80 and 90mm lenses

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I would be interested to hear any comments about people who have used the 80 mm Summilux-R especially compared to the 90 mm Summicron-R. I had a 90 mm Summicron-R and was very happy with it, but exchanged it for a late type 90 mm Elmarit-R (4 element one) because it was lighter and also because I felt that it's performance would be better than the Summicron. I have not been disappointed. It is smaller and it is also (probably) a better performer-but I miss the f2 of my Summicron! Rather than bear the humiliation of getting another Summicron I am wondering whether the Summilux might fit the bill nicely with an even wider aperture. How does the Summilux compare, performance-wise, to the Summicron?

I was never unhappy with the Summicron's performance but there seems no doubt to me that it is not as good as the 50 mm Summicron or the current 28 mm or f 3.4 180 Apo-Telyt-hence my original change. This is a classic case where optical performance is not everything. Should I seriously consider the Summilux? Thanks for your advice.

-- Robin Smith (rsmith@springer-ny.com), March 15, 2000


I don't have anything more than the "touchy-feely" type of comments to make toward it, but I do absolutely love my 80/1.4. The image quality is excellent. I haven't done any comparisons (I'm not the testing type, I guess) and I've never owned the 90/2-R. The couple of characteristics that stand out with the 80 lux is that it makes the camera a nicely "holdable" and balanced package if you know what I mean, and it seems to focus close for its length. It may not actually focus any closer than others, but for some reason I felt that it could. But I get weird with Leica optics! I was able to get seemingly very close to some flowers once. Sorry I can't give you more objective data.

-- Tony Rowlett (rowlett@alaska.net), March 15, 2000.

Thanks Tony

I think you probably are getting weird as I believe the Summicron focuses closer than the Summilux! I know that R users like the Summilux very much, but I would like to know whether it is better, say, than the Summicron at f2. I suspect it might be, but don't know. Perhaps we need a 90mm APO Summicron-R! Perhaps one is in the works!

-- Robin Smith (rsmith@springer-ny.com), April 12, 2000.

You're right, I was getting weird. :) I was thinking about my 250/4, not the 80/1.4! Sorry about that.

-- Tony Rowlett (rowlett@alaska.net), April 17, 2000.

Erwin Puts has benn very good @ answering my "which lens " emails, he directed me to the 90 2.8 over the 2.0. Give him a try.

-- Bill dewberry (dewbie@earthlink.net), April 20, 2000.

I asked Erwin Puts and he stated that the performance of the Summilux at f1.4 equals the Summicron at f2 i.e. it is a full stop better. In other words if I want a fast lens then I should have the 'lux. This is not a surprise to me as the 'cron is a 1969 design whereas the 'lux is a 1980 design. Still the 'lux is pricey. Hmmm.

-- Robin Smith (rsmith@springer-ny.com), May 04, 2000.

I've owned both the 90mm Summicron-R and the 80mm Summilux-R. I cannot say I've noticed any significant difference in optical performance. The deciding factors are more likely in the handling and the relative strengths of each design...

* 80/1.4 - I love shallow depth-of-field and low-light subjects, and 1.4 is my ideal max aperature for the purpose, both in viewing and rendition. I also like the "not quite as tight" perspective of the 80 over the 90, slight as it is. However, this is a hefty lens! * 90/2 - this is better suited as an "all around" lens over the special characteristics of the 80. f/2 is adequate for most purposes. The difference in weight is noticeable.

To justify the cost and weight of the 80 you have to be very interested in f/1.4 - i.e. shallow DoF and low light. Otherwise f/2 will do.

By the way, you gave up your old Summicron for the lighter Elmarit. Weight must have been important to you at that time. If it still is, going with the heavy 80 might discourage you from using the 80 to it's full advantage.

I gave up the 90 and still miss it occasionally. But I decided subject matter was more important than sentiment, and I still think that's the right basis for the decision.

Good luck, and good shooting!

-- Ken Shipman (kennyshipman@aol.com), May 26, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