Canon 50/1.4 + 5D2 vs. Leica Summilux 50/1.4 + M10

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Amfibius, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    I had the opportunity to borrow my friend's camera (a Canon 5D Mk. II with a 50mm f/1.4 lens) and go out and take some pictures to compare. The Canon was released in 2008, and can be bought on the secondhand market for $1300. The EF 50mm f/1.4 lens costs about $700 new. The Leica M10 was released in 2017, and costs $9500 new. The Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH costs $6000 (i.e. this lens alone costs more than the entire Canon setup), and has a reputation of being one of the best 50mm lenses ever made.

    My friend, the Canon owner, wanted to see for himself how much better (or not) the Leica is.

    Procedure:
    - Both were shot in aperture priority and auto white balance, on tripods.
    - Leica was focused using live view and focus peaking, Canon was aimed at the same spot and shot using autofocus.
    - Both were set at ISO 100. You will note that the Canon seems to have one stop faster light sensitivity - where the Leica will be at 1/4000, Canon 1/8000
    - Both were shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom without any adjustments
    - The Canon 5D Mk2 is a 21.1MP camera using the Canon EF 50/1.4 lens
    - The Leica M10 is 24MP camera using the Summilux ASPH 50/1.4

    Here is the first series, both shot at f/1.4. First is the resized full picture, followed by a 100% crop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here is the Leica:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Observations:
    - The Canon has a warmer colour cast, and the Leica is cooler. I am not sure whether this was because of the lens, or because the auto white balance worked differently on both cameras.
    - The Leica has visible vignetting at f/1.4. The Canon has less vignetting.
    - If you look at the small building on the far left of the 100% crop, you will see that the Canon has a moire pattern while the Leica is clean (despite the Leica sensor not having an AA filter).
    - There is better detail in the clouds and concrete in the foreground on the Leica.
    - The Leica lens is visibly sharper wide open with much better contrast and better detail retrieval
    - The Leica sensor is also superior (bearing in mind this is a 2008 model Canon 5D)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  2. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Next up, we have a comparison at f/2.

    First, the Canon:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the Leica:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Observations:
    - Both lenses improve significantly when stopped to f/2.
    - The Leica retains its advantage in sharpness. Even at f/2, the Canon isn't as sharp as the Leica at f/1.4.
     
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    And now, we have a comparison of the rendering.

    First, the Canon at f/1.4:

    [​IMG]

    And the Leica:

    [​IMG]

    Observations:
    - Unfortunately the Leica was slightly overexposed by 1/2 a stop which is why it looks a bit washed out compared to the Canon. EXIF says Leica 1/2000s, Canon 1/5000s (remember, for some reason the Canon says ISO 100, but it's really acting more like ISO 200 when compared to the Leica). In this comparison, I had to adjust the exposure of the Leica to match the Canon using Lightroom. No other adjustments were made.
    - The transition from "in focus" to "out of focus" happens much faster on the Leica. Look at the naked Banksia bulb on the left of the picture - on the Canon it is only just in focus, on the Leica it is already out of focus.
    - The bokeh on the Leica is much superior. The bushes in the background look "busy" on the Canon, on the Leica it is smooth.
     
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    And now we check for chromatic aberration (purple fringing). Unfortunately it was almost impossible to achieve the same focus on the Canon and the Leica - the rather confusing subject meant that I could not reliably pick a spot for the Canon to focus on. So I just autofocused on the Canon and hoped for the best. The Leica is manual focus, so the focus is on the center of the frame. Both were shot wide open, at f/1.4:

    Canon:

    [​IMG]

    Leica:

    [​IMG]

    Observations:
    - The Leica appears more washed out because the sun was more in the frame when the picture was composed.
    - Both lenses exhibit purple fringing, but the Leica appears to have less.
    - This test (where the focus was not consistent between lenses) may not be reliable.
     
  5. Frozen_Hell

    Frozen_Hell Member

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    So the conclusion is that a camera that is 9 years newer and even when the 5DII and lens were new, is about 3.5 times more expensive as well is sharper and has slightly better rendition?

    IMO, find someone with a D850 or a 5D4 and an equivalently stellar lens (e.g. Zeiss Otus) and do the comparison again, pretty sure the Leica would be smoked. The only thing the Leica really has going for it is the size and simplicity, and a particular red logo if that is your thing.
     
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Yup, that's pretty much the conclusion.

    I would be quite interested in comparing the Leica to something like a D850 + 50 Otus ... if someone in OCAU has something like this.

    I did think long and hard before selling off my Sony system to move to the Leica. Even though my A7S2 was a few years older than the M10, it had a superior sensor, superior features (especially IBIS) and the potential to mount all sorts of lenses, including Leica. Now that I have the Leica, I am thinking of buying a secondhand 5D2 or 5D3 body to do the things the Leica can't do.
     
