Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/01/21

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Subject: Re: Re[2]: [Leica] S'cron performance
From: "Patrick G. Sobalvarro" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 23:30:03 +0000

On 21 Jan 98 at 9:51, Erwin Puts wrote:

> I may be a loner in this one, but I have reported at length about
> the relative weak performance of the Summicron ('54-'69) at large
> apertures. It is indeed a fact that this lens, while in its days
> unsurpassed, has been superceded qualitatively not only by its
> newer successors, but also by a number of high class Japanese
> lenses from the late sixties, early seventies, the famous Nikkor-H
> 2/50 being one example. The Summicron (first gen) still has its
> loyal followers, and the performance is even today goog, at smaller
> apertures even very good. It is however wrong to assume that every
> lens Leitx made at any time is the best now and stays so in the
> future, irrespective of progress and competition.

Hello Erwin -- thanks for your sensible and balanced input on this
topic.  I certainly can believe that the pre-69 Summicron is not as
sharp as a modern Nikkor; it just surprised me because I had heard
that the 1950's -- 1960's rigid Summicron was the same formula as
the DR Summicron, which I had understood to be a lens with very high
acutance (I seem to remember someone on this list saying 150
lines/mm, although I don't recall an aperture being mentioned).  On
the other hand, your lens tests have always impressed me, and I will
certainly take your word on this topic ahead of any anecdotal claims
- -- especially as I have no experience with these lenses!

Certainly I've seen where a Pentax 50/1.8 is lots sharper than my
50/1.5 Summarit at larger apertures, although not noticeably sharper 
than my recent 50/2 Summicron-R.  I still find images made with the 
Summarit more pleasing than those made with the Pentax, however.

- -Patrick