Since shooting with this version of the Leica Summilux 35mm lens I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it. I purchased the lens for its FOV and wide aperture. Plus out of the current available 35mm Summilux lenses, this one was in reach with the funds I had on hand.
However, my love/hate relationship has to do when shooting the lens wide open at f/1.4. The lens I own was built in 1983. I found the lens through Sam at Classic Connection in Connecticut. The lens is prone to flare and coma, especially when shooting into light where today’s ASPH version of this lens are not so prone to these issues.
But many sometimes complain about how sharp the modern ASPH lenses draw when shooting people up close. Well with this lens you’re not going to have this issue when shooting wide open at f/1.4.
I believe this image captures the true essence of this lens when shot wide open at f/1.4. I’ve focused on the lettering of the pillow and then reframed my shot. You can see how “dreamy” this lens draws in the out of focus areas, from the edges of the pillows to the lampstands.
That’s my love/hate relationship is I wish I could turn on and off how dreamy the lens is when shooting wide open. Of course just stopping down one stop to f/2.0 those areas that are a little dreamy now become sharper.
What’s still amazing about the Leica M lenses is their size. This lens is still the smallest fast lens one can buy. Its only an inch long without the hood and weighs just 245g.