Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] leica lens philosophy
From: TEAShea <>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 09:54:37 EDT

<<  I have heard rumours that different lens families of Leica lenses (i.e.
Elmarits or Summicrons, etc.) reflect differing aesthetic preferences
(sharpness, colour saturation, contrast). Is this true? If it is, what is the
exact philosophy behind this (what are those families purported
characteristics)? Is there any documentation from Leica about this?  I know
that there are differences; from experience I have learned that I like
Elmarits better than others, I'm just not sure why..... >>

There is not necessarily a commonality among the design of Elmarit lenses - or
among Summicorn lenses.  The design of an an Elmarit 50 mm lens is entirely
different than the design of an Elmarit 90 mm lens.  These terms simply refer
to the maximum aperture.  Accordingly, it is difficult how there can be any
common "look" to Elmarits - or Summicrons or Summiluxes. 

It is understandable that there could be a relatively common look to lenses of
a certain design period or lenses designed by a common chief designer.  For
example, a certain designer might prefer to sacrifice curvature of field to
achieve a better performance of certain other abberations.  However, this
commonality has little to do with the maximum aperture

Tom Shea

Tom Shea