15 Photos That Prove The Leitz 50mm Summarit Does NOT SUCK!!!

Didn’t I already write about the 1949 Leitz 5cm 1.5 Summarit?  Why yes, I did, but in light of several recent conversations about this controversial fistful of German metal and glass, I want to make it clear, THE LEITZ SUMMARIT 5CM 1.5 DOES NOT SUCK!

Okay, so you might not be into swirlios and soft focus.  I get it.  I really do.  I sort of had to acclimate my taste for that on other lenses too.  But I think MOST photographers can agree on appreciating SHARP images, right?  It’s usually the first compliment someone gives a lens.  And who loves sharp lenses more than grain-sniffing Leicafiles?!

I really feel like much of the criticism of this lens comes from folks who don’t want softer full aperture images (which is fine) and folks whose gear isn’t serviced.

So look, follow this explicitly, okay?

If you stop down a properly hooded (Leica XOONS), recently cleaned, calibrated, 100% functional mid-century Leitz 5cm Summarit, on an equally well-maintained M39 or M mount body, you WILL get images that I think most of us can agree, are, by conventional definitions, GOOD.  Below is my proof.

Before we get started, I just want to thank Dan Tamarkin of  Tamarkin.com for selling me my Leitz Summarit.  He had two copies in stock at the time, one was more costly than mine due to its cosmetic perfection but I explained that I’d be using this lens, not adding it to a museum collection, and he was more than happy to sell me the cheaper lens and a cheaper matching brassed hood to go with it.

Here we go,

 

Objects:

JohnnyMartyrSummaritLines
Kodak TMax 100 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritCourthouse
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritFree
Kodak Tri-X 400 | | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritTree
Kodak Tri-X 400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop

People:

JohnnyMartyrSummaritDevon
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritPatrick
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritElly
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritGina
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop

 

harper_leica_summarit_trix060
Kodak Tri-X 400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritJoe
Kodak TMax 100 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritPosersSinger
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritPosersDrummer
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritLipstick
Ilford Delta 3200 @ 6400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
JohnnyMartyrSummaritHotChick
Kodak Tri-X @ 1600 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop
EPSON scanner image
Kodak TMax 100 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop

And if there was any doubt, here’s a 16th shot of me with my Summarit and hood, just to prove that I didn’t swap in a 50mm Summilux Aspheric 😉 :

JohnnyMartyrSummaritAntiqueSuicide
Kodak Tri-X 400 | Kodak HC110b | Levels Adjustment in Photoshop

So whaddya think?  Is the Leitz Summarit worthy of a spot in your camera bag?  Is a $500 Leica 50mm 1.5 just a dream or a dream come true?  I get it, you want these results at full aperture?  I mean, you’re just going to have to spend more, right?  But for the price and with that added “soft focus swirlios feature”, I am still madly in love with my Leitz Summarit!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your examples!  Thanks for reading!

 

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15 thoughts on “15 Photos That Prove The Leitz 50mm Summarit Does NOT SUCK!!!

      1. Lens is clean but I am not using the original square lens hood. At around $200 I avoided the cost. Might have to rethink.

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      2. I bought my hood and lens together knowing that flare is a real concern with LTM Leitz lenses. Dan Tamarkin must have given me a deal because I don’t recall having paid that much. Whatever you do, don’t buy one of those Chinese Summicron style hoods that are popular on eBay. They’re made of a very brittle aluminum and the thread pitch isn’t accurate, as you can imagine, so they strip and can become stuck on a lens. I will have a look around for a user condition original and let you know if I find anything.

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  1. If my Summarit had cost $500 then I wouldn’t have bought it (and I think buying a lens hood would just about double what I paid). But all our talking has made me want to load up some Tri-X in the Canon 7 and break out the Summarit again! Thanks for challenging me.

    On a different topic, I will say though that looking at 100% crops, you would definitely benefit from something better than a flatbed scanner.

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    1. Sadly, it sounds like got what you paid for then. I’d rather pay the right money, support a reputable shop and have s working, useable lens than just have another broken thing laying around the house while the seller gets a nice dinner out of the deal!

      I’m glad you’re interested in giving it another go though! Maybe use your hand as a hood?

      I use s flatbed bed for numerous very specific reasons that work for my business. Images print nicely on silver gelatin up to about 11×14. When my wife gets her new D5 I will snag her old full frame for scanning! But that’s going to be s big rework of my production methods and time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ROCKIN’ OUT WITH KODAK TMAX P3200 – "Photomag.blog"

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