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Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH

Click to view at B&H Photo

The Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH (about $3995) is an ultra high performance 24mm lens with an aspheric design.

The 24/2.8 is described as this way: “Its contrast and detail rendition even at full aperture set new standards among wide-angle lenses. Stopping down by just 1 to 1.5 apertures delivers maximum optical performance across the entire image field.The high levels of brilliance and plasticity are retained even in close-up photography”.

View near real-time pricing and availability for Zeiss ZM an Leica M lenses on the Leica M gear page.

 

 

Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH Specifications
Focal length: 24.4mm
Aperture scale: f/2.8 - f/16
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert 84/74/53°
Focusing range: 0.7m - infinity
Coverage at close range: 630mm X 950mm = 1:26
Number of elements/groups: 7 elements in 5 groups
Filter thread: E 55
Weight (as actually weighed):
black anodized version:

291g lens alone
375g with hood, caps and viewfinder

Dimensions (with caps): 45mm long, 58mm diam

 

Graceful coverage
Wide enough, but not too wide
Great color, great coverage

Framing and focus

Guide to Leica

With the 24mm. a hot-shoe mounted viewfinder is needed. It forces the time-wasting frame/focus/frame dance with any lens wider than 28mm. That’s just life with a rangefinder, another reason Live View could be so helpful.

 

 

 

 

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Distortion

Distortion is of the barrel type (bowing out) over the central 2/3 of the frame, then flattening to neutral, call this a “half wave”.

Distortion of the Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH: wave type

MTF (contrast and sharpness)

MTF of the Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH is excellent centrally at f/2.8, dropping off gracefully just before the edge of the frame. At f/5.6, performance rises nicely, with the edges and corners perking up substantially, but with some astigmatism and apparent field curvature developing. Although f/8 does drop the overall contrast slightly, it neatly cleans up the far corners. Brilliance is higher at f/5.6, so stick to that in general if you do not need the depth of field of f/8.

Mouse over the apertures below to compare.

Aperture

Half-stop click-stops are marked in full stops. I prefer the clearly-marked 1/3 stop increments on the Zeiss ZM line. But it’s a moot point given that each brand has its own approach.

Composing

The 24mm focal length demands the use of the “optional” viewfinder, a bizarre way of selling a lens that cannot really be used without the viewfinder.

Ergonomics

The 24/2.8 is nicely sized and worked well in my largish hands, though I’d actually prefer a slightly larger lens.

Focusing

I found it straightforward to focus the Leica 24/2.8 very accurately using the rangefinder on “3D” subjects.

Conclusions

For high-res examples, see my Guide to Leica.

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