any other more modern Leica 35's in the centre, to my eyes.
  5. My 35/3.5 Summaron (a 1951 LTM version) was until recently my mainstay 35mm lens, used on all my M bodies with the LTM adapter. It was a little less contrasty than the 35/2.5 Color-Skopar I bought to replace it, but it always did the job.


    Leica M8, near Ketchikan Alaska
  6. The Summaron 35/3.5 I expected to have niche use for an old-fashioned look turned out to be an amazing all-round lens. Ten samples
  7. I totally forgot about this post! But I ended up buying the summaron :)

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