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28mm F/2.8 Elmarit vs. 28mm F/2 Summicron

Brad Herman , Mar 13, 2009; 10:48 a.m.

All;
I currently own the following wideangle Leica lenses:
35mm F/2 Summicron ASPH (newest model)
28mm F/2.8 ASPH Elmarit (newest model)
I also have a 50mm Summicron and a 90mm Elmarit as well. I use the 35mm and the 28mm equally as often, but now I'm thinking that since the 35mm is more of a 'normal' lens, I would perhaps sell both the 35 Summicron and the 28mm Elmarit and spring for the 28mm F2 Summicron.
I've been told that the 28mm Summicron is a far superior lens to the 28mm Elmarit. Do you think that the difference will benefit me more than just keeping both the 35mm Summicron and the 28mm Elmarit?
Is the 28mm Summicronn 'that much' better?
Thanks, Brad

Responses


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John Shriver , Mar 13, 2009; 11:30 a.m.

Or consider Ken Rockwell's comments, and get the 28/2.8 Elmarit APSH. Less distortion than the Summicron, a truly tiny lens, and a great value.

Christopher Chen , Mar 13, 2009; 12:00 p.m.

I have no experience w/the 28/2.8 Elmarit, but I do have the 28/2 Summicron. While the Summicron is an excellent lens, I don't see how it could possibly be "far superior" to the Elmarit unless your definition of "superior" includes lens speed. I would not go w/your proposed transaction unless you really need the extra speed in the 28mm field of view (& are willing to give up the 35mm FoV in the bargain).

Tom Aellis , Mar 13, 2009; 01:34 p.m.

John Shriver , Mar 13, 2009; 11:30 a.m.

Or consider Ken Rockwell's comments, and get the 28/2.8 Elmarit APSH. Less distortion than the Summicron, a truly tiny lens, and a great value.

That's priceless, don't forget to support his family.......:)

Michael A. Shapiro , Mar 13, 2009; 02:32 p.m.

Sounds like you've got enough great lenses. Now, shoot.

Robin Smith , Mar 13, 2009; 04:01 p.m.

I doubt it is much better, but the 28mm Summicron is a (very expensive) cracker! The current 28mm ASPH is very good and I would have got one if they had been available when I got my s/h 28mm 'cron. At that time the 28mm Elmarit (previous version) was about the same price s/h as the Summicron (+ or - $200-300) so I got the Summicron.

Unless you truly lust for the f2 I wouldn't bother.

David Rosenthal , Mar 13, 2009; 04:51 p.m.

Let's see, we have 28,35,50 and 90 optics. The BIG question is: What the H*ll kinda pictures are you trying to accomplish? If it's just pretty vacation photos with a bright sunny sky (or even in the shade) I'd keep all four lenses and go for another body so you could shoot both high and low speed films or color and B&W!

Seriously, without your telling us what your doing, we could not give great advice. If you're trying to take pix of a black cat in a coal bin, then scrap ALL of the lenses you have and get the fastest ones made that you can afford. The 35mm F1.4 ASPH IS the normal lens on my Leica. I have the Noct., the 28 F2.0, and the 90 F2.0 APO. I do available light, indoors, without flash whenever possible. The fast optics come in handy.

Get back to us with some details so we can better give you advice.

Andy Piper , Mar 13, 2009; 06:09 p.m.

Uhh, John - Brad already HAS the Elmarit ASPH. But thanks for reading.
Brad: The word on the 28 Summicron is that it has a touch lower contrast than the 28 Elmarit-ASPH (a good thing, IMHO). Other than that, they are really very close in performance. It's just that the Summicron does it at f/2.0. Which can make a difference in low light.
IF you use the lens hoods, the Elmarit-ASPH is very compact - the 'cron hood is almost as big as the lens alone. If you don't, they are not that much different in size, practically speaking.
IMHO - put your 35 in the closet for a month, and just shoot with your current 28. If you miss the 35, then don't sell it. If you don't miss the 35, but DO miss f/2 - then sell both and go for the 28 Summicron.

John Shriver , Mar 13, 2009; 08:00 p.m.

Oops. Been a bit sleepy-headed recently. Well, at any rate Ken does offer one viewpoint on these two lenses.
Erwin Puts, of course, prefers the more expensive Summicron. But he certainly concurs that the 28/2.8 ASPH wins in the "low distortion" area.
I'll admit that I agree with Ken in liking my lenses small. That's why I'm an LTM camera and lens user. Some of these modern Leica M lenses are bigger than my Topcon SLR lenses, for heaven's sake.

Jeff Adler , Mar 13, 2009; 08:18 p.m.

I will assume that you intend to use these lenses on a film camera. I also came to like using a 35 as a standard lens over the years. Most of my shooting is done with SLR cameras but the angle of view is the same in either case. I think I would miss a fast 35 if I didn't have one. Some of the fast 35s I have and enjoy using are the 35/1.8 MC Rokkor, 35/2 Canon FD SSC, 35/2 Canon New FD, 35/2 Konica Hexanon, 35/2 SMC Pentax M. For an SLR user the main penalties of using a faster 28 are weight and size. Any lens which you use a great deal of the time and which is not fast enough can be limiting. There are many fast 28s to choose from if you shoot with an SLR camera. My favorites include the 28/1.8 Konica Hexanon, 28/2 Canon FD SSC and the 28/2 Kiron. The 28 allows you to shoot at a slightly lower shutter speed hand held than a 35. Based on all of this I would keep the 28/2.8 and possibly add a 28/1.9 CV lens for when I really need the speed.


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