Leica 28mm 'cron ASPH v1 vs v2 differences?
Old 04-21-2019   #1
mightbenow
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Leica 28mm 'cron ASPH v1 vs v2 differences?

I've been in the market for a 28mm lens and can't seem to find a whole lot of difference between the Leica Summicron 28mm f/2 v1 lens (model # 11604) and the v2 lens (model # 11672)
  • I know the v1 lens uses a plastic hood compared to a metal screw-in hood for v2.
  • The build construction, glass wise, looks to be exactly the same.
  • Same weight.
  • I can get a 28mm f/2 v1 for around $1,800 USD in used near/mint condition.
  • The price of the 28mm f/2 v2 is almost double that at around $3300 for used near/mint.
  • I've also read through this thread and it seems like a great lens overall.
Is there anything other than the hood type that justifies the price jump?

Are photos taken between the two any different?

Should I consider a different brand?

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2019   #2
Richard G
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I would be very happy with the version 1 and would prefer the old hood. Marek Fogiel here and others’ shots online with the first Summicron show something special. Hard to believe the more recent lens could be much better.
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Old 04-21-2019   #3
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I would be very happy with the version 1 and would prefer the old hood. Marek Fogiel here and others’ shots online with the first Summicron show something special. Hard to believe the more recent lens could be much better.
That's my logic, if the only difference is the hood I don't see anything wrong with the v1 one other than it's plastic. Not to mention that extra $$ saved seems hard to beat.
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Old 04-21-2019   #4
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Just some thoughts:
I shot the v1 (uncoded) on an M240 about 4 years ago. I liked the lens, but I would sometimes forget the coding (selecting the lens profile) and ended up with purple corners for my pics. This bothered me enough to sell it. I never used the hood when I had the lens (in the few months I had it).

I toyed around with other 28mms and recently settled for the v2. The price difference was about $1200 when I compared a 6bit V1 and the V2, both used.

Is the v2 worth about 40-50% more? I had a few considerations:
- I've read some v1 copies suffered from wobble and build issues. I suspect these would be the earlier copies pre-digital, but I cannot verify. For me, the newer version gave me peace of mind in this respect
- I never used the hood with the v1, but with the v2 the hood is more compact. It is perpetually on my lens
- The v2 has better corners. This has been documented in some reviews. I suppose stopping down to 5.6 might yield smaller differences in performance. I considered the v2 because I may adapt the lens to a Sony or Nikon body in the future, and the v2 would be a better performer
- The v2 I purchased had warranty left
- I knew at the back of my mind I would think of the v2 if I purchased the v1
- After shooting with the v2 for a while, I feel the v2 has slightly higher contrast. Not to say the v1 was not a contrasty lens. In any case I never shot them side by side to know for sure.

I did consider the v1 largely cause you could get a Leica Q for the price of the v2 (or less), and this appealed cause you would have both a 28mm and another body. I still went with the v2 in the end.

If you shoot film and if you can physically inspect the lens/purchase from a place that offers returns, the v1 is definitely worthwhile. It has shot many magical images before and will continue to do so.
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Old 04-21-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasdfg View Post
Just some thoughts:
I shot the v1 (uncoded) on an M240 about 4 years ago. I liked the lens, but I would sometimes forget the coding (selecting the lens profile) and ended up with purple corners for my pics. This bothered me enough to sell it. I never used the hood when I had the lens (in the few months I had it).

I toyed around with other 28mms and recently settled for the v2. The price difference was about $1200 when I compared a 6bit V1 and the V2, both used.

Is the v2 worth about 40-50% more? I had a few considerations:
- I've read some v1 copies suffered from wobble and build issues. I suspect these would be the earlier copies pre-digital, but I cannot verify. For me, the newer version gave me peace of mind in this respect
- I never used the hood with the v1, but with the v2 the hood is more compact. It is perpetually on my lens
- The v2 has better corners. This has been documented in some reviews. I suppose stopping down to 5.6 might yield smaller differences in performance. I considered the v2 because I may adapt the lens to a Sony or Nikon body in the future, and the v2 would be a better performer
- The v2 I purchased had warranty left
- I knew at the back of my mind I would think of the v2 if I purchased the v1
- After shooting with the v2 for a while, I feel the v2 has slightly higher contrast. Not to say the v1 was not a contrasty lens. In any case I never shot them side by side to know for sure.

