Just arrived! The Leica 28 Summaron Lens. A classic brought back to life.
Look what just arrived! The new Leica 28 Summaron Lens. While Leica sent this over as a review unit, they sent a brand new production lens in box and all, so we get to see how it is packaged, presented and delivered to those who order one. Before I write any further, you can read the details on this lens on the Leica Blog HERE. It is the smallest Leica lens in production, and being a semi wide angle 28mm and with an aperture of f/5.6, it is perfect for street shooters who like to zone focus.
This Leica 28 Summaron is not a new lens, but actually it is. Don’t be confused though. This lens was originally produced between 1955-1963 and believe me when I say that this lens has many who love and own the original. But with this new lens, it is basically Leica bringing back a classic into production, and it will, according to Leica, give us the same qualities as the classic version while not being an exact copy of the original. Yep, this is a SLIGHTLY new design MECHANICALLY but using the same optical formula as the original. So we get the same rendering and IQ.
I have tried the original a long while ago but do not remember details as I personally am not usually drawn to f/5.6 primes. But I have to admit, that when I took out the lens and attached it to my M-D, it was charming. So small, so compact, such a perfect jewel like build quality. I have tested almost every Leica lens in current production and a chunk of classics as well, but there is always that smile that pops on my face as I open up a new piece of Leica gear for the 1st time.
This lens is TINY with a jewel like build.
On the MD. The hood is larger than the lens! But so nice in feel.
Next to the Leica 28 Summilux f/1.4. Much larger than the f/5.6 Summaron.
Features of the 28 Summaron (From LeicaStoreMiami.Com)
- Optical design similar to the original Summaron 28mm f/5.6 lens
- Most compact M-Lens, with an overall length of about 3/4” (less than 2cm) is unobtrusive and ideal for street photography
- Provides unmistakable imaging signature which otherwise cannot be reproduced by digital means
- Through its combination of large depth of field, natural contrast, excellent rendition of details, and visible vignetting, the Summaron-M gives images a unique character, reminiscent of analog photography
- Combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allows precise and easy zone focusing
- Depth of field scale is colored in red
- Assembled by hand from top quality materials and finished in Silver Chrome
- Made in Germany and delivery scope includes metal lens hood and cap.
- The design and manufacturing process of the metal lens hood has been recreated to match the original Summaron lens . It is first machined from solid brass and then given its ultimate form by a turning and bending process.
I literally just received this moments ago, and only took ONE image with it. A snapshot throwaway but you know when you get a new lens, and you just HAVE to take a shot? Even if you are just sitting around the house? Lol, thats what I did. BUT I will be reviewing this lens in full, soon. On the MD and SL.
My one and only shot so far with this lens, on the MD. A snapshot throwaway but I had to snap at least ONE!
If you are interested in this lens, it comes in at a healthy $2495 and can be pre ordered from the highly recommended Leica dealers below! REVIEW SOON AS I CAN!
Ken Hansen – Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ive been reading all the comments here with interest. I will add that I wanted an original one, but the only ones I have seen for sale have fungus/spots/haze. Thought this would not be a huge issue, just $400 more to get it cleaned. Much to my surprise, 2 people that clean Leica glass on a nationwide professional level said they would not touch this lens, citing the small optics and ‘limited success’ they have had in the attempt. This was enough for me to abandon the idea of resurrecting a vintage one with issues.
I would buy one seriously. I never used a summaron before. But I have been looking around the old summaron. The problem is the old lens on the market are usually pretty old and not so good condition (not the condition I prefer). The images produced by the old summaron are interesting to me. I am one of who appreciate the reproduce of this lens.
Your dogs are looking at that little lens and thinking, “can I eat that? I could eat that.”
Stylish? Sorry, haven’t seen one uglier lens shade than this for ages.
I don’t see the point in this.
And I don’t see the point in that:
My M 28, 2.8 Asph. is a perfect lens, tack sharp no distortion.They come up with a Mark II version for 2.100 € nearly double the price I paid for my version I years ago brand new and keep preaching that version II would be a “much better” lens than the first Asph. version. I haven’t seen any side by side comparison. So this seems to me just another marketing hype.
