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Leica 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH

Leica 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH

The Leica 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH is the standard lens for the S2, equivalent to a 56mm lens on a full-frame 36X24mm DSLR.

The 70/2.5 is also the most compact lens of the line, and one wonders whether Leica might eventually offer a similar focal length at f/2 or faster, since f/2.5 doesn’t allow as much equivalent background blur as an 85mm f/1.2 lens on a 35mm DSLR.

As the MTF charts show, performance by f/5.6 is world-class. Real world images should have a snap and sparkle that few lenses can offer. Stopping down a little is definitely worthwhile.

Standard 82mm filters are usable, the same size used by the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II and Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon.

Leica states that the 70/2.5 “gives priority to top imaging performance for all applications”. That’s a non-sequitor, but probably is meant to state that performance is exceptionally well corrected at all distances. Whether or not this also means zero distortion and/or very low vignetting remains to be seen.

Lens hood

I’ve seen complaints about the lens hood online. These complaints are misplaced, borderline cart-before-the-horse. The lens hood looks to be exceptionally effective at eliminating stray light: that’s it’s job! It reverses for storage just like Nikon and Canon hoods do, which suit me just fine.

The lens cap could be a little deeper, but otherwise works just fine. Only Nikon’s are better.

Specifications

Nominal, per Leica.

The 1:4.7 close focusing allows very close shooting, approaching macro range; this is great for tight face shots (portraits).

Specifications for Leica 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH
Item Value
Focal length 70mm (nominal), equivalent to 56mm in 35mm terms
Lens construction 8 elements in 8 groups with floating element and 1 aspherical surface, plus one “filter screen”
Focusing range: 1.6 feet = 50cm
Smallest object field: 1:4.7
Item Angle of view 42°, 35.5°, 24°
Diaphragm: f/2.5 - f/22
Filters: 82mm
Dimensions 90mm diameter X 93mm long
3.54 X 3.66 inches
Weight 740g / 26.1 oz (890g / 31.4 oz for CS version)

MTF

Wide open at f/2.5, performance is high over the entire frame, but there is definitely room for improvement.

The wave seen about 2/3 out at f/5.6 is almost certainly due to field curvature. Contrast for fine detail is the lower pair of lines, and to reach 80% at 40 line pairs per millimeter is absolutely outstanding even for a lens for a 35mm camera. This requires f/5.6 to achieve, but f/2.5 is already very good, especially for a lens covering a 45mm X 30mm sensor.

Mouse over to compare f/5.6.

MTF for Leica 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH

Learning more

Want the full scoop on the Leica S2 and lenses?

Read my in-depth report Guide to Leica. Learn more. Subscribe now!

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