I did consider the v1 largely cause you could get a Leica Q for the price of the v2 (or less), and this appealed cause you would have both a 28mm and another body. I still went with the v2 in the end.

If you shoot film and if you can physically inspect the lens/purchase from a place that offers returns, the v1 is definitely worthwhile. It has shot many magical images before and will continue to do so.

I shoot digital, does that make a big difference? I'm using a Leica M10-P.

As far as the Q goes, I was considering it, just keep my M10P w/ my 50mm f/1.5 sonnar and use a Q2? I don't know. Or just sell the M10P and go for the Q2 by itself. I played with the Q for a weekend, and while it was pretty much a point and shoot in my mind, I did like how small it is and that it has full manual physical controls. OIS was like cheating at focusing though, in a good way.
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Old 04-21-2019   #6
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technically not subtle differences between these two.
i prefer the V1, don't use the hood often, but i prefer the chunky hook sometimes for aesthetic reason.
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Old 04-21-2019   #7
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The milder contrast compared to the aspheric 2.8 I have is what attracts me to the version 1.
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Old 04-21-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by mightbenow View Post
I shoot digital, does that make a big difference? I'm using a Leica M10-P.

As far as the Q goes, I was considering it, just keep my M10P w/ my 50mm f/1.5 sonnar and use a Q2? I don't know. Or just sell the M10P and go for the Q2 by itself. I played with the Q for a weekend, and while it was pretty much a point and shoot in my mind, I did like how small it is and that it has full manual physical controls. OIS was like cheating at focusing though, in a good way.

I suspect the difference in performance between a coded 28mm v1 and 28mm v2 would be reduced on a digital M, especially an M10 (or M240). I just liked the option of adapting a better performing lens to other cameras in the future if I needed. The hood, build, possible higher microcontrast and better flare resistance were bonuses. To be honest you'd probably need to shoot them side by side to compare contrast and flare resistance. If I had the v1 I'd just shoot without the hood or shoot with a smaller hood. I think the question is which one would make you happier. If you're buying used it's less of a risk since you can sell it off for little to no loss.

The difference in price could get you a Ricoh GR3 or another lens (maybe a 35mm 1.4 Zeiss, a lens I love). When you think about what you can do with the money saved by going via the v1 route it really does put things into perspective. I thought pretty hard about it (as you can tell from my overly long reply).

I decided against the Q for 3 reasons:
1) It's a depreciating asset in that it's a camera first, then a 28mm second, and to me the less cameras I have the better because they lose value faster than lenses

I don't shoot enough to justify a 28mm (given I prefer 35mm and 50mm) but want a go-to 28mm for my existing M240, so having a Q sitting around isn't really ideal to me

2) I prefer shooting with a rangefinder, so while the Q is undoubtedly fun, the Q wouldn't fulfill what I want in a 28mm as I want a 28mm rangefinder lens. I do know that the Q's manual focus implementation is pretty good but it isn't the same.

3) I usually only shoot with 1 lens and 1 camera per trip. However if i were to carry 2 lenses, it'd be 28mm and 50mm. A 28cron would be smaller than a Q and 400g lighter. I wouldn't sling both cameras (Q and 50mm + M240) when I'm out, so it's really just having a small lens in my bag to swap out when I want a 28mm.

The above is relevant for 28 v1 or v2 vs Q (or Ricoh GR3 for that matter).


