Leica’s CEO confirms flare issues with the APO Summicron 50mm f/2.0 Asph lens

There have been several reports online describing flare issues when using the $7,350 APO Summicron 50mm f/2.0 Asph lens, but so far I have not seen any official response from Leica.

Few days ago, during the 2013 Digital Show in Melbourne, Kristian Dowling got a brief explanation from Leica's CEO Alfred Schopf - current owner experiencing the issue should send their lens to Germany for repair:

"Kristian: Can you tell me about the current situation regarding flare issues found by owners of the Apo-Summicron 50/2 lens?

Alfred: Well after some problem solving we found 4 minor issues, and manufacturing was stopped for 3 weeks and will recommence next week. For current owners experiencing any issues, they should send their lens to Germany for a complete refurbish."

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  • Derek

    50mm summicron lens without ASPH is also having the flare issue. Although I like the lens a lot but, when the flare shows up I hate the lens and think all the German Technology, the high cost, low volume and stringent quality test are all pathetic excuses. When you charge so much money and then you do not live up to the same standards makes you believe the Japanese are probably improving and eventually few of us who shoot Leica will only keep the name and no quality pictures

    • Martin

      Yes, the 50 Summicron non-asph flares like a pig. And it is insanely sharp, so much that it produces tons of moire with the M9. I bought it second hand and sold it rather quickly. I am on the other hand very happy with a Lux 50 Asph. No flare problem whatsoever; no moire problem whatsoever, sharp as a razor.

      • I have the 50mm Lux Asph and is the best lens I ever owned.

        • dannybuoy

          Me too. I’ve owned (and just sold) a Canon 50 1.2 L and used to own the 85mm 1.2 L. The Lux Asph pisses all over those lenses. It’s a marvel of engineering really. I can only imagine how amazing the Cron APO is is. My Lux exhibits flare now and again. I can deal with it. Sometimes a bit of flare is a good thing

          • Adam

            I use my 50LUX-asph all the time, even though I have the 50APO.. There’s a quality to the Lux you can’t get with any other lens.. But to be honest, sometimes I get sick of the sharp for 2mm then fully bokeh images. And I feel the 50Lux really is best shot wide open.

      • Anto de Chav

        Lloyd Chambers posted a good article comparing the 50. Lux ,50mm APO and Nocti.. the APO is the best.. amazing wide open performance..The Lux is better value for money though and the Nocti is unique.. buy the three of them.. lol

    • M 8 Guru

      Dear Derek,
      1.If you have a flare issue, please send your lens to Leica and they will be happy to fix it.
      2.”…makes you believe the Japanese are improving…”
      No, Sir, they are not.

      In the good old times of Canon, in 1980, their CEO admitted that Canon will n e v e r build a 1,2/55 S.S.C. any more: too expensive, to difficult to manufacture.
      That was 33 years ago.
      Today, Canon would not admit anything, and definitely not build such super lenses as their 1.2/55mm (which existed in several versions) any more.

  • Dino Brusco

    Well, honest. Sure, with such an expensive lens one should think not to have any issue however since it’s there, it’s also nice they offer to fix it without mentioning any charge.

    • All of those lenses are still under warranty, the repair should be free.

      • dannybuoy

        My Lux is covered by the passport for a year. I could in theory, throw it at a wall as hard as I could and Leica would repair or replace free. Do other manufacturers offer the same ‘accidental’ damage cover?

        • Read the FAQ

          All my Leica lenses are covered by a THREE year passport warranty, not a one year. In what part of the world do you reside? I’m in the US where it’s three years for all new lenses.

          • Daniel

            Nikon has 5 yrs, Tamron has 6 yrs warranty

          • dannybuoy

            But accidental damage warranty? Manufacturing defects but accidental damage?

          • Read the FAQ

            That’s correct. The passport warranty covers everything except damage from a fire. Nikon (I also own Nikkor lenses and Nikon film and digital bodies) does offer an optional 5-year warranty for manufacturing defects but provided that the owner sends in a registration form within 10 days of purchase. Otherwise it’s one year. The Nikon Service Center also requires the original sales receipt for any service under warranty. In addition, Nikon has decided to not sell parts to any independent repair shops making out of warranty Nikon repairs more difficult for consumers. You’re forced to use Nikon authorized service. With Leica you can use independents like DAG (Don Goldberg) or Golden Touch (Sherry Krauter ) or CRR Luton in the UK, etc.. Overall, Leica service is much better than Nikon but that is also part of the higher purchase price and should be expected.

