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Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.6 #1 · p.6 #1 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


At f/9, the microcontrast is greatly reduced and we know that peak resolution takes a hit. However, on this image, contrast and resolution are outstanding even stopped down. It pops!
Thanks for sharing!

Andrew Gough wrote:
Here is the Summicron 35mm SL @F9, check the corners...

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-bnQ2gbc/0/11fd0235/X5/i-bnQ2gbc-X5.jpg

Full Size Image




Aug 10, 2021 at 05:57 PM
philip_pj
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p.6 #2 · p.6 #2 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


'jump in acuity (especially with specular highlights) between f/4 and f/5.6'

I can well believe it. They have a very different design philosophy compared to 'best wide open' Leica, and they always did, since Contarex days (1950s). Leica was always more tolerant of field curvature than CZ, as they strove for ultra bright centers.

For a landscaper, it's almost irksome to use a lens at f8, knowing you just threw away around 15% of its maximum performance with an innocent turn of the aperture ring! It can be argued you have to really want that f2 bokeh from your 28mm. Nevertheless, many lenses have a kind of mellow look to their stopped down images, like here. And overall IQ remains very high for a fallback option.

Should we see an APO-Lanthar 28/2 (for Sony!), I predict things will be very different, just the opposite in fact - they would wear a small loss in the centre to guarantee super edges/corners, at all apertures. It's another design preference / target.



Aug 10, 2021 at 09:43 PM
woodstork
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p.6 #3 · p.6 #3 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


Iíve owned the GFX 100 and several GF primes(23, 50, 110, 120, and 250mm), and I shoot the Summicron SL 35/2 and 90/2 on an S1R. The L-Mount combo is much better balanced and a comparative joy to carry and shoot with. The SL primes are sleeker than GF lenses, feel great in hand, on camera, and in the shoulder bag. The GF lenses are bulkier and rather unbalanced. Itís not only about weight. I never bonded with the Fuji haptics and sold the system (IQ and resolution are fantastic though), but find the SL lenses to be great in hand and never hesitate to grab both of them and head out the door.

Desmolicious wrote:
Not whining about camera weight from a absolute point, just I don't get why I would buy this system when Fuji offers a medium format 100mp system that is the same size/weight.

A FF mirrorless camera, IMO, should be smaller/lighter than a much higher resolution/quality medium format mirrorless camera.





Jan 29, 2022 at 08:38 PM
woodstork
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p.6 #4 · p.6 #4 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


I think the SL 35/2 is so well designed itís acutance follows what we expect to see on a mathematically perfect optic where best performance and smallest blur circle occur when wide open. From there diffraction effects kick in incrementally as the aperture is reduced. I find the performance of this lens to be rather stellar across the frame at all apertures from 2 to 10, but itís overall render at f2 is what makes it special versus other 35ís Iíve used.

I actually look for excuses to shoot this lens wide open or close to it to see itís full 3d pop and silky bokeh at capacity, but when subject and mood dictate otherwise I still love its color and contrast and across-the-frame acutance at f/4 and higher.

Interesting how this post turned into a more general lens discussion, but I still would like see more thoughts and images regarding the pros and cons of the SL 28mm (other than opinions of its size or weight which are well traversed).

Fred Miranda wrote:
At f/9, the microcontrast is greatly reduced and we know that peak resolution takes a hit. However, on this image, contrast and resolution are outstanding even stopped down. It pops!
Thanks for sharing!





Jan 29, 2022 at 09:08 PM
flash
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p.6 #5 · p.6 #5 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


SlowDriver wrote:
But there is a significant difference in cost and AF performance and Leica has no lighter (native) travel or carry everywhere lenses available.



That's what Panasonic and SIgma are for. I don't think Leica want to make lots of tiers in the L mount. They're happy at the top end.

AF performance really only differs when you turn on AFC.

And having travelled extensively with L mount and Sony in 2018/2019 once the kit is built there's almost no difference in portability unless you compromise on build an IQ by moving away from Sony's best. If you want small there's always the CL system.

Gordon



Jan 30, 2022 at 04:29 PM
wolfloid
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p.6 #6 · p.6 #6 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


at this size level I'd be shooting medium format gear.

