Upgrading Summicron to Summilux

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by Mijo, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    The 35mm summicron has been a work horse in my modest stable of m mount lenses. It's my go to lens if I'm only going to be out with a one body / one lens kit, when I'm at home I tend to use this set up a lot. The only gripe I have with the 35mm summicron is that it isn't as fast as my 50mm summilux, which tends to be too long for crowded bars and restuarants. I spend a lot of time in dimly lit bars and restuarants and I've been considering trading in my 35mm summicron for a summilux (to get that additional stop) for a long time now.

    The price difference between the 35mm summicron and summilux (for the current versions) is pretty substantial. For those that have owned or do own both, do you feel that the price for that extra stop is worth it? Another reason for the potential change is that it would give me more flexible kit options (i.e. elmarit 21mm f2.8 paired with Summilux 35mm and the Summicron 75mm). Right now my 50mm summilux is the fastest lens I own so it always ends up in my travel kit, with the summicron 35mm being left at home b/c of space issues. With a 35mm summilux, I may be able to just use it and the 75mm summicron as a two lens travel kit.

    Any comments or input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    What body are you using? Modern M240 and M Monochrom have such amazing high-ISO performance that the only real difference between a Summicron and Summilux comes down to depth of field and rendering characteristics. When using my Monochrom I often choose between my 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar and 50mm f/2 Summicron strictly based on the type of rendering I want.

    With film or an M8/9 speed matters a lot more. If 50 is too long I'd consider trading both the 35 from and 50 lux for a 35 lux foe that could theoretically replace both.
     
  3. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I'm using a M-E and an M6. I've been considering trading in the 50 lux along with the 35 cron for the 35 lux but there's something special about the rendering of the 50 lux that I can't trade it away. I left lens signature / character out of the discussion but from what I've seen in terms of samples I'm more impressed with the way the lux renders than the cron (at the same FL), which is another plus for the lux.

    If high iso with the M-E were a little less noisy I wouldn't even consider the 35 lux and just keep the cron. I bought grips for both my M-E and M6 so I could hopefully just adjust the shutter speed instead of cranking up the iso, but that didn't work out as well as I had planned.
     
  4. tmldds

    tmldds Leica Place Regular

    183
    Nov 20, 2013
    Texas
    Get the 35 lux and keep the 50 lux, the pre-asp version is great for portrait and that was the lens I regret having sold.
     
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  5. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Or upgrade the Me to an M240 and keep the cron. I actually downgraded from the 35 cron to the 35 Summarit because I preferred its rendering.

    Or other option, just save them pennies.
     
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  6. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I am very happy with my pre-asph 35/1.4 Summilux. I have never used a 50/1.4 Lux. I also use a first version 35/2 Summicron. I do not view Summiron lenses as being inferior to Summilux lenses. Many find them superior.
     
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  7. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I hadn't considered the pre-asph version of the 35 lux, I'll look into that as it will save me some $$$. How's it render in terms of landscape, I'm assuming it's very similar to the current cron since both would be stopped down?

    I'm not planning to upgrade to the M240, I really like the M-E and the way the CCD sensor renders colors (it reminds me of neopan 400) OOC. I would be willing to upgrade to the MM though but I'd really have to think about giving up color for my digital images. I only shoot b&w film so I'm not sure if I can completely give up color and go with the MM.
     
  8. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Another option is to buy the 35/1.2 Nokton and use it for when you need the speed. Bigger than the Summilux, but you could keep the Summicron for anything other than very low-light situations.
     
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  9. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I considered a new nokton, since I really liked the cv 17 on my em5, but my recent acquisition of the cv 12 for my M-E/m6 has turned me off of voightlander. Maybe it's just the copy of the cv 12 that I obtained but it really doesn't inspire me to purchase another m mount lens from them.
     
  10. tmldds

    tmldds Leica Place Regular

    183
    Nov 20, 2013
    Texas
    Here is one shot with my 35 pre-asp Lux. I love this little lens!
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I posted a thread on Siena (Tuscany) with the M9 and the pre-asph 35/1.4.

    Raid
     
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  12. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf Leica Place Regular

    195
    Mar 30, 2013
    The 35 Lux pre-ASPH stays glued on to my Leica M-E. I think these two images may help explain why:

    First one wide open.

    [​IMG]

    This one is stopped down.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Do some of later pre-asph versions of the 35 lux have the same coatings as the current asph fle version? If not, how much of a difference do the coatings make? From the image samples i've seen, I can't really see a difference between pre-asph versions and the fle version of this lens (but then again I don't really know what to look for). You guys are really selling me on the older version of the 35 lux.
     
  14. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I don't know.
    The non-asph Lux has two versions. The first version flares, but it is collectible.
    The second version flares less, and it not "collectible."
    I expect the modern version to have better coatings than the two vintage versions for this great lens.
     
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  15. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I just sent in some gear for trade evaluation and depending on how much they are going to give me I'm either going to pick up a used summulix 35mm (ASPH FLE) or even a used summilux 21mm. If I pick up the lux 35 then my plan will be to pick up the SEM 18 in the future which give me the following kit; SEM 18, lux 35, lux 50 and the cron 75. If I get the lux 21 my kit would be lux 21, lux 50 and the cron 75. I had the elmarit 21mm f2.8 (ASPH), it's one of the lens I sent in for trade eval, and I really like it but it's too slow for low light interiors w/o a tripod.
     
  16. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    272
    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I wanted to bring some closure to this thread and mention that I ended up with a used lux 35mm ASPH FLE. I traded my elmarit 21mm f2.8 ASPH, cron 35mm ASPH, an m-mount CV 12mm and a little bit of cash to get the lux 35mm. The vignetting on the CV 12mm was so bad that I'm happy to no longer own that lens (maybe I just had a bad copy). I have a little bit of regret about trading my elmarit 21mm as I really like that focal length.

    I got a really good deal on the used lux 35 though. It came with the full warranty, all of the packaging and looks brand new. After using only my lux 50 and cron 75 for the last couple of weeks, 35mm suddenly feels very wide to me.
     
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