Leica Lens Recommendations

I have diddled around a bit with LTM lenses and rambled about boards and listened to the propeller heads who know lenses. One recommended is the Jupiter 8, KMZ the best bet and early if possible, like early 50's. I have a '57 which is very kind. I have two or three others including a '51. I have to get the '51 shimmed for the M9. But to get a virtual pre-war Sonnar for less than US$100 is a good deal. I was advised on the Canon 50mm f/1.8 manual focus and it is good, very good. But for 50's you know I am opting for the Cooke Amotal 2" f/2.0 which is so sharp and also has a glow to it. I hunted for a few months before I finally found a good copy and from an honest seller. So those are my three fave 50's. I have a Canon 35mm f/2.0 which is OK but not a soul grabber. The CV 35mm N II works well on the M9 and I tend to that. Shorter focal length for me is the Canon 28mm f/2.8. It is fine on FF and an effective 35mm on APSC like the Pixii. It is great with color or B&W and quite sharp. And for longer I have the 85mm and 135 Jupiters, both good copies, which, again, are Sonnar copies.

So I have gotten by pretty cheaply in lenses. I have good lenses for me. In FF I go 50mm mostly and that is #1 Cooke and #2 Jupiter. These are pleasing enough that I have pretty much stopped lens GAS. I think. :cool:
The Cooke is like a $2,000 lens. Out of my price range for now! I understand why you enjoy yours so much!
The 75/1.25 is fun at, and way better than most online reviews have stated. You must calibrate the RF Cam to your individual camera. You might want to set the lens to your preferred F-Stop when doing so. There is focus shift. I set mine for wide-open, use with a 1.25x magnifier on the M9. Great Choice.

50mm lenses- the Planar is a fine lens. However- the new Voigtlander 50/2 APO-Lanthar is "around" the same price. It is bigger, uses 49mm filters. It is sharp, amazing lens. All the latest in modern design in a lens.

35mm: I went for the 35/1.7 Ultron in Leica Thread Mount. Use with an adapter. Aspheric design. "Classic" focus ring, not the 1950s styled ring of the M-Mount 35/1.7 V2. The Bokeh on the 35/1.7 Ultron is very smooth. Stopped down to F4: was measured at 90lp/mm (Line-Pair/millimeter). Not much difference in price between it and the 35/2.5. Also uses 39mm filters.

LTM: I use this term to mean a lens in RF coupled 39mm thread mount that is Calibrated to the Leica standard. There are many 39mm mounts. M39 may not mean a lens calibrated to a Leica. There is the USSR Fed/Zorki mount which is 39mm threads, same28.8mm flange, but calibrated to the Zeiss standard. There is Zenit SLR 39mm mount. There is the Braun Pax 39mm thread mount with a different flange distance. There is 39mm mount for enlarger lenses.
So- ask any questions here about odd lenses. Not all 39mm mounts are the same.

I have a lot of lenses in Leica mount. Be sure to post a thread on "I want a Vintage Look Lens"....
Thanks for the info on the 75mm. Sounds great!

And yet another gushing review of the APO. Ok already folks - I’m sold on it!

And yes, I made a mistake some years ago with my Zorki and purchased an LTM instead of an M39, and discovered then their is in fact a difference between the two!
FWIW I think you're good to go, that's fine (there are no "bad" Voigtlander/ Zeiss lenses on this platform or probably at all and Brian here recommends the TTA 75mm which is endorsement enough as far as I'm concerned).

This is exciting, trust me! But the more you use the camera, the more the 28mm and 90mm focal lengths will eventually gnaw away at you, especially the 28mm as annoyingly for me I saw that in RF terms they are not similar to 35mm lenses.

Anyway, you may as well get a couple of LTM adapters now as this is definitely all part of the fun (you *will* end up getting LTM lenses, don't think adapting that AI glass will prevent this) and any of the Canon LTM 50mm lenses (F1.8/F1.4) from a performance/ value perspective is an excellent way to go IMHO.

I mention Canon LTM lenses but the (second hand) choice and availability from other brands is vast. It's all very well if one buys new gear because a lot of it renders all the same subject to a lot of PP and if you like that then that's great. But that's not the case here as, again annoyingly, these old 50mms have their own identity and render differently. You may like the results, you may not, but if you do you'll find that many of these lenses can be had for cheap which justifies purchases (more than one btw) and thus puts your wallet in danger. So there is a skill to containing GAS in this respect which you have to develop.

And finally, there can be frustrations to owning a RF camera and lenses - the secret is to learn to enjoy them:cool:. IMO it's well worth it.

Just my 2 cents.
So 28mm is my absolute favorite focal length. Why is a 28mm not on my list you may ask? Because I fear what putting one on this camera may mean for my Leica Q!
One of my all time favorite lenses is the pre APO Summicron 50/2. 50mm; boring. F2; pedestrian. It's the Canadian version 3, often called the "worst" version. Quoting some Leica nut I knew in the 80's, "I love the way it draws"

The first adapter I've gotten for every system I've used is to mount this lens. On micro4/3, Sony 24 MP and now Fuji G it's never disappointed me. It doesn't quite cover the Fuji's bigger sensor, but it still looks good.
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The Cooke is like a $2,000 lens. Out of my price range for now! I understand why you enjoy yours so much!
I did not pay nearly that much and Skylanney had one they CLA'ed and for sale at US$1,300. They are expensive, yes. But when you get one you can pretty much stop shopping for 50's. There is a fellow in Hong Kong selling them but they all look ratty and are pricey. I got lucky with mine finding a fellow here in the US who had a very nice one at a fair price.

