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Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

MTF: 18/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Performance is very high for a 18mm lens (or any lens), but does decline gracefully to the corners.

Peak performance is at f/5.6, with contrast (brilliance) dropping slightly at f/8 from inexorable diffraction, but the extra depth of field is well worth the small difference in most real world shooting.

Mid-zone performance perks up moderately from f/3.8 to f/5.6, so using f/5.6 is advised for all-around shooting.

The presence of moderate astigmatism suggests that image rendition won’t have quite as much finesse as the 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M, but this is a subtlety that most often will not be of much importance. As field shots show, some of this astigmatism is related to red/cyan color fringing (lateral chromatic aberration).

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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.

Aperture series 3.8, 5.6, 8 available in full article

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