Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/02/08

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Subject: Re: best 35mm.bayonet?
From: Tom Hodge <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 20:40:20 -0500 (EST)

David, Buenos dias, que pasa?

I prefer the newer technology in Leitz optical design.  IMHO (in my 
humble or honest opinion....

35mm lens:  A Wetzler-manufactured 35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M.  This might be
one of the finest 35mm camera lenses ever produced.  Stopped down just one
f-stop, this lens will typically out-perform almost every other 35mm lens
Leitz has ever made throughout it's entire focusing range.  And for the
current price - in excellent condition - it is a bargain.  It is a
modified Gauss-type design common to the Summicron family and is a simple
7 element lens, 4 of which are cemented into two groups.  The large front
and rear elements mean vignetting and light fall-off at the edges of
pictures is quite uncommon.  The lens is incredibly compact; maximum
diameter of the focusing ring is only 52mm; the front of the lens to the
film plane is less than 57mm when focused at infinity.  This lens is a
winner.  Filter size is typical 39mm x 0.5. 

90mm lens:  Again. I must yield to modern technology and suggest the 90mm 
f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit-M from Wetzlar.  The lens is barely longer than a 50mm 
f/2.0 Summicron-M and is razor-sharp.  The only drawback or negative part 
of this lens is the slight softness of image when used at full aperture 
and closest focusing distance of just less than 1m.  Stopped down just one 
f/stop, that problem disappears completely.  In fact, stopping it down 
further makes little difference in the outstanding performance, just the 
increased depth of field.  It is a 4 element design with two grouped 
front elements, a thick corrective optic in the center and a rear element. 
Filter size is typical Leitz/Leica M; 39mm x 0.5.  This lens is so light 
and easy to use it's almost like a normal lens.  The only problem 
mechanically is the tendency to have some difficulty in focusing.  The 
focus rings on some models - normally Canadian-made - are "stiff".

I hope this opinion is of value to you.

Buena suerte!

Tom Hodge / / North Carolina, USA
Replied:  9 Feb 96 13:03

Replies: Reply from Michael Volow <> (Re: best 35mm.bayonet?)
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