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Review: The New Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH.


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13 hours ago, jonoslack said:

HI There Steve

I don't think so - I think that the modern APO lenses have more contrast, but less aberrations makes them feel 'gentler' even when they show more detail. Older lenses stopped down look amazingly sharp, but to me they feel a bit 'crunchy' whereas modern lenses don't. . . . 

Its an interesting wide ranging and very subjective subject.

Funnily enough i already know that for people pictures i prefer older lenses at all apertures and especially wide open but for landscape images i lean more towards modern designs like my only genuine modern lens the voigtlander 21mm f1.4 nokton asph. 

Sorry to use the V word but i love that lens.

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Introduction About 10 or 11 years ago I went to Solms for a visit, I was a little early, and when I arrived the receptionist told me that Jesko was in a meeting and would be a bit late, and would I like to fill up the time playing with this lens. Of course. The lens was a 50 Summicron, and there had been rumours of a replacement, so I took it at face value. I wandered around outside taking a few shots, and then sat down and put them on my computer. I'm not sure that my jaw actually dro

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9 hours ago, steve 1959 said:

Its an interesting wide ranging and very subjective subject.

Funnily enough i already know that for people pictures i prefer older lenses at all apertures and especially wide open but for landscape images i lean more towards modern designs like my only genuine modern lens the voigtlander 21mm f1.4 nokton asph. 

Sorry to use the V word but i love that lens.

Hi There

No need to apologise for the V word - lots of great lenses. Which look you actually like is obviously entirely subjective, but I don't think the subject is subjective, the characteristics of the lens design (and type of glass) provide objective characteristics, which you may (or may not) like!

all the best

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  • 1 month later...

Awful long wait going on for the Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH.  I have been second in line since March at one of the U.S. Leica dealers and no dice so far. I just returned from several countries in Europe and they also have not seen much availability.

QUESTION: Is there something wrong mechanically, optically or structurally with this new lens.  Is there some unforeseen problem in mass production issues?  

As I recall, wasn't there a problem with the original run of 50mm APO Summicrons?

Does anyone have any information?

 

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1 hour ago, m410 said:

Awful long wait going on for the Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH.  I have been second in line since March at one of the U.S. Leica dealers and no dice so far. I just returned from several countries in Europe and they also have not seen much availability.

QUESTION: Is there something wrong mechanically, optically or structurally with this new lens.  Is there some unforeseen problem in mass production issues?  

As I recall, wasn't there a problem with the original run of 50mm APO Summicrons?

Does anyone have any information?

Peter Karbe, in a group Q&A session on July 9, said it is just a very difficult lens to assemble (more or less).

I don't think there is any specific thing "wrong" in particular - except perhaps the whole idea of trying to get 35 APO SL-quality into (or out of) a lens half the size. ;) But users clamored for it, and Leica/Karbe took it on.

"I) Production and availability of the 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH - production is slow because of many things. The pandemic still being one (availability of parts). others being: working with 10 very small elements, in a very small, tight-tolerance mount; some of the glass used to achieve the APO performance is hard to work with (softer glass, needs careful handling and protective coatings during assembly - and testing to make sure the lens won't change over time; some glass is also subject to corrosion before coating - more special handling, extra training, slow production ramp-up)."

From (page 9):

 

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I think what some of us who ordered through dealers are unhappy about, is the regional Leica agency/shop/boutique selling any stock they do receive, direct to customers. This enables them to double dip with both wholesale and retail margins, in order to swell their coffers, meanwhile failing to fulfil prior orders via dealers. 

Wilson

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1 hour ago, adan said:

"I) Production and availability of the 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH - production is slow because of many things. The pandemic still being one (availability of parts). others being: working with 10 very small elements, in a very small, tight-tolerance mount; some of the glass used to achieve the APO performance is hard to work with (softer glass, needs careful handling and protective coatings during assembly - and testing to make sure the lens won't change over time; some glass is also subject to corrosion before coating - more special handling, extra training, slow production ramp-up)."