So who here can speak to the Leica 50mm Summarit, either the e39 or e46 f2.5 or f2.4 respectively, lenses? They seem to be “reasonable” by Leica lens costs. Just curious.

Or for fun, the older and even cheaper Summarit 5.0 cm f1.5?
So who here can speak to the Leica 50mm Summarit, either the e39 or e46 f2.5 or f2.4 respectively, lenses? They seem to be “reasonable” by Leica lens costs. Just curious.

Or for fun, the older and even cheaper Summarit 5.0 cm f1.5?
You will be just fine with any of the current/ recent Summarits, they go perfectly with any rangefinder. The worst that people can say about them is that they are not F1.4/F2 and don’t end with the words “cron” or “lux”, none of which is a reason not to own them. Dive in I’d say. If you’re getting that Canon then that’s a really good combination of 50s already. The older 5cm Summarit is a 1950s lens that comes with “characteristics”, fine stopped down, swirly bokeh wide open. Try before you buy, you’d want to see that the optics and front element are ok as well as if the rendering suits you, for some it does, others it doesn’t. See if you’re ok with the length and particularly weight, I gather it’s quite heavy relatively speaking.
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So who here can speak to the Leica 50mm Summarit, either the e39 or e46 f2.5 or f2.4 respectively, lenses? They seem to be “reasonable” by Leica lens costs. Just curious.

Or for fun, the older and even cheaper Summarit 5.0 cm f1.5?
One little caveat, but this may be different in your corner of the world: Modern Summarits can cost as much as a Summicron-M V (still current) in good nick on the used market - and in that case, I'd definitely reach for the Summicron because it is an even more rewarding/versatile lens to shoot than a Summarit, good as they are - the Summicron is a great walk-around lens, but also a really fantastic people lens. That said, I'd not say no to a second-generation Summarit-M 50mm f/2.4 - super-small, good optics, great handling (better than the Summicron-M IMO). But between my Summicron and my Voigtländers, it's a lens I personally just don't need.

As far as "classic" lenses go, Tim's more or less said it. I love my Summitar(!) (5cm f/2) - but I had the good fortune to happen upon a mostly pristine one as far as the glass goes.

I have the 50/2.5 Summarit e39 along with the Voigtlander Nocton 50/1.5 II for when I want something faster. The Summarit is perfect as a small, high quality lens. It is hard to go wrong with it. I found a mint used one at B&H probably a year ago now for a bit over $1K, well worth it IMHO.

How do those two compare IQ wise, other than the larger aperture of the Voigtlander?

I'm considering a compact 50. The Voigtlander color-skopar 50/2.5 e39 is on my list as well as the two you mentioned.
I am happy with what I have now, two by your recommendation, the Canon f/1.8 and the Jupiter 8. I think I am all camera'ed out. The most recent purchase has settled me. But I will keep the offer in mind. ;o)

Since this post I have the Cooke Amotal, a sweet CZJ 5cm f/1.5 in the prized 272nnnn series and, of course the Skyllaney Bertele. Additionally the XCD 55V which attaches to the X2D. So I am really am all lens'ed and camera'ed out and way beyond my depth. But pleased to be there.
I have not done a direct comparison between the two. If I have time in the next week I’ll try.
I did some quick comparison shots this morning of nothing spectacular in my backyard. My internet has been down for the last several days so posting the images is not possible right now. Looking on my 27” screen, the difference between the Voigtlander and the Summarit is slight. Depending on the image, one will have more contrast and or saturation than the other and then the next scene they will flip. With some PP you could get either to look like the other. Both are very sharp. The Summarit is noticeably smaller and lighter. Of course the Voigtlander is significantly cheaper so there is that.

To be completely honest, I would not be able to tell the difference if I was shown both without knowing which was which. If you don’t need f1.5 and your budget is bigger, the Leica is a solid value for size and weight, and f2.5 is still pretty fast. If you don’t have the budget or you really want/need f1.5 and don’t mind the size/weight (the Voigtlander Norton is still small IMHO), then get the Voigtlander, both lenses are excellent. One other note, I like Voigtlander lenses for their sharp sun stars. I have not tried the Summarit for it’s sunstars but I have with the Voigtlander, and it does not disappoint.
Oh, and thank you to whomever mentioned the MC Rokkor 90mm f/4 made by Leitz in Germany. It’s incredibly affordable and will most likely be the next in the lineup. To think I may have a 35, 50, and 90 all for well under $1,000 that stand to all be be wonderful is just great.
That would be me 😂 It is a real value. The Rokkor 40/2 is also a gem from what I have seen but I have not tried it since I picked up a used Voigtlander 40/2.8. I have to have some sort of restraint 😬