It seems that Leica is more interested in collectors than actual users of their products.
Fully agree you
…it’s like a Rolex.
Don’t want it for nothing.
Given the cost of this thing I just don’t see the point. You can buy a brand new 28,mm 2.8 Elmarit for $2300….a full $200 cheaper then the Summaron. The Elmarit is super sharp, also quite small and also faster with a max aperture of 2.8.
And a Voigtländer for five times less.
Also it is not a good lens for street photography.
It’s just stylish
Hey Steve, you can delete my comment if you really want. I know it was long-winded. My point was about value and desire. This a lot of money for a somewhat unspecial 5.6 lens that requires a lens hood to not look rediculously small, and for what? You aren’t really putting it in your pocket.
Never deleted any comment by you. But again, this lens is for those who want the look of the classic lens, who want the teeny size, and vintage mojo. Street shooters who love the old Leica style will eat it up. Is it for me? No, I would not buy one but many would, and have and do. Also, it does not require the hood. I have been shooting without it and without it, it is like a pancake lens. If I were Leica though I would have chosen a lens with a wider appeal to bring back as many are in the same boat as you. This lens will sell in small quantities, but to those who have been wanting this lens without wanting to find a good clean old copy, they will adore it.
For those who never played w/ these lenses they don’t understand. Remember the 35mm F3.5 Summaron you added to the M240 that I bought from you?
At first I didn’t use it much, but after 2 years shooting w/ the 50 & 21 Lux, I finally realized the fun of shooting with the Summaron! Been using it all the time in the past year or so….
Oh, man…this is SOOOO tempting to put on a Leica film M and load a roll of Tri-X.
It look so nice! I need this but now now (save money first…).
I tried this lens for a few seconds at Photo Plus and I didn’t like the fact that the focusing tab was in the 2 o’clock position when I focused at my normal portrait shooting distance. On my 35mm Summicron, that tab would be in the far more comfortable 6 o’clock position. I have no use for a 5.6 lens to begin but if I did, that tab/focus position issue would be a deal breaker for me.
An interesting release for Leica once again responding to the nostalgic sentiments of mostly photographers of a ‘certain’ age but also to the mostly young guys coming to photography and discovering the roots of many of those historical images they’ve fallen in love with. Locally, they are drawn to the 35mm cameras because that’s what they can afford now. I remember my own love affair with Leica from the screw mounts IIIf, C, and G to the Ms – 2,3,4,5,CL, SL, and finally R4s. The experience was fantastic but kept me relatively poor. So, how is this relevant?
I had the original 28 Summaron w/o the snazzy lens hood and it was OK for the time and certainly this new version should be very good but will it be amazing? We’ll see.
Bear with an old guy as this is a little long. Or move on to the next comment.
After the Leicas I bought my first SLR, an Olympus OM-1, the ‘next generation of SLR’ small, light and quiet. I loved it and it had a good meter. I eventually bought some great medium format and 4×5 cameras but 35mm was much more convenient and portable. Isn’t it interesting the the trend is repeating itself with todays digital cameras/mirrorless technology/ and nostalgia?
Ironically, after looking for what I say might be my last camera for a while I decided that with my pocket cameras, always there phone camera as a digital notebook, and a Panny GF-1, I decided I wanted something more. Something special for ‘serious photography’ I looked at both the OMD EM1 and the Fuji XT-1, both with really good reviews by you and everyone else. Try as I might, though I love most about these cameras, I couldn’t get past the EVF. I tried to convince myself that it’s low-light virtues and info readouts made up for the main failing for me – that big clear viewfinder. Ahhh nostalgia. So, a friend lent me his dSLR with a viewfinder ‘I could love’ but warned me. I originally hadn’t considered it because of the weight and after carrying it around for an afternoon it was heavier than I’m used to but not all that bad. It has no stabilization in the body so that will be very nostalgic and no change for me. I do a have tripod.
I ended up buying the camera that I couldn’t afford when it came out. I shopped around for lenses that had decent quality and familiarity. So, I bought a low shutter count D700. Shopping carefully, I added a 20, 24, 50, 85 and 80-200 all 2.8D except for the 50 and 85 1.8D and a like-new Domke bag ALL or $600 less than this little 5.5 ounce gem. I know this is comparing apples and potatoes but where does all this go from here? Maybe the digital Ur-Leica? Or do they already have it!
