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Is the Leica 35mm Summilux-M the quintessential Leica Lens?


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To each his own. I actually have preferred the 35 Summicron ASPH to the Summilux, although I haven't tried the ASPH FLE. All said and done, almost any of the Leitz 35 lenses produced in the last 50 years have been good; I used a Summaron for over 30 years and really liked the images it produced, although quite different from the more modern Summicrons and Summiluxes.

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I was very surprised to read the comment claiming that it's so widely accepted that the Distagon is better, even by FLE owners. I haven't seen one or noticed any opinions like that . I don't doubt that they can produce great results of course. I do think that personal preferences and priorities will influence our choices. and there is no one definitive correct answer to these questions. I really enjoyed the Summilux M 35 ASPH. My early production one needed calibration from new but the results

Of all the lenses I have ever owned I've come to find the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE quite possibly the best ever. Looking at Leica's M Magazine, it seems to be one of the most popular and widely used lens too. It seems 35 is the new standard lens.   It's performance is truly exceptional and its size and angle of view makes it the most usable and versatile lens I have - It goes with me everywhere. It is a engineering marvel with truly modern performance that somehow manages to stay true to it's t

28 Cron Asph at f/2.0; much nicer bokeh than the 28 Lux or 35 Lux, both of which are nervous in comparison at f/1.4.  The 28 Cron Asph pairs wonderfully with the 50 Lux Asph, which sports a very similar bokeh.  This 28/50 combo is the reason I went Leica.  No other manufacturer offers lenses that draw like these two. 

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You sum it up nicely; the Summicron asph is the size winner and my go-anywhere lens. (Except when I take the Elmar-M 50) Actually the Summilux I prefer, for in my eyes it is truly magic, is the 24. Even heavier and bigger than the 35

Thank you, I think I need to check out the 24mm Summilux.

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28 Cron Asph at f/2.0; much nicer bokeh than the 28 Lux or 35 Lux, both of which are nervous in comparison at f/1.4.  The 28 Cron Asph pairs wonderfully with the 50 Lux Asph, which sports a very similar bokeh.  This 28/50 combo is the reason I went Leica.  No other manufacturer offers lenses that draw like these two. 

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My idea as well; I was very impressed by test shots I took. Should I get a fast 35 I would opt for the Zeiss. The size difference is not as decisive as internet lore makes out.

I was very surprised to read the comment claiming that it's so widely accepted that the Distagon is better, even by FLE owners. I haven't seen one or noticed any opinions like that . I don't doubt that they can produce great results of course. I do think that personal preferences and priorities will influence our choices. and there is no one definitive correct answer to these questions.

I really enjoyed the Summilux M 35 ASPH. My early production one needed calibration from new but the results were afterwards superb. I sacrificed mine to fund something with an S in the name.

On physical M lens size,  I am sensitive certainly. The Summilux 21, 24 and 28  designs and the Noctilux are all larger than I prefer with an M too.

I should qualify my opinion, in that I think that the Summilux is wonderful for travel and street photography.

 

 

 

Edited by hoppyman
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I was very surprised to read the comment claiming that it's so widely accepted that the Distagon is better, even by FLE owners. I haven't seen one or noticed any opinions like that . I don't doubt that they can produce great results of course. I do think that personal preferences and priorities will influence our choices. and there is no one definitive correct answer to these questions.

I really enjoyed the Summilux M 35 ASPH. My early production one needed calibration from new but the results were afterwards superb. I sacrificed mine to fund something with an S in the name.

On physical M lens size,  I am sensitive certainly. The Summilux 21, 24 and 28  designs and the Noctilux are all larger than I prefer with an M too.

I should qualify my opinion, in that I think that the Summilux is wonderful for travel and street photography.

L1033490-Edit-1280-BW.jpg

 

 

 

 

What a fabulous photo Geoff - I wish I'd taken it.

 

It's got it all as well as being technically excellent: the kid still the column to the right and the kid to the left about to start (?), the ubiquitous selfie stick poking up above the crowd in the middle, the observer on the balcony to the top left, and the three men in a row giving you the evil eye in the bottom right of the photo. 

 

Can you tell us about it?

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The quintessential Leica lens has to be the 35 summilux (the original). Preferably mounted to a black paint M2 loaded with Tri-X.

Nothing is more Leica to me (except I'd opt for an M4)

 

It is good that we can still have the earlier lenses and cameras, but too bad that Tri-X was modified in 2007.

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I was waiting for this question and quite rightly. Please understand I am not, at all, suggesting my photography will leave you gasping

But I find, relative to other equipment I own, that is the affect it leaves me to feel by some measure. My photos are personal to me - my family, friends and memories, I am only so happy to find such memories rendered so brilliantly, and permanently for posterity. [...]

 

Do I see a tiny touch of fill-flash there?

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 I have been shooting today with the 35 FLE and 50 APO. I love the way the 35 FLE renders wide open. At smaller apertures is tack sharp, but the bokeh can be a bit hash in some occasions. I am not a Leica lens expert by any means, but I have been shooting this 35 as my only lens for a year and half and I am really happy with the results so far. About the ¨quintessential qualities ¨

 of the lens I´m afraid I´m not knowledgable enough to say anything valuable. Only have owned 4 Leica lenses so far. Edited by Neko
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What a fabulous photo Geoff - I wish I'd taken it.

 

It's got it all as well as being technically excellent: the kid still the column to the right and the kid to the left about to start (?), the ubiquitous selfie stick poking up above the crowd in the middle, the observer on the balcony to the top left, and the three men in a row giving you the evil eye in the bottom right of the photo.

 

Can you tell us about it?

oh thanks Mark. I love Barcelona, it's welcoming and wonderful and its home to a great street shooter friend too. This was my 4th visit. . This was a part of a huge festival. The casteleers are a Catalan tradition building human towers. As can be seen the crowd was very dense. The base of the tower is supported by the crowd too. I managed to get my M above my head holding it clear of selfie sticks and used live view to frame after pre estimating focus. There is only a small straightening crop. I made a couple of portraits of the brave child who climbs to the top of the tower and had to lean back to reach the minimum ficus limit too so tht will be a clue on where I was. The guys with the evil eye are probably more strained from the effort and the crush than anything. People are extremely welcoming and public photography very often brings great smiles when you are seen. At tht event there was a very obvious passionate element about Catalan Independence to witness too. Perhaps I can point you to a few photos? Edited by hoppyman
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A rangefinder matched to lens which is almost impossible to focus wide open on a moving object is a romantic notion - and a Leica rangefinder is all about romance. Noctilux is the lens for me.

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I own Leica's 35mm Summilux FLE, which is a great lens, and a Zeiss 35mm Biogon f/2.8. I prefer the Zeiss' IQ, size and compactness unless low light demands the Lux. I just returned from five weeks in Australia and shot the Zeiss almost exclusively. It's that good.

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