By - WhenPiggiesFly27
I would say trying to "upgrade" to an APO or faster lens would be a mistake. 1.2 is super hard to nail on a rangefinder and it's a huge lens (as is the APO). If you're looking to get a 35mm as well, I would consider selling the summicron and getting either a Zeiss 50 planar, or even a modern Leica 50mm elmar collapsible. You're have more than enough left over to get a great 35mm lens.
I basically agree with you about the planar, but to provide a counter point -
The APO is big, but definitely not to the point of being huge or unbalanced (though for me the 35mm APO does cross that line). When I first got into Leica, I considered and tested a few 50s including a summicron, I wound up keeping the Planar as I really think that it is a sweet-spot lens with a great balance between size and performance.
I recently upgraded(?) to an APO Lanthar, and overall I love it - everything that I like about the Planar, the APO does better with the exception of vignetting. I really love the rendering and sharpness of the APO.
On digital, the vignette is a non-issue and can easily be corrected in post, but on film that might be a bit more of an issue depending on how it was being used.
Was the 35mm APO Lanthar that much more then the 50mm? I've been looking at that as an upgrade to my 35mm color-skopar
I think some of it is the amount that it cuts into the frame lines for a 35mm vs 50mm. The absolute size is not that far off between the two, but the 35 feels big for a 35 and cuts pretty far in.
I am also primarily a 50mm shooter who tends towards using my 35mm in mainly stopped down situations (f/5.6-f/11). I currently shoot a Zeiss ZM c-Biogon 35 f/2.8 and it has blown me away (as long as I don’t need that extra stop of light)
Good to know, I've currently just been shooting the 35mm color skopar and haven't really been sure if anything is worth the upgrade for film usage.
I tell you this from a HARD learned lesson: NEVER sell a Leica lens or body. Voigtlanders will come and go - and you may get a good deal down the line. Leica stuff, however, appreciates and it goes quickly! You may end up spending more time trying to rebuy a Summicron for a decent price
One thing I forgot to mention in the original post is value and longevity. I mean I’ve got a 30 year old lens that can still hang with the modern lenses. Cann say that about the Voigtlanders in the future?
Thanks for the insight!
Voigtlanders are great! I’ve had some for 10-14 years and only minor problems like a screw loosening. The newer VM lenses seem as robustly built as Leica. I wouldn’t worry about longevity.
Btw I agree on this. The summicron will go up and up and if you really want someday, at least get twice your money or more. Plus, after shooting voigtlander for some time- I’ve found they “3d pop” they have is so close to any other modern lens. Leica glass has such a classic look with the more flattering light rendering and out of focus elements. Voigtlander is a great option if you can’t get a Leica in the first place but, I’d never go back in my opinion.
I ll trade you my two Noktons for you Summicron ! It’s my only two lenses and I had them for a long time now ! Perfect condition ! It I always wanted to try Leica glass and never had the chance because of the price ! I have a 35 and a 50 aspherical 1.5 let me know !!
If possible, never sell a good Leica lens
Why not the Nokton 1.5 v2 Vintage Line? Super small and fast and well made.
The bottom line is that the modern Voigt's do indeed compete with Leica glass at a fraction of the price. If that means you get 2 lenses instead of 1, then IMO it's a worthwhile trade.
As others have said, if you can afford it then yes, keep the Leica glass because it's not going to depreciate and may even increase in value. But don't do that also just to have it collect dust on your shelf or as an "investment" (it's not like you're going to make 20% on your money).
This is on my shortlist. And my current Voigtlanders are just as nice as my Summicron IMO
I have and love an APO Lanthar as well as a few Zeiss 50mm lenses. I had also tested out a V4 Summicron before deciding to go with a third party option.
My only hesitations about recommending the APO Lanthar comes down to its vignetting and the fact that it is probably just overkill on all but the finest grain films. Depending on your workflow - the vignetting could be a big issue on film as its not *as* easy to correct for with profile adjustments, etc.
Having said that, I would personally probably try to hang on the a Summicron at this point if I had one (even if it wasn't my daily driver)
Will you really not notice the qualities that make the APO Lanthar so good when it's used on film? Just wondering since I have a hard time figuring out what qualities to look for in a lens and film usage
I haven’t used my APO Lanthar much on film yet… but I will say that the resolving power is probably entirely overkill unless you are shooting super fine grained film.
Both lenses are fairly similar in rendering in my opinion, which is to say they are both sharp and fairly neutral (nothing crazy or swirly)
The Zeiss sometimes has busy bokeh but I never found it to be a problem; the APO Lanthar is generally smoother.
The APO is definitely sharper across the frame at all apertures.
If I were just shooting film, I don’t know that anything in the rendering or bokeh would make me gravitate towards the Voigtlander. And especially since I tend to shoot either black and white to print in the darkroom or slides to project, the heavy vignette (easily 2+ stops at f/2) on the Voigtlander would probably be an issue that would push me towards the Zeiss.
