Fast becoming one of my favourite lenses. It may be old, and I have read the 1st version Lux lacks sharpness wide open, but I am very impressed with the performance of this lens.
Wide open the sharpness matches any of the other lenses I won (such as 50 Summicrons) in the in focus areas and the bokeh is very pleasing to me. I think the lens has that quality/feel that some people describe as a 'Leica glow' or three dimensional effect. Italso performs superbly stopped down.
Leitz 50mm Summilux f1.4 (v1) Photo Gallery by Nick De Marco at pbase.com
For those interested there is a kind of comparison, by looking at the other galleries this is within, with the Canon 50mm f1.2 - another fast old 50 some people criticize for being soft. I have not done a scientific comparison but looking the the various photos taken in these sub-galleries I draw the following conclusions:
1. The Canon 50/1.2 is without doubt a little soft wide open. I still quite like the lens, but the overall image is not only less sharp than the Lux 1.4, it also lacks that 3 dimensional feel
2. The Canon 50/1.4 is sharper than the 1.2, but I find the results rather mediocre
3. The 50 Lux is the most beautiful and the best performer. Looks great too but just a shame it's so big (nothing compared to the new Nokton 1.1 or Noctilux of course)
Before now my favourite RF lens was the 35 Summicron f2 pre-asph 4th version. It will probably remain my favourite lns in part as 35mm is my favourite range. This old Lux is the closest lens I have come across for creating he same unique feel as the 35/2. It's been a while since I used my 50 Summicrons, and I had no complaints about them, but I do prefer this Lux.
I'd like to know what other people think, in part as I am a bit of a lens whore. Whilst looking at recent results of experiments with new and old lenses I got all lusty over my new CV 35mm Color-Skopar f2.5 II - a lens I bought on a whim because it is small and took to taly without a clue how it would do. It was so sharp wide open, had good bokeh that it nearly (only nearly) actually competes with my favourite lens in my impressionaistic opinion - so deserving a separate thread to this one dedicated to the lovely Lux