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Differences between the ASPH and older 35mm Summicron?

You're tossing up between getting the current 35mm M Summicron ASPH, or perhaps a good condition earlier 4th generation 35mm M Summicron (pre ASPH). What are the trade-offs?

  1. The older Summicron is much more compact — almost half the size of the ASPH
  2. The ASPH lens is sharper out to the edges at wider apertures (ƒ2 — ƒ4)
  3. Ditto less vignetting
  4. On the 2nd hand market, the pre-ASPH 'Cron seems to attract higher prices — see < #00G7RZ>
  5. There are claims the ASPH lens delivers more pleasing bokeh at wider apertures — see <LCU: 314178-post30.html> and <>
  6. Alternatively, the older Summicron and ASPH deliver near identical results at ƒ5.6 and above
  7. Both lenses use the E39 filter size and work with ∅ 42mm clip-on lens-hoods

So the main consideration appears to be, do you mainly shoot at ƒ5.6 and above?

This topic was discussed a fair bit on the old Leica Forum in 2001. Eg. see < #0072ob>.

BTW, trying to locate the serial number of an older, Canadian 35/2? Don't panic! Turn the lens focus ring to the minimum focus distance and look under the aperture ring.

A note about possible broken links

This FAQ has over 900 external links. Over time it is inevitable some of them will break. If you are bothered by this, see this detailed topic elsewhere in the FAQ.

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