Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux II Pre-asph

leica summilux 35 1.4 pre-asph

Glow

The lens is a bit soft, suffers from chromatic aberrations and vignettes at f/1.4 maximum aperture. It produces soft glow with shallow depth of field and has a swirly type of bokeh when shot wide open. Hence its nickname, the “Leica glow”. This type of soft and glow bokeh—people either love it or hate it.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

Although there are many sharp lenses in my collection, I also like the beauty of photography, not just the perceived technical perfection. The special dreamy glow cannot be recreated with software, it can only be achieved in-camera. ​It is excellent for street portraits with its glowing effect and becomes very sharp when stepping down the aperture like every other Leica lenses.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

In fact, in the three “Leica Glow” lenses I have used, “Leica Glow” is not so easy to appear, especially in film photography and low light environments.

Bokeh

It is neither the smooth and buttery total background obliteration of Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 ASPH nor is it the progressive blur bokeh of Summicron 35mm f/2 v4(7-elements)—though it is closer to the latter.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

Its important to be clearthis is no where near a perfect lens. Even though the “Leica glow” lets you shoot at f/1.4 – it shouldn’t be used at this aperture all the time. If you want a sharp f1.4 lens then you wouldn’t want to go near this old lens, insteadits either the Summilux 11874 or the Summilux 11663 you should be going for. If you want a legacy lens with Bokeh and sharpness you would be much better off with the Leica summicron 35mm f2 v4. The “king of Bokeh” will give you bokeh and sharpness, but what it won’t do is give you the “Leica glow”.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

Not every photo looks good under f/1.4. Stopping down the “Leica glow” yields excellent results. I noticed that at every aperture between f/2.8-f/8 the “Leica glow” almost up there with “king of Bokeh” in regards to resolution, colors and vignetting.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

Balance

When Summilux 35mm ASPH lenses are optically better than this old lens, why would anyone want to use it? Its current popularity is no doubt due to its low cost, not its ‘soft glow’.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH

What I wanted, and got from the lens was the swirly bokeh and the dreamy glow the lens produces when wide open. The softness and vignetting are mitigated a lot with smaller apertures. Consider its small size and light weight, it’s well balanced on a Leica M.

LEICA 35MM SUMMILUX F1.4 PRE-ASPH
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Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid Is The Second Choice

Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid

Sound

I like the sound of turning the aperture ring. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem. It’s a pity that this sound can’t be heard in later Leica lenses.

Beautiful

No other 50mm lens in the world is as beautiful as Leica Rigid. The sad truth is that certain types of things can’t go backwards. 

On CMOS and CCD

Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid is a lens that performs really well on both film and digital. It has a gentler rendition, lower contrast on CMOS and CCD sensors.

Condition

Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid is not so easy to find in good optical condition. It’s pretty rare for a lens of that age to have no damage. 

Price

I have got myself a 50mm f/2 Rigid For a very good price. However, its price has doubled in the past 5 years. You are going to find Summicron-M 50mm V4 if you are on the budget.  Rigid is the second choice.

Rigid VS V4

The Rigid is supposed to be sharper than the collapsible ones. I pretty much exclusively use the Summicron-M 50mm V4 now as my 50mm, which has better coatings and may even be sharper. 

Rigid DR

The Rigid DR is great, but a little bit heavy. Rigid was best for me on BW, V4 is amazing on color. Personally, I don’t recommend DR, If you get the DR and later get a digital Leica you will need a different lens. 

Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron Rigid
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Leica Super Angulon 21mm f/3.4 Black & White Film

Leica leica super angulon 21mm f/3.4 + kodak tri-x 400

Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon M – Technical Information

Manufacturer: Schneider-Kreuznach – Leica
Optics: 8 elements in 4 groups
Aperture range: f/3.4 to f/22
Filter: M 48 X 0.75 Thread – or Series 7 (held in place by the hood)
Maximum Outer Diameter: 52.5mm
Weight: about 250g (black version, without caps)
Lens code number: 11103
Lens hood code number: 12501 (12501M)
Front lens cap code number: 14102 (A52.5)
External viewfinder code number: 12002
Leather case for viewfinder code number: 14617

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Leica leica super angulon 21mm f/3.4 + kodak tri-x 400
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leica elmarit-m 28mm f2.8 ASPH Black & White Film

leica m3 + leica elmarit-m 28mm f2.8
This lens is optimised for digital photography and has significantly reduced image field curvature in comparison to the previous model.
Used Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 ASPH Lens (11677) W/ Box, Case, and Lens hood, and all caps.

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leica m3 + leica elmarit-m 28mm f2.8
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