Leica 28mm Summicron on M9

Started Nov 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
xtoph Veteran Member • Posts: 9,871
my favorite lens

my leica kit is basically the 28/2, 35/1.4 asph1, 50/1.4 asph current.

all superb lenses.

the 50 is essentially perfect, optically. the 35 is amazingly versatile, and i think it is the best all-round fl on ff m cameras. but the 28 is my favorite.

it is not at all perfect like the 50, but its quirks, unlike the 35 lux, are all beautiful. yes, it vignettes, but gently, with a falloff gradient which can make a photo all by itself. it has amazing bokeh, easily the best i've ever seen in this fl, and basically as good as the best i've seen, period. it is sharp, without causing harshness on some textures the way a few other sharp lenses can. and it controls flare better than the other two lenses (nowhere near as well as a 35 summarit, though). flare can still be visible, but for a fast wide angle lens, it holds up very well.

it is one of the only lenses i routinely feel a desire to use purely for its intrinsic character, yet it isn't so extreme that it imposes an indelible stamp on everything.

as for the spread of focal lengths, i would have said in the past that 28-35-50 was unnecessarily close, but not now. i never have any doubt which of these three lenses would be best for any given subject (which doesn't always mean i will change lenses for every photo), and i find i shoot significantly differently with each lens. i wouldn't want to do without any of them at this point.

i wear glasses, and it is hard to see all the framelines with an m9 at 28mm. but, i really don't find it to be a problem; i can shove my eye in there when i need to, and with experience and a bit of recomposing, i usually have a very accurate idea of what parts of the scene will be included.

so, if you are inclined to get this lens, i recommend you get it--no hesitation.

btw, if you are interested, most of the photos in the gallery linked here (except for the extreme darkness shots, where the 35/1.4 is essential) were made with the 28:

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