50 Summicron-R versions

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Does anyone have experience with both 50 Summicron-R verions (German v1 vs Canadian v2).

Thoughts on differences, signature, quality, etc?

TIA, Marco

-- Marco Grande (hektor73@yahoo.com), May 19, 2002


Hi Marco, There is no difference between the two lenses. All of the Summicron-R 50mm lenses were designed by Elcan (Ernst Leitz Canada) and as far as I know all of the optics were manufactured in Canada for this particular lens. If your Summicron says made in Germany, it may have been assembled there. Snob appeal for genuine German lenses may make the going price higher on the the marked German lenses but there is NO difference in quality, signature or whatever you want to call it. Some of the very best Leica lenses were designed and built in Canada. Dave

-- Dave Saalsaa (SaalsD@cni-usa.com), May 19, 2002.

Hi Marco, I went back and reread your original question and found I didn't aswer it correctly. Sorry, I must learn to read more carefully. Let's try it again. Yes, there are some differences in the version 1 to version 2 Summicron-Rs. They are both Canadian designs but the 2nd version has a different lens arrangement. Six elements in 4 groups for the 2nd version and six elements in 5 groups for the first version. Some of the lens elements were produced in Germany in the first version and the lens elements were produced in Canada in the second. The Second version is lighter in weight and has slightly better wide open performace interms of resolution and contrast over the first version. Quality of construction on both lenses is very good but the second version has a lighter weight barrel constructed of more aluminum alloy components to cut down overall weight. I prefer the 2nd version as I find slightly less flair when shooting into a light source.

-- Dave Saalsaa (SaalsD@cni-usa.com), May 19, 2002.

I've got a 2-cam 1st version and a 3-cam 2nd version. Very, very slightly better contrast at f/2-f/2.8 in the later lens, otherwise no difference I can tell...and my 2-cam has a tiny coating defect near the outer edge of the front element. The biggest drawback to the earlier version is the filter situation: serie 6 w. retaining ring (allows only one filter at a time)or E44 which is very hard to come by. If you have an R3 to R8 (not an SL/SL2) there's an R-cam-only version of the later lens which usually sells for about the same price as a 3-cam 1st version.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), May 19, 2002.


They are both superb optics. The earlier one takes the series filters which can be a pain if you are a filter kind of person. It also has a detachable lenshood. But the quality of construction is superb, much better than the current version. I have the current version because it is lighter and has a built in lenshood (I like them). The current lens has higher contrast wide open, but both produce beautiful images. The older one has a more pleasant tactile feel to it, but for pure purely practical terms I use the current version. Either one is an excellent choice - your choice should probably be based on ergonomics or weight preferences rather than performance issues.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), May 20, 2002.

The only real difference i noticed is the slightly better contrast of the canadian lense at ap 5.6, but i didnt really test it. I use the canadian type mostly because its mechanically better than the old type. If you plan to use the lense alot i would suggest you buy the canadian version of the 50cron. It will also get historical value eventually ;)

-- Henk (henksadress@hotmail.com), May 22, 2002.

I was wondering if the 2nd version of the 50 Summicron-R has the same optical formula of the current 50 Summicron-M.

-- Cing-Dao Kan (cdkan@yahoo.com), May 29, 2002.

>I was wondering if the 2nd version of the 50 Summicron-R has the >same optical formula of the current 50 Summicron-M.

In a word, no. Different back focus distance.

-- adam g. lang (aglang@hotmail.com), May 29, 2002.

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