            That all said, I don’t own Leica digital. I have two Leica M rangefinder film cameras with three current Leica lenses (28 Summicron, 35 Summilux, 50 Summilux.) The lenses are superb and retain their resale value (as do the film M bodies.) For digital I use Japanese (Nikon and Fuji.) Despite the M9 and M240 being the only FF digital rangefinder, I personally find the electronics to be somewhat outdated and suspect (like German cars, too.) But I won’t belittle people for making their choice to go with Leica digital, nor attack the brand name. However, I will joke about certain people who buy them primarily for status (like I will with certain Mercedes owners, which I also once owned.) Those people are the same as any fanboy (like the CanNikon fanboys here who attack Leica for no real substantive reasons.) And in the end, cameras are just tools and people will pick their poison according to their own world view.

          • Daniel

            You don’t need to send anything after purchase… just kept the receipt for 5 years Nikon warranty

          • Read the FAQ

            Under US consumer laws Nikon is liable for 1 year of warranty. If you register online (or mail in) for the added protection, you will be legally protected for the extended 5 years. The paper registration is really about Nikon collecting demographic data, but you can avoid that by just registering online.

            But Nikon has a legal right to refuse service after the original one year warranty if your product wasn’t registered. In practice, they won’t normally refuse service provided you still have the original sales receipt. But trust me, I’ve locked horns with Nikon USA over this in the past. People really should register their products for the 5 year extended warranty or risk suffering the idiosyncratic nature of Nikon’s warranty policies. You’ll be fully protected by US consumer laws if you follow their rules.

            From Nikon themselves:
            Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. Lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension*. * To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt).

        • I don’t think so.

  • Art NeJame

    Have sold quite a few so far at The Pro Shop and not one has had an issue. Must be an anomaly.

    • JakeB

      Not quite so simple…most of the people that own it wouldn’t even notice it or be aware there is a fault.

      • adam

        Yes, most people would just think this is a lens design issue.. I used the prototype 50APO half a year before it even came out, and the flare was also evident, but to a lesser degree. Mine flares quite nicely in a lot of cases, but there are a few times when it just ruins photos completely. And this isn’t acceptable, something that wouldn’t happen with even the cheapest of lenses. Will others notice, no idea, will others complain about it if they do notice, no idea.. But I know that the amount of flaring I get, isn’t a product of checks and balances, but a design or manufacturing flaw. And one couldn’t call the 50APO the best lens in the world, if it flared as mine does. HOWEVER, when it’s not flaring (which again, isn’t alway, as I don’t always shoot into the sun) it’s a fantastic lens, and the sharpness to falloff of OOF areas, is just amazing.

  • ejpb

    Leica is still living in the fifties. Competition? We don’t have competition. Technology? We do what we always did do since the ’30’ies, no compromises, but also no challenges. Unfortunately the world changed, dear Leica, in a way that everything you’re doing is very old-fashioned, very outdated versus competition, featureless and excessively overpriced for what it is. Even the last part of the Leica kingdom that seemed to excel (just a bit), is not better than all the rest, not worth to pay ten times more. I once was a fan of your company but ever since digital era, I don’t believe you’re ready to survive the wave of very competent systems growing by the day.

    • M 8 Guru

      With all due respect, Leica’s CEO is perfectly honest, admits 4 quality issues, invites all owners to send their lenses for a complete free refurbish…

      No Japanese CEO would e v e r admit those faults.
      Try to get CaNikon lenses adjusted for free in such circumstances…
      LOOOL, no chance, as Japanese people n e v e r admit their mistakes, fearing to lose their faces.

      This Leica lens is the world leader in quality, so -very sorry- what are you talking about?

      • I agree, maybe Leica should make a more official statement, but then again – maybe they did inform all 50mm APO owners.

        • haragr

          As an owner of the 50mm APO, I want to inform you that no, Leica has NOT contacted me about this issue! Of course the lens is under warranty and I know they’ll fix any issues for no charge, but the very least they should be doing right now is announcing an official recall of this super-expensive and super-exclusive lens. Irrespective, I’m calling Leica tomorrow to arrange for the repair of my lens.

