The Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, originally released in 2015, has been a favorite among photographers who need a fast wide-angle prime lens for low-light situations. This lens rounded out the "high speed" prime family of lenses, with the 21mm and 24mm Summilux released in 2008. It has a "floating element" to maintain top performance at minimum focus, although it's not explicitly said to be an FLE. The lens also boasts minimal to virtually no distortion.
Join Carlo as he showcases the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH!
The lens signature of the Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH is unmistakable, with its low depth of field and high sharpness in the focal plane creating a unique sense of depth in images. The color rendition is accurate and true to the eye, and when stopped down, it performs like most modern M-lenses with a more clinical "correct" look. However, it also has heavy vignetting and fringing in highlights, like all fast lenses when shot wide open. We would say this is more an attribute of "character" than a negative. The 28mm Summilux can be both clinical and full of character.
This lens is perfect for landscapes, reportage or documentary photography, and generally, low light situations. Its f/1.4 aperture is great for isolating subjects, and the lens has a great way of drawing attention to whatever is in focus. Bokeh is very smooth up close and has a nice transition from what is in focus. When further away from the subject, the 28mm focal length mixed with the shallow depth of field makes photographers think more about their compositions and how to fill the frame.
While the flaring was well-controlled, the lens does have significant vignetting that may bother some photographers. The colors are what one would expect from a modern M lens, but there is a good amount of purple fringing in the highlights. This can be corrected in post, but it can also be used for creative flair. The lens is also very expensive and large, with the size being the biggest trade-off for the extra stop of light. This begs the question of whether the extra stop of light is beneficial, with camera sensors' image quality improving over the years.
Overall, the Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH lens is an amazing lens with a beautiful rendering. The vignetting and fringing can be used creatively, and it has a classic modern character. While the lens is on the more expensive end of Leica's 28mm offerings and larger than slower optics, it's a great choice for those who need a fast wide-angle prime lens for low-light situations.
Made Using the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux-M ASPH & Leica M11
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