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Focus Accuracy of Zeiss 35/2 Biogon vs Leica 35/1.4 FLE (Dolls)

As noted in Rangefinder Focus Error With Leica M9 and Zeiss ZM Lenses, Zeiss adjusts its ZM lenses to film specifications. Unfortunately, Leica does not seem to be following film specifications for the sensor offset in the M9 digital line.

What this means in practice on the digital Leica M9 (or Leica M Monochrom presumably) is a front-focusing error with all Zeiss ZM lenses. Shot wide open, it means blurred subject matter, such as a blurred eye in a portrait, or less than sharp subject where intended (“almost sharp”). Stopped down, the error is overcome quickly, but it means that the zone of sharp focus is closer to the camera than intended.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Leica.

Zeiss ZM 35/2 Biogon and Leica 35/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH FLE
(not to scale)
Test scene

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