Thanks for being patient.
Why do you (general public) keep saying it’s “Made in Germany”? It’s NOT. It’s made in Portugal! The origin on the label is purely marketing.
The Leica lenses are all made in Germany. The cameras – parts are made in Portugal, and assembled in Germany. No big difference either way as the cameras are rock solid IME.
Actually no. In Leica Wetzlar they only make aspheric lenses and send them to Portugal for assembly. All the other lenses are made in Leica Portugal, including the lenses for the Huawei smartphone. Believe me man. I used to work there..
We are to believe someone named John Doe, who has a fake email and uses ‘Believe me man, I used to work there”. M lenses are made in Germany. But it does not even matter either way. What matters is the quality of the finished product. But Leica makes the M lenses in Wetzlar Germany.
I am not being anonymous (like you), and I know people who do frequent the Leica factory. Many of them. Why don’t you tell use who you are, and show some proof you worked there? You will never do it.
I live in Germany and i can reassure you that Leica is building cameras and lenses in Wetzlar. That is a town in Germany, not in Portugal 😉
While it is true that Leica has a factory in Portugal no Leica lens for the M-Mount is made there. Also no M Camera. All made (and serviced) in Wetzlar. I visit the lovely people working there from time to time and if you should happen to go there you can even see the production hall thru big Windows just in case you still dont believe that Leica products are made in Germany 🙂
Why do you (general public) keep saying it’s “Made in Germany”? It’s NOT! It’s made in Portugal!
Would love one with a Leica Monochrome !
Dream on .
I’m really looking forward to seeing this pretty little jewel of a lens. As a woman, big bulky macho lenses just ain’t for me although I’ve had to deal with them. The lens I almost keep on my M9 is a 1956 f2 5cm M mount collapsible Summicron which I absolutely adore for it’s compactness and of course, the beautifully retro quality of result it produces, so reminiscent of the work I used to produce way back in the ’70’s and perfect for my love of street photography. I am looking for a w/a at present and tossing up whether to save up for one of these or go for a good vintage one.
I received this lens 2-3 weeks ago. I’ve been using it exclusively on my M Monochrom. Very lovely images on the MM. Crisp with a slight fall-off along the edges when shot wide open at f5.6. Not a lot of contrast at f5.6 but that’s easily compensated for in Photoshop. I highly recommend this combination.
uhh that’s so expensive!! you can buy a 28mm summicron for that price.
You can indeed buy a used 28 cron for around $2600 but it would be used, no warranty, etc. Not a big deal IMO with lenses so much but this lens is the ANTI 28 cron. Much like some would by a Leica MD over an M 240, some will lust after this more than a cron due to size, design, rendering and street shooting, for which I feel it would excel.
I don’t understand why the 5.6 minimum aperture. Most everything will be in focus, more or less, and it doesn’t give much variable for out of focus areas. Maybe that’s the point, good for street shooting?
Just a question, not a criticism.
That’s the point. It’s features are it’s size, design, looks, and that aperture which makes for a perfect street lens. I think there are just as many who prefer small apertures as there are who prefer large apertures. So this is for those who want a small jewel like lens that will deliver everything in focus. 🙂 Me, I would prefer an f/2.8 which still retains a small size, but offers a faster aperture. This lens is also for those who love the classics, the old lenses. It’s part style, part nostalgia and part performance.
Cool. Makes sense. Thank you for the clarification!
Long ago when F1 ran at Watkins Glen, Niki Lauda won for Ferrari. When the team was gathering around a congratulating him, a team member was holding a smallish camera above them all and snapping photos. Since the crowds had more access then, I finally got to talk to him. It was my introduction to this lens and how well it worked for zone focusing when held above you head. This was sometime in the early 70s and the only lens he took with him as it was fast for him to use in rush of F1 activity.
It’d get lost in my hands…
Not for me really
That’s a fascinating piece of engineering, even in today’s high-tech world of f/1.4 and APO wonders.