      • callibrator

        So my almost brand new “paid thru my nose $7500 lens” is actually faulty and should go back for a refurbish and I should be happy about it?

        I see exactly what ejpb is talking about, but do you know what are you talking about?

        • M 8 Guru

          Yes, I am afraid so, dear callibrator.
          No-one claims you should be happy about any defective parts, however:
          Leica’s service is fabulous, and you can trust that your lens will come back not only for free, but hand-calibrated to the highest standards.
          I recently dropped my 1988 Noctilux -my fault- and went to their service in Solms/Germany.
          I was invited to have a coffee and to stay…after 30 minutes a technician came back and proudly explained what they had done, complete calibration, as good as new, and FREE OF CHARGE.

          Just read the latest article by Ken Rockwell, just published, about Nikon’s service:
          It is bullshit, sorry for the expression.

          CaNikon would not even try to build such a high-flying lens as Noctilux or the APO ASPH 50mm.

          • I would not take any reference to KR seriously, but otherwise you are correct. Nikon had a huge issue with the D600 and never admitted it. I also doubt Leica US will repair any lens without warranty for free, but if you walk into their office/factory in Germany, they may.

          • Ronald Patterson

            M 8 guru…you’re slightly delusional and your judgement is clouded, sorry.

          • M 8 Guru

            Dear Ronald,
            thank you for your psychological help.
            Without you, I would never have realized all those clouds.
            You are probably right, CaNikon are producing super 50mm lenses, really world class.
            That is why they sell them so cheaply.
            And Leica’s service is never fixing anything for free, of course, you are so right.
            And Ken Rockwell is always wrong, thank you for putting me on the right track again.
            Ronald Patterson is the most intelligent person in this forum.

          • M 8 Guru

            Dear Ronald,
            which clouds…?
            I stated a fact about Leica’s service.
            Ken Rockwell stated a fact about Nikon’s service.
            And CaNikon build cheap 50mm lenses, not even trying to attempt top class level.
            So, again and in all politeness, where and what are your clouds?

          • EJPB

            Did Leica ever do something to resolve their silly AWB-problems, in any firmware? The ‘frequently wrong’ exposure behavior? I know people that have had contacts with Leica about these very irritating problems, never an answer, never, never. That is also Ken Rockwell, read the reviews, and all Leica fanboys just accept this from a +6K camera. Of course, if you like it to carry an expo disc in one pocket of your jacket and a exposure/flash-meter in the other, there is no issue. I cannot remember that I ever had a camera with this problem, no matter how cheap it was.

          • Ron

            KR really!??? Someone delete his post please.

            FYI Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Panasonic have all admitted faults in the past and corrected them.

            They also work on a MUCH larger scale.

            Leica recalls the 50 for a tune up = 1000 lens? 10,000 lenses?

            Nikon does the same… 5-10 times those numbers.

            BIG difference.

          • lexplex

            But…. they did…. and in exchange for sacrificing some minor contrast and distortion, you get amazing autofocus and an SLR system, so you know exactly what you’re taking a picture of. And if you drop your lens and it skips a few gears on the focusing rack, you don’t have to fly out to Germany and hand it to a service technician to get it recalibrated, because it’s an SLR focusing system, usually on a ring motor, so the camera will still find focus perfectly easily, and you’ll know if it hasn’t because your viewfinder shows you.

            Don’t get me wrong, the Leica lenses are mostly lovely, but for the money I’d rather have a few more weather sealed, life-resistant, autofocusing primes.

          • Mutrock

            Waiting for my new M240 and 50mm summicron asph now. Looking forward to joining the Leica family. Been a Cannon DSLR guy for years now. I noticed lots of Nikon service bashing on here. I can say I had fantastic service from Canon on the rare occasion it was needed. After warranty expired, free of charge, and super fast.

      • Arumes

        Japanese never admit their mistakes? You’re a troll, a Leica-fanboy, or just plain stupid.


        • M 8 Guru

          Dear Arumes,
          what you are mentioning here is just a minor firmware correction by Canon.
          This happens all the time, and is daily routine, even in Japan.
          The fact remains that a CEO of CaNikon would never admit anything, rather die before doing it.
          This is part of Japanese tradition.
          Sorry if I have overturned your idea of Japan.

