Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/03/25

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Subject: [Leica] Seeking a new 50
From: feli2 at (Feli)
Date: Fri Mar 25 08:19:44 2005
References: <>

On Mar 25, 2005, at 2:54 AM, Scott McLoughlin wrote:
> The Summicron is the summicron. I read that close-up performance is 
> excellent. Is this a "do no wrong" 50mm legendary lens.

The current Summicron (v4) really can't be beat, especially for the 
price. One of the sharpest lens I know of, without being harsh. Very 
smooth bokeh. Supposedly it's only competitor is the new Lux-ASPH at 
close ranges, due to the floating element. But the Lux costs $2500, if 
you can find one, and a Cron can be had for as little as $800 new.

> And then the Lux. Don't know much about this one. Most discussions 
> talk about it's low-light performance, but I do hear mention of a 
> beloved "look."  I'd like to learn more about this one.

The pre-ASPH Lux is not as sharp at the current Cron (v4) across the 
entire frame, until it hits f8-f11. Below that it lags behind a little 
in the field and corners. You probably won't see this unless you make 
some very big enlargements. Erwin Puts describes the Lux as a 3rd 
generation Cron, opened up a stop. Based on my shooting experience I 
agree with him. This lens is not a dog. As a matter of fact it has 
become my standard lens. The fingerprint is gorgeous in black and 
white, very smooth, and it's a real bokeh machine. Think if it as a 
slightly more compact Nokton, without the harshness.

By all accounts the new Lux-ASPH is a stunning lens, maybe the best 50 
ever, but it's about $2500. Not sure about the bokeh of the ASPH Lux, I 
don't have enough data, but people who have one seemed to be very 

> For background, I shoot B&W pretty much exclusively. Family, friends 
> and hobbyist documentary and artsy pics. I rarely shoot landscape 
> stuff (just vacations). I scan film and print with an MIS ink set 
> outfitted Epson printer.

If you don't need the extra stop I would get a current generation 
Summicron 2/50. It really is a stunning lens. The pre-ASPH Lux has come 
down a lot in price, since the introduction of the ASPH model, but even 
used it's still more expensive than the Cron is new.

But of course at the end of the day, what really counts is taking a 
great picture.

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