Showcase Leitz Summicron-R 1:2/50 (1-cam version)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by Jefenator, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    I was bad but I'm not sorry. I just scooped up a "bargain" roughed-up early version of the legendary Leica Summicron 50mm lens on eBay. This is easy to spot from later versions because it has a very unusual 44mm filter thread - later versions went to 55mm. (There are apparently some optical differences which I will not discuss here as I am NOT a Leica expert!)

    I was afraid of what the color & contrast response might be. This lens is probably older than me (i.e. from the 1960s) so the coatings are a very long way from the current state of the art. So far I'm finding the colors are a bit subdued but agreeable:

    Summicron-R 50mm Landscape Trial by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Can't take a 'cron out for the first time without doing some sort of wide-open portrait trial.

    Portrait Trial by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    It's definitely not a modern lens but it also definitely isn't a slouch. I was surprised at how much fine detail it is capable of rendering, all the way into the corners. It does seem to have some pretty pronounced field curvature which can be a pain in the butt but can also be employed to one's advantage. Flare resistance is better than I was expecting and by f/5.6 there is an almost eerie lack of CA.

    The Uphill Trudge by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Here's some 100% samples - pretty impressive to my eyes.

    cron-crops by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Thus far I'm finding this lens has a lot of character and some pretty impressive performance! And as with my other Leitz R lenses, the physical feel is out of this world. I was slightly disappointed to find that my old Nikkor and Minolta 1.4 lenses have cleaner center detail and gentler BOKEH at f/2 (especially the Minolta) but that's pretty subtle. As an all-round contender the Leitz is pretty darn strong.
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  2. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I am thinking to get that lens after Christmas. Or Contax Carl Zeiss Planar 1.7/50 T*. The later one is much cheaper ... .
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    The results speak for themselves ;)
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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Well, it looks like that lens isn't going to work out for you, Jeff. I'd be happy to come over and take it off your hands, though. Just let me know! :p
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  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    I have this lens as well. Mine is from 1966 and is also pretty rough. I think Jeff's description of the performance is consistent with mine.
    One thing to keep in mind with this lens is that there is a slight focus shift when stepping down from wide open.

    I was eager to try out B&W for this lens --some shots (edited jpegs from camera)





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  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Gorgeous, SpaceMan! The first and last ones especially.
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  7. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks, Woods! they are my favorites as well. There is just something simple (elegant?) about the one with the snail shell in the open hand...and the last one reminds me of some of Ansel Adams work (I took it during the very last rays of light during an epic sunset).

    FWIW, supposedly some people prefer this version of the 'cron 50 for B&W work.
  8. snpr9696

    snpr9696 TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 8, 2016
    Joe DAgostino
    Whats the difference between this and the 3 Cam version?
  9. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    If you mean physical differences, this blogpost from KEH covers it.
    Leica R Lenses: Understanding Cams - KEH Camera Blog

    From an optical perspective what I have read (this is my only Leica lens) later 50 'crons were re-designed (in '76) with optical changes and improved coatings, are sharper wide open at a cost of harsher bokeh.
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