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50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3

  
 
RustyRus
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Looking at these, I think the V3 is 100% the overall better performer here. If character and “glow” is the desired end state, the V1 is the clear winner.

I would keep both




Jun 15, 2023 at 06:29 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


RustyRus wrote:
Looking at these, I think the V3 is 100% the overall better performer here. If character and “glow” is the desired end state, the V1 is the clear winner.

I would keep both



I like both, too. I like that the v1 has retro f/2-style bokeh but gives you f/1.4 light gathering. Its bokeh reminds me a lot of the LLL 50 Elcan replica. I think the v3 could be a straight-up alternative to the ASPH if you want something less atmospheric and dominant to the image at f/1.4 and close distances. I really think there's a place for all three, especially if you wanted to go with the close-focus ASPH and dedicate that to live view on an SL camera.



Jun 15, 2023 at 08:14 PM
cbass
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Might've been wrong!

Here's a few comparisons with CLA'd v1 and a Summarit.


Wrong in what way?

This is what Puts had to say about V1

The first Leica lens in the 1.4/50mm category was a redesigned version of the Summarit with newer glass types

They do appear to render very similar.



Jun 16, 2023 at 12:29 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


cbass wrote:
Wrong in what way?

This is what Puts had to say about V1

They do appear to render very similar.


Thanks for the info! I guess in my head I was expecting the Summarit to be much more swirly. But they are quite similar. Still the v1 is a big improvement with higher contrast, faster aperture, and a vignette that I like while still having very similar out of focusing areas (I've not looked at sharpness or anything else yet). I probably will sell the Summarit. It will be too similar to the v1.



Jun 16, 2023 at 05:06 AM
Andrew CD
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Thanks. Great feedback and observations! I don’t think it’s wrong to be surprised by these things. The asph is 50 years newer!

I agree with you. I no longer am as crazy about the buttery smooth rendering of the asph like I used to be. Lately, I’ve been preferring more character, less perfection and sometimes unpredictable and wild rendering. So I like the pre asph luxes more


Thank you! The sentence I’ve highlighted here is precisely what I am thinking — the v3 pre-Asph being “more variable” (the rather subjective way I put it in my previous post) is not unattractive. More attractive than I used to think, in fact. This thread, and your excellent comparisons, are really helping crystallise what I am thinking about these lenses.

highdesertmesa wrote:
I like both, too. I like that the v1 has retro f/2-style bokeh but gives you f/1.4 light gathering. Its bokeh reminds me a lot of the LLL 50 Elcan replica. I think the v3 could be a straight-up alternative to the ASPH if you want something less atmospheric and dominant to the image at f/1.4 and close distances. I really think there's a place for all three, especially if you wanted to go with the close-focus ASPH and dedicate that to live view on an SL camera.


Exactly! @RustyRus is quite correct, in my view, in saying that the v1 has even more character. But as a (single lens) alternative to the Asph, for me, the v3 seems to me to be just the ticket.

This thread has, I am sorry to say, caused me to spend a little more time googling ….

Here is a relevant thread on the Leica user forum. This link is to a post (#19) which has the MTF graphs for the v3 and the Asph. Quite a striking difference!

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/272324-that-much-difference-between-50-lux-asph-vs-v3/#comment-3274267

Interestingly, the v3 may even be marginally superior at the centre, but the graph is then pretty wild. Perhaps that explains the decidedly variable bokeh and OOF rendering!

A slightly earlier post in this thread (#8) gives an interesting, albeit rather negative, perspective on the pre-Asphs. This is, though, in the context of a thread comparing against the Asph. Objectively, I would not dispute what Adan is saying, but I don’t feel that it is inconsistent with the views [about the v3] that we have in this thread.

I also rather like what Puts has to say in the ‘Performance issues’ section of this page:

http://photo.imx.nl//leica/lenses/lenses/page57.html

The Rembrandt / Vermeer analogy is wonderful, and captures the distinction perfectly.

Finally, there is some excellent discussion in this thread, too (some of you will doubtless remember it). I particularly like @Steve Spencer 's MTF 90/80/60 metric, here:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1791102/1#16185422

It is perhaps fair to say that the Asph is both outstanding and no longer quite state of the art. Fred articulates that quite nicely here:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1707236/0&year=2021#15635977

If that is true of the Asph, it is true in spades of the v3 (and earlier versions)! But there is a big ‘but’ ….

The reason I am so tempted by the v3 and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the Asph is not that I want a technically perfect, state-of-the art lens for landscapes. I have the CV f/2.0 APO for that (and I also have the non-APO Summicron, which is no slouch; its lower contrast is arguably good for B&W). The essential point is that both the v3 and the Asph would be a complement to the CV APO.

