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Leica M240

6-way Shootout: ZM 35/1.4 vs 35/2 and 35/2.8, Leica 35/1.4 and 35/2, Voigtlander 35/1.2 (Aspen Trunk, M240)

This 6-way comparison examines the performance of six 35mm lenses for Leica M. See also the 6-way Wyman Cabin comparison, which is at much greater focusing distance.

As with all field comparisons, focus matching cannot be perfect, field curvature exerts an influence on where sharpness falls, and focus shift (if present) shifts the zone of sharpest focus! All commentary is based on examining the entire frame for each lens as well as near to far performance across the aperture range.

Care was taken to focus each lens as accurately as possible (Live View at maximum magnification), but even that is not always so easy; the Leica 35/2 Summicron proved this over and over in the field with its contrast at f/2 visibly inferior to the ZM 35/1.4 at 1.4. On top of that the Summicron has a very nasty focus shift, as the comparison shows.

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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: 35/1.4 Distagon, 35/2 Biogon, 35/2.8 C-Biogon
Voigtlander Nokton 35/1.2 II ASPH, Leica: 35/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH, 35/2 Summicron-M ASPH
(not to scale)

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