Flare Control with Leica M Lenses and Especially the Leica 50/2 APO Summicron-M ASPH
Some extensive field work and study was made to add critical context to my flare discoveries with the Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH.
The 50/2 APO ASPH gets special coverage and some editorial thoughts on in-the-field flare control on real-world subjects with the 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH.
In Guide to Leica an extensive study of flare has been added for the following lenses on the Leica M Typ 240, with high-res shaded and unshaded results, with one clear and unequivocal champion towering over the others in its remarkable flare resistance.
- Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M ASPH;
- Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH;
- Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH;
- Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH;
- Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH;
- Zeiss ZM 35mm f/2 Biogon;
- Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH;
- Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH;
- Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH;
- Zeiss ZM 50mm f/2 Planar.
The results are quite interesting, and of practical use also.
James K writes:
Leica rangefinder lenses have always had a reputation for flare. Especially Leica long focal length optics (50mm, 75mm, 90mm, 135mm, etc) Nikon lenses were my choice when flare was a concern.
Some Leica wides produce attractive flare effects and this quality is often exploited by pros shooting reportage style photos.
Try some Black Wrap foil. Create you own light blocking shades to suit the situation. It is used a lot by cinematographers.
DIGLLOYD: Seems consistent with my findings, especially the wide angles versus the normal lenses. But I have found plenty of flare with Nikon lenses also.
Note the description of the 28/2 Summicron-M ASPH as “Even in critical lighting conditions, for example in backlit situations, distracting reflections and flare are largely eliminated”. Such plaudits are definitely not made for the 50mm lenses and note that the wide angle lenses have much more effective rectangular lens hoods, particularly the 28/2 ASPH. The convenient and elegant built-in round lens hoods are ineffective against flare in many situations.