Either (Asph and pre-Asph) would be great but, for me, there is no reason not to prefer the more eccentric character of the v3. It certainly seems fair to say that there is a place for the spherical nature of the pre-Asphs, without a degree of correction that can sometimes appear clinical. And the potential for different (sometimes unpredictable!) bokeh and OOF rendering can be quite an attractive proposition.

Andrew



Jun 16, 2023 at 06:56 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Andrew you really did spend some time googling! Great research and comments thanks. The MTF chart differences are hilarious!

I agree, if I was shooting landscapes mostly I'd opt for something like the CV APO. Everyday lens, portraits etc I think the pre asph are more fun than the asph.

If I was using the lens professionally making money with it though, I'd get the asph for its consistency. The pre asph versions are certainly more unpredictable but I think that is part of its charm. One of the reasons I like them is it reminds me of film and the unpredictability of it.

I also agree that between the versions, as a one lens solution, the v3 is the perfect balance between vintage and modern. You get the character filled rendering but with modern touches like .7m minimum focus distance, built in lens hood, lightweight, and shorter focus throw.



Jun 16, 2023 at 09:20 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


I think we're getting into the bonus rounds now

Since I got a e58 noct f/1 coming next week, figured I should get a e60 v3 (1986) also to compare those...separate thread? And before you ask no, I will not be keeping all of these!!

The v3 noct arrived and did a very quick comparison with the v3 lux. It's not been CLA'd yet, but the v3 lux has been a few days ago. 1.0 and 1.4 on the noct, 1.4 on the v3 lux.




  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/1500s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/1000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    Leica 50mm Summilux Pre Asph v3 lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/1000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    Leica 50mm Summilux Pre Asph v3 lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    Leica 50mm Summilux Pre Asph v3 lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jun 16, 2023 at 10:16 AM
cbass
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Andrew CD wrote:
Here is a relevant thread on the Leica user forum. This link is to a post (#19) which has the MTF graphs for the v3 and the Asph. Quite a striking difference!

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/272324-that-much-difference-between-50-lux-asph-vs-v3/#comment-3274267

Interestingly, the v3 may even be marginally superior at the centre, but the graph is then pretty wild. Perhaps that explains the decidedly variable bokeh and OOF rendering!



The graph is wild in comparison, but how much difference you see will depend on what you are shooting. F/1.4 has shallow depth of field. Except for specific shooting situations, anything 3D and close that you are shooting is mostly going to be out of focus so the strong area up to 5mm is what will primarily be seen. For example, in the case of shooting a portrait. To see those differences, you will need to shoot a 2D object such as a test chart where those differences will start to really stand out or you will need to shoot a landscape at great distance so that DOF isn't really a factor.

The asph will always outperform technically, it just depends on if you like the aberrations of one of the earlier versions.



Jun 16, 2023 at 10:50 AM
cbass
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


@lifeandmylens

From some research it appears the V2 was optimized for f/1.4 at the cost of stopped down performance in the corners compared to V1. V1 should have weaker performance at f/1.4, but better performance in the corners stopped down. Optimized at f/1.4 at infinity not close distance. If you have the time or desire, then it would be interesting to see how V1 compares against V2 (or V3 as they should be the same optically), at infinity in the corners at let's say f/5.6 or f/4. The V2/V3 should have very good to excellent performance in the corners by f/8 so no need to test there. Just at that one or two aperture settings should reveal everything.

Another interesting piece of information that I dug up is that the lens elements are UV transparent on the Summarit so it needs a UV filter for film. It shouldn't need a UV filter on digital, but I wonder if you put a UV filter on the lens if performance would change. This could be a very interesting lens for modified sensors for IR photography.



Jun 16, 2023 at 10:56 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


cbass wrote:
@lifeandmylens@@

From some research it appears the V2 was optimized for f/1.4 at the cost of stopped down performance in the corners compared to V1. V1 should have weaker performance at f/1.4, but better performance in the corners stopped down. Optimized at f/1.4 at infinity not close distance. If you have the time or desire, then it would be interesting to see how V1 compares against V2 (or V3 as they should be the same optically), at infinity in the corners at let's say f/5.6 or f/4. The V2/V3 should have very good to excellent performance in the corners by f/8
...Show more

It appears you are correct. v1 appears sharper in the corners stopped down. Focus is on the dormer window on the far away house.





Scene 1

















Scene 2













Edited on Jun 16, 2023 at 03:34 PM · View previous versions



Jun 16, 2023 at 01:33 PM
 


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lifeandmylens
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Also interesting to note the differences in distortion.





v3







v1



Edited on Jun 17, 2023 at 05:58 AM · View previous versions



Jun 16, 2023 at 01:37 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Noct v3 vs lux v1




  LEICA M10-R    50mm Summilux f/1.4 Pre Asph v1 (1960) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/3000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/3000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm Summilux f/1.4 Pre Asph v1 (1960) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/350s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/350s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/500s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm Summilux f/1.4 Pre Asph v1 (1960) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.4    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  LEICA M10-R    50mm f/1 Noctilux-M v3 (1986) lens    50mm    f/1.0    1/350s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jun 16, 2023 at 01:45 PM
rico
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Andrew CD wrote:
I also rather like what Puts has to say in the ‘Performance issues’ section of this page:

http://photo.imx.nl//leica/lenses/lenses/page57.html

This link to analysis of the ASPH confirms my earlier memory of the pre-ASPH as described in the Lens Compendium by E Puts. Quoting from your link:

"[The Nokton] has however the edge on the Leica Summilux-M 1:1.4/50mm, a design from 1962, modeled on the classical lines with seven elements and an air spaced lens between the second and third element."

In his nomenclature, there is only a Summilux v1 and v2 as based on the optical formula. The v2 reigned for over four decades until the ASPH in 2006. What this thread calls "v3" is the v2 optical formula in the new barrel with short-throw helical and modern font.

Ref: https://wiki.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/images/3/3a/Puts-2002-M-lenses.pdf



Jun 16, 2023 at 10:10 PM
cbass
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
It appears you are correct. v1 appears sharper in the corners stopped down. Focus is on the dormer window on the far away house.


To be honest I am not seeing a significant difference. You said you focused on the corner instead of the center and the crops are from the focus point?



Jun 17, 2023 at 01:01 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


cbass wrote:
To be honest I am not seeing a significant difference. You said you focused on the corner instead of the center and the crops are from the focus point?


Both lenses were set to infinity, confirmed focus it with the EVF and the only spot in that photo was that distant dormer window. It's a bad test, but that's all I had to work with without leaving the house

I think the forum compression ruined it. Lemme see if I can re-upload or redo the test.



Jun 17, 2023 at 05:15 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Still a bad test and the difference is not stark but hopefully this is a little clearer if you look at the shingles.





v1 f/4







v3 f/4







v1 f/5.6







v3 f/5.6




Jun 17, 2023 at 05:26 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


But, if I take a crop from the same image that's closer to the camera, the v3 is noticeably sharper. So I’m more confused than anything.





v1







v3




Jun 17, 2023 at 06:00 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
But, if I take a crop from the same image that's closer to the camera, the v3 is noticeably sharper. So I’m more confused than anything.


After reviewing your samples, I find that v1 produces images with a distinct and exceptional rendering style.

If you're open to exploring alternatives to a faster aperture lens, I suggest considering the Leica 50/2 Summicron (Rigid). This lens offers similar level of sharpness as the 50/1.4 v3 (Perhaps even more resolution and less glow) while maintaining its distinctive rendering characteristics. Additionally, it boasts a very compact and attractive design.

Personally I shoot with the modern Leica 50/1.4 ASPH Lux and the Leica 50/2 Rigid the most. Two completely different looks.



Jun 17, 2023 at 11:11 AM
cbass
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Both lenses were set to infinity, confirmed focus it with the EVF and the only spot in that photo was that distant dormer window. It's a bad test, but that's all I had to work with without leaving the house

I think the forum compression ruined it. Lemme see if I can re-upload or redo the test.


I don't think you did anything wrong with your tests. The results are the results. There are indeed differences, but they are not as drastic as I had imagined. In fairness, the lenses are a lot closer at f/1.4 than I expected as well.



Jun 17, 2023 at 11:11 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Fred Miranda wrote:
After reviewing your samples, I find that v1 produces images with a distinct and exceptional rendering style.

If you're open to exploring alternatives to a faster aperture lens, I suggest considering the Leica 50/2 Summicron (Rigid). This lens offers similar level of sharpness as the 50/1.4 v3 (Perhaps even more resolution and less glow) while maintaining its distinctive rendering characteristics. Additionally, it boasts a very compact and attractive design.

Personally I shoot with the modern Leica 50/1.4 ASPH Lux and the Leica 50/2 Rigid the most. Two completely different looks.


Thanks, I agree. It's the most unique rendering. I chose to keep the v1 and probably pair it with a noct f1. I do have a Rigid as well that I'd like to compare to the v1. It's still at DAG getting a CLA and 6 bit coding. When I comes back I'll do a comparison.



Jun 17, 2023 at 11:41 AM
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