Fuji GFX100 vs Leica SL2

https://j.mp/37svQ1R


my first thoughts as well; however, the Leica combo is lighter, a little smaller and has potentially much shallower depth of field.

I want neither system.



Jan 31, 2022 at 12:54 PM
wolfloid
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p.6 #7 · p.6 #7 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


Sony 85 GM = 820 grams
Zony 50 1.4 = 780 grams


Er ... neither of these are f2, which was the challenge.

As for the comment about 'whining about weight' and 'over 50s', only silly macho boys want to show off in such a way, most sensible people would prefer to carry lass weight, so grow up and learn some manners.



Jan 31, 2022 at 01:07 PM
flash
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p.6 #8 · p.6 #8 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


wolfloid wrote:
my first thoughts as well; however, the Leica combo is lighter, a little smaller and has potentially much shallower depth of field.

I want neither system.


Then why are you here.

Have you tried any of the SL primes? If not you should. You're in for a treat.

The GFX 80mm and 110mm both allow plenty shallow DoF.

There is nothing in the Sony line up, except the 50mm 1.2 that comes close to Leicas CA control with the SL Summicrons and the lenses that are close are big and heavy. So you can build a lighter Sony system but if you want the same IQ then all the systems end up about the same weight. I've tried to build something smaller and lighter with no IQ compromises for travel. If you want AF they all end up about the same. Nikon got the closest with their really good f4 zooms and 1.8 primes.

Ignoring medium format for a minute (which is what I've ended up with when I travel, mostly) in any 135 format system there's always one or two brilliant lenses in a brand. Less when they need to be manageable. Sony's 55mm 1.8 comes to mind for small and optically great. However only Leica makes a full set of pinacle level lenses that are manageable and brilliant. Although I'll be dead before the 21mm is released, when they have, there will not be another set like them, anywhere, in any brand. I have both the Sony GM primes and 1.8's in various lengths and nothing there matches the Leica Summicrons.

It's worth notong that unlike other brands Leica doesn't really do different IQ quality tiers. Lenses vary by speed and design. You don't pick a faster lens because it has generally higher IQ like say Canon or Sony. If anything the Summicrons are where Leica sees their flagships. When someone thinks they can get something faster and cheaper that therfore makes it better they are mistaken.

Gordon



Jan 31, 2022 at 04:09 PM
SlowDriver
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p.6 #9 · p.6 #9 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


flash wrote:
That's what Panasonic and SIgma are for. I don't think Leica want to make lots of tiers in the L mount. They're happy at the top end.

AF performance really only differs when you turn on AFC.

And having travelled extensively with L mount and Sony in 2018/2019 once the kit is built there's almost no difference in portability unless you compromise on build an IQ by moving away from Sony's best. If you want small there's always the CL system.

Gordon


Hi Gordon,

I still own the original SL with the 35mm and the 24-90mm.

I sold the Sigma 14-24mm because I was not using it much (excellent lens though) and as I have not used the 24-90mm in 3 years it will probably be the next one to go.

I do love the SL with the 35mm but I am OK with one "hyper perfect" lens like that , I don't need a whole (cine) set, and I find the combination too heavy to carry everywhere, therefore I am unlikely to further invest in the system.

I would love a rangefinder-styled L-mount body but it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

I typically carry the following with me: X1D II w/ 45P, or M10-P w/ Summilux 35mm, or M9 w. Zeiss 35mm f1.4 or the Leica CL with 1, 2 or 3 lenses.

If I could only have one system it would be the Leica CL. The fact that Leica are openly talking about discontinuing this system is proof enough for me that this high end obsession has affected their brains and their good judgement...

Once they start clearing their inventory I might actually get a second CL...



Jan 31, 2022 at 09:06 PM
SlowDriver
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p.6 #10 · p.6 #10 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


flash wrote:
Although I'll be dead before the 21mm is released

You won't be the only one...



Jan 31, 2022 at 09:10 PM
 


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woodstork
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p.6 #11 · p.6 #11 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


No worries, they are already available in heaven.

SlowDriver wrote:
You won't be the only one...




Jan 31, 2022 at 09:24 PM
SlowDriver
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p.6 #12 · p.6 #12 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


woodstork wrote:
No worries, they are already available in heaven.