          • Hans

            When the 5D3 came out people discovered a light leak by shining a flashlight at the top LCD during long exposures.
            Canon rather quickly acknowledged the problem, fixed it in production and offered a free fix for current owners.
            Sorry if I have overturned your idea of Japan.

          • M 8 Guru

            Dear Hans, this is not the point.
            I am talking about a courageous CEO of Leica who personally assumes responsibility for mistakes that have been made.
            I have spent enough time in Japan to know that Canon’s current CEO would never ever release a public statement of “guilt”.

          • Arumes

            Did you actually read the article? A “minor firmware correction”? Then why does Canon ask owners of these cameras to send them in for repairs?

            So, now we know that you are plain stupid. The options of being a troll and/or a Leica-fanboy remain open.

          • M 8 Guru

            This article was written in German, how exciting for the rest of the world.

            You are at the point of exploding…like many Germans…please do check your blood pressure immediately.

          • Arumes

            Both your assumptions are incorrect. I’m not German, and I’m not at the point of exploding.

            You’ve reached the level of a plain stupid troll. Congratulations.

          • M 8 Guru

            You always say “We”….
            Are you some majesty, like the famous Queen of Greenland or the King of Bunga- Bunga Land?

        • fjfjjj

          The Japanese have a saying:

          “If it stinks, put a lid on it.”

          Of course the Japanese can admit mistakes, but their cultural orientation is not to. Toyota. Fukushima Daiichi. Nikon.

          • Chris Au

            ……and genocide, poison gas, human laboratories, comfort women during World War II. Big loss of face problem. Whereas the Germans did apologise and made retribution.

          • fjfjjj

            “Retribution” is a nasty word. You really ought to look up the definition, before you say it was how the Germans apologized. I think you might mean “make recompence.”

          • Chris Au

            Recompense sounds good, or to compensate. Anyway you got the drift.

      • ProtoWhalePig

        What does it have to do with Canon or Nikon? They are not part of this story. Stop making crap up, idiot.

    • bert

      I actually own the 50 Summicron APO and yes it does have some flaring issues it also happens to be the highest performing lens I’ve ever used in my entire life, full stop.

      I don’t understand these people who constantly take potshots at a brand they clearly have no experience with. The company is doing fine and growing rapidly. I don’t know why you people think Leica is in trouble or come to a Leica blog to tell us about it. The flaring issues are a problem but they’re addressing them. These lenses are extremely difficult to produce and they only make a handful a month.

      As to the price, the only other lens that will perform at the level of the 50 APO, theoretically, is the new Zeiss 55 f1.4, which will cost almost six grand and will be much larger. You get what you pay for, especially when it comes to optics. If you’re complaining about the price than you just don’t understand optics.

      • MJr

        Well put, sir.

        Also, it’s not like people who buy a Leica instantly become the antichrist against every other brand. It’s just a different way to do what you like, which clearly is not for everybody, and doesn’t need to be.

      • Ron

        Say what ever you want, your $7000 lens is flaring.

        Leica, get your sh*t together.

      • fjfjjj

        If the 50mm Summicron APO is the best lens you’ve used in your entire life, you need to try some non-35mm camera systems.

        • adam

          I’ve used almost every lens from every camera system. I still like the 50APO the best. There are tons of good lenses out there, but it really depends on ones own personal taste. I liked the 50 Makro Planar ZE for a long while, but most don’t like it’s bokeh. The 100 zeiss/hassy lens is pretty fantastic, but again, still nothing comes close to the 50APO.. The contax645 80/2 is really overrated, and I haven’t seen anything from fuji, olympus, schneider, canon, nikon that has impressed me as much as even the 50 MPZE let alone the 50/2 ZM or 50APO. So fjfjjj do you care to enlighten us as to what lens you feel is the “best” 50mm?

          • fjfjjj

            I don’t have much opinion about 50mm’s, except that a good Rodenstock on a 4×5 will kick the butt of any of them.

      • adam

        I love my 50APO, the 50/2 ZM comes scarily close considering the price difference.. But even with the flare that I actually LOVE, the lens still outperforms. I wonder if I’ll like it as much once they fix the “issue”…

    • fjfjjj

      “’30’ies” = uneducated = can’t afford Leica = sour grapes

      Educated people say “30s” or “Thirties” and have/had decent jobs in the energy and finance sectors, and because oil companies and banks have made such great contributions to society, people who worked for them are able to shoot Leica.

