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1) Elmarit M 28 ASPH f/2.8

2) Apo Summicron ASPH 90 f/2.0

3) Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 (LTM)

4) Nikkor PC E 24 ED T/S f/3.5*

5) AF-S Nikkor 24-70 G-ED f/2.8*


*: Sorry, gotta be honest...


(Most people in this forum will disagree, but then this kind of list will always be highly subjective and will depend on many idiosyncratic variables)

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Getting this down to 5 is very difficult, as I have a lot of different lenses, so here goes:




1. Summar 5cm f2

2. Elmar 50mm f 3.5

3. Summilux 50mm f1.4 Asph

4. Summicron 50mm DR/Rigid (both versions)

5. Summicron 35mm f2 Asph


Strangely enough, 5 above is my most used lens.


Non Leica


1. Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AFD

2. Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8 AFD

3. Zeiss Planar 75mm f3.5 for Rolleiflex

4. Fujifilm X 35mm f2

5. Fujifilm X 16mm f1.4


I would rank the 5 Leica lenses above all of the non Leica lenses. I use a lot of Leica lenses other than those listed, particularly the WATE, 24mm Elmar and the 28mm Summicron, but I feel that the standard lens is where Leica really shines for me. My choices are based on personal taste rather than technical perfection. The Summar would be a prime example of that.



Edited by willeica
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The question made me realise that I've owned a lot of lenses! My current favourites:


35mm Summilux Aspheric Pre-FLE - solid, reliable workhorse, despite its shortcomings its been my 'goto' lens for a long time.

35mm Summilux pre-Aspheric - First owned one in 1981. Have one now. An absolute classic, eclipsed by the Aspheric but still a capable performer and so small and light and a state-of-the-art design in its day which could not have been bettered.

21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M - simply a stunning lens.

21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon-M - a classic.



Can't decide on number 5 I'm afraid, many contenders.

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Leica 75/1.4 - on SL if photographing a woman (not on an M camera due to narrow DoF at 1.4)
(Leica R90/2 Apo - on SL if photographing a man)

Nikon 58/1.4G - on SL
Leica R 19/2.8 - on SL 
Nikon 50/1.4 SSC - on S2 2000 (this produces the sharpest film photos I have)
Leica 50/1.4 (pre Aspherical) - on M3 

Honorable mentions to:- 
the collabsible 50/2 Leica M39 mount (mine dates to 1933)
Contax/Zeiss Planar RF 50/1.5 (mine dates to 1939)
Voigtländer 15/4.5 in M mount
Voigtländer 50/1.1 M mount 
Leica R 80-200/4 

Zeiss Contax 28-85 

SL 24-90 (but I have hardly used it yet) 

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In no particular order:


28-90/2.8-4.5 R (tremendous versatility in combination with excellent quality)

21-35/3.5-4 R (ditto)

180/2.8 Apo R (say no more)

28/2.8 PC SA R (for architecture, if you want to get it right in camera rather than in PS, there are so many times when only this one will do)

90/2 Apo Asph R (it's just so so sharp)


I've got at least two others that I ought to put on the list, but five is the limit, and I use these less frequently, namely 280/4 R and 100/2.8 macro R

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A tricky question to answer because to me lenses are like paintbrushes and have particular strengths for certain usages.


Leica 50/1 Noctilux

Leica 80/1.4 Summilux-R

Leica 100/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R

Leica 280/4 APO-Telyt-R

1947 Carl Zeiss Jena 50/2 Sonnar


Very honourable mentions to:

Leica 50/1.4 Summilux pre-asph

Rollei 40/2.8 Sonnar (LTM)

Kobalux 21/2.8

Leica 50/2 Rigid Summicron

Nikkor Kogaku 50/1.4 Tokyo

Leica 35/2 Summicron IV

Leica 50/1.4 'Retro' Summilux asph

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