Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens review: a stellar, affordable everyday prime

Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens review by Gino Creglia from Leica Photo Workshops (see previous coverage of the lens here):

Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens Review: A Stellar, Affordable Everyday Prime

The Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens is a compelling choice for Leica SL shooters seeking a versatile, high-quality prime lens without the hefty price tag of its APO sibling. While it may lack the ultimate chromatic aberration correction, the Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens delivers exceptional image quality, a remarkably compact form factor, and a price point that won’t break the bank.

Image Quality

Let’s be clear: this lens is no slouch. Sharpness is outstanding across the entire frame, even wide open at f/2. Aspherical elements effectively tame distortion and coma, while advanced coatings minimize flares and ghosting. While not as smooth as the APO version, the bokeh is still creamy and pleasing, making it ideal for portraits and isolating subjects. Colors are rendered beautifully, with natural skin tones and accurate saturation. The f/2 aperture shines in low light, allowing you to capture handheld images without resorting to high ISOs.

Note: The images on this page were captured with the Leica SL2 and processed using Capture One.

Weight & Size

This is where the Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens truly shines. Weighing in at a mere 370 grams, it’s significantly lighter than the APO version, making it a joy to carry around all day. The compact size also contributes to a more balanced feel on the SL body, improving handling and stability. Whether trekking through the wilderness or navigating city streets, this lens won’t weigh you down.

Price & Value

The Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens comes in at nearly half the price of the APO version, making it a much more accessible option for many photographers. This significantly lower price tag doesn’t come at the cost of significant image quality compromises. While the APO may have a slight edge in chromatic aberration correction, the Summicron-SL’s performance is still top-notch, especially considering the price difference.

The Verdict

The Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens is a fantastic all-around prime lens that delivers exceptional image quality in a compact and lightweight package. While it may not be the absolute pinnacle of optical perfection, its outstanding performance, comfortable handling, and significantly lower price than the APO version makes it a compelling choice for everyday photography. If you’re looking for a versatile, high-quality prime that will only weigh you physically and financially, the Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens is a stellar option.

Highly Recommended for:

  • Leica SL shooters seeking a versatile, everyday prime lens
  • Photographers who prioritize image quality but are on a budget
  • Travel and street photographers who value compactness and portability
  • Anyone who appreciates the Leica heritage and build quality

Join our intimate three-day Yosemite National Park photography workshop on May 7th, 8th, and 9th, 2024, and learn to capture the park’s beauty in its springtime glory. Led by expert photographer Gino Creglia, you’ll learn everything from composition and exposure to post-processing using Capture One. You’ll also have the chance to network with other photographers and share your experiences.

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Leica APO-Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens officially released

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