Leica introduces three new M lenses with improved performance: Summicron-M 35mm, Summicron-M 28mm and Elmarit-M 28mm

Leica introduces new generation of classic Leica M lenses with improved performance
The rumors were true, Leica announced three new M lenses:

  • Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH
  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH

Update - pre-order links:

Technical specifications:

Update: the lens hood of the 28mm f/2 is wrongly described as "snap-on" in the above table I got from Leica Camera. This is a mistake, the lens hood is "screw-on".

Full press release:

eica introduces three new M lenses with improved performance

Leica introduces new generation of classic Leica M lenses with improved performance

Leica Camera has introduced next-generation models of three of its classic M lenses: the Leica M Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH., Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH. and Leica Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH., each delivering enhanced image performance and quality, thanks to their new optical design.

Additional improvements to the lenses include a more robust construction, now featuring a full metal rectangular lens hood with thread mount, and a threaded protection ring for the front of the lens when the hood is not attached. The lens cap is now also made of metal.

As with all Leica products, this classic trio of reportage lenses offers both optical and technical excellence. Made in Germany, the combination of state-of-the-art technology, the highest quality materials and meticulous manual construction ensures consistent quality, resulting in reliable products with outstanding durability.

The new generation Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH. and Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lenses are scheduled to be available from the end of January. The Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH. is scheduled to be available from February in black and, for the first time, also in a silver anodised finish.

The impressive Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH. fast, classic prime lens delivers superior image performance and a unique bokeh. Despite its high speed and exceptional image quality, its dimensions are astoundingly compact. Furthermore, with its eleven blade iris, this new generation lens creates a circular aperture, lending out of focus areas an extremely smooth look and feel. Images are pin-sharp with rich contrast, and almost completely free from distortion with superb bokeh at all apertures and distances – and even when shooting wide open.

High performance and speed are also distinct characteristics of the Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH. wide-angle lens. Its outstanding speed makes it particularly versatile and produces brilliant imaging results, even in difficult lighting conditions. At its maximum aperture, the Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH. delivers rich contrast, differentiated reproduction of even the finest structures, a soft and smooth bokeh, and extremely high resolution. Improvements within the optical design in this new generation lens have made it possible to achieve superior image performance across the entire image field. The significant reduction of image field curvature guarantees better resolution of details from corner to corner within every picture.

The Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH. is the most compact lens in the entire portfolio of Leica M lenses. Thanks to its small size and light weight, this lens is a particular favourite with street and reportage photographers. Compared to the previous model, this new generation lens offers significantly reduced image field curvature, which brings considerably improved image performance with high resolution and brilliant resolution of details. The Elmarit-M 28 mm f/2.8 ASPH. is practically distortion-free from infinity to its closest focusing distance of 0.7 metres, and provides an exceptionally clear view through the Leica M viewfinder.

Pricing and availability

The new Leica M lenses are scheduled to be available as follows from Leica stores and authorised Leica UK dealers (Suggested retail prices including VAT):

  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH. (black) – end January 2016, price £1,650
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. (black) – end January 2016, price £2,975
  • Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. – beginning of February 2016, black version price £2,250, silver anodised version price £2,350

Additional pictures of the new lenses:

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  • Juhász Márton

    I dont understand this sentence in the end of the press release: “and provides an exceptionally clear view through the Leica M viewfinder.” What the lens do with the finder? 😀

    • probably copy and paste from another press release

    • Bo Dez

      Just hold the lens up to the viewfinder.

    • Andrea Vettori

      I think it means the lens, being small, doesn’t cover the viewfinder view.

    • tomnewtn

      The hole in the hood? The plastic hood currently available has no hole so nice to see this.

  • the

    Cannot see any significant improvements from previous lens. UK prices are always more than US!

    • The press release says: “enhanced image performance and quality, thanks to their new optical design”

      • the

        : D. It is more like the template for new product release. I planned to buy one sum micron for 35 or 28. It seem it is better to hold on and wait for some reviews for the new lens. The appearances are almost identical (or just identical) to previous ones.

        • I have two of those three new lenses and I have no plans to “upgrade”. I seriously doubt anyone will be able to see any real world improvement.

