Few more shots with the Leica 35 Summilux ASPH and M9

Went out Β this morning with my son who wanted to shoot his Nikon D3000 at the zoo and I brought along the M9 and the new 35 Lux just to test how it would do in the low light areas like the reptile room, aquarium, etc. Here are a few shots and yes, all but one are at 1.4 as it was very low light. Most of them are at higher ISO’s as well. Enjoy!

ISO 400, 35 Summilux at 1.4

ISO 400, 1/30s, F1.4

ISO 800, F1.4, 1/90s

F2.8 – ISO 160

The eel was at ISO 2000 – F1.4 – Some PP in CS4 (Contrast, burn but no NR was applied)


  1. I like the look you are talking about in the first shot, not your common look and more dramatic, but my brain keeps seeing out of focus edges and lines, I think what you where trying (not to imply anything) to go for is a soft focus look, which is the subject in focus but the image looks a little diffused or a little fuzzy. Out of focus can also be a headache because you never know how far to go a filter will give you more constant results. You can always achieve this post production, so you can take the picture in focus and play with it later.

  2. Thanks for the response Steve. I’m not too crazy about the old hood. If you ever get a chance to try out the new hood on the old 35 Lux, I’d really appreciate it if you can post it up!

  3. @Stephen B, both great shotts, The first is a wonderful mood shot and evokes a slight melancholia. The second is a real power shot, either from The Godafther or maybe a la Michael Douglas in Wall Street?

  4. Hey Elaine! Well, I placed my order for the lens but it’s not shipping until sometime in July so I have to wait, just like everyone else πŸ™‚ I’m thinking about a month…


  5. Stephen B,

    If you want less detail for an Old Hollywood look, you may be better off using an old Summitar (Steve reviewed this lens recently) or a softening filter. There are lots of great old lenses out there that can give you this look.

    However, an out-of-focus modern Summilux just looks out of focus πŸ™‚

  6. @davese22 Yes, I think you have hit the nail on the head there, when a subject is very clear, it makes the viewer focus (excuse the pun) on the typical subject but sometimes, that is not the subject, the subject can be the light and colour and then it helps if the typical subject is a little less obvious. Nice observation.

  7. Stephen B – I see your point: the out of focus shot invites you to concentrate on the composition and lighting, which are great, whereas the in focus shot tends to distract with the detail – IMO, for what its worth

  8. Thanks guys. I am still in two minds though, the out of focus one from a distance really works and the other one is a bit Godfather like! Maybe this is just a lesson in the value of quality light and how it can compensate for a lot of other things.

  9. Eric, did you put the URL to the .jpg and not the page with the image? The url has to end in .jpg…

    John, my plan is to have this 35 lux and the old 1940s 50 Summitar that I still have and love. WIll never give it up!

  10. Thanks for the low light shots Steve! So if your two kit lens will now include this new 35 Lux, what’ll be your other lens?

  11. I recently went to the Toronto zoo and got lots of similar shots. Had to use the 85 1.4 wide open the whole time at iso 800 – 3200.


    this was only oh so slightly stopped down, same issue, spot to watch the gorilas is inside and it was dark.


    I had 10 times more fun with the 85 1.4 prime then i did with the 70-300 big zoom and when all the people where flashing the poor animals to death with there point and shoots i pulled out my favourite lens.

  12. @steve: convinced, waiting for my 1.4/35 ‘lux new, hoping to get itbefore xmas.

    @stephen: imo in focus wins, no doubt …

  13. Stephen,

    I think the in-focus shot is the keeper. I actually saw the out-of-focus one earlier (you are in my flickr contacts) and immediately thought “too bad it’s out of focus”.

    Luckily, you have the second one, which is really dramatic, like Gordon Willis in Godfather II.

  14. Thanks Emily πŸ™‚

    Stephen B, I agree. Many times portraits look better when they are a teeny bit OOF, but that doesn’t mean I want them OOF all the time. Great shot!

  15. and now the in focus one:


  16. Great shots Steve as always. Really late here so about to go but just wanted to post two pictures for people to have a look at: Both of these were taken with my M7 and summilux 50mm ASPH. One is out of focus and one is in focus. Result, I think the out of focus one has it. Just food for thought. (by the way, these were not intentionally done like this, just my friend is not used to my camera!)[img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4704860532_44815cecd9.jpg[/img]

  17. Thanks Tyson, yea, these rooms are awful. With the low light and mixed lighting it is tough to get anything worthwhile. My son used his D3000 but he hasn’t looked over his shots yet. Anyway, thanks!

  18. I have been in rooms like that at the zoo and I remember the camera I was using (of unspecified make and model as flame precaution) having a hard time.

    I especially like the last one Steve.

    My crystal ball says that I will see your kidney on Craigslist soon.

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