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

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM
From: jhnichols at (Jim Nichols)
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 17:42:49 -0500
References: <>

Mark, I know you are speaking about the Summicron for the M, but, now the 
owner of a Summicron-R, I would have to agree with you.  I can't speak for 
the similarities between the two, but I find the Summicron-R to be one of 
the best lenses that I have owned.

Jim Nichols
Tullahoma, TN USA
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Rabiner" <mark at>
To: "Leica Users Group" <lug at>
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: [Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM

>> 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
> against.
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM)
In reply to: Message from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Zeiss Normal 50mm f/2 Planar T* ZM)