Cheap Chinese-made M-mount 50mm f1.1 "Sonnar" Lens

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by M. Valdemar, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I commented on the Leicarumors.com site: the index of the RF cam is very high for a 50mm lens. I would like to see a professional review of the lens, although at under $400 it is tempting. I've seen some shots which show a lot of vignetting- almost like the lens was made for a smaller format sensor. It "might be" a Sonnar type lens, would need to measure the focal length of the front section and rear section to determine that. A Double Gauss: front and rear sections are close to each other in focal length; a Sonnar formula lens: the front section is a telephoto design with focal length much greater (2.5x~3.5x) that of the rear section. The rear group is close to the image plane on this lens.
     
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  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I bought one off of Ebay, a Hong Kong based seller with 100% feedback rating. $370 total with shipping.

    I suspect this lens is an asymmetric Sonnar type design, like the Zunow 5cm F1.1 with some of the "filler" elements left out, like the C-Sonnar- technically, an Ernostar. The Sonnar is the Ernostar with low-index of refraction glass used to fill the space of the 2nd and 3rd elements to reduce air/glass surfaces, which increased transmission. The advent of multi-coatings basically got rid of the 4% per air/glass reflection, and allowed the elimination of the filler. This 7Artisans lens- well, I'll do a write-up after I get it in hand. I have most of the Sonnars to compare it with. The 50/1.1 Sonnetar is a 5 element in 4 group lens- basically the 5cm F2 Sonnar without the filler of the front triplet. This lens is 1/3rd the price of the Sonnetar. I have the 50/1.1 Nokton, 50/0.95 Canon, 50/1.2 Nikkor Ais, and 55/1.2 Nikkor Ai for Super-Speed 50s. I've had a couple of 50/1.2 Canons in LTM, sold them.
     
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  3. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    I
    I've really enjoyed the last few weeks with "only" my Df and 50/1.2 AIS. Super-speed 50s are A LOT of fun, and even in bright daylight have characteristics that I really enjoy.

    Here are my favorite recent shots with the 50mm f/1.2 AIS on the Df and with the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux ASPH on my Leica M-D. Both great in their own way.

    Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AIS Nikkor

    35361860042_1e56bea7e8_k. DSC_1106 by Andrew F, on Flickr

    35361895532_9a30e9e5ea_z. DSC_1051 by Andrew F, on Flickr

    35398531061_3690d1059f_z. DSC_1045 by Andrew F, on Flickr


    And the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux ASPH

    34104930804_50ff446a86_k. L1002374 by Andrew F, on Flickr

    34815448851_e2273c00dd_k. L1004802 by Andrew F, on Flickr

    34815948091_52c5ff4ffc_k. L1003070 by Andrew F, on Flickr

    34104843584_e895be074e_k. L1003168 by Andrew F, on Flickr
     
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  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    "I feel the need for Speed"- much less expensive referring to lenses than cars! And the lenses retain more relative value than most cars.
     
  5. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Even the Noctilux is cheaper than a fast motorcycle or car, even used.
     
  6. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Brian: Let us here know how you assess the overall quality and value of this lens.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I will do so!

    I'm very curious, hope the best for this manufacturer. I believe it is a Sonnar design, similar to the Zunow 5cm F1.1. Only one way to find out! The 5cm F1.1 Sonnetar is based on the Zeiss 5cm F2 lens, only uses 5 elements in 4 groups- which is what you get with the "Filler" left out of the front triplet. This new lens uses 7 elements in 6 groups, which is what I expect with the filler glass left out of the Zunow lens.
     
  8. M. Valdemar

    M. Valdemar Leica Place Regular

    108
    Aug 5, 2013
    New York City
    I broke down and ordered a black one. I paid $369 from an eBay seller with 99.6% feedback who promised free DHL shipping and 8 day delivery to NYC.

    We shall she what we shall see.
     
  9. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Congrats! I may also order such a lens before the cost goes up. They have it on amazon.com and on ebay. It may be safer to buy it from amazon than from ebay.

    Why did you choose the black version? It seems that both silver and black lenses have same metals used (Copper and Aluminum). With CV modern lenses, the chrome versions are heavier and they cost more. They have brass in them.
     
  10. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Hi Brian. Did you order also a black lens or silver?
     
  11. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I checked out many posted images online that were taken with such a 50 1.1 lens. They look very good (as online images). I wonder why I need such a lens when I already have the 50 1.1 CV? Same applies to you! It must be our never-ending desire to explore lenses! :)
     
  12. M. Valdemar

    M. Valdemar Leica Place Regular

    108
    Aug 5, 2013
    New York City
    No particular reason. I just like the black color better.

    I'm not worried about ordering from eBay, the buyer protection there is excellent. In fact, as a seller, it might be too excellent since almost all cases are biased against sellers.

    Now I think I might have been a little hasty. I bought my lens from a seller with free DHL shipping so I could get it faster, but after I ordered another seller responded to my "Make an Offer" to sell one for $340, but it was too late. I made a lowball offer of $275 and he responded with the $340.

    On the other hand, that seller was going to send it regular post, which would be about 3 weeks, so the extra money was sort of worth it.

    These f1.1 lenses seem to be in mass production with many sellers, so if I was really ultra-patient I might have waited 6 months until cheapo used ones appeared. That's how I got my Jupiter 3+, I bought it cheap as a used lens.

    But I'm a nut, I like to indulge myself with photo items. It's one of the few vices I have left to me at my age. My wife views it as hoarding and insanity, although she will go to Japan and drop a couple of grand on a silly designer bag which infuriates me.

    I'll probably get this lens, use it for a couple of weeks, then deposit in the vast pile of other expensive lenses that I haven't looked at for a decade.

    But having this vast pile of lenses is a good thing. I'll occasionally pull out some long-forgotten lens I have and discover it is now worth a small fortune, after I paid almost nothing for it in, say, 2002.

    eBay used to be a paradise for finding rare items for tiny prices if you knew what they were. But now the internet has made every bozo an expert and the prices of everything has skyrocketed to la-la land.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  13. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Could you msg me the name of that ebay seller? Thanks! Making an offer sounds good to me.
    On the other hand, I still have not bought a J-3+. That lens sounds more useful.
    I used to surf ebay to look for lens bargains, but I stopped for the reasons that you have mentioned above.
     
  14. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I went with chrome- my C-Sonnar is chrome, the 50/1.1 Nokton is black.

    For $370- hard to resist. I believe this lens is a Sonnar, looking at the rear module and some of the online example shots. I never bought a Sonnetar, think that stretching the design to F1.1 was too much for the original 5cm F2 design. This lens is 1/3rd the price.
     
  15. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    But you already have a CV 50/1.1. What would this new lens add?
    Will you (maybe) take the lens apart, and then improve it somehow?
     
  16. serhan

    serhan Leica Place Regular

    65
    Mar 31, 2013
    NYC
    I ordered mine from below link for $320:
    [US$320.00]7artisans 50mm F1.1 Lens for Laica M-mount and Sony E-mount Cameras
    It was shipped last Thu w/ free shipping. I got the tracking yesterday. I think the sale price in China is approx $285.

    I have other 50mm lenses too but wanted to check this due to size. I have Sonnetar also and it is a tricky pony but gives a unique look with better WB & warmer colors then CV lenses. I am using the Sonnetar with af adapter on Sony A7R II (first shot) and A6300 (second & third shots) w/ 1.5 crop which makes it a nice portrait lens with its softer look:

    original.

    w-DSC00461-2.

    w-DSC00462-2.

    I have not received the Chinese lens. I'll post when I receive it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  17. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Thanks for the posted examples! They look very nice. Thanks also for the link.
     
  18. M. Valdemar

    M. Valdemar Leica Place Regular

    108
    Aug 5, 2013
    New York City
    That $320 link is better than mine. I would go with that one.
     
  19. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    If you submit for "membership" with the seller, he gives you $2 off.