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Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)

  
 
Push1stop
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


For those of you that know your Leica 35mm M mount lens inside and out, please describe the traits and characteristics that your specific lens exhibits.

Theres so many different versions across the years, even the modern(ish) remakes seem to be their own animal when compared to the original copies



Nov 21, 2023 at 01:19 PM
1bwana1
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Interesting topic Push1Stop.

My current lens is the 35mm Summilux f/1.4 ASPH (pre FLE). It is my most used Leica M lens. Optically it is great. I love the rendering. It is very sharp. I am not seeming to be having issues getting focus from focus shift. If I had criticism it would be slightly lower contrast than I like wide open (easily fixed i processing), and the funky plastic hood.

Since it is my most shot lens I am thinking of upgrading to the new 2023 release version for the FLE, Close focus, and integrated hood. It would cost me about 3K for the upgrade. I am just not sure the increase in image quality would justify the cost. But I have no other lens or camera equipment on my wish list at the moment. If I do it, my whole Leica kit would be current models.

I looked at the 35 APO, but honestly I prefer the Lux. I like the size, rendering, and ergos better.

Darn, I think this thread just cost me 3K. Thanks.



Nov 21, 2023 at 01:59 PM
Push1stop
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Ha! @1bwana1@ This post is going to cost both of us a significant amount of money.
I was originally looking at the 35 Lux FLE, but now the steel rim reissue has come onto my radar.

A lot of people post "he said she said" when it comes to how or what a particular lens renders.. sometimes they do this without even owning a copy themselves.

Im looking to see who can chime in and describe what exactly they have come to expect from whatever flavor they own.

How a particular iteration of the Leica 35 M mount (not SL or R) performs with back lit subjects, normal exposures, wide open, stopped down, within 20 feet, at infinity, vignette, what kind of bokeh theyre getting... is edge of the bokeh hard edged or creamy..etc.







Nov 21, 2023 at 02:45 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


I own and use two Leica 35 mm M lenses - the 35/2.0 Summicron version IV (nicknamed wrongly bokeh-king) and the more modern 35/2.4 ASPH Summarit. I had a short run with the Leica 35/2.0 ASPH version I, but I returned it and got the mentioned 35/2.0 version IV instead. Reason for this change was that I didn't own a digital Leica M at the time and adapted M lenses on my mirrorless Sony A7R. The ASPH lens didn't work at all with this Sony sensor glass cover whereas the predecessor 35/2.0 version IV lens did very well. It should take me about 6 years before I had my first digital M when I could have used the ASPH version without encountering issues. This digital M-E 240 camera came very slightly used in a bundle deal with a mint 35/2.4 Summarit-M. So I ended with a more vintage and a modern 35 mm ASPH lens.

For 35 mm range, the large majority of my photos use f-stops between f/4 and f/8. Therefore I never saw the need to go for a 35 mm Summilux lens. Both of my lenses perform very well - the Summarit lens is a bit better corrected in the corners and has more contrast; it is also very sharp wide open. Biggest difference between both is in the bokeh - the 35/2.0 version IV has more of a vintage bokeh whereas the look of the 35/2.4 Summarit is more modern. Both are definitely no bokeh "kings" - if I target for such thing, I reach for my CV 35/1.2 II instead. Same focal length but very different in look compared to both Leica lenses.

Regarding lens bodies, the 35/2.0 version IV comes with a crappy plastic lens cover fitting the attached plastic hood. It is a mystery to me how this very loose sitting cover ever made it to production. After it fell off multiple times - and I found it each time somewhere on the ground where I was walking - I am no longer taking this cover with me. It seems to happen often looking at the price for which this specific Leica cover by itself is going for! Opposite in this aspect is the 35/2.4 Summarit lens hood and cover. Both made of metal, and the round cover sits very securely on the hood. Never had it fallen off. Much better designed! The lens body of the 35/2.0 version IV lens is the smallest of both lenses - the Summarit lens body is a bit longer (compared without hoods).