As for alternative 28mms:
- 28Lux: I tried the 28lux for a month - it's too heavy and too big and that sucked the fun out of having a 28mm to sling and walk out of the house
- 28 Elmarit Asph: Found the 28elmarit asph v2 (same for v1 for the most part) to be too contrasty. It's also too small and off balanced when I slung the camera. I didn't use the hood on the v2 as it was almost half the size of the lens (defeated the size advantage). I sometimes felt f2.8 was a bit too slow on my M240.
- 28 f2 MS-Optics: Small, fun 28mm with moderate sharpness in the centre, close focus to 0.3m using live view. My issue with it was that the corners never sharpened up enough when stopped down, and it was too small (same comment in relation to 28 elmarit asph)

I did consider the 28mm 1.4 by 7artisans but I suspect the same issues I had with the 28lux would arise, though it is 1/10 of the price. I didn't like the fact the 28mm 2.8 ZM suffered from some purple corners from what I've read and seen. Voigtlander's 28mm f2 is a pretty decent lens on paper, but I was never drawn to it (I also read it has focus shift).
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Old 04-22-2019   #9
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Originally Posted by chasdfg View Post
I suspect the difference in performance between a coded 28mm v1 and 28mm v2 would be reduced on a digital M, especially an M10 (or M240). I just liked the option of adapting a better performing lens to other cameras in the future if I needed. The hood, build, possible higher microcontrast and better flare resistance were bonuses. To be honest you'd probably need to shoot them side by side to compare contrast and flare resistance. If I had the v1 I'd just shoot without the hood or shoot with a smaller hood. I think the question is which one would make you happier. If you're buying used it's less of a risk since you can sell it off for little to no loss.

The difference in price could get you a Ricoh GR3 or another lens (maybe a 35mm 1.4 Zeiss, a lens I love). When you think about what you can do with the money saved by going via the v1 route it really does put things into perspective. I thought pretty hard about it (as you can tell from my overly long reply).

I decided against the Q for 3 reasons:
1) It's a depreciating asset in that it's a camera first, then a 28mm second, and to me the less cameras I have the better because they lose value faster than lenses

I don't shoot enough to justify a 28mm (given I prefer 35mm and 50mm) but want a go-to 28mm for my existing M240, so having a Q sitting around isn't really ideal to me

2) I prefer shooting with a rangefinder, so while the Q is undoubtedly fun, the Q wouldn't fulfill what I want in a 28mm as I want a 28mm rangefinder lens. I do know that the Q's manual focus implementation is pretty good but it isn't the same.

3) I usually only shoot with 1 lens and 1 camera per trip. However if i were to carry 2 lenses, it'd be 28mm and 50mm. A 28cron would be smaller than a Q and 400g lighter. I wouldn't sling both cameras (Q and 50mm + M240) when I'm out, so it's really just having a small lens in my bag to swap out when I want a 28mm.

The above is relevant for 28 v1 or v2 vs Q (or Ricoh GR3 for that matter).


As for alternative 28mms:
- 28Lux: I tried the 28lux for a month - it's too heavy and too big and that sucked the fun out of having a 28mm to sling and walk out of the house
- 28 Elmarit Asph: Found the 28elmarit asph v2 (same for v1 for the most part) to be too contrasty. It's also too small and off balanced when I slung the camera. I didn't use the hood on the v2 as it was almost half the size of the lens (defeated the size advantage). I sometimes felt f2.8 was a bit too slow on my M240.
- 28 f2 MS-Optics: Small, fun 28mm with moderate sharpness in the centre, close focus to 0.3m using live view. My issue with it was that the corners never sharpened up enough when stopped down, and it was too small (same comment in relation to 28 elmarit asph)

I did consider the 28mm 1.4 by 7artisans but I suspect the same issues I had with the 28lux would arise, though it is 1/10 of the price. I didn't like the fact the 28mm 2.8 ZM suffered from some purple corners from what I've read and seen. Voigtlander's 28mm f2 is a pretty decent lens on paper, but I was never drawn to it (I also read it has focus shift).
I was looking at the 7Artisan f/1.4 and it looks nice but it also looks really big and blocks a good portion of the viewfinder.

