It’s Official: The NEW Leica 35 Summilux ASPH 1.4

It’s now “official”! The last announcement was more of a leak, but this one is direct from Leica to me! The new 35 Lux ASPH is officially announced and will be heading to dealers in the coming weeks. I have had the pleasure of seeing, holding and shooting with this new revised lens and one word: GORGEOUS! No focus shift and from what I have seen, it is perfection, even at 1.4! I should have one on the way SOON for review. I will be reviewing it on digital AND film so stay tuned! BTW, when I spoke with Stefan Daniels from Leica he said he if could only own ONE lens for the M system, this new 35 Lux would be the one he would choose. Yea, it is THAT good. Fat wallets unite, because at $4995 this lens is NOT cheap but it does come in at only $500 more than the old model.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW: The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH.

The reference standard for Leica M photography

Solms, Germany (May 16, 2010) – Leica Camera AG presents the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH, a revised version of the Leica M rangefinder system’s popular wide-angle lens. The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. sets a whole new standard in the fast wide-angle lens portfolio, utilizing the latest developments in the fields of optics and precision engineering. Regardless of the situation, from selective focus in the close-up range, high-contrast available light applications or landscape shots with immense depth of field, the lens delivers incomparable results.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. differentiates itself from its predecessor by offering a floating element: the lenses behind the aperture blades are constructed as a floating group that changes its position relative to the front lens group during focusing. This ensures outstanding imaging performance at closer focusing distances.

Additionally, the new LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. features a full-metal, rectangular, screw-mount lens hood that significantly contributes to the compact dimensions of the lens. The optical design has been optimized for use on the digital Leica M models and reveals the full extent of the lens’ superior performance, especially when mounted on the LEICA M9. The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. also delivers excellent results on analogue M models and is predestined to become an indispensible component of every M system.

“Thanks to the sum of its qualities, this 35 mm lens is a universal tool for every photographer,” says Stefan Daniel, Head of Product Management at Leica Camera AG. “Its moderate wide-angle characteristics, on the one hand, and its natural reproduction of perspectives, on the other, make it ideal for a particularly broad spectrum of photographic uses ranging from portraiture to landscapes. Having produced countless iconic images in the history of photography, lenses of this focal length are counted among the classical entry-level lenses for building an M camera outfit.”

Even wide open, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. offers an optical quality without precedent in the field of compact 35 mm lenses: outstanding imaging performance over the entire focusing range, from infinity to minimum focus, excellent contrast even in the finest structures, superb rendition of details across the entire image field, good field flattening and, stopped down to f2 and onwards, almost complete freedom from coma effects.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is a nine-lens design, five of which are manufactured from glasses with a high refraction index. One lens element has an aspherical (non-spherically formed) surface that makes a significant contribution to the compact construction of the lens. Combined with its light weight of only 11 ounces, this lens is an ideal choice for a light travelling outfit or reportage assignments.

Like all other Leica lenses, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. was designed and developed by Leica’s optical specialists in Solms, Germany, and represents a perfect combination of optical and technical expertise. A particularly reliable product with enduring value, the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is manufactured from only the best materials and assembled in an elaborate process entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and meticulous manufacturing procedures guarantees the consistently excellent quality of every single Leica lens.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is sold with a particularly high-quality, all-metal lens hood. The hood not only protects the lens effectively against reduction of contrast by extraneous light but also against damage and accumulation of dirt on the front lens element. The lens hood should always remain mounted whenever the lens and camera are in use.

The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. will be available in July 2010 at authorized Leica dealers for $4,995. For more information on Leica, please visit www.leica-camera.us.

Technical Data

LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH.

Angle of view: (diagonal, horizontal, vertical)

For 35 mm format (24 x 36 mm): 63°, 54°, 37°

For Leica M8 models (18 x 27 mm): 49°, 42°, 28°, equivalent to approx. 47 mm for 35 mm format

Optical Design

Number of lenses/groups:

9/5

Aspherical surfaces:

1

Position of entrance pupil:

(to the apex of the first lens surface)

1.68 cm

Distance Settings

Focusing range:

2.3 feet to ∞

Scales:

Combined metre/feet graduation

Smallest object field/ Largest reproduction ratio:

For 35 mm format: approx. 16.5 × 24.6 in / 1:17.4

For Leica M8 models: approx. 12.3 × 18.5 in / 1:17.4

Aperture Setting/function:

With click-stops, half values available

Lowest value:

16

Bayonet:

Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar-coding for digital M-models

Filter mount:

Inner threading for E46 screw-in filters, non-rotating front element

Lens hood:

Detachable (supplied with the lens)

Viewfinder:

Camera viewfinder

Finish:

Black anodized

Dimensions and Weight

Length to bayonet flange:

approx. 4.6/5.8 cm (with/without lens hood)

Largest diameter:

approx. 5.6 cm

Weight:

approx. 11 oz

18 Comments

  1. I’m thrilled! This means that those nasty, old, unsharp, useless Type 1 35mm Luxes will start showing up on the used market, where I can afford them. Maybe.

  2. Leica did not claim that the floating group is intended to solve the focus shift issue (or if it has ever been an issue at all). Instead, Leica claims that the new floating group design is used to ensure “equally outstanding imaging performance at closer focusing distances”.

    Really?

    The old (1994-2009) summilux asph technical data said: “It delivers high contrasts, excellent detail rendition over the entire image area, good field flatness, and it has extremely low coma. Because all these qualities remain practically unchanged in the close-up range down to 0.7 m (28 in), this Summilux lens is the universal wide-angle lens.”

    So, the 1994 version is already good at close range and the close range performance was actually a selling point of the lens. Now Leica says the close range performance is just getting better.

    Why?

    How?

    A 24mm lens hood is certainly more compact. But can it be more compact than not using a hood at all? Why not a 12mm lens hood?

  3. Not the same lens as it is amazingly beautiful at any aperture. No shift at f2, f2.8, etc. At 1.4 the frames i shot were just as sharp, if not sharper than a 50 asph. Funny how people moan and groan for Leica to fix the focus shift and when they do they still get complaints. In any case, the lens that I tried was beautiful and the new hood makes it much more compact as well. Is it overpriced? Of course it is, its a Leica!

    The ones who do not notice the shift with their current lux would probably not want to upgrade. Those who do, this version fixes the issue. I’ll be giving this one a thorough review soon.

    Steve

  4. Looks like it’s still the same lens, same optical design, same MTF data with a moving rear group and a 24mm metal hood. No, thanks, Leica.

  5. In case anyone hasn’t already done the math, the German price of €3750 (at today’s exchange rate…) is about $300 less than the US price.

  6. Finally!! I´ve waited for this release for some time:) 35mm is a very good range. I hope that the new one maintains some of the nice out of focus characteristics of the old one.

  7. can’t wait, mine is expected to be in July.
    if it anything like the noct then i really can’t wait.[img]http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1222/4604963211_f8e8a2274f_o.jpg[/img][img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/4614477484_a31e46857b_o.jpg[/img]

  8. I wonder if Leica will ever come out with f1.0 or f0.95 lenses in other lengths. The Nocti at 50 is great, but what about 35 or 90? I’m sure those would be awesome lenses!

  9. I have a guy who is going to sell me his 35mm Summicron ASPH for a great price as soon as he can get one of these. So I am secondhand waiting for this and it is killing me!

    I would love for this to be my one and only lens. However, the Cron will do nicely.

  10. Leica has to pull out all the stops for this kind of lens, where the Noctilux is more of a enginering expirement the 35 lux is THE lens that leica will be judged on, not surprised at the price.

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