Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Dr. Strangelens, or....
From: "Hans Pahlen" <>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 02:33:22 +0200
References: <306D724879FFD21183230008C75B9068033696@LRAFS01> <> <>

IMHO this collapsible Summicron 50 is a landmark lens that set the standards for a long time for 50/2.0 lenses. I had a sample of my own (# 1104683), and it it is the best classic screwmount lens, no doubt about that.
I have prints on my wall to prove it, and I don't see any differences compared to my 1959 rigid. For screwmount photography, that I do for fun, I mostly use the RS Elmar  50 because it is cute and compact, and this is a great lens too, no dog lens at all. Try them at mid-apertures and Kodachrome 25, and you will be surprised, even by today's standards. I have never heard any negative remarks about the collapsible Summicron, other than that the front glass is soft (cleaning marks are common). 

Speaking of "dog Leica lenses", I would rather pick the screwmount 28 and 35 Elmar, that have to be stopped down to F/11 to get decent sharpness. But they were lenses of their time, and it is not really fair to compare with today's standards. Maybe the Summar 50 is a "dog" because of flare problems, but OTH I was surprised by it's good performance in soft light. 

Anyway, it is refreshing to talk about lenses instead of camera bags... I have learnt a lot from the Summilux 50 discussion, a lens that I never have tried myself. 
BTW the latest issue of Viewinder states that the Summicron 50 and 90 were (unofficially) updated in the mid-60:s, so Stephen is also correct saying that later versions were sharper. 


> every standard Leica reference that I've ever read agrees that the 50/2 Collapsible
> Summicron was the sharpest 50/2 Leitz lens made up to that time, and some say it was the
> best 50/2 of its time.  Of course, later versions were sharper, but this was hardly junk.

In reply to: Message from "Barker, J. Madison" <> (RE: [Leica] Dr. Strangelens, or....)
Message from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Dr. Strangelens, or....)
Message from Stephen Gandy <> (Re: [Leica] Dr. Strangelens, or....)