As far as the Q goes, I did get to shoot with one for a weekend and while it is a nice camera, it's pretty much just a point-n-shoot imo. I'm going to stick with my M10P, for now. I hear through the grapevine that Leica isn't as good as yesteryear but I don't shoot film anymore. I also read that Fuji is pretty much the Leica of yesteryear. I wonder if Fuji will ever come out with a full frame rangefinder. I might switch to Fuji for that

I ultimately pulled the trigger on the 28 cron v1 this morning. The only v2's i could find were looking to get around $4k and this v1 was only around $1800 so it seemed like the better choice. It's in like new condition from what I can tell.

Anyway, thank you for all the advice, everyone!
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Old 04-22-2019   #10
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Originally Posted by mightbenow View Post
I wonder if Fuji will ever come out with a full frame rangefinder. I might switch to Fuji for that
Last week I took a look at the Fujifilm GFX 50R & GFX 50S while visiting Fuji Square in the Tokyo Mid-Town Complex. The technical staff felt quite strongly that they will continue to offer the 44 x 33 sensor in complement to their APS-C sensor cameras... it being a matter of developing another line of lens (e.g. for full frame)...

Thus according to the Fuji staff, FF is not in the offing... famous last words ; )
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Old 04-22-2019   #11
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Last week I took a look at the Fujifilm GFX 50R & GFX 50S while visiting Fuji Square in the Tokyo Mid-Town Complex. The technical staff felt quite strongly that they will continue to offer the 44 x 33 sensor in complement to their APS-C sensor cameras... it being a matter of developing another line of lens (e.g. for full frame)...

Thus according to the Fuji staff, FF is not in the offing... famous last words ; )
Fuji does have a really nice lineup of X series lenses, zooms and primes, for their aps-c sensors. I don't see why they would go full frame. That's a whole lot of new glass they'd have to make.

The whole GFX medium format series, the lenses, are just too physically big for my liking.
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Old 04-22-2019   #12
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Fuji does have a really nice lineup of X series lenses, zooms and primes, for their aps-c sensors. I don't see why they would go full frame. That's a whole lot of new glass they'd have to make.

The whole GFX medium format series, the lenses, are just too physically big for my liking.
Congrats on the 28 v1. That is a fantastic price (and I agree the price differential would be too great for my liking) and it is a lovely lens.

I heard the same - Fuji would be bypassing full frame and going APS-C and cropped Medium format. I saw some pics on dpreview of some prototype modular GFXs. Some look pretty compact. One can hope (I am).
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Old 04-28-2019   #13
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I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the V1 Summicron. I think it was probably my favorite rendering 28mm I had so far, however I sold mine due to the fact it kept falling apart. It was determined that the hood was causing this so if you are going to use the hood be careful that you don’t mount / dismount the lens by the hood and that you also don’t store the lens in your bag with the hood attached.

That being said, I do now have the V2 as I was able to buy one new (but open box) for a very reasonable price. I have observed that the build of the lens has indeed changed and of course the lens hood is different as well.

Optically speaking I think some of the character / charm of the original lens was lost in the redesign but it is noticeably more crisp out to the edges of the frame. Considering my other lens is a 50mm Summilux ASPH the two actually complement one another perfectly in the way they render scenes so I’m ok with it.

I am certain you will be happy with your V1 though, it’s the special one optically speaking!
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Old 05-03-2019   #14
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I went from film to digital in 2007/2008 on the original v. 1 Summicron. Had it 6-bit coded - it always performed well.

It is my understanding that Leica is producing lenses more attuned to digital (enter v. 2), but in my experience older formulas work just fine on digital as long as they're properly 6-bit coded and adjusted for focus shift.
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Old 05-03-2019   #15
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I have the V1 (6-bit) and is one of my favorite lenses. There is a Leica made metal scalloped hood that fits on it, but mine has no number on it.
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Old 05-03-2019   #16
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I have been using the stock hood #12589 for the 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH 11874 on the 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH 11604. It looks like the hood for the 28 but is smaller. Better looking, no vignetting!

