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Leica Summilux-M 35mm F1.4 AA ASPHERICAL 1st version Lens

Posted by Alex Yuzbasiyan on

Leica Summilux-M 35mm F1.4 AA ASPHERICAL 1st version Lens
I'm a 50mm shooter and I always carry my 28mm lens with my 50mm, but if you need one lens that's wider than 50mm, not too wide, the Leica Summilux-M 35mm is the way to go. Not just any 35mm because the F2 Summicron I find is sometimes too slow. The F1.4 gives it the extra speed and allows me to be creative with the shallow depth of field.

I prefer this 35mm 1st version ASPH for a few reasons:

  1. The rarity factor:
    • This was the first ASPH 35mm lens that Leica made. Hand ground, hand assembled, and because of the complications making the lens there were very few of them made.
  2. Its performance:
    • The lens renders beautifully. Obviously sharp from F1.4 to F16.
  3. The general feel:
    • The pre-aspherical was significantly smaller and didn't feel right in my hands. This lens balances perfectly on my M cameras, as well a minor detail, but makes a big difference for me, the later ASPH lenses have extremely sharp edges on the finger focusing tab. I swear sometimes I feel that they are going to pierce my fingers. This lens has smooth edges and much more comfortable to use.
  4. Built quality:
    • I feel like this was built better. Approx. 50 grams more than the later generation 35mm f1.4 ASPH. The Hood is much thicker (later style tends to break on the clip fins) and overall a smoother, more composed lens.

I do reach for this lens when I know I'm going to be shooting indoors. I like to pair it up with a 75mm F2 APO. This is a historic lens and I would think it is the second most collectable other than the Leica Noctilux 50mm F1.2 (as previously blogged).


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