G.A.S. – My top 3 Lusted after Leica items from Photokina 2014

My top 3 Lusted after Leica items from Photokina 2014

So for me it is the morning after. It is 8Am here in Sunny Phx, AZ and I was up late last night checking out all of the new Leica releases. In fact, Leica has released more than 40 new items and while many are accessories such as cases and bags, many of these were serious releases! Leica has been hard at work creating a range of cameras to fit almost everyone’s tastes and yes, even budget. The stars of the newly announced Leica lineup for me are the new X Typ 113, the M-A, the D-Lux and the new Summarit lenses, which I think will be pretty sweet.

My #1 Lusted after Item announced for Leica?

The new Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon Zm lens – More details HERE

Of course, my #1 most lusted after item that was announced FOR Leica M is the new Ziess 35 1.4 ZM lens. Zeiss is sort of hyping this guy as the best 35mm for the M system and at $2250, it is less than half the cost of the 35 Summilux FLE. I have always had a soft spot for the Zeiss ZM line and while they are not made in Germany, they are made in Japan and the quality of these lenses are of superb quality when it comes to IQ. In fact, I prefer the little 50 Zeiss ZM Planar to the classic 50 Summicron in image rendering, color, pop, bokeh and overall look/feel. The build of the Leica is better but at less than half the price, the Zeiss Zm 50 is so so so good. Many Zeiss ZM lenses are the “goto” for Leica shooters and this new 35 1.4 looks AMAZING. I will be buying one without question for use on my A7s and Leica camera bodies.

So yes, for me, this is the item I most want for my own personal use. You can pre-order the Zeiss Distagon 35 1.4 at B&H Photo in BLACK or SILVER



My #2 most Lusted after item announced FROM Leica?

The new X Typ 113 with 23 1.7 Summilux

I have to admit, I am not a film guy anymore due to costs, time, and all of that stuff we associate with film shooting. Today, for me, digital is just too convenient and too good. So while I LOVE the new M-A film release, and would own one in a heartbeat if it were 1979 or if it were $1500, for me it is just not feasible. It is a beauty for sure but just would not fit for my personal use. I am happy with my M, MM and A7s.

I am also extremely pleased that Leica released the M 60 Years edition. No LCD, and a cool Audi design. This is what Leica is all about. Simplicity, beauty, passion. Gone will be the chimping, the stress, the wondering “did I get the focus right”. Nope, you will not know until you see your shots. God forbid your RF goes out, then you are screwed. In fact, without any EVF or LCD, this would be my #1 concern of the this new limited edition Leica. I have had quite a few RF’s go out of whack over the years and without a way to check them while shooting, I am not sure I would want to do an important job with this one. Still, I LOVE THE CONCEPT and IDEA and would love to own one. At $18,500 it is out of my league but I hope to be able to see one someday 🙂 It’s a beauty and I am sure will be sitting on the shelves of quite a few collectors. B&H has it listed here for $18,500 but you do get the stainless steel 35 Summilux lens, which is a collector in itself and will only go up in value. If one bought this set and kept it for 10 years it could probably be sold for $25k and up.

But even so, neither the MA or the M 60 are in my #2 spot. 


Instead it is the new X Type 113. With the new Summilux f 1.7 lens, this is finally the X that should have been from day one. While Leica is keeping the X2 (disguised as the new XE) the X 113 is where it is at. It is small, beautiful, and now with a fast 35mm equivalent lens it will bring you that Leica IQ and lens quality all in a sweet small gorgeous package. At $2295 it is not cheap but hey, it is a real Leica. Not a rebadged Panasonic. I can imagine my camera set as the Leica M-P, Leica MM, Sony A7s and the X 113. I would use them all on different days and occasions. Overkill? Sure, but it is my passion and for me you can never have too many cameras! The one drawback of the new X? NO EVF! It seems Leica will NEVER learn that putting a nice viewfinder in their smaller cameras is very beneficial. DROP this externals and go internal Leica. Even without the EVF, the camera is beautiful but the lens makes it for me.

You can pre-order the X Typ 113 in BLACK or  SILVER

My #3 most lusted after item announced from Leica?

Easy. The new line of Summarit lenses. These little guys look so gorgeous, especially in silver! They remind me of some of the classics in design and look and Leica also states that the lenses have been improved and rehauled giving nicer image quality and a SLIGHTLY faster aperture that creeps into Summicron territory. I mean, look how gorgeous and tiny the 50 Summarit looks!