  • Mate Sillich

    It’s alright…it’s only $7,5k lens, toss it in the bin and get a new one. Problem solved.

  • Not a Dentist

    An absurdly overpriced Leica product that has problems? Who would have believed it! All sarcasm aside, I still have my film Leica’s and all the lenses for them. I stopped buying the lenses when they went over $2000. Their digitals are years behind almost everyone in technology and again are wildly over priced. It’s a real shame since the latest M seems like it could be useful just not for $6000 with out one of their over priced pieces of glass. Leica has been reduced to “photo jewelry” for those who seek status.

    • M 8 Guru

      Dear “Not a Dentist”,

      sorry to contradict you with some bare facts.
      In July 2010, the Chinese government decided to slow down the exports of rare earths by 77% until December 2010.
      Thus, their prices quadrupled starting September 2010, on average…
      Some rare earths used by Leica went up tenfold in price.

      Do you seriously expect Leica not to raise prices under such circumstances?
      And already before September 2010, the prices for the highest quality glass also went up continuously, until this very day.

      To talk about “photo jewelry” is, sorry to say so, completely beside the point.

      CaNikon went the other way, kept their prices, and simply left out some rare earths. Their kind of clientele will not realize it, don’t worry.

      • fjfjjj

        LOL those proles shooting CaNikon! They will never realize that their motors were re-engineered with different materials! LOL! True Leica owner will know immediately that materials used are not as exotic!!!

        • M 8 Guru

          Yeah, we will…because we are a better breed!
          We are richer, we are smarter, we are better in bed!
          P.S. I like your slightly anarchist views

    • bert

      lol the MTF chart on the 50 APO would suggest that it performs near the limit of what is even theoretically possible with a glass based optic. Naturally, this kind of performance combined with a relatively low demand is going to come at a price.

      There are certainly people who buy Porsches and Rolexes for the status symbol, but that doesn’t make Porsches great cars or Rolexes great watches.

      I don’t understand the Leica haters. Why bother even coming to this Leica blog if you hate the brand so much? Sounds like someone is a little butthurt over the prices.

      • “the MTF chart on the 50 APO would suggest that it performs near the limit of what is even theoretically possible with a glass based optic. ”

        Does it now? 🙂

        • Adam

          No idea what bert is talking about, I don’t even know how to read an MTF chart.. But I do like the lens..

      • Adam

        A Rolex is a very reliable watch.. May not be to taste (I personally like Panerai watches), but a Submariner isn’t likely to give you problems for 20 years even without servicing. A Leica lens is likely to do the same. Porsche, well cars are driven hard, and it doesn’t seem like very many companies build cars to last these days.

    • Anto de Chav

      Really?? the S system is a brilliant medium format camera.. perhaps a slightly bigger sensor would be nice but the camera feels great and the glass is second to none.. I.Q is excellent too.

  • dopsgp

    Sure they will fix it for free, but you will be without the lens for at least a month if you’re lucky. My M9-P took half a year just to get the sensor replaced due to manufacturing defect. It was half a year out of service but Leica didn’t even have the courtesy of extending warranty coverage!

  • Dan K

    I request all the Leica haters on this site to show their portfolios before attacking Leica. Leica is a one of a kind company making one of a kind products. They also have excellent customer service. They are not interested listening to bystanders who are not their target market. Give it a rest please and go back to using your CaNikons.

    • fjfjjj

      This could easily be fixed if Admin started charging $1k/year for access to the site.

    • BroncoBro

      Frankly, I think I’d like to see something from the Leica fanatics, too (seriously, post me a site where I can see something truly remarkable…I WILL look). I just spent an hour looking at full-size sample photos shot with Leicas posted on flickr and referenced on Pixel-Peepers. I saw MAYBE three images that looked really sharp. I’ll admit that I didn’t look at any of the pictures of people’s cats, or their kitchen tables or their grandkids. I see this whole deal with Leica to be one of A) people who can’t afford them and come here and trash them because they’re jealous and B) people who spent two sh*tloads to buy a lens and now want to justify why they did that so they don’t feel like they got duped. There were some nice images on the site, but they could have been taken with an iPhone and been just as impressive (well, OK, they probably wouldn’t, but I KNOW that they could have been shot with a Pentax K-3 and looked about as good). It’s delusional to think that making your photographs with a Leica, a Nikon D800000ExS or a Mamiya/Leaf or Hassy or a Fuji x-Pro will make them any better than a decent entry-level dslr or mirrorless camera of almost any description. You’re better off spending your money taking some workshops from master photographers and learning what the hell it is that you’re doing than worrying about getting, or justifying the purchase of, some (insert f-bomb here) lens from the Black Forest.

