There are no reported shortages of 35mm f/2 lenses, according to the latest Interpol reports, so when a new 35mm f/2 lens comes to market, it’s usually greeted with a polite burst of applause before the crowds move along. A box of donuts says there’s going to be a standing ovation among a certain breed of shooters when word of Leica’s new APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. hits the streets.
Way more than a cosmetic makeover, Leica’s latest incarnation of its marquee lens includes several important improvements over previous 35mm Summicron-Ms, starting with its APO designation, which translates into further suppression of chromatic and spherical aberrations, compared to earlier versions of the 35mm Summicron-M. As an apochromat, this lens features an array of specialized elements, including six anomalous partial dispersion glass elements and a trio of aspherical elements that control color fringing, distortion, and other aberrations for immaculate sharpness and clarity.
Perhaps even bigger news than the APO designation, though, is this Summicron’s impressive minimum focusing distance of just 11.8". Just like any other rangefinder lens, you can only focus accurately as close as 2.3' with the rangefinder, but flip into live view or use an external EVF to gain even closer focusing performance. The manual focus ring has a detent to indicate where the 2.3' focusing position is, so you can still focus by feel with the optical finder; however, the 11.8" hard focusing stop opens up new possibilities for rangefinder lenses.
Though intended for Leica M-series cameras, the new APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH can also be used with Leica SL2 and SL2-S cameras, as well as almost any mirrorless camera, via adapter. Included with each lens is a metal hood, front and rear caps, a threaded protection ring, and a leather carrying case.
Let us know your thoughts on this premium and well-corrected wide-angle prime for Leica, in the Comments section, below.