50 APO..to be or not to be.

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 Post subject: 50 APO..to be or not to be.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:17 pm 
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Have been primarily shooting a 50 Summilux ASPH for about two years. Lovely lens, a bit on the larger side, clinical but in a good way though it blocks the finder a tad and sports its own E46 filters (selfish little thing). The siren song of the APO whispers in my ear but cannot say after extensive research, that I have objectively found a knockout technical/stylistic reason to sell the former and spend >US$3500 for the privilege of the dance (maybe with the specter of Hillary/Bernie, I should just buy gold Krugerrands and call it a day...). Part of me doesn't want to give up that extra stop.

Has anyone here made that transition? Thoughts?

(I shoot an MM v.1 for now)


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 Post subject: Re: 50 APO..to be or not to be.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:22 pm 
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for starters here is a link to a dedicated Leica user - Stephen Cosh - who made the switch.
Stephen posts a lot of his work on flickr and has his own website if you wish to delve further.

http://stephencosh.com/category/5-reviews-tips/


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 Post subject: Re: 50 APO..to be or not to be.
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:35 pm 
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I have the Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH and find it to be more or less "the perfect lens" for me. Yes, it can be somewhat clinical at times - but wider open I find it to provide truly outstanding isolation and lovely bokeh with all the sharpness I could ask for - especially stopped down.

If you want to avoid a clinical lens, the APO is the wrong direction! Leica set out to create, literally, a perfect 50mm with it. It will absolutely shine on the Monochrom especially. But if it's character you want, you might want to look at the previous generation of Summilux or Summicron. A little more "softness" (they're still sharp), a little more flare... Tons more character.

There's also a huge price difference... As you're probably aware, the APO is among the most expensive of Leica's current lenses. Not sure if that's a consideration. But with the savings, you could go on a nice trip somewhere to shoot that older Summicron! :p

I like that all my lenses share the 46mm filter size too. :)

FYI, the Summilux is essentially an APO lens as well; it's just not marked/marketed that way.

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 Post subject: Re: 50 APO..to be or not to be.
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:54 am 
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'greene881': Thanks for the Stephen Cosh link

'Double Negative': The cost differential isn't what it used to be; 2nd hand, ~US$5300 and QM2 about $5900. The Noctilux is still more expensive and a bit of a one-trick pony (though a handsome & rarified equine as it is). I've got an old 50 Rigid for lower-contrast situations, so I imagine that I'm covered. I prefer the cleaner modern look in most instances so the high-contrast isn't off-putting. Unless it's too high. I must agree with you that the Summilux is something special. The bokeh is delicate and gentle, isolating the subject at ƒ/1.4 and 2.0 with finesse. Other fast 50's I've used (notably, the NOCT Nikkor, Canon 50/1.2 and Nikkor 50/1.2 AiS) have had their unique draw but were nowhere near as sharp wide-open. Hence my dilemma.

Still, at almost treble the outlay, is it 'all that'?


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