I have always been a fan of the Summarit line and in fact, the 35 Summarit is one of Leicas best 35’s IMO! It has the most pleasing Bokeh and has a mix of classic and modern in its rendering. I hope the new version is just as good but it should be better. I may have to pick up the 50 and 90 in this line as the price is right (for Leica) and the size is small, and they just feel “right”. As I get older I am starting to appreciate lenses like this more and more. I am moving away from the ultimate speed (except for the Zeiss 35 1.4 which will be amazing) and also enjoy lenses like this these days. I appreciate small size above all, as long as the quality is there. These lenses fit the bill and they come in at 35, 50, 75 and 90 so it covers quite a large range.

I am sure I will pick up one or two of these in Silver as I think they will do quite well on my silver Monochrom 🙂

You can pre-order at B&H photo HERE.


While many have written off Leica over the years, even as early as a few months ago, they appear to be going on full steam ahead. Strong, with a plan and on a mission to provide many options for those who want to get into the brand. Just a few years ago it was just the M8 or M9 with the Panasonic made D-Lux series. Then came the X1 when Leica wanted to expand out to a larger audience, and it worked. Then came the S2, then the floodgates opened and out poured the X2, X Vario, M 240, Monochrom. Now we have all kinds of offerings from Leica. The M, The MM, the D-Lux series, the V-Lux series, the X series and even the T series. Of course the special editions and the film offering as well.

Leica is growing and showing all of those who wrote them off years ago that they are here to stay for the long haul. They have been here for over 100 years and plan on being here for another 100.


My #4 most lusted after Leica item is the new D-Lux. It is actually the same cameras as the Panasonic LX100 that I have already written about but the Leica version looks bad ass. Of course we get the Leica styling, the red dot, the Lightroom software and the longer warranty with the Leica, which comes in at $300 more than the Panasonic version. For me, well worth it for the better styling, the name/resale value, the software and the warranty. Actually, $300 more for the Leica is not bad at all and a no brainer for any enthusiast or hobbyist. It is not a made in Germany Leica but you do get the extras that make it worth it. It is the same camera, same lens and made in the same factory as the LX100 but it is the Leica version, so we all know how that goes as it has been going on for years and years now, ever since the original Digilux 1. and Digilux 2.

At $1195 this will make for a high end super quality P&S. Housing a 4/3 sensor it will provide images that are not possible with the smaller 1″ sensor cameras.

You can order the new D-Lux HERE. 


Ken Hansen (E-Mail him at khpny19@aol.com)


The Pro Shop

B&H Photo


  1. wait, the Zeiss 35mm ZM isn’t aspheric? How does it control Spherical Aberration? Help me you highly knowledgable folks, what am I missing…?

    Please don’t tell me “it’s so perfect it doesn’t apply SA. All large aperture systems do this if not corrected with Asphericity, it’s optics

  2. That new Zeiss is super lustworthy!! Basically an everyman’s 35 summilux! Steve, any idea when you’ll be able to test it and show us how it renders? Thanks!

  3. Totally disagree with your list.

    35/1.4 is too big for M. X still has no integrated EVF. I prefer used Summicrons or (Tele-) Elmarits over any current Summarit.

  4. 35 1.4 Distagon has been considered to be one of the best 35mm lens design ever, but Sony will release 35 1.4 Distagon with AF for A7x, which is more interesting to me.

  5. I think you chose well. The X113 seems great on paper, but we´ll see if the lens exhibits any distortion that´s more than negligible. I´m very surprised that the lens on the X2 (and X-E) has noticeable distortion. Of course RAW software can fix it because it isn´t severe, but still, for a fixed lens, and a Leica one at that, I´d expect nothing short of overall optical excellence – not just sharpness.

    I like the Summarits as well. I´m not sure why so many people are so speed obsessed. Photographers, one would think, ought to prefer near-zero distortion, edge smearing and CA than trendy, shallow DOF. But hey, what do I know.

    The D-Lux is amazing, you´re right. The 1″ sensors are nice but the 4/3 is a touch better. It´s arguably a better reportage camera than the M, on account of its greater DOF when stopped down. And the equivalent of 70mm f/2.8 on the telephoto end of the zoom would definitely help in low light.

    • You are absolutely right. When I got deeper into photography a few years back I got sucked in by the bokeh hype, wanting FF and total shallowness, but after a few years of photographing I had to realise that my best pictures were with more DOF, the moment was chosen better. Bokeh often helps make a normal photo look better.

  6. I am excited about the new Summarit lenses as I am hoping to get a M240 later this year so could get them to go with it at reasonable price. I have Leica X at the moment and the images from it are very good. The new F1.7 will go well with this camera and would imagine it will sell well. Can someone tell me what the G.A.S. is short form for please

  7. I have the original 35 and 50 Summarits and really like them. The 50mm is on my M6 almost all the time. I liked the looks of the new ones (especially the silver) until I saw they were bigger than the older version. I prefer the 39mm thread for it’s smaller size. I don’t know why they went up to 46mm for the new ones.

