The King is dead - long live the King

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 Post subject: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Or, "how a line of bullshit raised used Summicron 35mm f/2 Type IV prices for a while."

It's funny, because I never bought that "King of Bokeh" nonsense anyway. It looked pretty ordinary to me. That's not to say the lens isn't capable or nice in its own right. It's just not royalty. ;)

A New 'King of Bokeh'?

"Years ago, rather unfortunately in some ways, I named the 35mm Summicron-M v.4 as the "King of Bokeh" (bokeh—or boke or boke-aji—meaning out-of-focus [o-o-f] blur). The epithet has taken on a life of its own since then...especially when that lens is for sale somewhere. Erwin rightly scolds me for this (indirectly) in Leica Chronicle.

I was missing part of the story at the time (1997). You see I never shot the lens wide open and very seldomly as little as one stop down. It does have wonderfully coherent blur—from ƒ/5.6 and moderate distances. That brilliant but flawed lens doesn't look its best (in any respect) wide open, or close up. (Lots of falloff, too, which I kind of liked.)

Let's face it, bokeh is not a strong point of Leica lenses, in general*.

[SNIP]

*...Except the ones you own. Don't kill me."

-Mike Johnston


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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:23 am 
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When I borrowed that lens, I used it predominantly with wide open iris, due to the lighting conditions we have in Northern Norway this time of year. Can´t say I didn´t enjoy the lens, but bokeh, and particularly with "wider-than-50" lenses, have never been an interest of mine.

I realise I might be on my own here, as both depth of field (and thin such) and bokeh are of little interest to me, fast lenses are bought for the speed of them, and little else. It´s not, however, detrimental to me if a lens I like draws a bit blurred in the back- and foreground, but how it draws on the focus plane is of far more importance.

The Cron 35 v4 is still, bokeh king or not, a spectacularly nice little lens, and one that I´d much rather own than the ASPH version. For its compactness, if not much else - never tried the ASPH, so my basis of comparison is slightly off.


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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Definitely nothing wrong with the v4 - and like you said, it's smaller than the ASPH.

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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:06 pm 
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Has anyone seen the bokeh from the .95 noct? I think its right up there with my Canon 200 2L which smoke anything Sigma produces.

I actually I don't dislike the bokeh from my 35 lux FLE.


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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:26 am 
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As a matter of fact, yes... :)

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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:20 pm 
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Double Negative wrote:
As a matter of fact, yes... :)

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Do you own it?

Thats one sweet piece of glass.


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 Post subject: Re: The King is dead - long live the King
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:36 am 
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I tried one as well, and just about every other 35mm lens in my quest for classical rendering, nice bokeh, but modern sharpness.

I ended up buying the 35mm f/2.5 Summarit, which is beautiful in every respect.


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