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Leica 24-90/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH OIS
Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 Distagon vs Leica 24-90mm, Fresh June Snowfall on White Mountains (Leica SL)

This near-to-far distance scene evaluates the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon against the Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH OIS.

A zoom often has compromises for sharpness, distortion, etc, so how does the Leica SL midrange zoom stack up against an outstanding prime lens at 35mm? Your author considers the ZM 35/1.4 the best 35mm lens available for Leica, indeed the best overall M-mount lens, period. While that claims is debatable, it is context on the expected performance.

The Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon is an M-mount lens designed for the Leica M9/M240 sensors, which have special micro lenses. As such, its behavior on the Leica SL might be degraded, since the SL sensor has no special micro lenses.

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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.

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