50mm f1.4 'lux choice - help!

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by Ricoh, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Is it possible to describe in words the difference between a pre ASPH and the later ASPH when used on a digital M, eg the M240, in terms of image quality?
    The asking price 2nd hand suggests the ASPH is a better lens.

    I'm considering a non ASPH that isn't 6 bit coded. I assume the camera can be set up to compensate. Is that correct?
     
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    216
    Feb 18, 2015
    Yes, that is correct.
     
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  3. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks Amin.
    Any comment on optical performance would be appreciated. From what I've read, the aspherical version has better centre to edge performance (edge is a funny word to use, but the observed result is oblong, I suppose). The non ASPH was designed for film and film has some inherent curvature, unlike a cmos sensor. To bring out the true potential of the digital body do I need the aspherical version?
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    That ends up being personal taste- field curvature can be used to advantage by many people, especially taking pictures of people and other objects with depth to them. A perfectly flat lens that is highly corrected for spherical aberration means a very narrow plane of focus in the 3D world. I'm convinced that classic lens design included spherical aberration to spread out the focus and give wider depth of field. Field curvature was often introduced to minimize effects of astigmatism.
     
  5. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
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    Steve
    Thanks Brian.
    I'm mainly a 'people with architecture' photographer, aka 'street'. Under given circumstances such as zone focusing depth of field would be welcome. But there is the clinical side to my taste. How best to choose, I wonder, without back to back testing for similar tasks (scratching my head).
     
  6. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Stopping down to F4 is a great equalizer for most lenses with regard to distortion. Shooting at F5.6 and F8 for subjects at a distance, most lenses are better than the sensors that are in the camera.

    It's best to look for examples in the various lens-specific threads here. You might also put up a request to see shots similar to what you plan on shooting.
     
  7. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Since zone focusing is likely to be my main method, perhaps I should look at an ASPH Summicron for less money. It's my inner voice that tells me to buy big glass, but over time, given a degree of internal conflict, common sense normally wins. Normally, that is.
     
  8. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    I have never used the pre-Asph version but love the Asph very much. I think it is one of the bet lens out there.

    regarding 6 bit or not, go for the 6. In instances where you are changing lens quickly, you might forget to change the setting in the camera. With the 240, I noticed that if I don't have the lens info in the camera, the metering can be off sometimes.

    It is a great time to buy the ASPH. There are so many people who tried Leica when it was the IN thing that are now selling them at a big discount. Check around.

    Vince
     
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  9. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks Vincetan, helpful info.
     
  10. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

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    Aug 19, 2013
    Having a serious GAS attack recently, I thought about upgrading my 50 Lux ASPH to the 50 APO. So while researching the 50, I can upon the review by Ming Thein. I usually read the review and close the site but this time, I decided to read the comment. One guy ask him "I wanted to ask you if you consider the major 50mm lenses for Leica M like Planar, Summicron f/2.0, Lux f/1.4 and new APO, the cheapset cost 800$ and the most expensive 7200$. Which one you think is the lens that you do not have to spend the extra bucks to buy the next most expensive?"

    His answer is "I’d buy either the Zeiss 50/2 Planar or the 50/1.4 Summilux-ASPH (and I do actually have both; will be selling the Planar soon now that the Summilux has arrived). The Zeiss 50/2 outperforms the Leica, the APO is not worth it unless you actually have the shot discipline and perfect RF calibration to make the most of it, and the Noct is a special-purpose lens. The Summilux ASPH is excellent."

    The review for the 50 APO is http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/25/leica-50-2-apo-asph/
     
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  11. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Oh, I think I'm suffering from the GAS thing having read Ming Thein's review! What a wonderful lens it sounds to be, obviously cutting edge opto-mechanical design. Better resolving power than the current sensor of the M240 apparently, and performance is probably limited by one's eyesight and/or the calibration of the rangefinder mechanism. (A visit to the optician, and a live view / range finder comparison should provide answers.)

    The stand out for me is the Zeiss 50/f2 outperforming the Leica. Another avenue for me to 'research'.
     
  12. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    Yeah, the Zeiss 50 f2 is a great bargain and also great performer.
     
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  13. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    The 50 Lux asph is as sharp wide open as the pre-asph is at F/5.6, according to Puts, who was astonished. It is a spectacular lens, which only the otus will beat at 1.4. Very unique look. Easy to argue this is the best all around 50 in the world. Of course, the APO is getting all the love lately. Hence the Lux asph is a steal right now.

    If you are considering the pre-asph, then according to Erwin, the CV 50/1.5 is same idea but a little better, and alot cheaper.
     
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  14. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    Just read a review of the Cosina Voigtlander 50/1.5 by Steve Huff, which gets the thumbs up from him. The lens has some shortcomings wide open - vignetting and barrel distortion - but improves at f2 and becomes as 'sharp as a pin' at f2.8. Definitely worth a look. Apparently the silver version is plated brass.
     
  15. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    You should also look at the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm 1.5. Lovely lens as well.
     
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  16. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

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    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    I've read reports of focus shift with aperture and innacurate focusing wide open. Otherwise a stunner producing 3D images. Best used at f5.6 onwards. But I'm only quoting what I've read. I would be interested to hear from actual users.
     
  17. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
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  18. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf Leica Place Regular

    195
    Mar 30, 2013
    IMO the Luxes are made to be shot wide open. If it's zone focusing at F8 why spend the extra cash for a 1.4 lens? I have the pre-ASPH 50 6 bit coded and have no issues and enjoy it's rendering. I'm in no hurry to upgrade. But then it stays at home as the 35 Lux ASPH. is on the camera most all of the time. (M-E)
     
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  19. Ricoh

    Ricoh Leica Place Regular

    91
    Sep 8, 2015
    UK
    Steve
    I'm collecting my M240 tomorrow :) but today I went to a trade show and spent a good hour or two at the Leica stall. The thing is I'm not sure whether I'm a natural 50 or 35mm person. However for street I might be better with the 35 - the DoF of the Summicron f2 looks rather useful whereas the 50 DoF scale is more compressed, which is to be expected. For zone, DoF is king, isn't it.

    Maybe a summicron 35 f/2 now and a Zeiss sonnar 50 when my credit card allows.
     
  20. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    I used to love the 35mm focal length when shooting with film. In fact, there was a point in time when I only have one lens with my M6, and it was a 35 lux asph (non-FLE). However, since M9, I really have not used the 35 that much. I really like the 28mm Elmarit asph, even more than the 28mm Summi.