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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Buying a Preasph 35 1.4 Summilux which one
Old 07-07-2009   #1
Ricko of Fla
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Buying a Preasph 35 1.4 Summilux which one

I read the post by Telenous - The many Secret guises of the Summilux 35 1.4.

So which one does every one like. There is
Type 1 serial #s 1,7600 -2,166 M2
or M3 serial # 1,7600- 2,166
Theres Type 2 serial # 2,221-3,253

I would appreciate every one's opinions, on which lens to purchase
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Old 07-07-2009   #2
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I have the 2nd version.... 325397x
which I ADORE !!!!
I have posted some pixs in the '35 pre asph ' M Thread
Haven't tried the first version though
but I am PURRfectly Content ...

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Old 07-07-2009   #3
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Thanks Helen, for your input

Rick
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Old 07-07-2009   #4
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I have a type 2 also. It can make wonderful pictures. It is very small and compact. My first Leica lens and one of my favorites. Joe
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Old 07-07-2009   #5
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I've got a very late one now, #343XXXX which I absolutely love in the woods.
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Old 07-10-2009   #6
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The Type I is a text-book example of optical aberrations. It has enough coma/flare etc to keep the most "character" hungry M- shooter happy!
In context, it was Leicas answer to the Nikon 35f1.8 and the Canon 35f1.5 and 1.8 (Both the Nikkor 35f1.8 and the Canon f1.8 are better).
The M3 version is optically the same as the Type I - but with the added bulk of the "goggles".
The Type II is much improved - particularly in the later form (post 3000 000) and though a bit flare prone - sharp and medium contrast. I have a very late version of this one still and use it occasionally. I have to admit though that for a medium fast 35 - these days I use my Nokton 35f1.4 as it is an all around better lens. The Summilux is kept more for "sentimental" reasons than for optical exellence.
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Old 07-10-2009   #7
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I've got the type 2, 3537XXX, lots of character and glow, fantastic lens with a sharp grained B&W film like Tri-X.

Andrew.
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Old 07-11-2009   #8
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Tom A: Do you like the Nokton 35mm f1.4 more because of the way it renders B & W images or is it because of the speed. How do you find the Skopar 35mm f2.5 for B & W images compared to the nokton?
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Old 07-11-2009   #9
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They are two different lenses. The Nokton 35f1.4 is a modern version of the pre asph Summilux. Some idiosyncrasies when it comes to field curvature and mine is a SC and has a slightly lower contrast - which I prefer for bl/w.
The VC Skopar 35f2.5 is a smaller sized competitor for the Summicron pre asph. It is sharp, good contrast and though a bit slower than the Summicron - it is as good as the VIII/IV of that line-up.
If you need the speed, go for the Nokton 35f1.4 (it is better @1.4 than the Summilux) and if you want something small and compact, but with a high performance, go for the VC 35f2.5. The good news is that you can get both for what the "market" charges for a clean 35f2 IV Summicron! Just switch at 6 pm from the f2.5 to the f1.4.
As per usual - check Flickr for the "look" of any of these lenses.
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Old 07-11-2009   #10
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Id love to get a 35mm Lux Titan, but I prefer sharp images at f/1.4. I did shoot with a late model 35 pre-asph Lux for awhile but the f/1.4 rendition was too "romantic" for me. I sold it in favor of the Lux ASPH.
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Old 07-11-2009   #11
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Mine seems to be a version 2, SN 3538xxx (German-made) and was my first Leica lens. Fabulous lens with bad reputation.
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Old 07-26-2009   #12
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Ordered my Leica 35 1.4 today #31xxx , what lens hood should I purchase to eliminate the flare when out side. I read 12453, 12526 any other and which one is best to use?
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Old 07-26-2009   #13
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I have the type 2, mainly used on the M8, wide open gives a unique glow, stopped down, it's difficult to tell from a summicron pre-asph.
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Old 07-26-2009   #14
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Like most lenses, when you start stopping them down - they start looking the same! The 35f1.4, particularly the later version is a good lens. It has some ideas about how things should look at f1.4 - and if you like it - it works well. By the time you get to f2.8 and beyond - it is just a good 35 mm lens.
As for the hood, I use the 12504 version (round, which clips on) - works fin and is somewhat less bulky than the 35/50 12585.
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Old 07-26-2009   #15
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Leitz was clever about the way they designed this lens. They made it so the aberrations show up mostly in front of the plane of focus. What this means is that if you take a photo with lots of OOF foreground in the corners you will see nasty corner swirl/bluriness from f1.4 diminishing until about f2.8. But most people don't compose this way, or else the corners are too dark to show the coma. I looked at hundreds(ed.:well, I didn't count but it was a lot) of photos taken with it on flickr and could only find a few with OOF foreground that showed the effect. Most people put the subject in the foreground, so the background is OOF. At f2 the lens is noticeably better. I wish I had a first gen Summicron to compare it to, I bet it's similar. It's low contrast wide open, but it actually controls veiling flare really well (compared to an uncoated tessar type lens, for example, which can not be pointed toward any light source without washing out the picture). What you'll see is flare around edges and "glow" off of light surfaces. The depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, which may contribute to its reputation for softness.

At f4-f8 I think it is a superb lens, and that's really the main reason to own it. I find I only use f1.4 under really dim conditions, where the character of the lens seems to match the character of the light.

Last edited by Melvin : 07-26-2009 at 17:59. Reason: more
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12504
Old 07-26-2009   #16
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12504

is probably the stock one. Some are using the 35/2 cron asph rect. ones. I'm not sure if those need modding or not.

I plan to try a 50 cron hood version as I don't think the stock hood is ideal for an M8 or RD1.
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Old 08-07-2009   #17
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I put the 12524 hood on my new old 35 1.4. Works great, I epoxied a o-ring in the hood to hold a 39mm UV/IR filter. So far, so good
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Old 08-08-2009   #18
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Erwin Puts don't mention two versions of the pre-asph. Summilux (1961, midland design) existing. Maybe they improved the coatings but the basic design should be the same. I have none of them, my fast 35 is the Canon 35/1.5. Maybe it shows more ghosting because of the bigger front element (Leica decided to leave the front element both of the 35/1.4 and the 50/1 small to cut aberrations, at a price of higher light falloff to the corners). The contrast at f/1.5 is very low, sharpness is present just in the very center. At f/2.8 the 35/1.5 is excellent - better than any other Canon 35.
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Old 08-08-2009   #19
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I have a version 1 lux pre asph and love it. It is always attached to my m6, to tom's credit I don't think I would pay as much as they go for.. a 35 nokton is a lot cheaper and a good lens too, but I got mine with the m6 for 1500 so I think it will stay with me for a long time. The flare is the biggest issue with them I think. It this example is not as bad as it can get though.
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Old 08-08-2009   #20
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I have used the old 35mm Summilux back in the sixties, and still have some prints. But there is no comparison with the one that lives on my black M2: infinity lock, Series VII filters in hood, Canada ser.No 2222xxxxxx. It has a bit of "glow" wide open which is not without charm, and can flare if you point it straight at a spotlight. But from f2 it has top class tonality and sharpness. And it's compact. I recommend this particular version with all my heart.
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same behavior with non-infinity lock v2s
Old 08-08-2009   #21
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same behavior with non-infinity lock v2s

I have a later one without infinity lock, but it has the same behavior. I can almost guarantee "the glow" at 1.4, but at f2 and smaller, just the 'cron-ish look. I use the 12526 hood with no filter, mostly b/w, but keep a 12504 w/ uv/ir filter VII (49mm) filter in it if I need color.

