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24/1.4 vs 24/3.8 (M240, Frontlit Bristlecones)

The 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH is an ultra-fast wide angle. As with all fast wide angle designs, some compromises have to be made to achieve the lens speed, even if exotic construction and special glass types can alleviate some design challenges.

The 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH is a compact and slow wide angle design whose lens speed allows very high performance at much lower cost and without making undue efforts or compromises.

In the field when shooting stopped down a few stops, how do the two lenses compare?

Ironically, the 24/1.4 Summilux must be stopped down for field shooting in many situations, because ISO 200 and a maximum 1/4000 shutter speed cannot preserve highlight detail (no practical way to mount a polarizer or neutral density filter to cut the brightness).

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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, Leica SL.

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.

Leica 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH and Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH
(not to scale)

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