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Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 and Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 sample photos, review and history
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Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0
 
 
   
   

Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 II

By: Thorsten Overgaard. February 2006. Latest update March 25, 2018.

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The 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 is the most sold Leica lens for the Leica M series. For a period the 28mm took its place on the Leica M8 and Leica M8.2 cameras to make up for the 1.3X crop factor.

With the Leica M9, Leica M 240 and Leica M10 full frame digital camera we are back where the 35mm is bound to be the standard lens for M rangefinder cameras - as it has always been. The other standard lens, and close to the 35mm i sale, is the 50mm.

In 2016, the rather perfect ASPH-version (1997-2016) was updated to a new version with square metal hood and a few updates to the optics. Don't except to see major improvements in the optics between the 1997-2016 version vs the 2016-version).

 

The Leica 35mm Summicropn-M ASPH f/2.0 Version II (or Version VI) in silver 2016-model version (Model 11674). Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).
The Leica 35mm Summicropn-M ASPH f/2.0 Version II (or Version VI) in silver 2016-model version (Model 11674). Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).

 

Leica M9 sample photo by Thorsten Overgaard
Having fun with the Leica M9 and my daughter. 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I), 200 ISO, "aged photo" in Lightroom. © 2009-2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The 35mm is a great all-round lens, the Summicron-M f/2.0 with better chance of getting focused correctly than the 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4, yet with nice bokeh and selective focus fully open.

The sample photos on this page was mostly taken with my Leica Summicron-M f/2.0 Version I from 1960.

 

Leica M9 800 ISO with Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 sample
Leica M9 800 ISO with Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (version 1)

 

     
 

What does the name "Summicron" mean?

Summicron refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement).

Some say the name "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour), but that's actually not the story. The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch).

The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens made in 1933).

The name Summicron was first used for the collapsible 50mm Summicron in 1953 (and then in 1958 for the 35mm Summicron Version I).

See other Leica and photography defititions at the bottom of this page.

 
     

 

 

The Thorsten Overgaard Photography Extension Course 2010

 

35mm Summicron-M types

11808 Version I Chrome   11 309 wetzlarer Germany   11 309 Canada
Version I chrome   Version II made in Germany 11309   Version II made in Canada 11309
         
11 309 Canada   11 310 Black King of Bokeh   11609 Titanium
Version III made in Canada   Version IV "King of Bokeh"   Version V limited edition titanium
         
11 879 Black   11 882 Chrome  
Version V black   Version V chrome   Version V limited edition black paint
         
Version VI silver 2016. Model 11674. Comes with square hood from Leica. (Here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Version VI silver 2016. Model 11673. Comes with square hood from Leica. (Here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).  
Version VI silver 2016. Model 11674. Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Version VI silver 2016. Model 11673. Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 Black Chrome Limited Edition with red focusing scale (500 made in 2015, no 11689). Comes with ventilated clip-on Leica hood.

 

Summicron
f/2.0
Version I

1958 - 1963
11 008
Screw mount
Summicron-M
f/2.0
Version I

1958 - 1969
11 808 Chrome
11 104 Black
Summicron-M
f/2.0
Version II

1969 - 1971
11 309

Made in
Germany
Summicron-M
f/2.0
Version III

1971 - 1979
11 309

Made in
Canada
Summicron-M
f/2.0
Version IV
1979 - 1997:
11 310 Black
1993-1997:
11 311 Chrome
"The King
of Bokeh"
Summicron-M
ASPH f/2.0
Version V

1997 - 2016
11 879  Black
11 882 Chrome
(11 608 Chrome screw mount)
11609  Titanium
Summicron-M
ASPH f/2.0
Version VI

2016 - current
11673 Black
11674 Chrome

11689 Black
Chrome Ltd Ed
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -
Serial -
to -

E39 mm filter




Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO

E39 mm filter




Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO

E39 mm filter




Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO
E39 mm filter




Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO
E39 mm filter

Clip-on plastic
hood 12 524
or
Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO

E39 mm filter

Clip-on Square plastic 12 526
or
Round vented metal hood 12585H
or 12504
or
E39 TvO

E39 mm filter

Square metal hood on outside screw
12473
or
3520-OUS

0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity 0,7 m - infinity
8 lenses 8 lenses 6 lenses 6 lenses 7 lenses 7 lenses in 5 groups.
One ASPH surface
 
238 g 238 g 172 g 172 g 156 g 255 g Black
340 g Chrome
 
f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16 f/2.0 - f/16
14 143 front cap 14143 front cap 14 231 front cap 14231 front cap 14 040 front cap    
Walter Mandler Walter Mandler Walter Mandler Walter Mandler Walter Mandler Peter Karbe Peter Karbe


"The King of Bokeh" is the nickname of the Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (IV or Version 4, year 1979 - 1997). Though none of the Leica 35mm Summicrons seem to lack pleasant boke, this one is known for a particular sparkling out of focus bokeh. It's the latest non-ASPH version of the 35mm Summicron (the ASPH version came out in 1997). The black usually sells for $1,500 and up, the silver/chrome version for $2,500 and up.