  7. simplelogik

    simplelogik Member

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    Hahaha so the grass is not always greener on the other side but at least you get a chance to experience it :)

    BTW, I'm always jealous of your camera collection, especially when you got your 5D mark I when I first started. Why not going back to 5D classic :) ? From memory it had the best colour SOOC. If it wasn’t for the resolution I would still have kept that camera.
     
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Geez you have a long memory! I sold that 5D years ago!!

    I am thinking of buying a second body, mostly because it is impossible to pass the Leica to someone else to take a picture of me when i'm on tour. Somehow everyone has forgotten how to use manual focus lenses, even old photographers. Whilst it is very tempting to buy a secondhand 5D3 to use, it would defeat the purpose of the Leica in the first place, which was to travel light. Realistically I am looking at one of Canon's mirrorless offerings.
     
  9. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

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    I would be running with a Monochrome if I did buy any digital leica.. having said that kit and use is lovely. I very much enjoy my M6 and M2 but have Voigtlander glass as I cant quite go the extra step for $$$

    Zeiss ZM 35 2.0 will be my next purchase I think in M Mount :)
     
  10. simplelogik

    simplelogik Member

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    Well, I remember how expensive that 5D was when it first came out in Australia, especially for a hobbyist :)

    Only problem with Canon mirrorless is that there’s not much of an option :).
     
  11. splbound

    splbound Member

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    Nice, the 5DmkII still does a cracking job and is still lots of camera for most people.

    The Summilux-M is bokelicious but I would expect nothing less from it.

    I would like a Leica but I think my cat photos are expensive enough as it is ;).
    I also like auto focus too much.
     
  12. sejanus

    sejanus Member

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    The sony/Zeiss 50/1.4 would run rings around the Leica. I'm surprised you moved from the sony, it's an amazing platform to run whatever lens you want on.
     
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    I typed out a long reply and decided to delete it. I don't want to turn this thread into a Leica vs. everyone else war.

    BTW I would be very interested in comparing that Sony/Zeiss 50/1.4 against the Leica, given that it was the Sony/Zeiss 50/1.4 that made me decide to abandon the Sony ecosystem in the first place.
     
  14. sejanus

    sejanus Member

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    hey whatever works for you. I've used near every 50mm made and my sony/z one is holy crap levels of awesomeness.

    not sure why you thought there would be a war? :p I have all sorts of brands of gear.
     
  15. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    I'll put it this way :) The reason I moved from Canon to Sony was because my 5D + lenses nearly tore my shoulder off when I carted it around Europe the last time I was there. I was after lighter kit that still offered full frame.

    At the time, the Leica M Type 240 was a bit bleh. It was obese and the sensor was so far behind it was a bit of a joke. I have always liked Leica lenses however.

    So I bought into the Sony system with an A7S2. On paper it was fantastic. And the short flange distance meant that they could potentially release tiny Leica-like lenses. But as I soon discovered, I really did not like the ergonomics. And there was no 50/1.4 or 24-70/2.8 option available when I bought it. I patiently waited for these lenses to come out. When they finally did, they were absolute monsters. I added up the weight, and found that the combined weight of what I needed for my travel gear would be heavier than what I was carrying with Canon. And Canon is much nicer to use.

    So the only other compact full frame option was Leica. They released the M10, which was the first M camera with a sensor that was "adequate" for my needs. So I moved to Leica.

    If I could put up with Sony ergonomics and the weight of that Zeiss 50/1.4 I would be all over it. From reviews, it is a superb lens. I might buy an A7II body for Macro and other work, and I would be interested in trying out a Zeiss 50/1.4 just for comparison.
     
  16. sejanus

    sejanus Member

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    righto. yep totally understandable. I agree the ergos are shocking, I put up with it because of the IQ (a7r2's), lenses & eye-af (amazing for close up shallow dof wedding/people work which is 90% of my stuff).

    If you get back into the dark side look at the 55/1.8 - it's prob 98% the lens the 1.4 is, and is comically small.

    if you get into macro check out the voigtlander 65/2 - it's no lightweight but it's amazing optically. Bucketloads of character.
     
  17. splbound

    splbound Member

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    I hear ya on that. I have settled on a much lighter mirrorless system that is more than enough for holiday photos. Last holiday I was processing photos from my wife's HTC10 phone and was pretty surprised with the resolution from the shots in good light. Would love a small full frame just for the DOF control, but nothing around at the moment that I get along well with (Sony) nor in my budget (Leica).
     
  18. redhairkid

    redhairkid Member

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    Interesting comparison. I've always lusted over leica gear but thats probably more so because of the way they look over their practicality and I don't see myself justifying the expense.. I sold my canon gear and got the sony a7sII and although its only 12mp its good enough for what I do (web uploads and photo books) and it pairs beautifully with the 25 and 85 batis lenses. I've always wondered if these super expensive otus lenses and the leica gear is actually worth it over much cheaper alternatives which produce almost identical results.
     

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