Review Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5
In my journey towards an Leica MP in black paint, I decided to sell my beloved Summilux 35mm f/1.4 Asph Fle, a very much awesome lens, probably the best 35mm lens in the world? To be able to order the MP I needed a cheaper lens, but I wanted a 35mm again, since it suits me very well. Found a buyer for my 35Lux who wanted to trade me a Summarit + cash, which I agreed on.
Until today I've shot Summicron 40/2.0, Canon 50/0.95, Summicron 35/2.0 and the Summilux 35. Summarit is a totally new experience for me. One thing I really liked with my first Leica lens, the 40/2.0 was its size. The camera really feels compact, small and easy to carry around with a lens of that size. While the 35Lux with the lens hood becomes a pretty big kit. The Summarit is a bit bigger than the 40/2.0 but a lot smaller than the 35Lux. I like the size a lot!
Even though being one of the cheaper lenses in the Leica product line with a retail price of $1650 it's a lens of great optical quality and finest build quality. Personally I like the firm clicks of the aperture-ring, compared to the very smooth ring of the 35Lux. I often preset my camera to the correct exposure settings while I'm out walking, to make sure that I don't need to fiddle with that when THE situation appears. When grabbing the camera I sometimes touched the aperture ring which adjusted the aperture setting. I don't think that will happen with the Summarit since the ring is a lot less smooth, with more firm positions.
So I was out walking with the kids today, and took my M6 with the new Summarit with me, already loaded with Tri-X 400, pushed it to 1600. Since we still have some snow here in Sweden, I had to shoot at f8-f16 alot, so I wont show you any great bokeh examples now, I will update this blog post with this as soon as I have any. Instead I practiced zone focusing, since that's something I'm really bad at, and often have to stop & focus before I take the shot.
I'm satisfied with the pictures that comes out from the Summarit, it's sharp, minimum distortion and good contrast. In some cases I will probably miss those extra f-stops, but for most of the time this will be just fine for me, and considering that the switch of lenses also made it possible for me to acquire the MP, I'm super satisfied.
Another thing that I'm sensing, but can't really justify is that when I switched from a digital M-P to my M6/M2, the high end lenses isn't really used to their max? F/1.4 is always better than f/2.5 of course, distortion and vignetting as well, but when it comes to rendering and especially sharpness on a film camera I'm not blown away by the Summilux lenses in the same way I am when they are mounted on a digital M body. I really love the feeling and look of film photography, but from my experience, if you can live with the f/2.5, the Summarit is a great lens for the money!
Attaching some shots from today!
Tri-X 400 @ 1600, XTOL Stock, 10 min
Scanned on a Plustek OpticFilm 7600 at 3200dpi