I still love that song. Pink Floyd live at Pompeii looked to me to be the most fun you could have with LSD, a gong & a disused ancient Roman amphitheatre and even if it was all over by the time I was born, it still works for me. So does the 1958 50mm Summicron that now sits on my M3. It stunned me when it arrived, it really has almost no outward signs of use, bar the faintest of what are known as ‘cleaning marks’, left behind on a relatively soft lens coating by decades of care rather than neglect.
It moves like it rolled out of Wetzlar yesterday, the aperture ring snaps like a new Summ…actually it surpasses the Summicron I had for a couple of years (now safely back at home with the good Dr I ‘bought’ it from, and who bought it back). None of this should surprise; if a Leica lens has been cared for it will outlast any custodian, these things really do outlast any of us so even the concept of ownership seems a little out of place.
I wouldn’t have a clue how to do a technical review, but in order to get a feel for it I had it on the front of a Fuji X Pro 2 via a Fuji M to X adapter. The film shooting has started but nothing is developed yet. These shots here are Fuji raw, AKA “.RAF”, files, some treated with a VSCO pre-set, some worked through Silverefex Pro, and some just .RAF’s tweaked a little (30 seconds is about my limit for mucking around in post). In effect a 75mm on this APS-C sized (16mmx24mm) sensor, while this means the images are a ‘cut-out’ of the possible capture this full frame lens can deliver, it gives a great chance to sample something of the character it possesses.
It’s still sharp. This reputedly tested with the greatest resolving power of any 50mm lens after it’s release and having had the chance to own 50mm fast Nikons, the trinity of f2.8 Nikons, Zeiss Biogons & Planars, Hasselblad (also made by Zeiss) CF T* lenses, a Fuji 645 GZi and Fuji’s own 23mm f1.4, this lens is stunning when you consider it was designed in the 1950′s. Elvis was just making his name. Sputnik was as advanced as space exploration had got, QEII was only just coronated, the Beatles were still the Quarrymen and Pink Floyd were still in short pants.
Here’s what I saw when I got into the files on Lightroom.