EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2019-05-25 03:13:31
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MTF can be measured from a real lens, or computed from a lens design. Leica uses computed MTF which therefore means the graphs are fantasy graphs assuming perfect (impossible) actual lenses. Long experience with a lot of Leica M glass shows that real lenses rarely if ever are fully symmetric across the field, nor do they perform as well as computed charts suggest.
Leica calls the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH a “reference lens” and indeed it produces lovely images. However, even if one accepts the MTF charts as-is, it is dubious that this performance can be called ideal, due to inconsistent performance across the frame with substantial astigmatism. Moreover a lens that sets an EXIF flag that requires software correction for both color fringing and distortion disqualifies itself as a reference lens a priori.
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