Quote:
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I have used the old 35mm Summilux back in the sixties, and still have some prints. But there is no comparison with the one that lives on my black M2: infinity lock, Series VII filters in hood, Canada ser.No 2222xxxxxx. It has a bit of "glow" wide open which is not without charm, and can flare if you point it straight at a spotlight. But from f2 it has top class tonality and sharpness. And it's compact. I recommend this particular version with all my heart.
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Old 10-04-2009   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnar2 View Post
Erwin Puts don't mention two versions of the pre-asph. Summilux (1961, midland design) existing. Maybe they improved the coatings but the basic design should be the same..
The pre-ASPH 50 Lux is also a similar riddle. Officially the optical formula did not change from the introduction of v02 (1962/63?), until end of production a few years ago. But it's difficult to imagine that while the basic formula may have remained the same, that they didn't tweak it intentionally or perhaps in response to the glass supply changing etc.

Who really knows?
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Old 10-04-2009   #23
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I am assuming that all 35mm 1.4 pre-asph referred to as Version II are basically identical in performance no matter how large the serial number is.
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Old 10-05-2009   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I am assuming that all 35mm 1.4 pre-asph referred to as Version II are basically identical in performance no matter how large the serial number is.
This lens was made in very small numbers and was hand made. In the sixties 35mm f/1.4 was a very demanding construction. Therefore I think every single specimen is different from all the others.
I have two of them no. 2060691 (chrome) and 2221365 (black) and they are different. At 1 meter (3 ft) the chrome one is slightly sharper and has a flatter field.
I will do some more tests and publish them on RFF.

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Old 10-06-2009   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
This lens was made in very small numbers and was hand made. In the sixties 35mm f/1.4 was a very demanding construction. Therefore I think every single specimen is different from all the others.
I have two of them no. 2060691 (chrome) and 2221365 (black) and they are different. At 1 meter (3 ft) the chrome one is sligtly sharper and has a flatter field.
I will do some more tests and publish them on RFF.

Erik.
This is rather interesting, Erik.
Is then the second version more uniformly made or was it also hand made and it has different variations from sample to sample too?
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Old 10-07-2009   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I think every single specimen is different from all the others.
From my experience with this lens I completely agree. I currently shoot a late 80's version (#3433XXX) and previously used an early 70's version, (#2548XXX) and they are quite different- with the older lens having better up close performance than the newer. Coatings are certainly different between these two as well.
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Old 10-07-2009   #27
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So there is less precision from lens to lens. Is this viewed as poor quality control or is it like someone is painting a masterpiece and you expect different paintings each time?
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Old 10-07-2009   #28
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The Summilux 35f1,4 was never a huge volume seller. It was "batch" made at Midland - a couple of 100 at a time.
The Version I severely taxed their assembly skills. If not done right - it was awful, and even with careful alignment and checking - it was at best mediocre compared to what Canon and Nikon had at the time.
The Version II went through some changes in the mount (infinity lock, finish, etc) and also some minor "fiddling" with coating. Midland was well known for ignoring paperwork as to when something was changed or even what was changed - so a lot of Summilux 35 pre-asph information is speculation at best.
Generally though, the later version #3xxx xxx and above are good lenses, They still retain some of the optical aberrations that some people love, coma,flare etc - but it is a decent lens.
Of course, esthetics come into play too - it does look really good on a M2 or M4 - there is something with that "bulging" front element and the size of it that balances the size of the lens.
The best combination has to to be a version I in black paint and a battered, black paint M2. You truly looked like you knew what you were doing!! I used that combination until the lens meet with a side-walk and got crunched. Of course, you never told anyone how much you were swearing in the darkroom trying to burn down flare or finding something, hell anything that was sharp at f1.4!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2009   #29
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The cheapest Lux 35 that I know (and the only one I could afford) was made by Canon .
Incidentally, it's quite sharp and beautifully made.
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Filter size
Old 10-14-2009   #30
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Filter size

With winter coming I'm also on the lookout for a faster 35mm. What filter size does a late V2 summilux take? And the CV Nokton 35/1.4?