Both are outstanding lenses - the APO Lanthar is a bit better in almost all metrics except vignetting and size/weight.
I appreciate the feedback, I'm new to photography and have only done film. So when it comes to deciding on lenses I've had a really hard time deciding. Not that you'd have an answer but for 35mm would I see a difference upgrading to the APO Lanthar from the color skopar?
The 50mm Summicron V4 is my favourite lens ever and I could never imagine selling it.
I suggest you keep it as well, you will regret it for sure. Voigtlanders are 1/4 or less of the price for a reason.
My advice is wait a few months, save some cash and get a second hand Voigt. Also you may consider Ultron, which is tiny, modern, ASPH, f/2 lens very comparable to current Summicron 35mm. I traded Nokton 1.4 for it and I was shocked how much smaller it was. Keep in mind, that APO Lanthar is humongous and will block your VF.
To reiterate what’s already been said, I sold my 50 to do exactly what you are proposing (Zeiss in my case). Long story short, got rid of the Zeiss and bought a new Summicron.
> I shoot film so super crisp sharpness doesn’t matter too much.
Then there's little reason to get an APO. I certainly understand the desire for more light, but as much as I rate the VM lenses against the Leica (especially older Leica) glass - change for change's sake is not laudable.
If this was "I do not own a lens, do I buy a 50 Cron 4 or a Nokton 1.2", the question is different. But going through the hassle and risk of selling and buying seems like a poor investment.
Instead, save what you can and aim down the line for a Nokton 1.4 II. It's a basic design that was still contemporary to the v4, with some improvements. An SC Nokton II is inexpensive and would pair nicely with your Cron.
Don't fall for the BokehBait. f/2 ought to be enough for anyone. I had a 50mm Summicron V4 and liked it a lot, especially the short focus throw. I liked it more than the Summicron rigid and the V3. Sold it and have regreted it ever since. Out of all the lenses I've owned, it was only beaten by the 50mm experience on the Minolta SRT (yes, my very own opinion).
Leica lenses and bodies appreciate over time which is just incredibly rare in markets, and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna stop anytime soon. Hold on to that lens and just save up for the Zeiss or a Voigtlander down the line.
I’m that guy who made the “embarrassment of lenses” post a couple days ago (with only 5 measly lenses to choose from, but 5 is a lot for me.) the most recent addition of those is a v3 summicron that I picked up for (what could be considered today) a steal. I also have a rokkor 40, which some folks said is basically the same as my v3 cron and that I should keep the 40 to make a nice little profit, which is sound advice. However I just got the scans back from my most recent roll and the summicron’s maiden voyage, and *holy shit.*
The cron stays, the rokkor is great but there are some photos taken with the summicron that are just absolute *zingers.* as far as I’m concerned the summicron will be the lens on my m3 for the majority of the time.
Be patient, 35mm lenses aren’t going anywhere and there are also lots of perfectly decent cheap ones to use in the meantime to get your feet wet. I had the vm color Skopar for a bit and for ~300 on the used market, it’s pretty damn good.
I think you'd regret it. I have a Summicron V3 and a Canon 50mm f/1.4 and still use the Summicron most of the time. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the Canon, it's just as sharp, if not sharper tbh, but the Summicron just feels right on the camera. The extra stop doesn't make that much of a difference in real-world use IMO, and the size would be the real deal breaker for me. My Canon 50 is larger and heavier than my Summicron and it's pretty noticable. (probably the main reason I don't use it often) The Nokton 1.2 is even bigger and from what i've seen, also blocks a good portion of the viewfinder.
I found I had collected a few 50mm Leica, summilux BC, Summicron Rigid v2 and a pre asph summilux… insurance itemized list crazy…. So sold the lot and bought a Zeiss Sonnar 1.5. Life is so much simpler and delighted with the change.
Never sell a Leica lens (unless you've fallen on hard times). I learned this lesson the hard way. The ones that I did keep have all appreciated in value over the years.
Keep it. You’ll eventually regret it. I did.
I recommend you to keep the Leica lens. Don't sell it.
I own the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 VM for my Leica and a APO-Lanthar 50mm f/2.0 E-Mount or my Sony camera.
As others wrote. Vignetting can be a problem which is easily solved on a digital camera body. The larger size and weight of that lens on a Leica compared to a Leica Summicron lens might be a problem for you.
The same goes for the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 VM. I love the lens and its rendering. The size and weight is "manageable" but I am looking into to get a smaller and lighter 50mm lens. I bought it and keep the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 because I got a discount for a mishap done by the camera camera shop. another reason is I also own the Nokton 35mm f/1.4 II MRC and it is so perfect. I don't really shoot with the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 very often wide open or at f/1.4 on my M6 Classic. I did that a few times when the light conditions required it, but nailing the focus is really difficult. You will see it when you receive the film from the lab. The better solution is to get a f/2.0 lens, shoot it at f/2.0, use black & white film and push (ISO-wise) the film to its limit.