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

  
 
cbass
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


I have to be honest. For my taste, I am not a fan of the Summilux bokeh in a lot of situations, especially wide open it can get unappealing quickly. Sometimes it can work well, but more often it is not to my taste.


Jun 18, 2023 at 08:51 PM
Andrew CD
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


rico wrote:
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
...Show more

You are completely correct, on both counts. The v3 changes (including the hood) are not optical.

Puts is very clear that, objectively, the performance of the Asph is far superior: “The previous Summilux is outclassed on all counts”. But Puts’ review presumably dates from when the (2004) Asph was relatively new. Arguably, it is now behind the curve; comparisons with (much) more modern designs, such as @Fred Miranda ‘s with the CV f/1.2 and f/2.0 APO, illustrate this. Hence my comment that the Asph is both outstanding and no longer state of the art.

I find it interesting, though, that the pre-Asph was, pretty much at the limit of what could be achieved. One of the things I found most interesting in the Puts article was where he describes Dr Mandler’s view — in 1980 — that, realistically, the double Gauss design being used could not be improved (the Canon FD f/1.2 was not a practical proposition).

So in the pre-Asphs, the spherical aberration inherent in the design (and the consequent lower contrast, at least for fine detail and towards the edges) was unavoidable. The degree to which this is felt to be a problem is clearly a matter of opinion. @cbass is also quite correct to say that it depends on what is being photographed.

I happen to think that the variability of the pre-Asph’s rendering has its attractions, but it is also perfectly valid to view the Asph’s bokeh as more consistently smooth. So it really is a matter of taste, although I certainly would not want a pre-Asph as my only 50mm lens (if I had to choose one, it would be between the Summilux Asph and the CV f/2.0 APO).

Andrew



Jun 20, 2023 at 05:00 AM
Andrew CD
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Andrew CD wrote:
....

I happen to think that the variability of the pre-Asph’s rendering has its attractions, but it is also perfectly valid to view the Asph’s bokeh as more consistently smooth. So it really is a matter of taste, although I certainly would not want a pre-Asph as my only 50mm lens (if I had to choose one, it would be between the Summilux Asph and the CV f/2.0 APO).


On reflection, this comment (highlighted), from my post yesterday, is slightly pompous and is a very first world thing to say. It would perhaps have been better to say that any Summilux, including the 1959-61 v1, would be more than adequate as one’s only 50mm lens — the limiting factor would still be me, not the lens -- and I still wouldn’t take photographs anywhere near as good as very many taken by good photographers using film in the 1960s and 70s

Andrew



Jun 21, 2023 at 04:23 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Took the v1 out today, and loaded up the pictures and wasn't too pleased. This is one of the images. Looks like while ~1-2m focus calibration has been adjusted, mid distance to infinity has been ruined. And on the v1, if you miss focus at f1.4 it glows

Anyway, sent it off to Don today for proper focus adjustment. He'll have 6 of my lenses now







Jun 22, 2023 at 04:08 PM
cbass
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


cbass wrote:
I have to be honest. For my taste, I am not a fan of the Summilux bokeh in a lot of situations, especially wide open it can get unappealing quickly. Sometimes it can work well, but more often it is not to my taste.


I have changed my mind about the Summilux bokeh. I forced myself to use the lens wide open and I think it has grown on me. There are still situations where it can get gnarly, but other times it can be unique and appealing.



Jul 05, 2023 at 01:15 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Took the v1 out today, and loaded up the pictures and wasn't too pleased. This is one of the images. Looks like while ~1-2m focus calibration has been adjusted, mid distance to infinity has been ruined. And on the v1, if you miss focus at f1.4 it glows

Anyway, sent it off to Don today for proper focus adjustment. He'll have 6 of my lenses now


Happy to report that Don fixed the calibration issue. But after all this, I think I'm going to keep my Summicron Rigid and pair it with my Noct f1. Both recently 6 bit coded and CLA'd. Guess this was an expensive comparison test.



