Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/09/04

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Subject: Re: Lens Hood for 50mm DR Summicron
From: Paul Schliesser <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 97 23:11:10 -0400

>Now, here is my question:  The DR results are also great, but side by
>side to the ASPH you can definitely see a difference in contrast.  (less) 
>So, I think I must get a lens hood.


Part of the reason that it looks less contrasty is simply because that's 
the way it was designed. From what I understand, during the 1950s and 
1960s, German and Japanese lens designers had different philosophies, and 
as a result, their lenses have different "looks." The Japanese lenses 
generally had very high contrast compared to the German lenses, which in 
turn had higher resolution than the Japanese lenses. In many cases, a 
high contrast photo can look like it has more resolution than it actually 
does. As tastes have changed, most lenses today have much higher contrast 
than their 1950s and 1960s equivalents did.

The lens is actually pretty resistant to flare (at least I have found it 
so), but it's still a good idea to get a hood.

I'd second what Hans said and recommend either the 12585 or the newer, 
plastic equivalent. Without the vents, the older non-vented hoods really 
block the viewfinder. I used to use a 12571, but I tended not to use it 
because it was so obstructive. Be sure to get a 42mm hood cap for it; you 
reverse the hood on the lens and the cap fits on the back of the hood; 
it's very convenient.

The design of the vents is pretty clever; the outer part of the hood is a 
hollow cylinder which tapers from back to front, so that its back end is 
larger than its front. This cylinder is attached to the center part of 
the hood (which clips to the filter ring) by three radiating struts. The 
angle of this reverse taper matches the angle at which you see the hood 
through the viewfiner, so that you only see the silhouette of the 
cylinder's edge (I hope that this makes sense) and it blocks much less of 
the finder than it otherwise would. Because the back end of the cylinder 
is slightly behind the central portion of the hood, there is no penalty 
for having it open in the back. I've always admired the obvious thought 
that went into it.

- - Paul