28 Summicron-ASPH f/2

July 14, 2012  |  Review

If you’ve read my review of the 28 Elmarit-ASPH, you’d know how much I loved it. So the question is, does this lens top the Elmarit?

To me, yes. Optically, it’s better in the corners (at similar apertures), and has an extra stop of light. Also, something a little unexpected happens when you press the shutter – the lens breathes a bit of soul into the images. It’s magical, really; if the 28 Elmarit-ASPH tells it how it is, the 28 Summicron shows you how it should be. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll let you be the judge. Keep in mind the Summicron simultaneously widens a camera body and thins a bank account.

In my other post, I mentioned that the Elmarit was a lens I’m eventually going to buy again. But will I ever opt to take it on an outing over the 28 Summicron?Probably not unless I’m running a marathon with my M9 in hand and I need to be as light as possible. That or if I’m in the ghetto and need to hide my camera in my pocket. Both unlikely scenarios seeing as how I live in ghetto-free Singapore and hate running.

A few other things to note: The 28 Summicron has shallower DOF due to wider f/stop, which means more subject seperation. It’s also a little less contrasty, with its colors showing up slightly more muted out of camera, and it’s got the slightest bit more field curvature. All this can be fixed in post, of course …aside from the DOF, which you would obviously take care of when you’re out shooting so as to avoid resorting to dodgy photoshop techniques at home.


28 Summicron-ASPH @ f/2

Paint Me.


28 Summicron-ASPH @ f/2 and f/5.6


28 Summicron-ASPH @ f/2


28 Summicron-ASPH @ f/2


75 Summarit f/2.5

July 10, 2012  |  Review

This lens would be an instant classic – and much sexier to boot – if it only had a metal focusing ring. Honestly, us Leica snobs would have almost nothing to gripe about if this beauty hadn’t been released with a damn rubber ring. Why, Leica? Why?

The other issue people, not I, have with this lens: the way the hood screws onto the lens on its own exposed threads. This is the same system in which the new 35FLE hood screws on. A hood that – when announced with the lens – was hailed to be a fantastic design element for the new 35FLE. Somehow this doesn’t seem to be the consensus with the summarit range of hoods, which are identically the same in there mounting.

But bizarre design choice squabbles aside, this lens is good. Damned good. So what I suggest we all do is just get over the fact that it has a rubber focusing ring, and start shooting with it.

Honestly, people. Leica gave us a few great Summarit lenses (35,75,90) at a fraction of what “real” Leica lenses are priced at. We should be happy, not harping on a rubber ring. If you really can’t help but harp, buy a 75 Summicron-ASPH. It’s also a fantastic lens.

IMHO the f/2.5 is a non-issue as you’ll rarely shoot a long lens in the dark on a rangefinder. Yes there are times when a fast lens is necessary…but that’s when you break out the 5o Noctilux 0.95 and take a few steps forward.


75 Summarit @ f/2.5


75 Summarit @ f/2.5



75 Summarit @ f/2.5


75 Summarit @ f/2.5


28 Elmarit-ASPH f/2.8

July 8, 2012  |  Review

Today I’m going to tell you about a fantastic love affair that lasted the better part of a week. This is the story of my dalliance with the 28/2.8 Elmarit-ASPH.

Honestly, it was a fantastic lens, and I had no complaints at all. I loved the size, build quality, sharpness and beautiful colors it produced. I sold it in favor of the 28 Summicron (an f/2 lens), but have been regretting this decision ever since. It’s become the proverbial “one that got away”.

I guess you’re wondering if I’ll just sell the 28 Summicron to fund another 28 Elmarit-ASPH. Good guess, but I’ve decided I’ll eventually just own both ;) One can never have too many objects of one’s affection.

…Just don’t tell that to my fiance.

28 Elmarit-ASPH @ f/2.8:

Watering Hose


28 Elmarit-ASPH @ f/2.8:

(Speaking of my fiance, here’s a photo I took for her blog for a tutorial she was working on: Neon Gemstone Cuff)
Emily's DIY project


35 Summilux-ASPH V1 (pre-FLE) f/1.4

July 6, 2012  |  Review

Floating Lens Element lenses are great. They correct for focus shift, and create razor sharp images…even wide open. The catch? Sketchy bokeh. Sometimes.

Since I like bokeh so much, but didn’t want to spend a bomb, I decided to buy a 35 Summilux-ASPH V1 (pre-fle). It wasn’t a bad choice at all, and for the price it’s a fantastic lens. It’s slightly less sharp wide open – still sharper then Canon or Nikon lenses – but the fantastic bokeh more then makes up for it.

Focus shift can be an issue (though not for me as mine’s optimized for f/1.4, my go-to 99% of the time), but it’s something you can learn to work around as you get use to the lens and it’s flaws. Or something that can be avoided on a camera with live-view. M10, anyone?


35 Summilux-ASPH V1 (pre-FLE) @ f/1.4:

GOD Launch


35 Summilux-ASPH V1 (pre-FLE) @ f/1.4:

Dawn @ GOD Launch


35 Summilux-ASPH V1 (pre-FLE) @ f/1.4:



35 Biogon f/2 T* ZM

June 15, 2012  |  Review

Let me start out by saying I love Zeiss glass. When I had the Canon 5DII setup, I had every ZE lens Zeiss made, no joke. The 100MP, 50MP and  21ZE were the three most fantastic lenses one could ever own for the Canon system. So when I bought an M9 for the 3rd time (another post for another time), my first lens had to be the 35 biogon – the only ZM lens I had wanted, but never got around to owning.

It lasted a week and a half in my kit.

I came to the simple conclusion that if I was going to spend a ton of money on a Leica just so I could run around with a beautiful but technologically-outdated camera around my neck, then I had to have the Leica glass to match. My logic:

1. This way, other photographers won’t snicker at me behind my back.

2. I have so much fondness for the above three mentioned ZE Zeiss lenses, that I was expecting the 35 Biogon to make me feel warm, fuzzy and nostalgic, but it just didn’t. There are ZM lenses that do (ZM 50 Sonnar f/1.5 T*), but the biogon wasn’t one of them.

Don’t get me wrong. The 35 Biogon is a very capable lens, and a lens I’d own again if I had room in my dricab (humidity controlled cabinet), but the space is currently being occupied by another, slightly more capable, 35mm lens.

35 Biogon @ f/2:


(And in black and white, because the M9 Monochrome is all the rage right now):