Robert Callway: 50mm Summicron – The Right Kind of Everything

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  • Interesting read, I just caught up on your Summilux article as well.

    I’m especially interested in your comment about the Summicron being easier to focus – could you expand on that a bit more? Is this just a matter of preferring the ergonomics? Or do you mean easier when shooting wide open?

    I jumped ship from DSLR and bought a used M8 and 50mm Summilux sight unseen, the only Leica lens I’ve ever used so I’m very interested in learning about other options.


  • hi mugget….i felt, and i am not the only one, that the 50mm summilux asph had too much focus-throw and because it also has a floating element i.e. a lot of glass moving inside…the focusing was quite heavy and not smooth like the summicron.

    that was my experience with this lens…others may differ.

    the summilux is incredible but that is the trade-off.

    if you are buying the summilux secondhand I would buy it and if its not for you…sell it for what you paid for it and get a summicron instead.

    hope this helps…bob

  • Great info – thanks Bob for your reply.

    Maybe a big difference in my case is that I have a 40 years older non-ASPH Summilux, which I believe doesn’t have the floating element. In any case it sure sounds like the Summicron is worth looking into! (Haha, can’t miss a chance at a good pun!)

  • I’m one of the few who didn’t get along well with the 50mm Summicron. I had some focus issues and flare problems. I traded it back in towards a pre-ASPH 50mm Summilux E46 which while not nearly as sharp, I can focus much easier and all my flare problems have gone away.

  • dan….would agree with flaring actually but its like 1 in 99 shots with me so don’t notice it. did you have latest version ? i have no problems on focusing…would love a go on a pre-asph lux to see whats different between it and asph vers.

  • Cheers Chester! Been a great response to article…quite a lot of messages have come through to my email as well. Appreciate them all.

    I am looking forward to writing next blog about the 35mm Summilux Asph. V1!!

  • Great pictures! I like them all, but the Dad photo, #8 and #9 are outstanding!

    BTW, have you maybe had a chance to use ZM Zeiss Planar 50 f/2? Would be interesting to see how you’d test it 🙂

  • Great images and a great lens. The latest 50mm Summicron was my only lens for a while and is what 90% of my shots are taken with. Now supplemented with a 28mm Summicron.

    If I could only have one lens it would be a 50mm Summicron. As it is I only use two lenses anyway.

  • Domagoj….cheers. My Dad actually doesn’t like that shot but liked that I got it on the Leica blog! I told him it was either that one or the one of him in a turkey costume!! He is a big Leica fan and introduced me to the M6. I haven’t had any chance to use the Zeiss which I hear is outstanding. I do have a Voigtlander 50mm 1.4 but hardly get used since I got the Summicron…which is superior.

    Mike…yeah it’s a superb lens. I got a Summilux 35mm Asph. V1 to complement to take my low light shots and a wider POV. It is magic at 1.4 and handier for street sohts…likewise your 28mm ‘cron.

    Thanks for the messages

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