Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/06/19

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Subject: Re: 50mm Summicron
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 17:46:31 -0400
Cc: ms fokkema <>

Well, I guess the only answer to the question as to which 2/50 design works
best for the individual shooter is for the individual shooter to use 'em all
and decide for him or herself.  I did so, and prefer the NF design to any other.

This is at f/2.0, 2.8 ... and so on, to f/16.  I do my own darkroom work and
did comparison shots -- the contrast, colour saturation, resolution, and
sharpness in the NF was dramatically better than the second version and
markedly better than the current lens -- and, the critical point,  the final
image quality was simply far, far more pleasing with the NF, at all image
scales I tested, up to 20" x 24".  That's why I sold my others and kept the
2/50 NF -- it outperforms the others!

I agree that lens tests don't tell everything -- but they can be a guide.  

And it simply isn't true that Leica ignores production costs when designing
or re-designing a lens.  They pay close attention to the economics or else
they would have gone under in the 1970's, as they almost did.  Part of the
reorganizations of the 1980's was undertaken to hive off the
cost-is-no-object sections -- the scientific and technical branches -- from
the consumer sections, cameras and binoculars.

Each photographer should test these lenses for themselves -- I simply know
what works for me.  Obviously, many, many others agree with my position --
but each individual can only tell for themself what works for them.

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!