Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/04/19

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Subject: Re: New collapsible 50mm
From: (Gerard Captijn)
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 18:05:52 +0200

>        Has anyone had an opportunity to try the new collapsible 50 2.8?  I
>am curious how it handles and also the closest focus range.

The new collapsible 50mm/2,8 has been recently recalculated and has new
glass. Quality is now at par with more recent Leica lenses and definitely
far better than the previous 50mm/2.8, dating from 1957. Wide open it has
slight (0.4 diaph) light fall-off which is gone at 4.0. Best aperture 5.6.
It has the characteristics of new Leica glass: high contrast and excellent
sharpness also at closer distances, and contradicts people who are of the
opinion that fixed focus lenses have not improved since the sixties. Minimum
focusing distance is 70 cm (slightly less than 2.5 feet).

I bought the Elmar a couple of months ago to have a really compact M6 to
take on business trips (the camera loses 16 mm in thickness after collapsing
the lens, same thickness as the GMP grip). The Kodachrome slides that I made
with the new lens were beautiful with superb microcontrast. The lens handles
fine although I like the even spacing of the aperture values on other Leica
lenses better: resolution between f11 and f16 is really small. If you don't
need the collapsing feature, you might be better off though with the
Summicron 50mm/2.0 that offers twice the speed at approximately the same
price. The November 1996 issue of Pop Photo has a lens test for both Elmar
and Summicron. Conclusion: top level performers.

Gerard Captijn,
Geneva, Switzerland.
Fax: +41 (22) 700 39 28.