 

Bokeh definition - The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens: Some lenses make highlights round, some look like stop-signs in shape, others make them more silky with less actual edges). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzziness' or 'blur.'

 


See which serial numbers relates to which years in the Leica Lens Compenadium

 

Leica M9 in JPG black & white mode, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica M9 in JPG black & white mode, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version I from 1960)

 

The 2016-model VI of the Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
The 2016-model VI of the Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

 
 

 

 

 

Which lens to own first? - Another classic Leica lens

As mentioned, the 35mm has long been the most sold Leica lens. When people ask me, which lenses to get with their first Leica, I usually tell this:

Most Leica users have one lens they use 95% of the time, so you don't have to aim at getting "all the lenses" as you often do when you own a SLR camera system. It's true that there are many beautiful Leica lenses, and it's also true that you tend to get more than one. But in reality, all you use is one.

Deciding which lens to get as the first standard lens is often simple: Either you are a 35mm or a 50mm person. Very few find 28mm, 75mm or some other lens their standard lens. So for most people, deciding if 35mm or 50mm is their most natural view is the first step.

Next decision is if you can live with a f/2.0 Summicron lens or you want the most extreme (and usually twice as expensive) f/1.4 Summilux.

Ther is also the possibility of going with one of the new f/2.4 or f/2.5 Summarit lenses. The 50mm Summarit is an extremely well-designed lens, and so is the 35mm Summarit f/2.4.

 

The Leica M4 with the classic Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II "Rigid" that I have used a lot, also on the digital rangefinders. It's not hard to find, which means it's also reasonable prices. It's not a collectors item. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica M4 with the classic Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II "Rigid" that I have used a lot, also on the digital rangefinders. It's not hard to find, which means it's also reasonable priced: It's not a collectors item. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Which hood for the Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASHP f/2.0



The 35mm Summicron (1997-2016 version) comes with the square plastic hood that does the job. But if you take the extra effort and it's Christmas or your birthday, you may convince your self to get the 2-300$ metal vented hood 12 504 (in photo) or the 150-200$ model 12 585H so it looks like a real Vietnam war camera. Very few available from new, but second-hand you have a good chance finding one of the metal hoods.
The 35mm Summicron (1997-2016 version) comes with the square plastic hood that does the job. But if you take the extra effort and it's Christmas or your birthday, you may convince your self to get the 2-300$ metal vented hood 12 504 (in photo) or the 150-200$ model 12 585H so it looks like a real Vietnam war camera.
Very few available from new, but second-hand you have a good chance finding one of the metal hoods.

 

The 35mm ASPH does a really good job but has always suffered from the un-sexy look of the standard plastic hood that comes with the lens. I think the metal hood makes it as sexy looking as the 35mm Summilux-M ASPH, but smaller.


Hoods for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
12 524   12 504   12 585H
         
12 524   12 504   12 585H
Standard hood 12 524
Clip-on plastic (comes with lens)
  Vented metal hood 12 504
Clip-on metal (ca. 2-300$)
  Vented metal hood 12 585H
Clip-on metal (ca. 150-200$)

 

Leica 12504 crome lens shade
The Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 can be made into a sexy looking lens with the original Leica 12504 lens shade in chrome. To find the chrome lens shade, you may have to look in every corner of many camera stores, as Malou Lasquite from Switzerland did to acquire this one for her Leica M9-P and matching chrome lens.

 

Austin 2015. Sony A7s with Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. Photo by Chris Duesing
Austin 2015. Sony A7s with Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. Photo by Chris Duesing

 

The new outside screw on the 2016-model 35mm Summicron

Leica introduced the outside screw for the lens shade on their 2016-redesigned version (model 11673 and 11674). This is a special Leica-patended screw with a stop so the shade sits perfectly. This is how the square lens shades that new Leica lenses comes with can sit correctly.

This similar outside screw is also on the new 35mm Summilux FLE, 28mm Summilux and other lenses, and obviously have the advantage that the filter thread stays free to be used for filters.

 

The new current Leica 35mm Summicron (model 11673 and 11674) with my ventilated lens shade model #3520-OUS that sits on the ouside thread of the lens. To the left is the Leica model #12473 square shade that the lens comes with.
The new current Leica 35mm Summicron (model 11673 and 11674) to the left, and my round ventilated lens shade model #3520-OUS that sits on the ouside thread of the lens as well. To the left is the Leica model 12473 square shade that the lens comes with.

 

Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version 1) @ f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/710 second.

 

The expert talks

Erwin Puts on the difference between the 35mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4 (IV) and the current 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (VI): "The Summicron-M ASPH 35 mm at full aperture gives quite comparable performance to the Summilux ASPH at f/2.0, with a very high contrast image over a large part of the picture field. The finest details are rendered a frac- tion softer at the edges and with some- what lower micro contrast. The Summilux-M ASPH at f/2.0 is slightly ahead of the Summicron according to the MTF graphs in the outer zones. The better flare suppression of the Summicron produces a slightly tighter overall image. I would prefer to call it a difference in fingerprint or characteris- tic of image rendering. The Summicron-M ASPH shows a pattern of extremely high quality on axis, becom- ing less so when going outwards to the corners. The difference between the available image quality on axis and in the field is quite gradual. The Summilux-M ASPH at its full aperture of f/1.4 has the same pattern, but stopped down to f/2.0 shows very even cover- age over most of the field. That is re- markable after only one stop."