  8. Steve, I’m curious about your characterization of the LX100 as a point-and-shoot.

    If I understand correctly, it’s got the same sensor as the gx7, so it’s a competitive contemporary of the EM1, which you tout as an everything-capable camera. In front of that is a Leica branded 24-75, 1.7-2.8 zoom.

    Where does the LX100 become a P&S, in your assessment?

    Obviously it’s not interchangeable-lens, but the range and aperture are competitive with top-line ‘do-it-all’ zooms.

    Is it in the autofocus speed?

    Really curious as to your opinion.

    • Just my own opinion about the categories of cameras, I think it’s all just arbitrary. Point-and-shoot nowadays usually means a smallish camera that you can’t change the lens on. The LX100 is put in the same category as the Sony RX100 series and new Canon G7X. I’ve also seen the Ricoh GR, Fuji X100, and Sony RX1 cameras categorized as “point-and-shoots,” although I tend to think of them more as non-interchangeable lens mirrorless-cameras (although mirrorless is even generic too).

      Marketing is designed to make you want to buy cameras, so I think we as photographers should just think of cameras as only 2 types: fixed lens or interchangeable lens. Better yet, how about we just think of cameras as cameras and concentrate on making better photos?

      I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  9. Steve, this site — http://leicahistory.com/1993-2013/ — says the following about the Leica and Panasonic versions of the same cameras:

    “1995 Matsushita (Panasonic) started making all their cameras with Leica lenses (all lenses made in Germany but assembled in Japan). From 2006 and onwards Leica lenses are made in Japan to Leica specifications by Panasonic with 2 main differences: Lenses made for the Leica branded camera’s are made on German made imported machines using Leica lens coatings, whereas Leica lenses made for Panasonic Lumix branded camera’s are made on Panasonic mass production machines to (minimum) Leica specification but use Panasonic’s own Nano-coatings.”

    So it seems that there is some difference:

    – Panasonic camera with Leica lens = Panasonic Nano-coatings
    – Leica (Panasonic) camera with Leica lens = Leica coatings

      • The text seems to come from Thorsten Overgaard’s website, who also made a very comprehensive Leica timeline:


        He also writes this:

        “Leica V-Lux are a dSLR-looking digital camera that is not a SLR, made in coorporation with Panasonic who offers their Panasonic version of the same camera (different design, JPG-files optimized to reproduce asian skin tones where Leica is optimized to reproduce Western skin tones).”

        He must be informed somehow, methinks.

        • Well, I am going by what I was told. Tons of misinformation on this is out there and when I did a side by side of the Leica D-Lux 5 vs the Panny counterpart they were 100% indistinguishable from each other. Same color, same sharpness, same everything.

          • Well, whatever the case, at least you can expect great images 🙂 I’m dying to see how the LX100 lens performs. Makes me think a bit about the Leica minilux zoom, which had a 35-70mm F3.5-F6.5 lens — should be about the same depth of field, now that I think of it.

  10. Wow Steve. That’s about as big a GAS attack as I’ve ever seen. Totally agree with 3 of the 4 items on your list, but thinking about the LX100 vs. D-Lux choice still. May have to feel those cameras first, but one will be mine for sure.

  11. Lux 1.7 ASPH with a free body.
    Lux, Cron, with a free body.

    X & Dlux Typ 109 in my kit :
    Just ideal for my way.
    (3cm close focus on Dlux unbelievable on such a large sensor) .

    As for 70-150mm
    maybe Gm5 + Olympus 75 / 1.8
    Me likey cute gadgets.

    • Intelligent zoom on Dlux at 8MP will give me reach I sometimes req :
      IQ with intelligent zoom should be better than on superzoom compacts.

      X lux 1.7 : maybe Leica release 90mm equivalent F2.5

  12. As much as I’d love to have the zeiss 1.4 I wish they had made a flat field f2 35mm. Or a redesigned flat field 2.8. As that looks like a pretty bulbous monster.

    I’d imagine it’s squarely aimed at the mirrorless/A7 group rather than the M owners group. Also as a little bit of a sigma esq. “F#$k you Leica, we’re just as good”

    Of all the stuff so far I’m most excited about the M60 and the Sigma loupe (which makes it near identical to a 645 😉 )

  13. I had the x1, loved the feeling of it and I liked the iq over the olympus em 1 (!). Now I have the Sony rx1. Steve, do you think iq and speed is much improved over the x1? Does it have the same sensor? Sold my m6 but I admir my Leica lust is back… GAS…

    • No idea yet as I have not seen it or touched it. I expect that it will be faster than the old models but still not a speed demon. Also probably won’t match RX1 for IQ as it is still APS-C. This is for someone who wants a Leica X type camera with a fast 35mm lens. It’s a looker for sure, and IQ will be fantastic.

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