Soft glass, corrosion and special handling ... change over time !

Hope they have the engineering right and the lenses hold up to ten years of real world stresses; CLA seems like something to avoid. 

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11 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:

I think what some of us who ordered through dealers are unhappy about, is the regional Leica agency/shop/boutique selling any stock they do receive, direct to customers. This enables them to double dip with both wholesale and retail margins, in order to swell their coffers, meanwhile failing to fulfil prior orders via dealers. 

Wilson

Although even before the Leica Stores, Leica distributed products "democratically" around the globe.

I.E. if they produce 50 in a week at start-up, they will ship, say, 15 to Europe, 10 to North America, 15 to Asia/Oceania, 6 to South America, and 4 to anywhere else. Based on historic market size, not orders in hand.

And then within NA, the 10 regional reps (NYC, Mountain States, West Coast, Southeast, Canada, Mexico, etc.) will each get one, to allot to one of the stores in their region where there are existing orders. Those are generally handed out in order of precedence to the stores involved, who then have their own waiting lists to work through.

But if you live in a region with 100 pre-orders (say, NYC/B&H), you'll be waiting in a longer line than a region with only 15 pre-orders.

E.G. for the M9, I got mine the first week, because I had placed order #1 (a month before the M9 was even announced/confirmed) within the US Mountain States rep's region (NM, AZ, CO, UT, WY, MT, ID).

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Apparently Leica decided some time ago that due to product shortage, they were only going to distribute the 35 APO worldwide, via Leica owned stores. I have this from a senior leica person today.  My dealer insists they were not told this or they would refunded my payment. 😡😡

Wilson

 

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Frustrated with an unreasonable unobtainium business model for the 35mm APO-M lens, I dropped my local Leica Store an e-message.

_____________________________________________________________

Hi _________ Leica Store,

I am on your wait list for the 35mm APO-M lens.  I think I signed up last March.  

QUESTION:Is there any hope of actually buying this lens?  I purchased the 35mm f2 Summicron a few years back from your store and honestly have not been really happy with it’s performance.  I had hoped to trade this lens for the new 35mm APO.  I was headed for coupling the 35mm APO with my current 21mm f3.4 and 90mm f4 ME lenses.  An alternate choice I guess would be my 21mm SEM, 28mm f2.8, a new 50mm APO and my 90mm f4.  Perhaps I should rearrange my lens choice if the 35mm APO really isn’t available?

Do you have any advice or new information?
Thank your for help or suggestions,

 jDD.

_____________________________________________________________________________

LEICA STORE response:

Hi jDD
Thank you for reaching out. I do not have any updates for you at this time. Supply of this lens has been nearly nonexistent since its launch in March, and we are estimating the wait time for individuals will be years, not months, unfortunately. I do not know why these lenses have proven so hard for us to come by either.   I would not factor the lens into any near-future purchasing logistics if I'm to be honest.

Best Regards__________

___________________________________________________________________

 

Personally I feel Leica AG needs to come clean about the production and availability of a product they have claimed to be offering.  I truly understand problems with production or C19 issues.  However, Leica enjoys long term customer loyalty and it would go a long way if they would announce the realities of this lens's true offering in the future, a product which was announced with such a high profile and much fanfare.

Edited by m410
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This happens often, when the M9 was introduced every lens choice soon was in short supply.  Slowly, lenses became available, in the interim used lenses were priced above new.  That was 2010-2012.  

Acquiring Leica lenses, collectibles or otherwise is an exercise in patience.  Finding them is made more special because of it.  

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They seem to be non-existent as far as UK dealers are concerned.  @wlaidlaw even paid in full upfront and is still waiting.

I registered for email notifications with the Leica UK Online Store but you have to be quick off the mark and lucky.  I managed to get one on my fourth attempt.  I believe there were just two delivered in that shipment and both went within minutes of the email notification being triggered.  Similar story with the reissued 50mm f1.2 Noctilux.  Unobtainium indeed, but it's not Leica's business model.  I am sure they would be delighted to supply a lens to everybody who wants one.  Money is made when product is sold.

