Leica has reintroduced its ultra-compact Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 wide-angle lens for unobtrusive reportage photography…
Heralded as ‘the renaissance of a classic lens’, news of Leica’s reintroduction of its Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 will surely appeal to street photographers with expensive taste. With an RRP of £1900 and pre-ordering a must, it also looks set to be something of a collectors item. Interestingly, the design and construction of the 28mm are exactly the same as they were in 1955, when the original version was first manufactured, though the optics have been updated to meet 21st century standards.
Leica Camera has expanded the portfolio of its M rangefinder system with the modern renaissance of a classic Leica lens: the Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6.
First introduced as a screw mount lens in 1955, the predecessor of the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 is still one of the most compact wide-angle lenses within the Leica M-System, and is famous for its characteristic signature. The new lens takes its lead from the classically compact construction of its ancestor and brings the unique analogue look it lends to pictures into the age of digital photography.
The optical design and mechanical construction of the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 are identical to those of its predecessor, which was manufactured at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar until 1963. Combining the latest optical developments, highest quality finishing and outstanding optical design, the new edition of this very special lens is much more than a simple reconstruction of an existing model.
With minimal contemporary design elements, the new version of the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 has been reduced to the essentials, but loses none of the character of its legendary ancestor. Its exceptionally short length of less than two centimetres makes it particularly unobtrusive and, together with the incomparable discretion of the Leica M camera, an ideal lens for street photography. The combination of a clearly laid-out depth of field scale and long focus throw allows extremely precise pre-focusing.
The optical design of six elements in four groups arranged symmetrically around the iris of the new lens is identical to that of its precursor. Indeed, the historic optical design of the original lens has remained completely unchanged. For example, wide open, the new Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 renders subjects with rich contrast across almost the entire image field.
The combination of extreme depth of field, natural contrast rendition, excellent resolution of detail and visible vignetting create a unique visual signature, and lend pictures a special look reminiscent of the earlier days of analogue photography.
The exterior of the new Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 reflects the contemporary look of the current Leica M lens portfolio, including the Leica M bayonet mount with 6-bit coding, the shape of the focusing lock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the style of the knurling on the barrel and rings. The design and construction of the lens hood also mirrors the original and evokes memories of the beginnings of rangefinder photography. The hood is machined from solid brass and finished in a meticulous manufacturing process, and is included with the lens.
As with all other Leica lenses, the Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 was designed and developed by Leica’s precision engineers and optical specialists in Wetzlar. As a particularly reliable product with enduring value, it is made in Germany from only the finest materials and assembled in an intricate process entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technology and exceptionally thorough manufacturing procedures guarantees consistently excellent quality and durability.
Pricing and availability
The Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 has a suggested retail price of £1,900 including VAT. Due to strong expected demand, the lens must be pre-ordered. Orders will be fulfilled in sequence according to order date.