The Return of a Classic:
The Ultra-Compact LEICA SUMMARON-M 28 mm f/5.6 wide-angle lens for Unobtrusive Reportage Photography with a Vintage Look
(From Steve: This lens has been rumored for a little while and now it is official and I want one! The size, the rendering, the classic vibe..going to be a beauty for sure! Press Release Below)
Images from Leica HERE. This lens will render just as the classic one did, which is the appeal.
October 19, 2016 – With the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, Leica Camera expands the lens portfolio of the Leica M rangefinder system with the modern reincarnation of a classic Leica lens. First introduced as a screw mount lens in 1955, the predecessor of this new lens is still one of the most compact wide-angle lenses in the Leica M-System and is famed for its characteristic visual signature. The new Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 takes its lead from the classically compact construction of its ancestor and brings the unique, analog look of its pictures into the age of digital photography.
The optical design and mechanical construction of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 are identical to those of its predecessor, which was manufactured at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar until 1963. The perfect fusion of the latest optical developments, such as the highest quality finishing and manufacturing techniques, with this classic optical design make this new edition of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 much more than a reconstruction of an existing lens. While only slightly modernizing the shape and design of the lens, the new version of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 is reduced to the essentials but loses none of the character of its legendary ancestor. Its exceptionally short length of less than two centimeters makes it incredibly unobtrusive, and together with the inherent unassuming nature of a Leica M it is an ideal lens for street photography. The combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allow for very precise and easy zone focusing.
The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups, arranged symmetrically around the iris of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, is identical to that of its ancestor. The historic optical design of the original lens has remained completely unchanged. When shot at wide-open aperture, the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 renders subjects with rich contrast across nearly the entire image field. The combination of a large depth of field, natural contrast rendition, excellent resolution of details and a slight visible vignetting create a unique visual signature, and lend pictures a special classic look reminiscent of earlier days of analog photography.
The outward appearance of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 has been harmonized with the contemporary look and mechanics of the current portfolio of Leica M-Lenses. This is exemplified in the Leica M bayonet mount with 6-bit coding, the shape of the focusing lock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the style of the knurling on the barrel and rings. The style and construction of the lens hood reflects the original, and recalls memories of the beginnings of rangefinder photography. It is machined from solid brass and finished in an elaborate manufacturing process.
As is the case for all other Leica lenses, the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 was designed and developed by the precision engineers and optical specialists in Wetzlar. As a product made to stand the test of time with enduring value, the lens is made in Germany from only the finest materials, and assembled entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing processes guarantees consistently excellent quality and long-lasting reliability.
Customers wishing to purchase a Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 lens must place a pre-order with a Leica Store, Boutique or Dealer. Deliveries will follow according to the sequence in which the orders are received. Due to the strong demand, long delivery times must be taken into account, especially in the first few months.
Technical data LEICA SUMMARON-M 28 mm f/5.6
Angle of view
(diagonal, horizontal, vertical): 75°/65°/46°
Number of lenses/groups: 6/4
Position of entrance pupil
(at infinity): 2.4 mm (behind the bayonet flange in the direction of impinging light )
Working range: 1 m to infinity
Scales: Metric distance scale
Smallest object field/
Largest reproduction ratio: 801 x 1201 mm / 1:33.4
Settings/function: Preselection with click stops
Smallest aperture: 22
Lens mount: Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar coding for Leica M digital cameras
Filter mount: Inner thread for E34 screw-mount filters, non-rotating
Lens hood: Detachable (supplied with the lens)
Viewfinder: Camera viewfinder
Finish: Silver chrome
I will sent a lung for that lense !
I love what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting!
I’m am missing the point. I am certain of it. Now will Leica to produce a small full frame digital to match it’s small lens. Would I be asking too much for it to be the same size as say the Leica iiig?
I will be ok if it is the same size as the m6.
If you must go this way, then how about producing the 50mm f1.2? The 75mm f1.4?
The 35mm summaron f2.8?
The only thing I like about this lens is that distance is marked in m meters I hate feet
That’s a great idea so: get a Leica M, get the summaron and put both in your showcase; then get a cheap camera and go ahead with it.