Hopefully at slightly better conditions...



Jan 31, 2022 at 10:10 PM
wolfloid
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p.6 #13 · p.6 #13 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


Then why are you here. Have you tried any of the SL primes? If not you should. You're in for a treat. The GFX 80mm and 110mm both allow plenty shallow DoF. There is nothing in the Sony line up, except the 50mm 1.2 that comes close to Leicas CA control with the SL Summicrons and the lenses that are close are big and heavy. So you can build a lighter Sony system but if you want the same IQ then all the systems end up about the same weight. I've tried to build something smaller and lighter with no IQ...Show more

I'm here because these things interest me - I hope that's ok.

Obviously, you should build the system that suits you, and clearly you are looking for ultimate IQ. I have no doubt that the GFX and Leica SL systems can provide that. For me though, I find your reasoning puzzling.

For my own purposes, I never need the very demanding levels of IQ you seem to be chasing. That's just me though, and no doubt others will differ. But even if I did want to chase the ultimate, I don't understand your route.

The only situations where I can think it might be important to get the level of IQ you require would be for landscape photography and printing VERY big, or cropping severely. However, I would also be thinking about carrying the stuff (unless of course you never leave your car) and I would therefore be looking for lightness combined with high quality. I can't see any reason in such a scenario for AF. On that basis, I'd go for an M11, plus APO lenses, and the odd non APO M lenses, which are all excellent.

The only other scenario where I see such ultimate quality might be needed would be for wildlife photography where there is a need for severe cropping. Here you may well need AF, in which case I'd choose a Sony A1, or Canon over anything that either Fuji GFX or Leica SL has produced, precisely for the much quicker, more reliable, and more flexible AF, and excellent long glass.

Of course there might well be another reason for your need for the ultimate in IQ, but for the moment, it escapes me.



Feb 02, 2022 at 06:34 AM
MEDISN
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p.6 #14 · p.6 #14 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


The 28 APO makes a brilliant lens for video, especially indoor where spaces are tighter. Also handy on the SL2 as native 28mm FOV and as 42mm in APS mode (20MP). AF is near silent and dual focus motors make tracking quick and easy. Rendering and image quality...well if you haven't played with the Summicron-SL APO's, you're in for a treat. Might be the nicest modern lineup of primes there is. If I had to complain about something, they are a little front-heavy on the CL








Feb 02, 2022 at 02:02 PM
flash
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p.6 #15 · p.6 #15 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


wolfloid wrote:
I'm here because these things interest me - I hope that's ok.

Obviously, you should build the system that suits you, and clearly you are looking for ultimate IQ. I have no doubt that the GFX and Leica SL systems can provide that. For me though, I find your reasoning puzzling.

For my own purposes, I never need the very demanding levels of IQ you seem to be chasing. That's just me though, and no doubt others will differ. But even if I did want to chase the ultimate, I don't understand your route.

The only situations where I can think
...Show more

I'm older and a semi retired working photographer who is technically capable and quite fussy about the cameras I like. I do print big, regularly. I have a 24" printer in the studio. I send out for larger prints than that. But 24 x 100" is a good size for a big wall.

My main interests are travel photography and for that I know how much I am prepared to carry all day, every day. That's a bout 5-6 kg plus bag, tripod and filters. Sure, lighter can be better but I know I'm good with that for about 10km with zero complaints. Then I build my kits around that depending on what will work best. Generally I like primes in my main range but I'll switch to zooms for dynamic scenes or places changing lenses is dodgy.

I have lots of cameras covering lots of systems. I'm lucky that way. I cherry pick what I want to shoot with for a particular job or trip. Currently I have systems from Leica, Fuji, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Hasselblad and Pentax. I shoot from m43 to medium format although I garvitate to the larger sensor, mostly.

Generally I like *dense* cameras. Probably because that's what I grew up with. I shot Canon A1's and a 501C when I stsrted. Lot's of modern cameras feel hollow and flimsy. As much as I might want to shed the weight, I don't want something that feels cheap.80% of my shooting is between 28 and 90mm. I do shoot longer and wider but that's my core kit. I have a 600mm zoom but it's for occasional use. That's the lens I'd leave in the car.

