Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 35mm Primes

Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 35mm Primes 

DESCRIPTION

This handy universal lens has a world-wide reputation for the highest optical performance. With outstanding imaging quality even at the closest focusing range. It is available in black anodized finish and in silver chrome finish. With a built-in sliding lens hood.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Apr 03, 2011]
cron90
Expert

Strength:

Tiny when collapsed.
Excellent build quality.
No distortion, and good sharpness (you'd need a good scan to see it, though)
Affordable for a Leica lens.

Weakness:

Collapsing design can be a bother, and is likely to be collapsed when you really need it.
Lens must be positioned correctly to extend (will rotate freely when collapsed).
Stiff focus mechanism when lens is locked in place to shoot.

The Elmar-m 50 lens produced respectable results: no geometric distortion, excellent bokeh, and good sharpness. The 2.8 speed was fine with me (after all, plenty of people pay $1000 and more for a 2.8 zoom that they consider "fast," right?) The problem is, I just didn't like USING it. The idea of a collapsing lens sounds better than the reality, which is probably why the lens is the least expensive of modern Leicas, and discontinued.

The lens has to be in the correct position to extend--if it's not, you won't have the aperture ring in the right position. But the thing I really didn't like was the focusing. On my copy (perhaps other samples are better), the focus ring was smooth until the lens was extended, and then some design aspect of the internal mechanism clamped down a bit and cause stiff focusing as the lens was extended for use. No amount of lube or working the lens in by hand could get the focus smoother.

On balance, a good lens for those on a budget, or those that need a collapsing lens. Just not for me.

Similar Products Used:

Collapsing Summicron 50 f2
DR Summicron 50 f2

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 24, 2005]
Michael J Hoffman
Expert

Strength:

outstanding optical performance top quality build precision mechanical operation

Weakness:

prohibitively expensive

This is the best general purpose camera lens I've ever used. The lens is sharp and very contrasty. The build and finish is absolutely top quality. Mechanical operation has to be used to be appreciated. Images from this lens are better than from any other lens I've ever used. This lens is a top-quality product for which you pay top-dollar. It is no bargain, but for me it is worth every penny. The Leica M system provides a different way of working which, for my needs, is invaluable. All components of the M system contribute to the unique approach it provides to photographic composition.

Customer Service

not yet needed

Similar Products Used:

Canon EF 50/1.8 Mk I

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 17, 2005]
RRoss
Expert

Strength:

Build, materials, size, image quality of the very highest standard. Outstanding

Weakness:

Wildly, madly expensive new (but not too expensive secondhand).

The Leica Elmar is beyond any doubt a superb lens. It is constructed to the very highest standards of excellence (mine is a silver chrome type). It is remarkably heavy for such a small lens, but that is no disadvantage. It handles like a dream. But best of all is the truly wonderful optical performance. It is not simply that it is sharp, it is absolutely pin sharp. But it produces an image with wonderful depth and form, a 3 dimensionality that is very rare. Its colour reporduction is also first class.

Similar Products Used:

Prime standrad lenses from, for example, Canon, Contax (SLR and G types), Voigtlander, Russian lens, Nikon (1.2 and 1.8), Leica Summicron (M and R types).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
1
[Apr 02, 2003]
Mike Johnston
Expert

Give me a break. A 50mm f/2.8 for $700 is high value? It's close to the worse value in the entire photographic Universe. You can get better, faster 50s for much less money from almost any manufacturer. In you have to have a Tessar-type like this one, you can buy new ones from Contax or Nikon (45mm f/2.8 Tessar and Nikkor-P 45mm f/2.8 respectively) for less than $300. Or, if you insist on having Leica lens, then you can buy a 50-year-old Elmar that is better made--again for less money. I compared this lens directly with the old version. Holding both in your hands, it's painfully obvious that the old one is both better made and better finished than the new one. The old one locks in place more positively and is actually more rigid! The Elmar-M is indeed extremely sharp. However, it's an exaggerated sharpness that has none of the fabled "roundness" that Leica lenses used to be famous for. And like all Tessar-types it has excessive curvature of field wide open. I prefer the image quality of the old one. Toss-up whether to give this two or three stars. I chose three because it IS very sharp, and will serve you well if you like it. But it's really a lens that is a non-starter for almost any prospective user.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
[Dec 29, 2001]
Jorge Diaz
Intermediate

Strength:

Simple,straightforward and strong construction.I got the Chrome version and so far I can''t see any barrel scratches. It logically grows on you.Makes you work and think like an expert should and the rewards are many.Eminently portable.Good looking/nicely finished.Economically priced for a Leica product.

Weakness:

When carried in a jacket pocket it tends to collect bumps and knocks right on the filter thread ring which ,as things brass, distorts.Leica should revise this and bring back the 50''s ring design which was so much stronger and prettier.Or you would just have to be more mindful of carrying it in your pocket.Keeping a strong filter in place strengthens the design.

This is a revival of the old flame Elmar 50.Revised glass and computations on this very simple lens.Collapsed makes the Leica M a jacket pocket camera.Optics need(admittedly)to be stopped down for competitivity and once done rivals the big guys.I have done 11x14" color enlargements that I feel rival medium for- mat.The quality at this size is so good I expect no problems maybe up to 20x24.I shoot wide open so there''s a little negligible corner fade but still amazing for a lens this simple.Beautiful like a jewell.

Customer Service

3 year passport so far untapped.If feels unlikely necessary.

Similar Products Used:

Scores of standard lenses from just about every manufacturer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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