Jul 10, 2023 at 12:19 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Happy to report that Don fixed the calibration issue. But after all this, I think I'm going to keep my Summicron Rigid and pair it with my Noct f1. Both recently 6 bit coded and CLA'd. Guess this was an expensive comparison test.


Don does a great job with calibration. At the end that was my choice as well, however, I also shoot with the contemporary 50/1.4 Lux ASPH lens.



Jul 10, 2023 at 01:19 PM
cbass
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Fred Miranda wrote:
Don does a great job with calibration. At the end that was my choice as well, however, I also shoot with the contemporary 50/1.4 Lux ASPH lens.


I tried to do a quick search and failed so I decided to get lazy and just ask. How many degrees does the focus ring on the Lux ASPH rotate? I read it is a short throw. Are we talking 90 degrees or less?



Jul 10, 2023 at 04:16 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


It’s not long, ~90 degrees.

cbass wrote:
I tried to do a quick search and failed so I decided to get lazy and just ask. How many degrees does the focus ring on the Lux ASPH rotate? I read it is a short throw. Are we talking 90 degrees or less?




Jul 10, 2023 at 07:00 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


lifeandmylens wrote:
Happy to report that Don fixed the calibration issue. But after all this, I think I'm going to keep my Summicron Rigid and pair it with my Noct f1. Both recently 6 bit coded and CLA'd. Guess this was an expensive comparison test.


Another very interesting non-Leica lens is the MS Optics 57/2 “Petz” (Petzval inspired). Very distinct rendering, sharp wide open at center and it only weighs 200g. It’s just a tad longer in FL compared to the Noct. I just got one brand new while in Japan.

Here is a quick sample showing my crazy daughters at Shibuya crossing, Tokyo.







Jul 10, 2023 at 07:05 PM
RustyRus
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Bump- Just because this thread is good and I am about to buy one-

Such a good reference!!



Mar 11, 2024 at 03:36 PM
Andrew CD
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


RustyRus wrote:
Bump- Just because this thread is good and I am about to buy one-

Such a good reference!!


You’re absolutely right, this was a great — and really useful — thread. One of the most enjoyable I’ve read on FM.

More importantly, which version did you decide to buy? I don’t think there’s a bad choice, though.



Mar 12, 2024 at 04:00 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


RustyRus wrote:
Bump- Just because this thread is good and I am about to buy one-

Such a good reference!!


Did you end up getting one?



Mar 20, 2024 at 06:20 PM
stgrove
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Love this thread. I will keep. my Rigid, V4 f1 and V3 lux. If to sell anything it would be the last one since I have about ten 50's.


Mar 22, 2024 at 02:18 PM
RustyRus
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


Fred Miranda wrote:
Did you end up getting one?


Yes- I bought the V3-

Took longer than I though but found a great one.




May 04, 2024 at 02:23 PM
thunderdeep
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


This thread is all the more relevant now as the boys at Leica are bring back the V1 50 lux as a reissue. Someone correct me but I remember reading that the V1 was actually a carry over design from the 50 1.5 Summarit, which itself was a borrowed design licensed from Taylor-Hobson (Cooke)


May 29, 2024 at 04:44 PM
retrofocus
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · 50 Summilux (pre asph) - v1, v2 & v3


thunderdeep wrote:
This thread is all the more relevant now as the boys at Leica are bring back the V1 50 lux as a reissue. Someone correct me but I remember reading that the V1 was actually a carry over design from the 50 1.5 Summarit, which itself was a borrowed design licensed from Taylor-Hobson (Cooke)


The Leitz 50/1.5 was indeed designed by Taylor-Hobson. I own this lens, and it is one of my most unique rendering rangefinder lenses. I am not sure if it was used as basis for the version 1 Noctilux though. When it comes to Noctilux or even Summilux reviews, the 50/1.5 Summarit is often "omitted" in comparision - likely due to its much lower price tag.



May 30, 2024 at 07:28 AM
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