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Finally a 35mm APO-M is with the couriers on the way to my UK house. This was jointly arranged by Leica UK and Park Cameras, in recognition of the repeated mix-ups of the previously scheduled deliveries of the lens to me. It appears that this may have been caught up in the Leica decision (? end of April) to sell the 35APO only through Leica owned stores but maybe this decision should not have affected previously scheduled and agreed deliveries. Still all's well in the end, assuming that DPD don't lose it or drop it. Of course it is going to my UK house while I am in France. 

Wilson

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2 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:Finally a 35mm APO-M is with the couriers on the way to my UK house. This was jointly arranged by Leica UK and Park Cameras, in recognition of the repeated mix-ups of the previously scheduled deliveries of the lens to me. It appears that this may have been caught up in the Leica decision (? end of April) to sell the 35APO only through Leica owned stores but maybe this decision should not have affected previously scheduled and agreed deliveries. Still all's well in the end, assuming that DPD don't lose it or drop it. Of course it is going to my UK house while I am in France. 

Wilson

Fingers crossed it was not QC-ed by Mr Magoo.

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1 hour ago, mmradman said:

Fingers crossed it was not QC-ed by Mr Magoo.

I have had a couple of those in the past. I hope Leica are giving these lenses an extra careful look over. On the focus front it is so easy with a calibrated M10 or M240 rangefinder to compare with the live view. You can do the focus accuracy at 4 different distances in just a very few minutes. 

Wilson

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We’ll I had no plans on buying this lens.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the 35 Summilux FLE which I’ve had since late 2009.  Wasn’t sure whether I’d moved away from this focal length (I’ve now mainly used 28/50 for some years) or this lens in particular.  I have a generous selection of modern (incl other APO-Summicrons) and older lenses across many focal lengths.

I found that I was using my Contax T3 (2.8/35 Zeiss) and 2.0/35 Summicron v4 more and more in recent times.

I had some equipment I wasn’t using including the 35 Summilux FLE so contacted a dealer regarding selling it and to my surprise discovered that he just received an unallocated APO-35.  
 

First inquiry about this lens and luckily it was sitting there just for me. Trade-in arranged. Lens arriving on Monday!

 

 

Edited by MarkP
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12 minutes ago, IkarusJohn said:

Not sure about the focal length

Ditto, but I realised I was using 35mm more and more.

12 minutes ago, IkarusJohn said:

 and the cost is … alarming.

Indeed, I only proceeded because much of the cost was offset by the trade-in, and I wanted to buy myself a present 🙂

Edited by MarkP
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vor 20 Stunden schrieb MarkP:

...  to my surprise discovered that he just received an unallocated APO-35.  

I had thought a while ago that this lens could be a good addition to my very first lens Summicron-C 2/40mm and therefore also my first 35mm.
Thanks to a hint from a friendly forum member, I simply bought the lens directly from a 'Leica Shop'. I guess single lenses turn out to be non-seller. (;-) 

The lens was completely and totally out of depth of field in the rangefinder function.   (so only play around with M8 IR and new strap)
With much backfocus it was not usable with the rangefinder. Cameras and lens were then taken to Wetzlar for a cure. The lens problem was corrected in a relatively short time. According to Leica, the two cameras were and are within the factory tolerances. Now the rangefinder works and fits perfectly with one camera.

 

2/35mm, cure visit (two more photos)

 

Unfortunately, it is only now that I have it back in my hands that I have discovered two small particles or fluff behind one of the front lenses. Now that the rangefinder works perfectly with one camera, I  have to decide whether I should have this fixed.

Actually, the now perfect rangefinder function is the most important thing to me, small particles behind the front lens have no photographic effect, or have they?

Thorsten - My photo series:. APrOpos 2/35mm lens and more results  -  here in the forum

 

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