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Are MM versions always better than AE versions?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Are MM versions always better than AE versions? Reply with quote

Dear all,

I'm now in a Leica/Zeiss mood and have started hoarding stuff (and not shooting a single picture with the ones I already did include in my mechanical heaven :/)

I've seen the MM versions go for more than AE verisons

I've seen people say the corners are sharper with the MM than AE

But is this true for every MM? If not, what are the exceptions?

Also, how do these compare with the new ones from Zeiss? The ZE's and the ZF's etc

And, dont beat me dead but how do the MM's compre to the Leicas? (though i've read in some places that Solms did throw more than just a look or two at Zeiss designs)

If you had to pick one lens. The ultimate. Best of the best of the best. Irrespective of price. What would it be?

I know this is a big question and the bokeh is different and different focal length and different contrast etc. but if Santa woke you up in the middle of the night and said: Son, pick ONE lens - what would you pick?


PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Are MM versions always better than AE versions? Reply with quote

I have Leica 50mm, both the AE and the MM planars (1.7 / 1.4) and Tak 1.4 and Nikon 1.4 but Santa can bring me an Anginieux if he has a spare in his sack!

Doug

Hari wrote:
Dear all,

I'm now in a Leica/Zeiss mood and have started hoarding stuff (and not shooting a single picture with the ones I already did include in my mechanical heaven :/)

I've seen the MM versions go for more than AE verisons

I've seen people say the corners are sharper with the MM than AE

But is this true for every MM? If not, what are the exceptions?

Also, how do these compare with the new ones from Zeiss? The ZE's and the ZF's etc

And, dont beat me dead but how do the MM's compre to the Leicas? (though i've read in some places that Solms did throw more than just a look or two at Zeiss designs)

If you had to pick one lens. The ultimate. Best of the best of the best. Irrespective of price. What would it be?

I know this is a big question and the bokeh is different and different focal length and different contrast etc. but if Santa woke you up in the middle of the night and said: Son, pick ONE lens - what would you pick?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of hearsay but I've never really seen anything conclusive regarding AE vs MM. I don't believe they are any differences in design though I could be wrong. People claim differences in coatings between AE and MM. But they also claim that West Germany lenses undergo more strict standards. The only conclusive difference between AE and MM is that the former can produce a ninja star bokeh thanks to the aperture blades.

However, I have several MM and AE versions and on the 28/2.8 the MM version does appear sharper as does the 50/1.7. But the AE versions seem to produce the 3d effect better. The MM seem to have a more gradual transition from infocus to out of focus areas. Again, all subjective and could be variance in individual copies.

Since you're hoarding lenses, just but them all AEJ, AEG, MMJ, MMG. Smile

Oh and for the ZE/ZF, they tend to be sharper but some of the lenses don't seem to be any better than the cheaper c/y zeiss counterparts.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeiss confirmed improved optical design for the following MM lenses:

2.8/25
2.8/28
2.8/135

The rest is speculations. I personally find the latest batch of 1.7/50 (those with serial 8xxxxxx) to be sharper than the previous batches, but we don't have a Zeiss confirmation for that.

Keep in mind that differently from Leica, which always announces changes in optical design, Zeiss never did, with the aforementioned exception.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only reason I am looking for MM version (and no I don't have any yet) is I understand it is easier to convert the mount. I wish there is an easier solution - an adapter for C/Y mount to Minolta/Sony A mount, but unfortunately there is none.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I believe that German made lenses had higher quality control than Japanese ones. Zeiss had total quality control over Japan made lenses too, and it's been said that one of the contributing factors to the falling out with Kyocera was Kyocera's complaint that Zeiss were rejecting too many lenses for QC reasons. As far as I'm aware, Zeiss are the only optical company who test individual lenses, rather than batch sampling (though I'd welcome being told of any others who do the same).


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some months ago I talked to a Zeiss-man and I asked him: Are there any visible improvements on the new Zeiss lenses compared to the older ones for C/Y? He answered, that this would mean that the older ones were bad lenses. So there should be improvements only in details. But I don't know what has been improved exactly.

Lichtstrom


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Btw, which is the best adapter C/Y -> Nikon?