Image samples directly from Leica:
If you want a $2500 LOMO lens, then here you are.
Wonderful with the Mono I would bet. People are missing the point here.
Nobody least of all me is saying that its better than the super sharp and diminutive 28 Elmarit 2.8 or any other similar lens.
Its just a different option for a different rendering and is a beautiful object to behold- and as the poet said :
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever ”
I totally understand the point of this lens Fergus and love it, but 5.6..? 2.8 is considered pretty dim for a full aperture these days. 5.6 limits one’s options too severely I would say. I mean, you’re sipping your latte (well, some local beer preferably) in that old time pub, dusk falling, 28mm and 2.8 might get you somewhere at say 1000 ISO, but 5.6?
P.s.: I know I struggle (not with that beer) with Retro 400S and a 35/2.0… 1/15th was the best I could do getting a close-up portrait of a former State senator (Ohio, Rep, ’67, ’68) yesterday. He now lives in Amsterdam and is trying to get New Science Magazine published.
Add you wouldn’t be able to focus under one meter
Pinpoint accurate focusing isn’t really what it’s all about at 5.6. Guessing focusing distance the old way is what this lens is meant for in those situations.
In the guess you find the lens …actually it’s extremely small without the hood.
You have to understand the point of this lens: it’s a lens designed for street photo and zone focusing. You don’t want anything under 5.6 for that type of photography, since you need a considerable depth of field.
Designed in 1956 in any case
A good summation.
Big chance for Lomo to introduce 1938 LTM FED 28/4,5, just as compact or fabulous much more modern with Topogon formula Orion 28/6. By the way you can get used Summaron for 1000$ more or less, and the shade is preposterous. As to aperture, well if you shoot Bruce Gilden style, then it`s perfect.
To be realistic that’s not the ideal lens for street photography with that aperture and that focusing dial so close to the body
Just set it at 2.5 or 3 metres and leave it alone.
I love the idea of contemporary versions of older lens designs. I can’t wait to see what kind of photos will come from this. It’s hard to not love how beautiful this design is.
At least the lens hood is included…
Funny guys these Germans at Leica… I would never buy a 28mm/5.6, cause it would only become a daylight lens to me.. a 28mm/1.4 has 5.6 too…
Too many lenses in production are not wise, but maybe, Leica have seen the light ?
Shot at nigh bt hand (with MM)… 🙂
Sweet. But I would love to see Leica to re-introduce the Summaron 35/2.8 It is just too hard to find one in a good shape and the look it can produce on film (maybe also digital) is so special …
I would not at all be suprised if the 35 summaron is next….Great optical design with a more classic look….
I hope your right on that one Ashwin as I have been trying to find one of these for some time.
I was using my 1951 (near mint) f3.5 copy in London a few days ago on the A7II and the resolution and colour rendition are fantastic. No exaggeration of colour, good contrast and small size still make it a winner.
I’m not sure how much rendering can be seen with a wide angle lens that has a max aperture of 5.6.
Lenses become less and less distinguishable as they are stopped down.
This lens is a no go for me as I mostly shoot film, and 5.6 does not cut it for that unless I only shoot on bright sunny days.
Steve, you should compare it to the Voigtlander LTM 28mm 3.5 if you get a chance. That lens is tiny and fantastic, and also built out of brass. And you may be able to get 8 of them for the price of one $2500 Summaron M 28mm lens!
Fascinating release. From what I read, this seems like a slighty modernized (updated coatings) release of the original Summaron 28 mm f/5.6 in M mount, with the same optical formula and aberrations. Andreas Kaufmann hinted at re-releasing older lens formulas as a different way of seeing with modern sensors, and this appears to be Leica’s first test of this. As someone who enjoys older lenses, I think this is a great consideration and taking a very different stance than almost all other lens manufacturers (save Zeiss with the ZM Sonnar C-50 mm f/1.5). The only issue I have is the price, as this lens has a comparable price to the 28 mm f/2.8 Elmarit (faster lens, more modern lens design, quite compact). At the very least, we have choices, and Leica’s putting this out there. Given their strategy (put downpayment first), I suspect that this lens will be produced in lower numbers, and that future versions (35 and 50) might follow…good fun!