Left to right, and not to scale, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 ASPH, Leica Summicron-M 28mm F2 ASPH and Leica Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH

German camera brand Leica has introduced upgraded versions of three of its wide-angle M lenses that offer improvements to both build and performance, according to the company. The trio of reportage favorites are the Leica Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH, the Leica Summicron-M 28mm F2 ASPH and the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 ASPH. Each is a direct replacement for the current equivalent model. 

All three of the lenses will be fitted with metal lens hoods and a ring to cover the hood mount when the hoods aren't in use, and metal lens caps will replace the current plastic units.

The company hasn’t been absolutely clear about the optical changes that it has made, making general statements about sharpness improving across the frame. The 35mm Summicron though now has 11 aperture blades, while the previous versions of the lens had only seven, eight or ten blades. 

The company also comments that both 28mm lenses have significantly improved curvilinear distortion controls that provide better drawing, as well as flatter field projection for increased resolution in the corners of the frame.

The new Leica M lenses are scheduled to be available as follows:

  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 ASPH. (black) – end January 2016, price £1,650
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm F2 ASPH. (black) – end January 2016, price £2,975
  • Leica Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH. – beginning of February 2016, black version price £2,250, silver anodised version price £2,350

For more information see the Leica website

Press release: 

Leica introduces new generation of classic Leica M lenses with improved performance

  • Leica Summicron-M 35mm F2 ASPH.
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm F2 ASPH.
  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 ASPH.

Leica Camera has introduced next-generation models of three of its classic M lenses: the Leica M Summicron-M 35 mm F2 ASPH., Leica Summicron-M 28 mm F2 ASPH. and Leica Elmarit-M 28 mm F2.8 ASPH., each delivering enhanced image performance and quality, thanks to their new optical design.

Additional improvements to the lenses include a more robust construction, now featuring a full metal rectangular lens hood with thread mount, and a threaded protection ring for the front of the lens when the hood is not attached. The lens cap is now also made of metal.

As with all Leica products, this classic trio of reportage lenses offers both optical and technical excellence. Made in Germany, the combination of state-of-the-art technology, the highest quality materials and meticulous manual construction ensures consistent quality, resulting in reliable products with outstanding durability.

The new generation Summicron-M 28 mm F2 ASPH. and Elmarit-M 28 mm F2.8 ASPH. lenses are scheduled to be available from the end of January. The Summicron-M 35 mm F2 ASPH. is scheduled to be available from February in black and, for the first time, also in a silver anodised finish.

The impressive Summicron-M 35 mm F2 ASPH. fast, classic prime lens delivers superior image performance and a unique bokeh. Despite its high speed and exceptional image quality, its dimensions are astoundingly compact. Furthermore, with its eleven blade iris, this new generation lens creates a circular aperture, lending out of focus areas an extremely smooth look and feel. Images are pin-sharp with rich contrast, and almost completely free from distortion with superb bokeh at all apertures and distances – and even when shooting wide open.

High performance and speed are also distinct characteristics of the Summicron-M 28 mm F2 ASPH. wide-angle lens. Its outstanding speed makes it particularly versatile and produces brilliant imaging results, even in difficult lighting conditions. At its maximum aperture, the Summicron-M 28 mm F2 ASPH. delivers rich contrast, differentiated reproduction of even the finest structures, a soft and smooth bokeh, and extremely high resolution. Improvements within the optical design in this new generation lens have made it possible to achieve superior image performance across the entire image field. The significant reduction of image field curvature guarantees better resolution of details from corner to corner within every picture.

The Elmarit-M 28 mm F2.8 ASPH. is the most compact lens in the entire portfolio of Leica M lenses. Thanks to its small size and light weight, this lens is a particular favourite with street and reportage photographers. Compared to the previous model, this new generation lens offers significantly reduced image field curvature, which brings considerably improved image performance with high resolution and brilliant resolution of details. The Elmarit-M 28 mm F2.8 ASPH. is practically distortion-free from infinity to its closest focusing distance of 0.7 metres, and provides an exceptionally clear view through the Leica M viewfinder.