I was in Leica Store Manchester yesterday and they let me take the new Summaron 28mm f5.6 out for a play. In fact, they insisted. I was looking at trading up my 50mm Summarit for a cron and we got chatting about the new lens, next thing I know he’s putting it on my M9 and sending me out to play.
First impressions, it’s tiny. So small that the first couple of pictures my fingers kept getting in the way. It is also gorgeous looking in a retro vintage kind of way. I shoot a lot wide open so on a gloomy Manchester day f5.6 took a bit of getting used to as did the fiddly focusing with my clumsy fingers. I should point out that I’ve only ever shot 50mm and 35mm on my m9 so a proper review would mean using it for more than 10 minutes whilst my wife waited ‘patiently’ for me.
(Image courtesy of https://uk.leica-camera.com/Photography/Leica-M/M-Lenses/Summaron-M-28-mm-f-5.6)
Leica describe the Summaron as having a ‘signature’ look and that is definitely true. There is visible vignetting (by design) which I quite like but might not be for everyone and a really nice rendering reminiscient of old film lenses. It really does have a film like quality to the images which I think a lot of people will love.
Unlike the original 28mm Summaron the new version has an M bayonet mount and is 6 bit encoded so it will speak to your camera. I imported the shots into LR but although it is 6 bit encoded it doesn’t seem to be recorded correctly one shot says it is shot at f4 rather than 5.6 and the focal length isn’t recorded. Though this isn’t suprising as the firmware on my m9 predates the manufacture of the lens.
Most of my shots were rubbish, my fault not the lens I need more practice hand holding. The one below is a mono conversion from RAW with minimal processing in LR just to give you an idea. Will I be buying it? Probably not, I can see how it might be a great street lens though, the depth of field makes focusing redundant and it is pretty.
October 26, 2016 at 4:54 pm
Robert, the 6-bit encoding on the lens is for communication between camera and lens although this info is usually picked up by Lightroom. The lens may be too new for LR to read it. Lightroom can only guess at aperture settings as these are completely manual which is why you’re getting an f/4 reading on some shots.
And, BTW, your title says f/2.8 rather than f/5.6 — typo.
October 26, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Thanks Anthony, I figured it must be something like that. Thanks for spotting the typo too! F2.8 at 28mm would be an interesting lens to use!