 

Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version I) @ f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/180 second. This one is very special, the bokeh and the handling of light. It's actually been improved a great deal in terms of contrast in Lightroom. But as one said, that's the "fashion look, you pay thousands to get someone to create that look in photoshop." Well, no need to anymore, just find an old lens and a new Leica M9.
Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version I) @ f/2.0, 200 ISO, 1/180 second. This one is very special, the bokeh and the handling of light. It's actually been improved a great deal in terms of contrast in Lightroom. But as one said, that's the "fashion look, you pay thousands to get someone to create that look in photoshop." Well, no need to anymore, just find an old lens and a new Leica M9.

 

Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I), 200 ISO.
Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I), 200 ISO.

 

Leica M9 800 ISO with Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I)
Leica M9 800 ISO with Leica 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I)

 

The Lightroom Survival Kit

 


Leica M9 evening photo at 1250 ISO, 1/125 second, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I). (+ 0.26 EV adjustment in Lightroom). And below a 100% crop:


Another Leica M9 evening shot through a shop window. 1250 ISO, 1/125, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I). (-0.3 EV in Lightroom)

 

 

Leica M9, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version I), 400 ISO.
Leica M9, 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (Version I), 400 ISO.

 

Sigfred's Kaffebar, Århus Denmark, March 2006 Leica M4 with 35mm Summicron-M F/2.0 (Version I) on 100 ISO Fuji Astia run as 200 ISO, scanned on Hasselblad/Imacon Photo slide scanner. Available light from a large window to the right + a 100 cm silver reflector reflecting a sunbeam from below the chair in the left corner.
Sigfred's Kaffebar, Århus Denmark, March 2006
Leica M4 with 35mm Summicron-M F/2.0 (Version I) on 100 ISO Fuji Astia run as 200 ISO, scanned on Hasselblad/Imacon Photo slide scanner. Available light from a large window to the right + a 100 cm silver reflector reflecting a sunbeam from below the chair in the left corner.

 

The Thorsten Overgaard Photography Extension Course 2010

 

 

Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0, 200 ISO (I).
Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0, 200 ISO (I).

 

Leica M9 photo by Thorsten Overgaard
My daughter shot with Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (I).


   
   

Leica Definitions:

AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").

Aperture = (also written as f/) = The metal blades inside a camera lens that regulates how much light passes through the lens. On a f/1.4 lens, the lens is "fully open" at f/1.4. At f/2.0 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/1.4 passes through. For each f/-stop (like f/4.0 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11 - f/16) you halve the light. The f/ fundamentally means "f divided with": The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter, or 50mm at f/1.4 is 50mm divided with 1.4 = the hole throug is 36mm. ). ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.
The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.

ASPH = stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses, however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version. Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

 

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XLM file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XML contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image.

DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance (which can be used to do selective focus; for artistic reasons or for specific storytelling, like making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).

 

Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background is very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background is very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.

 

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses).

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = (also written as f-) = On the Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4 it is 35mm and originally referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focuses only in the center.
The Leica TL2 has a APS-C sensor, which "crops" the traditional focal lengths with 1.5X, reducing the angle of view of view with 1.5X.

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933).

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - normally f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In the Leica Q the lens is a Summilux even it is a f/1.7 and not f/1.4.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion.

Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic). It has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

Lens hood = A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

OIS = Optical Image Stabilization. This is used in tele lenese lenes where blurring motion of the camera from inevitable vibrations are adjusted by the lens. At low shutter speeds and/or wit long lenses, any slight movement would result in a picture with "motion blur" unsharpness. The Leica TL2 supports optical iamge stabilization when A) OIS is turned on in the camera menu, and B) when you use lenses with OIS (the Leica SL longer lenses has OIS). An alternative is EIS = Electronic Image Stabilization, which the Leica T has. Here the problem of "motion blur" is currected electronically after, which might lead to image degradation. However, the larger the sensor resolution, the less one will notice small 'degradation'.

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

Perspective - The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle “widens” the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye, and objects nearer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will “flatten” the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than nearer objects, compared to sizes in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the peoplle walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the peoplle walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, desaturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full desaturation would make it into a black and white photo.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

 

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

   

 

   
   


Thank you
For help, corrections and information to
Erwin Puts
Justin Scott


   

 

   
leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica M10   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica CL
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica TL2
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 1
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Sofort instant camera
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder   Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
     
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica SL and TL lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 180mm R lenses
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leica Cine Lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
     
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Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2 digital medium format
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The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
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Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Capture One Survival Kit
Quality of Light   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Lightmeters   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
White Balance & WhiBal   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
X-Rite   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
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Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
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Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
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LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
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Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 


   
   

 

Above: Tue Juelsbo working backstage the KENZO fashion show in London with Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (version V). See images from the shoot here (photographed with Leica S2 and 70mm Summarit-S f/2.5)

 

 

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

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