Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/10/06

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Subject: [Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2009 17:18:29 -0400

> Marty-
> Here's the listing on B&H's site at $692:
> s.html
> I think I got it right :)
> Wendy
> On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM, Marty Deveney <benedenia at> 
> wrote:
>> Mark,
>>  The cheapest $US price I can find is $876.  The Leica 50/2 is $1995
>> and the 50/2.5 is $1295.  None of the Zeiss lenses are exactly
>> "budget" lenses.  The Nikkor 50/1.8 that you have often sung praises
>> of, that's a budget lens.  If you can direct me to the $600 ones I'll
>> buy a pile and on-sell them.
>> Have you tried a ZM 50/2?  Erwin says: "Now at last we have a lens
>> that equals the Summicron-M 50mm and is even a trace better in the
>> curvature of field area."
>>  I found the same to
>> be true.  Its resistance to flare is much better.  I agree the
>> mechanical construction is not as good as a Leica lens, or as good as
>> the Konica Hexanon 50/2, which appears to me to be the best
>> constructed modern 50/2 for M cameras (the seven-element Summicrons
>> are the 'most built' ever, but they are all now approaching 50 and
>> optical design, glass making and other factors have come a long way
>> since then).
>> The flare in this shot with the 50/2 Summicron:
>> was what finally made me stop using my 50 Summicron.  It did it often.
>>  In extended use the Zeiss didn't do that sort of thing:
>> and neither did the Konica:
>> Some day when we catch up, I will bring a big pile of prints, all
>> three lenses (I still have them all) and a lens spanner so you can
>> pull them apart and have a look at how you think they're constructed.
>> Marty
>> On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 8:29 PM, Mark Rabiner <mark at>
>> wrote:
>>>> It's optically better than the Leica 50/2: it doesn't flare and the
>>>> formula has been tweaked.  Even Erwin puts says it is an improvement.
>>>> Mechanically the ZM lenses aren't as sturdy as the Leica ones, but it
>>>> seemed sturdy enough to me that it would survive just fine.
>>>> The Summilux ASPH is another thing altogether.  It's the ultimate (in
>>>> both senses of the word) fast (as opposed to superfast) 50.
>>>> Marty
>>> The ZM glasses are of a lesser quality.
>>> The tolerances are lower.
>>> Its a 600 dollar lens.
>>> Leica lenses cost thousands.
>>> They could be made for hundreds with cheaper glass. Lower tolerances.
>>> No one would try to pawn them off as "better".
>>> Mark William Rabiner
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Leica Users Group.
>>> See for more information
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

While a Nikon or Canon or any other company for an SLR has a 50mm 1.4 as
their front runner flagship lens the number one lens you always think about
with Leica is the Summicron.
You think Leica you think Summicron.
f2 and be there. 50mm.
Yes relatively speaking its not been tweaked recently.
The specs do not shine like some new designs.
It has no movable elements for super close focusing results. No ASPH's.
But its Leica through and through.
It was my first Leica lens as it was most the people here I'm sure.
It can be bought used for the same price as this plastic junk you are saying
has a worse feel than a Konica.
I've never got flare with mine, never. Its given  me nothing less than
perfect results its the lens still that all other lenes get compared

I may put a 99 dollar 50mm 1.8 on my Nikon DSLR but its not part of my Leica
experience. I don't think I'm getting what I get with my Leica stuff its a
stop gap measure. 
I didn't go out and by a Tamron and say its better. Or a Sigma.
You can get Leica glass from the 80's, 70's, 60's, 50's, 40's, 30's and pick
your price point. Plenty of flavor.

Mark William Rabiner

Replies: Reply from jhnichols at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM)
Reply from benedenia at (Marty Deveney) ([Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM)
In reply to: Message from wendythurman at (Wendy Thurman) ([Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM)