Leica Back to the 50mm f/2 Summicron (v5)

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
I love my various Sonnars, but until late last year my main lens was the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron v5. That changed when I got the urge to "upgrade" to the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH, and I did so selling my trusty Cron and buying a 50 LUX from fellow Leica Place member Mijo. The 50 LUX was perfect and the price was very fair, but after shooting with it for about ten months I just found it was, if anything, too perfect. My biggest complaint was that I had no complaints.

So, I'm back full-circle and have sold on the 50 LUX and bought another 50 Cron. I prefer the lighter weight and smaller size. I love the lighter touch to the focusing ring and the tiny 39mm filters. I like the "Mandler Look" and slightly harder edge to the way the lens renders. I like the bokeh, which to all conventional wisdom is busier and therefore inferior to that of the 50 LUX ASPH, but it works for how I imagine a 50mm should look.

Here are three exceptionally boring pictures of my messy desk that show well how the foreground and background bokeh look with this classic lens. First shot is focused near MFD on the text in the upper left corner of the computer screen. Second focused at a little over one meter at the Chinese characters on the pen and scissor cup (black text on green). The third is focused at about five meters on the hanging bell chime. All on the M Monochrom at ISO 320, f/2 with an orange filter.

L1000129.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr

L1000130.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr

L1000131.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr
 

Mijo

Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
San Francisco
Too funny! After I sold that to you I bought the 50mm summicron a couple of months later. I like the summicron for it's size but I miss the focusing tab on the summilux. The lack of an extra stop doesn't bother me as I never shot the summilux wide open anyway.
 
D

dalethorn

Guest
I love my various Sonnars, but until late last year my main lens was the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron v5. That changed when I got the urge to "upgrade" to the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH, and I did so selling my trusty Cron and buying a 50 LUX from fellow Leica Place member Mijo. The 50 LUX was perfect and the price was very fair, but after shooting with it for about ten months I just found it was, if anything, too perfect. My biggest complaint was that I had no complaints.

So, I'm back full-circle and have sold on the 50 LUX and bought another 50 Cron. I prefer the lighter weight and smaller size. I love the lighter touch to the focusing ring and the tiny 39mm filters. I like the "Mandler Look" and slightly harder edge to the way the lens renders. I like the bokeh, which to all conventional wisdom is busier and therefore inferior to that of the 50 LUX ASPH, but it works for how I imagine a 50mm should look.

Here are three exceptionally boring pictures of my messy desk that show well how the foreground and background bokeh look with this classic lens. First shot is focused near MFD on the text in the upper left corner of the computer screen. Second focused at a little over one meter at the Chinese characters on the pen and scissor cup (black text on green). The third is focused at about five meters on the hanging bell chime. All on the M Monochrom at ISO 320, f/2 with an orange filter.

L1000129.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr

L1000130.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr

L1000131.jpg
by Andrew F, on Flickr
I know it's a very different lens, but the look still reminds me very much of the Noctilux.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
I like the "Mandler Look" and slightly harder edge to the way the lens renders. I like the bokeh, which to all conventional wisdom is busier and therefore inferior to that of the 50 LUX ASPH, but it works for how I imagine a 50mm should look.
I often prefer a bit of a harder edge and slightly busier bokeh as well :thumbsup:.
 

christilou

Legend
Jul 13, 2010
Sunny Frimley
I also have a 50mm Summilux that I rarely use. I prefer the ZM50 1.5 Sonnar and in fact quite a lot of other Zeiss offerings :) I don't like the angled bokeh balls (octagonal, never counted!) it sometimes gives and never could get used to the focus tab. Also, the weight goes against it.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
I also have a 50mm Summilux that I rarely use. I prefer the ZM50 1.5 Sonnar and in fact quite a lot of other Zeiss offerings :) I don't like the angled bokeh balls (octagonal, never counted!) it sometimes gives and never could get used to the focus tab. Also, the weight goes against it.
If you like he ZM Sonnar, you really should try one of Brian's vintage Sonnars.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

lenticular

New Member
Mar 1, 2014
Australia
David
I've had a V4 Summicron 50, my first ever Leica lens as I recall. I loved its tiny size, fantastic IQ and handling and the focus tab. Mine had been bought as a bargain condition lens from KEH and apart from a little oil and wear on the aperture blades I had no complaints. I sold it along with my first M9. I regretted both of those sales!

The Aus$ slid rapidly against the US$ after I had purchased my first Cron 50, so the new reality kept me from buying another. I ended up buying a Cron 50 DR in excellent condition but of course, unmodified, it will not work on an M9. I used it occasionally on my M3 and sometimes on a Sony A7R. I still have it and toy with having in modified locally so it works through the normal range on an M9.

The lure of the Summilux worked its way into me and I bought an old V1 'Lux that proved to have some fungus and it wasn't fully fixed after a professional CLA. That was sold and I still hanker after a more recent and much more expensive Summilux. Thinking I might have been drawn into the very large expense of a Lux 50 ASPH I recently went completely the other way, taking delivery last week of a VM 50 f1.5 Nokton LTM for about US$400! Perhaps my Summilux lust will have been cured, at least for now. I also have a Summarit 50 f2.4, Canon LTM 50 f1.4, Jupiter-8 and Industar-61!
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57748725/M9_L1000196.jpg
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
renders beautifully! the lux i think is a bit more *clinical*?
Me too. The 50 Cron was my first real Leica lens, and last year I "traded up" to get the Lux ASPH, but after six months I traded back "down" to the Cron and couldn't be happier. The 50 Cron is probably the easiest lens I have to get good results with. Any distance, any aperture, I always know what I will get. When I need faster than f/2, thats what Sonnars are for, which are just about as fast as the 50 Lux ASPH, and a whole lot more interesting.
 

chris0202

Regular
Aug 13, 2017
I have several 5cm f2 Summicrons... Three Collapsibles, two are HOT glass. And a type 1 Rigid.
Summicron Coll' is charming. My copy has very good glass and it's sharper than Canon 50/1.4 @ same aperture. OOF rendering is very smooth.

This keeps me wondering how much better DR would be.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
The Type 1 Rigid and DR Summicron have identical optics modules- I have the type 1- but end up using the collapsible more.

I;ve read that the Type 1 Rigid Summicron is the first Leica lens designed using a computer.
 

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