FWIW I had my v1 lens 6-bit coded by DAG, same code as the v2 lens.
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Old 05-03-2019   #17
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FWIW, here's what Leica says about the v2:

At its maximum aperture, the Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH. already delivers impressively rich contrast, differentiated reproduction of even the finest structures, a soft and smooth bokeh and extremely high resolution. This is due to its recalculated optical design, which almost completely eliminates the astigmatic differences in the image field caused by the cover glass of the sensor to ensure excellent image quality from corner to corner in every picture.

http://us.leica-camera.com/Photograp...28mm-f-2-ASPH2

So the redesign is evidently aimed at making the lens a better match to the digital M cameras compared to the V1, which is a film-era design.
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Old 05-06-2019   #18
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I have the V1 (6-bit) and is one of my favorite lenses. There is a Leica made metal scalloped hood that fits on it, but mine has no number on it.
Bob,

I own an uncoded 28 Cron V1 and the scalloped metal hood you mentioned.

I got the hood from Pop Flash for $359.00 which was insane at the time, but now these hoods sell for about $1K on EBAY according to a RFF'er who asked me several times if I wanted to sell mine.

This hood also fits the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE of which I also owned. I happen to have loved the rendering of the 28 Cron V1 more than the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE.

The 28 Cron is my most favored lens for my Monochrom. Also know that I print big.

Cal
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Old 05-06-2019   #19
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Bob,

I own an uncoded 28 Cron V1 and the scalloped metal hood you mentioned.

I got the hood from Pop Flash for $359.00 which was insane at the time, but now these hoods sell for about $1K on EBAY according to a RFF'er who asked me several times if I wanted to sell mine.

This hood also fits the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE of which I also owned. I happen to have loved the rendering of the 28 Cron V1 more than the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE.

The 28 Cron is my most favored lens for my Monochrom. Also know that I print big.

Cal
That's where I got my hood I believe Cal. I've also used a hood I got from Japan Exposures on the 28, threaded, very compact. I've gone 20x30-ish with the 28 on the M9, lovely stuff - and yes while I had the Monochrom it was one of the most used lenses.
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Old 05-06-2019   #20
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That's where I got my hood I believe Cal. I've also used a hood I got from Japan Exposures on the 28, threaded, very compact. I've gone 20x30-ish with the 28 on the M9, lovely stuff - and yes while I had the Monochrom it was one of the most used lenses.
Bob,

28 Cron V1 and MM is a match made in heaven.

Cal
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Old 05-06-2019   #21
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I recently got the v1, and so far I am loving it. Plenty sharp for my use even at F2 (I'm only shooting film) and very manageable contract. I've had Elmarit-M 28 ASPH (v1) and to me it was a bit too much of contract and modern rendering. This one feels perfect for my liking.
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Old 05-07-2019   #22
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I recently got the v1, and so far I am loving it. Plenty sharp for my use even at F2 (I'm only shooting film) and very manageable contract. I've had Elmarit-M 28 ASPH (v1) and to me it was a bit too much of contract and modern rendering. This one feels perfect for my liking.
C,

I agree. The Version 1 does not have an ASPH signature, but it is an ASPH lens.

I print 20x30 like Bob above. No lack of resolution.

The contrast is not over the top.

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Old 05-08-2019   #23
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Bob,

I own an uncoded 28 Cron V1 and the scalloped metal hood you mentioned.

I got the hood from Pop Flash for $359.00 which was insane at the time, but now these hoods sell for about $1K on EBAY according to a RFF'er who asked me several times if I wanted to sell mine.

This hood also fits the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE of which I also owned. I happen to have loved the rendering of the 28 Cron V1 more than the 35 Lux ASPH Pre-FLE.
. . .

Cal

Same here. I believe the Leica model # for the hood is 12466. It was originally sold only w/1 of the limited edition 35/1.4 ASPH pre-FLE lenses that came w/the limited edition M9 10715 (the titanium 1 w/LED framelines & no strap lugs), before people realized it could work on the 28 Summicron ASPH v1.