I have extensive experience with Sony. I still have my A7R3 and A9, although I intend to get out of Sony altogether (I think I've been saying that for over a year now!). While I marvel at the technology, I despise the cameras. The menus are awful. The build quality is meh and the weather proofing is questionable. The grips are too small for my fingers with some lenses and while the bodies are small the better lenses are not. A sony kit from 14-200mm is big and heavy. As heavy as systems with bigger cameras. All 135 format systems end up close to each other with equivalent glass. Well, close enough not to matter.

The other issue with Sony is the colour science. It's improving but it's all over the shop. Every camera is wildly different to it's predecessor and after 15 bodies in 5 years it's still a bit *off*. I spend more time working on Sony colour than any other system. Aslo the lenses almost all have some difficult to work with CA. The 50mm 1.2 is nearly perfect. Leica levels. The newer zooms are OK but the GM 85mm has gobs of CA wide open. The SL and X1D lenses have almost no CA at all. It saves ages in post and it's really in your face if you print.

An A1 costs the same as an SL2. So I'm up for the better lenses. I don't need to be using a camera system I don't enjoy. After nearly 30 years in the game I can shoot pretty much anything I want. I'm in it for the process of taking photographs, not just pulling frames from a burst. I also don't need the AFC of an A1 to get sharp images of moving targets like BiF. I can do that with a decent manual focus lens, let alone any AF system. Since I rarely, if ever use AFC I have no need for anything SOny provides. In AFS the difference between any of the systems is negligable. The SL2 does have one advantage I do use. It's slightly better in low light single shot AF than my A9.

I have an M11 and lenses including the 50 APO. It's fantastic but still not quite at the level of the SL versions or my X1D glass.

My main kit is a GFX100S. I have all the lenses but on a hike I carry a few. It's not my favourite system due to the menus but it's capable of pushing prints out at the sizes I work with with ease. It's also fast and flexible enough to use as a do it all system, with the exception of wildlife. The tri flip screen is fabulous. The glass is excellent, if not class leading (except to 110 which is epic.). Some of the lenses have some CA but generally it's well controlled. I like aperture rings on lenses where they belong. The system is relatively light without feeling flimsy. It feels like a DSLR which is good and bad.

My favourite system is my X1D and 907x. Best handling, menus and lenses are spectacular. Brilliant for long exposures. Leading colour science. Af is glacial. It's about as fast as using a Leica M but the results are stunning. Suits the way I like to shoot. I've travelled extensively with the X1D and have no plans to stop soon. These are the most fun to shoot, ever. Any they're beautiful to look at and to hold. The files are unbeleivable.

My M's are for when I want to travel light and my daily carry. I have a small bag with a body a 28 and a 50 APO. Sometimes I'll add a 90. I shot only M for a few years, so I'm comfortable. M's are about the shooting experience and I get it, so they work for me. Still seeing how the M11 differes from my M10R. The M10M is a heap of fun though and the files are something everyone should see, at least once.

My SL2 and S1R's don't get used as much any more, now I have the GFX. I prefer the SL2 body and lenses. The GFX works better at the sizes I print to. But the menus on the SL2 are second only to the X1D. The lenses are peerless. The joystick is perfect. The S1R is the best camera in the hand on the market, other than the X1D. Bigger and heavier than the Sony bodies but better grips. Better buttons. Better build quality. Better glass. The S1R is a joy with an adapted Canon TS lens on it. And I use the SL2 when I need something very long and very wide. I shot hundreds of weddings on the original SL's and hundreds more before that on M's. Anyone claiming they need an A1 for that needs to practice more.

So basically, I come to a place that likes cameras I enjoy using. I'm not bound by budget or brand. So each day I pick up the camera I feel like shooting that day and head out.

Gordon



Feb 02, 2022 at 04:44 PM
wolfloid
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p.6 #16 · p.6 #16 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


@ Gordon. My, you have everything, and obviously have a vast experience using it, and know what you want. Thanks for the long report, it was interesting. IĎd love to use an X1D, but simply have no real need for such quality. IĎll stick to my M 246, A7r4, and X100V, they are enough, and weigh enough.


