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50/f1.5 Nokton or 50mm Summicron Type 2/rigid?

Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by nickthetasmaniac, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac SC Veteran

    201
    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Hi all, I've been pondering which 50mm to complete the M2 kit with and had basically decided on the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.5. However, on ogling the lens on the Mainline website it appears they also have a CLA'd Type II 50/f2 Summicron available for $100 less than the Voigt.

    Now I realise they're tao vary different lenses, both with their pros and cons. But if you were to have either as your only 50mm, which would it be?

    It will be used primarily on film.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  2. lenshacker

    lenshacker SC Regular

    193
    Nov 21, 2014
    Is the Nokton the M-Mount or the Thread mount version? I have the latter. "Gently used", under $400 with the adapter, hood, and caps.

    http://www.leicaplace.com/showthread.php?t=18&highlight=nokton

    Amin has the M-Mount,

    http://www.leicaplace.com/showthread.php?t=244&highlight=nokton

    I prefer the LTM Black version as it used 52mm filters and has a more traditional focus ring. The Black lens seems to be a bit heavier than the chrome versions in the LTM line-up. I also have the black 35/1.7 Ultron.

    Leicaplace has a forum dedicated to showcasing lenses,

    http://www.leicaplace.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34

    I will upload some shots from the Rigid Summicron. I kept the 1950s Rigid Summicron (7 element/ 5 groups) over the later version that came out in ~1969 (6 elements, 5 groups). I end up using the Nokton and Sonnars much more than the Summicrons.
     
  3. lenshacker

    lenshacker SC Regular

    193
    Nov 21, 2014
    The contrast from the two lenses is very different- Summicron is lower contrast, the Bokeh of the Nokton is much smoother.

    [​IMG]

    50/1.5 Nokton Wide-open on the M Monochrom.
     
  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Nick, I've had both. Buy the Summicron. It's a no-brainer if it is in good condition. A little dust is acceptable, but fungus isn't, nor is oil on the aperture blades or scratches on the front element.

    I will offer one alternative, if you can find one; a 50mm Elmar-M (the modern version) is a real "sleeper" lens in the Leica lineup. I have had one for many years, bought from new. Apart from any other benefit, the ability to collapse the lens makes your M2 "pocketable"* and the best camera you have is the one you have with you... There is one on my M2 as I type.





    *Your pockets may vary...
     
  5. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac SC Veteran

    201
    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Sorry I should've mentioned that. It's the current M-mount version in black. Thanks for the samples!

    Out of interest why is that? Thanks for suggestions the Elmar.
     
  6. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Fair question, please excuse my brevity. The Summicron is a hand-made, largely bomb-proof "old-school" lens that has survived for 50+ years and if properly looked after will survive for another 50 (...writes the man currently using a nickel Elmar on an 85+ year-old Leica IID) It is a seminal design, that has a particular character (rounded yet sharp is the best way I can describe it). I had a couple of CF Summicrons (the same optical formula) and would still have one today if my film usage still justified it. I had a Nokton but found it cheaply made in comparison. There is sample variance (I had two new before I got a good 'un) and they do not wear well. The black is paint, and comes off easily and the focussing helix is not particularly robust.
     
  7. biglouis

    biglouis SC Veteran

    401
    Aug 4, 2013
    ^^^^ Absolutely, absolutely agree with Bill about the Elmar 50/2.8. ^^^^

    Just bought it for the third time (when will I ever learn?) and the bokeh at f2.8 is purely delightful. It is also a very light lens and the modern version has wonderful ergonomics - the only Leica lens where I can 'tickle' the focus ring for critical focus.

    I posted a thread about here at the forum a couple of days ago

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32621&p=204655#post204655

    LouisB
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. lenshacker

    lenshacker SC Regular

    193
    Nov 21, 2014
  9. lenshacker

    lenshacker SC Regular

    193
    Nov 21, 2014
    To be honest- it's hard to come across a "BAD" 50mm lens, and I have some going back to 1934 for the Leica.

    This is with an Uncoated Leica 5cm f1.5 "Xenon", the first "Super-Speed" lens for the Leica, wide-open on the M9,

    15569008332_cba9e6d2c3_o. Marine Museum, Xenon

    At F4,

    14947416614_97601209f7_o. Marine Museum, Xenon

    I think it's rep is as the worst Leica lens ever.

    [​IMG]Leica 5cm F1.5 Xenon

    Yup. Worst lens ever... i wonder if everyone else cleaned the haze out of their lenses before testing.

    My advice- look around for some sample images from various lenses, pick the "look" that you like. F2 and F1.4 (and F1.5) lenses for the Leica are compact in size, and balance out an M2 nicely. A collapsible lens- does make it more compact. Collapsible Summicrons are not quite as sharp as the Rigid, but close- and tend to go for 1/2 the price. If you don't need the speed of an F2 or faster, look at the Elmar. Nice thing about Leica- 85 years of choices for lenses.