Revisiting the Leica 35 Summilux ASPH on the M9

Many of you who have followed my blog and reviews over the past year know that I was a huge fan of the 35 Summilux ASPH on the M8. When I bought my M9 I decided to switch to a summicron and then the summarit for rock solid sharpness. I sure got it with both of those lenses but when I had my M9’s rangefinder adjusted recently I was curious to see how the 35 Lux would do on my now “spot on” M9. Ken Hansen, (who is one hell of a Leica dealer) sent me out a 35 Lux ASPH and as usual, I am pretty blown away. Leica glass is just so freaking good. Even though there is a new 35 Lux ASPH on the horizon, this current model is still pretty special. This copy has some minimal focus shift at 2.8, but much less than my previous copy did. In fact, I can say that this is hands down the best 35 Lux ASPH out of 3 or 4 that I have had in my hands.

I will be retesting this lens on the M9 and will be writing a new review for it for all M9  users. Here are two shots from today, the first shots I took with the lens. Both wide open at 1.4. B&H is out of stock of this lens but Ken Hansen has some. You can e-mail him here for info but tell him I sent ya. You may get a deal 🙂 Look for my updated review soon as well as reviews for the Pentax K7, Canon G11, Leica 50 summarit and a few other surprises 🙂


  1. These are 95% OOC shots. Just a slight CP filter added to each, about 20%. When I do the new write up I will have plenty of samples. Thanks!


  2. Hey Steve,

    You may remember recommending the 35mm and summicron to me when I first was waiting for my M9 to arrive. I have to admit, I didn’t exactly follow your recommendation although it was a very valid one based on your experience (I gave steve the choice of 28 or 35cron at the time). For that I am grateful and still have you to thank for my 35lux… since I managed to stretch my budget.

    I have to admit, sure the 35lux is infamous, but as much as I love it my heart sways towards the 50cron more often. Now here’s something we do have in common (lovin’ the 50cron)! However, having said that, calling it the 35lux, entails exactly that 35 is wider than a 50 but maintains the image without the distortion associated with wide, and lux, just allows it to be that much faster when shooting with a little less light and making that image pop. And it is then that I find it is special in those moments, and to me how I can best describe what the 35lux is to me.
    Thanks again Steve! I look forward to reading your full review.

  3. Actually Steve, i am also really keen to see you try the summilux 24mm asph on the M9 🙂 (wonder how much difference will that be compared to your previous trial with the M8…)

  4. Hi Peter,

    I have had my M9 since October 9th and from the get go noticed that some lenses were a bit off. With an M8 or M9 you should be getting VERY sharp results and if the RF is off a bit you may not get that “WOW” factor that you should.

    When I tried shooting a longer lens like a 75 or 90 on mine is when I really realized something was off. I sent it in and Leica (New Jersey) adjusted my RF under warranty and when it came back it was perfect.

    So wether it was like that from the factory, or is something I did I am not 100% because it really did not bother me until I shot a 75/90. Then I saw that it was WAY off. With that said, now that its back and adjusted I see a pretty striking difference with all lenses.

    I am 100% thrilled with my M9’s performance but it makes it hard to review and try other cameras as none of them ever compare to the IQ of the M9!!!


  5. Steve,

    I love your site and visit neatly every day. Fantastic info for the Leica shooter. I was wondering about the rangefinder adjustment you recently had made. I know you’ve only had the camera a few months so I suspect you may have bumped it or maybe it
    came out of tolerances from the factory? Where did you have it done?

    Thanks, Peter

  6. Thanks guys!

    Konstantin, I love my 50 cron! It’s a great lens and also great for portraits. The 35 is just wider and a little faster, so all depends on your needs. On the M8, I liked the 35 Lux as my main lens due to it basically behaving like a 50. Both are fabulous lenses and in all honesty, there are no bad Leica lenses!



  7. Spectacular (and tempting as always)! What’s the one thing that makes you like the Lux more than the Cron? I know you are using it now on an M9 but how about on an M8 (I have an M8 and am using a cron 50 in it – and I love it for portraits).

  8. Nice Can’t wait for your summarit 50 review. I start to like that range for day street work =) Its sharp but not asph sharp look.

  9. Great to see you have it again for testing. Your copy looks incredibly sharp wide open in these test shots. Soo, will it be back to the 35 lux for you?

    In earnest, mine remains my single fav lens on the M9. It’s really the prefect balance of size, speed, and a mix of new school looks with that old school charm. Mine will be in my bag forever, as I suspect that the new lux will have a more modern drawing…and I have enough lenses for that look…

  10. Hi Steve,
    I agree with you about Ken Hansen. He’s a great dealer! I bought an used M8 from him and later found that the sensor is defective (pink line across the picture vertically). I called him and he was willing to fix it but I decided to upgrade to the M9 (thanks to you Steve). I also ordered the 50mm Summilux instead of the 35mm Summilux (due to your previous concern about focus shift). I just received the M9 (steel gray) and the 50mm this week from Ken.

    I am looking forward to your 35mm review. This is my prefered focal length.

    BTW, I enjoyed your site very much. Keep up the good work! I really like your honest opinion.


  11. Hi, Steve
    This 35 lux is just simply spectacular! Absolutely love it! Can’t afford it thoughT_T.

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