I am using the Summarit lens more often than the Summicron lens. On film, the Summarit lens delivers a sharper more contrasty image. The Summicron lens is still a very good one, but the 1/3rd stop faster is not of any practical difference from my experience. Sad to see that Leica stopped its Summarit f/2.5 and f/2.4 lines of lenses.




Nov 21, 2023 at 05:48 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


I think a thread like this is important to post pictures- We have opnions, but if we use these lenses, show why we love them is my opinion. Too often this turns into a tech talk with no photos are ever shown. I think if you have an opinion, share it with photos you have taken with the lens-


I have said this before- My favorite 35's in order that I love and own and will post examples of later on-

35 SR Re-issue (my favorite 35 hands down) so much fun to use
35 APO
35 Lux lastest version

I will share some photos and why I like each and the characteristics of them-



Nov 21, 2023 at 06:02 PM
Push1stop
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


@RustyRus, good idea! If anyone has photos where they feel the lens has a tangible and distinct look, id love to know the specific lens and version and what your eyes are noticing (I/we may not notice the nuances, so please point them out if you can)


Nov 21, 2023 at 07:44 PM
Push1stop
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Thank you for that insight @retrofocus@
One of the 50's (not leica, dslr) that I always wanted, once I finally purchased and used it ended up being my most disliked lens ever because of the vintage bokeh, really hard edged bokeh to my eyes usually ends up feeling too "busy" or distracting.
I would love to know a 35 M lens that is sharp wide open , soft, creamy, pleasant bokeh that kind of produces that "swirl" effect in the out of focus

retrofocus wrote:
I own and use two Leica 35 mm M lenses - the 35/2.0 Summicron version IV (nicknamed wrongly bokeh-king) and the more modern 35/2.4 ASPH Summarit. I had a short run with the Leica 35/2.0 ASPH version I, but I returned it and got the mentioned 35/2.0 version IV instead. Reason for this change was that I didn't own a digital Leica M at the time and adapted M lenses on my mirrorless Sony A7R. The ASPH lens didn't work at all with this Sony sensor glass cover whereas the predecessor 35/2.0 version IV lens did very well. It should
...Show more



Nov 21, 2023 at 07:48 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


RustyRus wrote:
I think a thread like this is important to post pictures..


Agreed, otherwise it becomes like Photrio.com where people refuse to post pics but will tell you what those pics look like..

Summaron 35 3.5 goggled. I was shocked how good this lens was on film and on my m240. The only reason I sold it is because it was the goggled version, which ruined the handling making the camera feel top/ front heavy. If I had the standard/ non goggled version I would still have it:

M3, M7, Fuji C200











Nov 22, 2023 at 01:43 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Summicron 35 Asph v1
















Nov 22, 2023 at 01:59 AM
1bwana1
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


One of the things I like most about the 35mm Summilux ASPH (pre FLE) is the various personalities it expresses in rendering and use. This of course is driven by choice in aperture used. I don't find as much flexibility in the very clinical APO versions.

The 35mm Summilux ASPH is a workhorse of a lens. I guess these are the reasons that in my daily life it is most often the only lens I take, mounted on the camera, leaving the lens bag at home.





Wide open (this shot at f/1.4) it is elegant and very kind to skin rendering and color. It makes things soft and beautiful while maintaining detail where needed. The wide FL makes focusing wide open doable.







Stopped down to f/4.0 it renders all the details, but maintains mood. I think f/4 - f/5.6 are this lens's best apertures.







It always expresses its special personality in imaging. This enhances interesting subjects.







Classic people lens. Who says 35mm isn't for portraits?







Wide enough to capture the scene. Stopped down sharp as one ever needs.







Always capable of capturing the color and drama in the light.



