I often get approached by friends who are interested in “getting a nice Leica lens.” We talked about the budget. Some of them may be in the position of getting his first Leica lens, others may hold Leica Summicron looking for an upgrade .
Low light performance and bokeh aren’t the benefits to a Summicron f/2 lens, and a Summilux can give you great low light performance by providing a wider f/1.4 aperture. The wider aperture not only gathers a lot of light, it also produces good bokeh . A Leica Summilux lens is usually the way to go if you want to shoot with a wide aperture.For many people, a wide aperture lens is going to open up a lot of creative opportunities that a narrow aperture one won’t.
Old Lens Life
Leica old lenses often have an added bonus, they maintain their value very well compared to new lenses. If you buy a Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 E46 and find you don’t use it much, you can often resell it and get most of your money
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH is a big, expensive lens and people definitely take notice when you walk around with it. It’s a fantastic lens, but also costs three times more than a Summilux e43. I didn’t use it much on my street photography because it’s bulky and heavy.
This E46 version sort of transitions between earlier E43 and the current ASPH:
The E43 is optically the same(designed by Mandler), but it only focuses to 1 meter vs 0.7 meter for the E46 version. The E46 and ASPH have the same built in hoods(designed by Peter Karbe).
Basically Leica kept black chromed lenses in aluminum body, lighter weight, silver chromed in brass body, heavier. The brass body lenses are more solid than aluminum body lenses. It weighs 275g/9.7oz in black, and 380g/13.4oz in silver and titanium.
I like the sound of turning the aperture ring. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem. It’s a pity that this sound can’t be heard in later Leica lenses.
No other 50mm lens in the world is as beautiful as Leica Rigid. The sad truth is that certain types of things can’t go backwards.
On CMOS and CCD
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid is a lens that performs really well on both film and digital. It has a gentler rendition, lower contrast on CMOS and CCD sensors.
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid is not so easy to find in good optical condition. It’s pretty rare for a lens of that age to have no damage.
I have got myself a 50mm f/2 Rigid For a very good price. However, its price has doubled in the past 5 years. You are going to find Summicron-M 50mm V4 if you are on the budget. Rigid is the second choice.
Rigid VS V4
The Rigid is supposed to be sharper than the collapsible ones. I pretty much exclusively use the Summicron-M 50mm V4 now as my 50mm, which has better coatings and may even be sharper.
The Rigid DR is great, but a little bit heavy. Rigid was best for me on BW, V4 is amazing on color. Personally, I don’t recommend DR, If you get the DR and later get a digital Leica you will need a different lens.
The cleaning car came slowly, and I felt the picture was clean and peaceful. So I filmed it. The driver inside saw me with a grin, and he should be laughing at what this fool is shooting?
Smile, smile makes the world warmer.
Kentmere PAN 400 35mm Film is one of the cheapest black and white films we sell. It offers impressively fine grain and sharpness, with medium contrast and performs well under a variety of lighting conditions.
FOMAPAN 100 Classic is a panchromatically sensitized, black-and-white negative film designed for taking photographs. The film meets high requirements for low granularity, high resolving power and contour sharpness and a wide range of halftones. FOMAPAN 100 Classic has a nominal speed rating of ISO 100/21o, but due to its wide exposure latitude the film gives good results even when overexposed by 1 EV (exposure value) (as ISO 50/18o) or underexposed by 2 EV (as ISO 400/27o) without any change in processing, i.e. without lengthening the development time or increasing the temperature of the developer used.