a news photographer's non news diary

The Leica 50mm Elmar

with 2 comments

The Leica 50mm Elmar is the country cousin of the 50mm Summicron. But it has something special. Shooting with it takes a similar élan to using hands to print an image in b&w wet process. It has a long focus throw and while I’ve enjoyed it’s unusual ergononomics, I could never make up my mind about it. Untill I sent it off to Malcom Taylor Leica repair in Hereford, UK. It came back in almost new condition, not bad for a fifty year old lens. So the Elmar is a keper. Beautiful low contrast images. Processing the Leica M8 files in the latest version of Aperture is a painless way to process. More time to shoot, that’s the way it should be.

Written by dwyersean

April 13, 2012 at 12:32 am

2 Responses

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  1. The Elmar renders beautifully; buttery smooth out of focus areas. Was this the lens of choice for Henri Cartier Bresson?

    Simon Bates Photography

    September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    • I believe he used a 50mm summicron f2, but he did use wider lenses too. As far as I aware, he judiciously avoided referencing his gear. There’s a picture of him From the early Seventies with a Leica, and a collapsible 50mm Summicron. Back in the 1930 I think he may have used the ubiquitous 50 mm Elmar f3.5. But possibly something more exotic like the 50mm Summitar.


      September 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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