    • lexplex

      Show their portfolios?

      I was at World Press Photo this year for the awards, and many of the photographers had Leicas round their neck for the occasion. And yet, of all the entries into the World Press Photo awards, only a tiny handful were shot on a Leica, and none of them really stood out in terms of IQ against the others. Of the 8 or 9 pro photographers I know who own Leicas, all of them love the Leicas but won’t use them as their main camera professionally. I think only one of the uses a Leica as their main camera, and even then they have a Nikon as a backup in their bag. Most Leica owners use them for pleasure rather than business. Leica is exactly like Rolex – beautiful, cherished, brilliant feats of engineering made with love and consideration, but not the most versatile, or the most reliable, or the most feature-packed, or the most forward-thinking. But they do their sole job very well indeed, and retain value very well. And look very nice round your neck.

  • Read the FAQ

    I owned an $86,000 E63 AMG that had defective head bolts in its ‘state-of-the-art’ M156 motor (and a motor that was voted best V-8 motor of the year by the auto industry press.) It cost me time and anxiety but Mercedes made good on it. Sh1t happens. This sort of stuff isn’t about the retail price of a product; it can happen to any price level of brand/product. But sometimes products that are overly complex in their design and assembly can be more susceptible to errors and issues (the M156 motor was hand assembled.) The bottom line is about the manufacturer following through and making things right. That’s what really matters in the end (while the company also learns and corrects their manufacturing processes.)

    • Mutrock

      More complexity = higher probability of errors. The guys at work who screw up most often are the ones doing the most work and the most complex work. They will screw up because they have the highest risk to what they do but they contribute much more value than the ones that don’t so much of anything.

  • 103David

    To anyone accessing this Sequence: it goes really stupid almost immediately.
    Don’t go here. Run! Run! Run!

    • M 8 Guru

      Why? I think it is a marvelous sequence…very enjoyable.
      The fight of the Poor against the Rich.

  • Kissov

    Leica is also having major problems with their high end cine lenses. Apparently they attract dirt and renters (movie companies) incur multi thousand dollar cleaning bills upon their return

    • Read the FAQ

      Where did you hear that? I’m from the LA area and when I read your post, I called Band Pro (the exclusive worldwide distributor for Leica cine) in Burbank and Otto Nemenz in Hollywood. Both are also the current major rental houses for Leica Summilux-C lenses (Nemenz worked with Neil, Skrein, and Sonderoptic to develop these lenses.) They said they don’t know anything about this (?) Could you post your references? Thanks.

  • So, what kind of flare problem can be repaired? I assume that it is not a design flaw, and that it does not happen with every copy. Did a lens group not get a coating or something? Lens barrel painted glossy? Aperture blade leak?

    • Read the FAQ

      That’s a good question and I’m sure that we will know eventually. Although Leica never said why the cover glass in the CCD sensor of the M9 was susceptible to cracking (I assume it was probably from heating and cooling cycles of the sensor.) But Leica did replace sensors with no questions asked and will still replace them free of charge even out of warranty.

  • Daniel

    If you look at Leica images taken by Leica owners. They shot with very small aperture (due to manual focus) to make sure the image is sharp. Leica presenter at BH even said just go all day long shooting f16 and not worry about focusing any more. This is just crazy and insane to buy such fast lenses to do what a Canon/Nikon kit lens ($100) can do.

    • Read the FAQ

      That’s pure and utter nonsense and I think you know it. I personally use both Leica and Nikkor manual focus lenses and use them often wide open. But the difference with Leica wide open is that the frame is generally consistent from corner to corner whereas the Nikkors are not. Same with the current AF-S G lenses (I own and use the 24 1.4, the 35 1.4, and the 85 1.4.) One buys ‘fast’ lenses to use them wide open when desired or needed, whether they are manual focus or auto focus.