Edited on Nov 22, 2023 at 11:39 AM · View previous versions



Nov 22, 2023 at 11:07 AM
 


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1bwana1
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Desmolicious wrote:
Summicron 35 Asph v1



Huss,

Which is the v1. I thought that the double Aspherical was the first of Leica's 35mm with asph elements. Then the pre FLE was next. That is the one I have. Then the FLE version. Now the FLE close focus current version.

So is yours the rare double aspherical version?




Nov 22, 2023 at 11:35 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


1bwana1 wrote:
Huss,

Which is the v1. I thought that the double Aspherical was the first of Leica's 35mm with asph elements. Then the pre FLE was next. That is the one I have. Then the FLE version. Now the FLE close focus current version.

So is yours the rare double aspherical version?



Steve, this is the Summicron not the Summilux.



Nov 22, 2023 at 12:04 PM
1bwana1
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Desmolicious wrote:
Steve, this is the Summicron not the Summilux.



That explains it!




Nov 22, 2023 at 12:14 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


So my favorite 35 of all time- On any platform I think has to be the 35 SR-reissue. The size of it, the ease of use- The rendering- The glow etc-

All make this Lens such a joy to carry and handle. Its not right for all situations but I think when you want to go have fun- This is the lens to bring-

I will post just some film examples- All shot on either Ilford 3200, 800T or Kodak Something film. I will post some examples on my M11/M next-


As you can see though, the blown highlights, the glow when shot wide open, the flaring (subtle but just the right amount), the softness of the images etc. All really speak to me. I am not extremely knowledgable when it comes to dissecting what is what like some above me. I just know what I like in a photograph and this lens has it in SPADES.

Here are a few examples

All shot on a Leica MP





































Nov 22, 2023 at 07:24 PM
1bwana1
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


^^^^^ beautiful images Rusty. The character of that lens really comes through.


Nov 22, 2023 at 08:01 PM
Push1stop
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


The reissue looks fantastic, I keep getting asked to shoot weddings and just recently I caved in and accepted a few jobs.. im thinking about keeping my Zeiss 35 f/2 ZM for those times when I need a clinical lens.. deciding if i should go steel rim reissue or 35 FLE for my character lens.


Nov 22, 2023 at 08:37 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Some photos from 35 mm lenses I mentioned earlier here:

Leica 35/2.0 Summicron IV (pre-ASPH)


Fuji Provia 100F film



Ilford FP4+ 125 film



Adapted to Sony A7R



Leica 35/2.4 Summarit

Fuji Provia 100F film



Ilford Delta 100 film



Nov 22, 2023 at 09:12 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


RustyRus wrote:
Here are a few examples

All shot on a Leica MP


Great images Rusty, that lens shines on film!



Nov 23, 2023 at 07:23 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


Push1stop wrote:
The reissue looks fantastic, I keep getting asked to shoot weddings and just recently I caved in and accepted a few jobs.. im thinking about keeping my Zeiss 35 f/2 ZM for those times when I need a clinical lens.. deciding if i should go steel rim reissue or 35 FLE for my character lens.


The FLE isn't really a character lens. It is however a fantastic everyday, reliable lens with fantastic results. The SR for weddings could be risky. White wedding dresses in the sun could be completely blown out. Indoors, in dim lighting it could be wonderful.



Nov 23, 2023 at 07:26 AM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Lets talk Leica 35mm Summicron/Summilux(Aspherical,Steel rim, etc.)


1bwana1 wrote:
Since it is my most shot lens I am thinking of upgrading to the new 2023 release version for the FLE, Close focus, and integrated hood. It would cost me about 3K for the upgrade. I am just not sure the increase in image quality would justify the cost. But I have no other lens or camera equipment on my wish list at the moment. If I do it, my whole Leica kit would be current models.


For only a few hundred dollars more, you can swap your ASPH for the FLE 1. If your ASPH is silver, you could even make some money by switching. I don't notice focus shift either, but do enjoy the smooth bokeh rendering.



Nov 23, 2023 at 07:29 AM
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