To OP mightbenow, following up on chasdfg's post, I can attest to the fact that many of the v1 28 'crons had build quality problems w/the screws that hold front lens ring (or whatever you call the part that surrounds the front element, has the filter ring, & that the hood holds onto). Basically, the screws come loose & the front ring wobbles--however, it's easily fixed w/the appropriate screwdriver & maybe some loctite. The lens hood was an overpriced piece of sh*t, even by Leica standards--in addition to being big & obtrusive in the VF, it was constructed of parts that literally snap together & the quality of plastic was poor (they have a tendency to develop cracks around the corner cutout).


Optically, however, the v1 has been great & I have no complaints.
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Old 05-08-2019   #24
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My version one never suffered any loosening.

I have gotten remarks about how smooth the focus is, and also of how light a touch. Pretty much a well used lens.

Cal
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Old 05-08-2019   #25
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When I sent my v1 28 Cron to DAG for 6-bit coding he also tightened the front, which had a very slight wobble, not too bad. But I'm glad he secured it. This is the "perfect" lens for an M8...
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Old 05-09-2019   #26
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My version one never suffered any loosening.

I have gotten remarks about how smooth the focus is, and also of how light a touch. Pretty much a well used lens.

Cal

You may have lucked out or maybe some of us have bad luck. I bought mine directly from Leica in 2007 using the discount that they gave to original M8 owners, along w/a free UV-IR filter, to compensate for the whole fiasco w/the sensor's IR sensitivity. My M8 was also defective w/malfunctioning AE right out of the box & had go immediately back to Germany for repair, so maybe Leica was just having a lot of factory problems in 2006-2007.


From a design/engineering perspective, I think the size of the original hood may have contributed to the loose front problem as it may have increased the torque or other forces transmitted to the lens by any impact to the hood.


As a working lens, however, my experience matches yours.
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Old 05-09-2019   #27
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Purchased a v1 about 18months ago and pretty much use it and the M9 as my everyday kit these days. For the conditions that I generally shoot in I've not really noticed a need for a lens hood.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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I am currently using the 2nd version 28mm Summicron.

The lens is excellent, but only if it is well adjusted. My first copy suffered immense field curvature, while the second had a flat plane but back-focussed. But after a pass through Wetzlar, the lens is amazing with excellent sharpness (on digital) even in the extreme corners. There is virtually no colour fringing, the out-of-focus areas are really smooth, and the ergonomics are excellent.

I also looked at a 28mm Summilux because in some cases I was finding the f2 aperture limiting. However, the price, ergonomics and finder blockage of the Summilux were very off putting, so I have stuck with the Summicron and compromise with a 35mm f1.4 when I need a faster aperture. Still not sure if this was the right choice, as 35mm always feels awkward to me.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #29
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I use the V1 28mm Summicron and see no reason to change. The hood is a bit bulky, but it seems to me that a screw-in hood would have to be round, and therefore less effective. Some say you don't need a hood with the 28 Summicron. This may be why Leica decided that a screw-in type would be good enough. But then, now could always buy a screw-in hood to fit the filter threads. 46mm, if I remember right.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I use the V1 28mm Summicron and see no reason to change. The hood is a bit bulky, but it seems to me that a screw-in hood would have to be round, and therefore less effective. Some say you don't need a hood with the 28 Summicron. This may be why Leica decided that a screw-in type would be good enough. But then, now could always buy a screw-in hood to fit the filter threads. 46mm, if I remember right.
Have you looked? The screw in hood is rectangular.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #31
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I used to be very happy with the Summicron-M 28 mm Asph v1 ... until I tried the v2. Much better lens! In the frame's center, there isn't soo much of a difference but near the frame's edges, the new version at f/2 is as good as the original version at f/5.6.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #32
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Sean Reid compared the V1 vs V2 and among other things, it was a superior lens in all aspects when it comes to digital. It, and the Elmarit appeared best aligned for use on the SL. Well worth the nominal subscription ti his blog before you make a decision.

The latest re-working of the standards (28, 35) seem to be adjustment for digital usage as the earlier ones date from the late film era.
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