Using a different lens every week (ahmm… well) for 70+ weeks (or more)… ;)

Leica Summitar 2/5cm

A lens I have been looking for for quite a while. Now, I’ve found a copy in a good condition.

Leitz Summitar 2/5cm

Leitz Summitar 2/5cm

My copy was built in 1948 and combines the 10-blade aperture diaphragm with a violet lens coating, a modern aperture stop dial and focus distance in feet.

Only the lenses produces between 1946 and 1949 do have this nice combination.

The lenses, which easily are prone to hazing, are clean and there are no fungus or other considerable marks visible. The focus ring turn is ok, not as buttery as in a new Leica lens, and the aperture diaphragm opens and closes nicely.

This Summitar is a “7 elements in 4 groups” design which makes it even more important that a lens coating prevents flare and contrast reduction. And still this lens is no high contrast lens which is great for shooting digitally, because it preserves highlights better than a high contrast model.

Sharpness is great in the image centre and still good at the corners. That’s not a real problem with the NEX, due to its APS-sized sensor.

The reason why I wanted to have such a lens is not only that I really like Leitz glass, but also that I love to shoot with those vintage lenses on my Sony NEX-3, especially now that the focus asisst of firmware version 4 has made manual focusing a breeze.

Leitz Summitar 2/5cm @ NEX-3

Leitz Summitar 2/5cm @ NEX-3

The bokeh this lens produces – something that has grown immensely popular during the last years 😉 – is nice. It’s not the most velvety you can find but smooth enough and it generates a slight swirl towards the corners but a rather pleasant one and not a disturing one like other lenses of that era.

Distortion is no issue, quite typical for 50mm lenses.

I am very happy to have this lens now and I’m looking forward to shooting with it in the next days.

BTW, even Ken Rockwell likes the Summitar. 😉


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