Feb 04, 2022 at 01:08 PM
Goodrich
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p.6 #17 · p.6 #17 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


I started with the Nikon system, got tired of it being too heavy to carry. Tried the crop Sony cameras (NEX7, etc) which I quite enjoyed but the image quality in low light was below my expectations, so went full frame with a Leica M9. That was hard as I wear glasses and manual focus makes people shots a bit hit or miss. The low light performance was better, but not great. The SL system has been great for me, particularly the ibis on the SL2 which allows me to use much lower iso for static subjects. And the lenses are, as flash says, great, not just because of their sharpness but because they produce clean files in a way that is not generally true of any other lenses I have used, Leica m included.

The limitations of the SL are well known: AF, shots at higher iso, and weight. Flash Gordon addresses each of these points. I still have a bunch on Nikon lenses, but they are generally not up with current standards and the Z9 is a beast. A Sony A1 or whatever would help with people (and animal / bird) pics, is a lighter body than the SL2, and a collection of GM or Sigma lenses (20 / 24, 35, 50, 100 / 135, etc) seems to be an option, although I can see that you donít gain much weight loss and many of the 3rd party e-mount lenses are also available in l-mount, so no advantage there. The GFX system would be great for land / cityscapes, but is bulky, the AF seems poorer and the lens selection good but limited.

Iím leaning towards supplementing my SL2 with a Sony for when AF and high iso are real benefits, but am in no great hurry, I must say.



Feb 05, 2022 at 09:52 AM
ftllens
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p.6 #18 · p.6 #18 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


For some weight and cost aren't a factor. Absolute IQ doesn't require some special subject or situation to justify having. Case in point some people I snapshot using the Otus series years ago are no longer alive and those are very important images to me which make me appreciate high fidelity and qualities of uncompromising lenses especially in daily life.

You either regret during the process of shooting or regret while editing and looking back at the images years later. I'm 100% in the latter camp as one is temporary and two is forever. Plus I don't remember my physical suffering due to poor memory.

Regarding prints for future proofing, no, I don't print but shoot high resolution for metaverse home and interactive galleries where it will be even more critical than print (yes, audience eyes are collectively increasing as a whole and will notice quality, especially younger gen). Varjo display is close already and next Gen headset optic won't be bottleneck anymore.

I can see the allure of these SL series. It's about having all factors as consistent as possible minus the FL. i wonder what the image circle is for these SL lenses.

It seems like quite a bargain compared to their Leitz Thalia line lol




Jun 26, 2022 at 04:07 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.6 #19 · p.6 #19 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


How is distortion (before correction) with the SL 28/2 APO?


Jul 02, 2022 at 11:16 PM
philip_pj
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p.6 #20 · p.6 #20 · Official: Leica APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens ($5,195)


Just looking around, the same phrases appear prominently across the regular websites: 'great distortion control', 'sharp image from edge to edge without distortion'. Jono Slack adds the missing piece: 'There is little or no distortion (although this is probably corrected in software)'

And indeed it is, as pointed out by sharp-eyed Lloyd Chambers. He noticed the missing distortion data in the SL lens data sheets: 'Leica flags distortion correction as mandatory in the EXIF info, which means that the MTF charts are pure fantasy, impossible to realize once distortion correction is applied.'

'There is no distortion graph in the datasheet and the datasheet make no mention that correcting distortion (required!) will significantly degrade MTF over at least half of the frame. Leica can design a lens however they want, but they ought to at least be honest in their marketing materials.'

See his revealing image here:

https://diglloyd.com/prem/s/LMOUNT/LeicaSL/LeicaSL-28f2-distortion.html

The MTF 'should' be post correction but who knows? BH FOV specs show a true FL of 27.99mm, post-correction presumably. The curious thing is that relative distortion is shown in the APO 35/2 Summicron-M sheet (it's a steady one percent barrel).

The SL sheets also lack vignette data, so likely another 'stage two - the s/w' deal there as well. (for comparison, the Otus 28/1.4 (2015) carries a steady gain in field distortion and peaks at 1.3% barrel. CZ have long argued for a 2% max figure for distortion.)



Jul 03, 2022 at 12:56 AM
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