          • the

            Did you mean the same focus lens and aperture size, but not these three new lenses? Any news/rumors about upgrade for summicron or summilux 50?

          • I don’t really know – I am just guessing.

      • tomnewtn

        11 aperture blades vs 8 in current model 35s. Interesting change to improve bokeh I guess.

  • Bo Dez

    Excellent. I’m interested to see if the new optical designs translate to better performance.

    One thing though – I find it frustrating they don’t release all lenses in chrome and black. I love chrome lenses but I absolutely hate having a mix of chrome and black. It’s all chrome or all black. First world problems I know, but it’s the fine details that matter!

  • peterp

    Ha classic, I just bought my first Leica camera and 35mm f2 lens 2 months ago…and now they release a new lens. Oh well i’m sure, as you guys are saying, it will probably be able to same performance wise. I’m just a bit jealous about the metal lens hood, do you think it will fit on the “older” 35? I have always thought it was ridiculous that the lens hood was plastic..glad they fixed it.

    • Well, the 28 and 25 Crons have been rumored for a while, I am surprised they updated the Elmarit as well – it is a pretty new lens.

      • storm17

        I am surprised they still kept it an Elmarit. I would have thought bringing out a new 28mm Summarit model would make more sense. After all, there aren’t any brand new 35mm, 50mm or 90mm Elmarits anymore.

    • tomnewtn

      I bet it will, though perhaps with a step adapter.

    • Jared Willson

      Not likely to fit. They added threads to the end of the lens for the new hood. The old lens didn’t have the threads.

  • J spencer

    Still frustrated …

    When is LEICA going to look after the PRO market on a global frontline like Nikon & Canon.??

    E.G. what about some fixed lens for the SL SYSTEM …meant to be for the the PRO MARKET ???

    AND what about a M 15mm lens or equivalent in the S CAMERA range?????

    Look after the Professional Photographers and the rest will follow … ask Nikon & Canon

    When will Leica start looking after the Professional photographer ???

    JS iPhone

    • Les

      If you think that Leica should compete head-on with Nikon and Canon in the “pro” SLR market, you will be constantly disappointed. That’s not what they do, never has been.

      Doesn’t mean that professionals don’t use Leicas, I know plenty who do, but not when they need the qualities that a 1Dx or D5 provide (huge lens selection, continuous AF tracking, etc).

    • storm17

      Nikanon make more cameras in a week than Leica probably does in a year. There’s no way they can compete at that level, so might as well focus their resources elsewhere other than the general pro market.

  • tomnewtn

    11 aperture blades vs 8 on current design.

    • interesting

      • tomnewtn

        That’s on the 35, which the one I have. I’d love a 28 but have a 25 Biogon so might upgrade the 35 if worth it. Will see what reviews show I guess.

        • The other issue is that there is always a risk with a new Leica lenses. The last 50mm and 21mm both had issues as far as I remember and were recalled. So yes, let’s wait and see.

          • tomnewtn

            Easy to wait when one has such great gear to shoot with in their bag.

  • Bill

    After some research and reading, it doesn’t seem like a complete “new” optical design to me. Words Leica used are “recalculate”, “improved”, and “redesign”. From my readings, it seems to me design of these lenses are base on previous model and made “new” improvement. If Leica really had a new optical design, Leica probably would have to change its barrel outfit. Is it marketing gimmicks or real improvements ? Time will tell.

    • I vote for marketing gimmick, otherwise they would have explained in details what the improvements are.

  • tomnewtn

    Is the new Cron made of aluminum vs solid brass? The weight is nearly 100g less than current version. Not sure I’d care for that at all.

  • Mark

    Seems Lloyd Chambers is reporting significant focus shift issues with the new 28mm f/2 Summicron. The new 28mm f/2.8 appears a little better but Lloyd it appears hasn’t completed his testing. This looks like a wait and see for more reviews before buying a new Leica M 28. What I don’t understand is why Leica didn’t simply start with a new design for digital, fix all the past issues as best they can rather than throwing “tweaked” lenses over the fence. Better yet, Leica should have just created a new 28mm f/3.4 like the superb 21 and 24 M lenses and dumped the f/2.0 and f/2.8 M lenses.

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