Thank you!
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Old 10-14-2009   #31
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My Lux is from 1966 with a very heavy yet easy to maneuver Infinity Lock
Lets Spice things Up w/ some Color...

GORGEOUS Processing, Erik.....
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filter
Old 10-14-2009   #32
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filter

It uses a series VII in the 12504 hood, or a 49mm will filt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmeertens View Post
With winter coming I'm also on the lookout for a faster 35mm. What filter size does a late V2 summilux take? And the CV Nokton 35/1.4?

Thank you!
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Old 11-03-2009   #33
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trying to work out how old mine is black Canada with '35' serial 3192###.
any ideas?
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maybe around 1982
Old 11-03-2009   #34
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maybe around 1982

check out some of the online databases with a search engine.

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trying to work out how old mine is black Canada with '35' serial 3192###.
any ideas?
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Old 11-03-2009   #35
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Quote:
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check out some of the online databases with a search engine.
Have done. you seem to be right didn't think it was as new, seemed to remember there was a section on the leica site where you put in the serial number and it gave you the model etc but can't find that anywhere.
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Old 11-10-2009   #36
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M6 35 summilux no.3253xxx kodak t-max at 800asa.

Taken with the lens wide open.
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Old 01-05-2010   #37
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Quote:
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The Summilux 35f1,4 was never a huge volume seller. It was "batch" made at Midland - a couple of 100 at a time.
The Version I severely taxed their assembly skills. If not done right - it was awful, and even with careful alignment and checking - it was at best mediocre compared to what Canon and Nikon had at the time.
In UK in the mid-60s the 35 Summilux was very hard to get hold of, partly becuae of what Tom A mentions and partly because coming from Canada there was no import duty, which made it cheaper than a Summicron. I worked in a photo dealers and ordered one around 1965 and when it eventually arrived I thought it was the most gorgeous lens I'd seen - but when I got the first film processed I could have wept. At 1.4 it wasn't poor, it was gruesome! Images were best described as smudged, and they didn't really improve when stopped down. Clearly, a bad 'un. It went back to Leitz in Mortimer Street who were quite up front and said, yes, it's faulty, we have no idea when the next one will be available, here's your credit note. Very soon afterwards I bought a used 35mm Summicron and, perhaps sadly, never actually got a good chrome 35 Summilux.

Years later I got a black one, with infinity catch, which I thought better than the 8-element Summicron at equal apertures.
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Old 01-05-2010   #38
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hey ERIK
just reread this Thread
and Noticed my blk 1966 lux is a relative
....#2221324....SWEEEEET !
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interesting!
Old 01-11-2010   #39
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interesting!

Mike, by "bands" do you mean the round lens edge? I've only seen this once or twice (mine is a Canadian early '80s).

I have noticed that the "glow", when present, can be almost switched on/off by going from 1.4 to 1.7.

Quote:
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I have a late version, and yesterday I mounted it on a GF-1. With the live view it was interesting to see when it would flare. Mine handles sun in the frame pretty well, but when at 45 degree angle or so to the lens axis the flare bands show up at f1.4 and to a lesser extent at f2. I have a summicron asph hood on it, and surprisingly the hood has little impact. Once direct sunlight touches the edge of the lens the bands show up (f1.4). At f2.8 and smaller apertures it is pretty flare resistant.

Playing around with a summilux asph, it can get ufo's when the sun is in frame, but I see almost no flare when the sun wasn't in the frame.
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Old 01-11-2010   #40
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if I understand what you're saying, I can confirm my lens is also the same. If the light source is in the frame then it's ok-ish. Only at a certain angle when it's outside the frame does it flare. And the hood makes no difference either way. By f2 it's getting alot better.

I wonder if it's worth it to use the hood at all? Can you run some more tests with your live view? Thanks
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