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Friday, 06 May 2022


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My favorite Leica lens is the 50mm Summicron that I bought in 1994. It has a concave tab. I have the chrome version, and have always wished I had bought the noticeably lighter black version.

But for the "look" it produces, and the way it "draws," it is the Leitz lens I like the best.

The lens I've used the most, however, is the 35mm Summicron Asph, from about a year later, also with a concave tab.

The 50mm is more limited, with its tight focusing in situations involving more than one person. That is the type of scene I like to photograph the most—interactions between people and the wider 35 is better suited, as the framing is looser and more forgiving of misjudgment in anticipatory framing.

You promised to tell us your two favorite M mount lenses. I’m waiting.

[Coming up, Sunday evening or Monday morning. --Mike]

I succumbed to meteritis in the early 1990s after selling a car and p/xd my Leica M2 for a M6 with a kit 50mm Summicron. That lens would have been my nomination but as I have aged, I find that if I'm shooting 'street' the 50mm f2 demands a reaction time that is not always available from my ageing brain. I find the 35mm f2 Summicron that I bought from the same dealer chain but a different store within months of acquiring the M6 suits me better now in a 'street' situation, giving me a little more anticipation leeway.

Oh, and yes, I have tested the Leica lenses v. the equivalent Olympus focal lengths and according to my rough and ready test on a fine grain film, the Leica lenses are better on sharpness and contrast. Would I give up my Olys to go Leica only? Ummhh. Aaagh. Dunno. Changing and/or declining eye-sight may be a decisive factor at some future date.

A second vote for the Leica 24 Elmarit Asph. It's very bright, and at 24 mm, takes a lot in. The brand new APO 35/2.0 is also incredibly bright and super sharp, but I find I have to back up quite often.

I have brought the two Summicrons, 35 ASPH II and current 50 for this current 4 weeks trip across the USA. I photograph old buildings, details of things and places and some portrait of people met along the way.

Since Corning, NY, a week ago, it's the 50 that has seen the most use for far. The more rigid perspective seems to be a most better fit.

As for the qualité of sharpness and rendering, both lens are winners so far.

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