      Many of us grew up on manual focus and know how to use a manual focus lens. If you can’t, I’d suggest learning how. Manually focusing can often be more precise and it gives you 100% control (and why Nikkor and Leica manual focus lenses have detailed distance and f stop engravings on them.) And I’m sorry but a 50mm Summilux is not comparable to a “$100 kit lens.” Nor is it comparable to the made in China current 50mm AF-S G Nikkor. And the older manual focus long nose 50mm 1.4 AIS Nikkor is overall a better lens than the current AF-S G.

      • Daniel

        1) well what I said above is verifiable facts. Please look on flickr leica pictures and read the info of images.
        2) Please go to youtube at BH photo audio channel and search Leica, watch the presentation by Leica sell manager because the f16 thing came from his own mouth.

        My eyes aren’t good enough to manual focus an f1.4 lens and I understand my human limitation. If the camera can do it accurately, then I will use it

        • Read the FAQ

          They may be “facts” but what do your eyes, random images on a photo sharing website, and what some Leica rep said to a group of random people at a B+H presentation have to do with it “being crazy and insane” to buy “fast lenses” made by Leica?

          Instead, why not look for images that were made with Leica lenses (or any other quality ‘fast’ lens) at wide open apertures. And why not listen to people who can manually focus accurately with no issues. Or to DPs making films with manual focus T 1.4 lenses (autofocus? no way.) While your interpretation of using of lens may work for you, it doesn’t mean these lenses cannot be good and cannot be used wide open (and quite effectively by the users, mind you.) If you can’t take advantage of them, then they simply aren’t the right tools for you personally. But don’t assume your limitations apply to everyone.

          • Daniel

            Well, my point was using a very fast lenses with manual focus at very large aperture is a big problem. You may be expert at this but this but this phenomenon is admitted by Leica themselves and their reps “recommends” shooting all days long at f16 no problem.

            I would love to see your portfolio manual focus at large aperture.

          • Read the FAQ

            I just now found the B+H video that you were referring to (it’s actually here on LR: https://leicarumors.com/page/3/)

            All I can say is that it’s really very unfortunate that you did not understand what the Leica rep was saying. He was discussing hyperfocal distance focusing and zone focusing for shooting quickly on the street when you have no time to focus at all (this is why I had mentioned the distance and f/stop engravings that are on manual focus lenses like the Nikkor MF lenses and Leica lenses.) Zone focusing and hyperfocal focusing for maximum DOF means you don’t have to focus at all. It’s even faster than auto focusing. In fact, you can hand the camera to a blind person and they could just point the camera and release the shutter and everything in the zone of focus (not only the critical point of focus, but also the acceptable zone of focus) would be focused. It’s a technique photographers have been using from the very beginning of photography. It’s a basic law of optics.

            Then he went on to explain using the lenses at wide open apertures and the differences in the rendering of the subject matter (limited DOF but with OOF areas that are blurred.) He never once “recommended” using f/16 other than to be able to shoot from the hip in a situation where you might need to be ready (on the street, etc.) and don’t want to attempt to focus at all. He also pointed out the importance of the focusing tabs on many Leica lenses that can inform you by feel as to where the focus is set.

            This is basic photography. Unfortunately modern ‘auto-everything’ cameras don’t require much knowledge from the operator and so this never gets learned and understood. And current AF lenses no longer have scale engravings on them (except for a rudimentary version that’s pretty useless.) I recommend that you read some texts on this or even better yet, attend a few classes. I think it would help inform you on the reasons for using either a wide open aperture or a closed down aperture and the differences those choices will make in a photograph.

          • Mutrock

            I use hyperfocal focusing and you do not have to go to F16 most of the time, especially for street shooting. F8 to F11 works well for “no-focusing” situations and when there is time I open it up and focus.

  • EJPB

    Clouds… I’m not making any statement about the service itself, but Leica is no longer alone in the world. Other manufacturers have at least comparable lens designs, but it’s like a Mercedes driver, that will never admit that any other brand can deliver exactly the same quality and excellence standards at a much lower price. All lens designs being developed in 201X have complex multiple aspherical designs, are using very special low dispersion glass and coatings and are being engineered with very, very advanced software eliminating virtually ALL artifacts, including barrel distortion and chromatic aberration. To mention something, Fujifilm just opened one of the most advanced lens manufacturing facilities in the world, soon exceeding in numbers the complete annual production of Nikon plus Canon, at never seen quality standards. For those thinking that aspherical design is something Leica only can deliver.

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