Do I hafta get one with the infinity glass?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch here about C/Y to Nikon
http://www.leitax.com/Zeiss-Contax-lens-for-Nikon-cameras.html

MM version is easier to convert due ti the presence of screw in the rear mount to unmoiunt it.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ersatz wrote:
However, I have several MM and AE versions and on the 28/2.8 the MM version does appear sharper


That is my experience, too. The MM version of 28/2.8 seems to be about 1/2 of a stop ahead of the AE one, especially in the corners. The coatings are also visibly different on these; the MM version has coatings that make the glass almost invisible.

Sonnar 85/2.8 was physically changed between AE and MM versions. I mean, they literally have different barrels. The coatings are very different, too; sharpness is about the same, but contrast seems to be slightly higher with MM versions (I had four samples of this lens, two AEG, one MMJ, one MMG).

Planar 85/1.4 MM has regular-shaped diaphragm, AE has 'ninja star'. I sold my AEG copy; my MM version seems to have slightly more contrast with deeper blacks, but sharpness is about the same. We're splitting hairs here, as the difference is not big.

Sonnar 180/2.8 has been physically changed (restyled barrel) between AE and MM. Haven't seen the AE version myself though.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:38 am    Post subject: Re: Are MM versions always better than AE versions? Reply with quote

nemesis101 wrote:
I have Leica 50mm, both the AE and the MM planars (1.7 / 1.4) and Tak 1.4 and Nikon 1.4 but Santa can bring me an Anginieux if he has a spare in his sack!

Doug

Hari wrote:
Dear all,

I'm now in a Leica/Zeiss mood and have started hoarding stuff (and not shooting a single picture with the ones I already did include in my mechanical heaven :/)

I've seen the MM versions go for more than AE verisons

I've seen people say the corners are sharper with the MM than AE

But is this true for every MM? If not, what are the exceptions?

Also, how do these compare with the new ones from Zeiss? The ZE's and the ZF's etc

And, dont beat me dead but how do the MM's compre to the Leicas? (though i've read in some places that Solms did throw more than just a look or two at Zeiss designs)

If you had to pick one lens. The ultimate. Best of the best of the best. Irrespective of price. What would it be?

I know this is a big question and the bokeh is different and different focal length and different contrast etc. but if Santa woke you up in the middle of the night and said: Son, pick ONE lens - what would you pick?

yes get the crappy 35-70 angenieux. they are still high priced... but dont complain afterwards when realizing 35/1.4 has high resolution but 35-70 is simply unsharp. yes for the DEM and apo-angenieux 180mm.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my_photography wrote:
The only reason I am looking for MM version (and no I don't have any yet) is I understand it is easier to convert the mount. I wish there is an easier solution - an adapter for C/Y mount to Minolta/Sony A mount, but unfortunately there is none.

leitax has a C/Y-Sony A-mount but only for the 35/2.8 PC-Distagon.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex wrote:
I'm not sure I believe that German made lenses had higher quality control than Japanese ones. Zeiss had total quality control over Japan made lenses too, and it's been said that one of the contributing factors to the falling out with Kyocera was Kyocera's complaint that Zeiss were rejecting too many lenses for QC reasons. As far as I'm aware, Zeiss are the only optical company who test individual lenses, rather than batch sampling (though I'd welcome being told of any others who do the same).

That was the main reason i switched from Olympus OM to Contax Zeiss. bought a 35/2.0 Zuiko in greymarket-was a swiss specialist for that. In the shop recognized they had a much better one. Olympus has sold the bad lenses also then. remember the golden stick of the Jap camera control or something? was a big mockery, misleading customers.
On the other hand: had the motordrive bought in HK. when defective olympus europe had to repair. they told me i had dropped it... which i hadnt obviously! 35/2.0 zuiko versus Zeiss 35/1.4(my first Zeiss) was like day and night. already at f2.0 almost no light-fall off and very sharp in the corners. only worse was the angenieux 35-70. no resolution could be seen, have comparision shots.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Are MM versions always better than AE versions? Reply with quote

Hari wrote:
If you had to pick one lens. The ultimate. Best of the best of the best. Irrespective of price. What would it be?


That's easy: Leica Apo-Summicron ASPH 50mm/F2. According Roger Cicala from Lensrentals by far the best lens in existence. No. 2 Sigma ART 50/1.4, no. 3 Leica Summilux 50/1.4 and no. 4 Cosina (Zeiss) Otus 50/1.4.
BTW, all compared and measured at F2 with multiple samples.