DR Summicron - lower contrast than other lenses

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darkosaric

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I got myself DR Summicron (again - sold one that was little foggy, this one that I got now is CLA'd from Leica specialist).
Beautiful lens, and all is as it should be.
Picture examples: Cloudy day in Warsaw, with iso 400 film (low contrast scene, APX 400 in Rodinal), all shoot @f4 1/250s.

I have old Summitar, and I would say that even Summitar gives higher contrast?
Which lenses that you know gives low contrast? I know that older lenses in general are lower in contrast.


Thanks!
 

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ic-racer

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Just about any lens will perform well on a low contrast scene.
 

momus

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I owned several DR's. Excellent lens, but they were too heavy and sharp for my purposes. They all gave me plenty of contrast. Uncoated lenses have given me acceptable contrast too. The formula is - Hood, a yellow filter, and good exposure. Contrast can also be easily added after development in the darkroom. Some films are more contrasty than others too, and your developer choice/developer agitation protocals come into play here as well.

Tri-X shot w/ a yellow filter and developed properly will give good contrast w/ just about any lens. Proper metering is important on this sort of thing. Underexpose the shots, and say goodbye to contrast.
 

AZD

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I have one with glass that’s about as perfect as you could hope for. It’s also from the last year or two of production, so maybe improved coatings?

I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference in contrast compared to other lenses, except perhaps wide open. But I develop and print at home, so differences could be lost in the process. In any case, I’ve only noticed two things. First, f2.0 is probably closer to T2.5, and second, wow this thing makes nice pictures.
 

BradS

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It does not seem like the OP has enough data to support the claim that the type 2 50mm Summicron has "lower contrast" than that of the Summitar but the Summicron has 7 elements in 6 groups (12 air-glass interfaces) whereas the Summitar has 7 elements in 4 groups (8 air-glass interfaces) so it is not unlikely.
 

snusmumriken

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It does not seem like the OP has enough data to support the claim that the type 2 50mm Summicron has "lower contrast" than that of the Summitar but the Summicron has 7 elements in 6 groups (12 air-glass interfaces) whereas the Summitar has 7 elements in 4 groups (8 air-glass interfaces) so it is not unlikely.
Isn't it the other way round?
 

AZD

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I suppose there’s really no good way to give a precise answer to a general question. A good experiment would be to put the camera on a tripod and make identical exposures of the same scene, same roll of film, with different lenses, then compare after development. By keeping other variables to a minimum you could get an answer regarding your particular lenses and expectations.

Random anecdotal non-evidence of greatness: Last week I used my DR to take a bunch of pictures of an old Sears building being demolished. The day was cold and grey with nearly shadowless soft box lighting. I chose Delta 100 and exposed for the scene average since nothing really stood out. I maybe overdeveloped due to the low contrast lighting. The results? A bit too much contrast from development, but the lens/film captured details waaay into the building’s few remaining interior shadows, plus fine detail on exterior surfaces. I viewed the negatives on my enlarger baseboard at maybe 16x24 and already know they’ll make great prints, but require low contrast filters.
 
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darkosaric

darkosaric

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OK, I just made some prints, and all is OK :smile:. With grade 3 or 3 1/2 - it prints nicely. Here and there I have missed the focus, but here are the paper scans:
 

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Huss

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OK, I just made some prints, and all is OK :smile:. With grade 3 or 3 1/2 - it prints nicely. Here and there I have missed the focus, but here are the paper scans:

nice! A couple of those look underexposed and that will make any lens seem low contrast. But the majority look good.
 

AZD

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Yes, looking much better. I think it is very difficult to judge concepts such as contrast (and sharpness, shadows, blown highlights, etc) until you get to the final output, such as your prints. I rather like the last one of the gentleman with the flag, and maybe see a bit of the DR’s signature look. Well done.
 
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darkosaric

darkosaric

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Very nice! I forgot what it looks like to be at place where it is not sunny.

Thanks :smile:. North and east Europe - next 3-4 months it will be dark and cloudy. Here in Hamburg when we have sunny days outside of peak summer: it is a news, that people are speaking on the radio! No joke.
 
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