Leica Summilux ASPH 50 vs Summicron 50 + Leica M3 .. (+ M2)

Matthew Osborne Photography (Mr Leica)

I own both the Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 (“Cron”) and the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (“Lux”).  I find I haven’t used either lens that much to date as enjoy the 75mm Summicron f2 APO for sharp model portraiture and fashion shots, the 90mm f2 Summicron pre-ASPH for soft glow portraits and the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 for the same (plus others lenses).

Leica M3 + 50mm Summicron
Today I had a Leica wedding and recently got myself a Leica M3 double stroke with the 50mm frame line 0.91x viewfinder.  I wanted to fit a 50mm lens and leave it attached.  I could chose from the Lux ASPH for 1 stop brighter or the Cron 50 for a more compact size.  Both are sharp wide open but the 39mm filter thread Cron 50f2 compact size to me makes it the clear winner.  I plan to keep this lens on the M3 and get to know the 50mm framelines so can visualise the frame before I bring the camera to my eye.  The Cron 50 has been great for film photography in the past on my Leic M2 and Voigtlander Bessa R3A.

Leica M2 + 35mm Voigtlander
The same arguement also applies for the Leica M2.  It has 35mm framelines so I now plan to keep it a fixed 35mm (and the M3 a fixed 50mm).  My options for 35mm lenses are a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH or Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5.  I bought the Skopar for it’s tiny size originally but have not used it a great deal so far.  The 35f1.2 ASPH is a big heavy lens and makes a camera front heavy so it was a no brainer to ‘assign’ the compact Skopar to the Leica M2.  Super small reportage camera setup.

I keep the big lenses for the digital Leica M9.  I often use triggers for lights so the camera is bulkier anyway so size not an issue.  The 35mm f1.2 ASPH proved a lifesaver today for low light wedding photography on the M9.

Size matters!

The M2 and M3 feel, look and handle more like ‘real’ Leica cameras with their compact lenses attached.  The M9 with a bigger lens, flash trigger and shoulder strap attached is closer to a small DSLR.  I’ve ordered two new wrist straps for the M2 and M3 to keep things small, neat and compact.

Example images –

Summilux ASPH 50

Summilux ASPH 50

Summicron 50

Leica Summilux 50 Portrait

Voigtlander ASPH 35

Leica M9 & Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ii

Voigtlander Color Skopar 35

Voigtlander Skopar 35mm

2 thoughts on “Leica Summilux ASPH 50 vs Summicron 50 + M3”

  1. Wow! So beautiful Pictures! And that with a very old technology. Obviously it not necessary to have every year a new Camera Model and becoming poor. The examples show, that this is possible even on very high professional Level.This are very good news for an amateur like me (M3 and 262).

    Kind Regards


    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Thanks Gunther, yes for sure. See my “Is Leica worth it article” – I don’t get GAS for the latest cameras as the old ones do such a great job.

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