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Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 (Type 11678) Review and Sample Photos
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Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 (type 11678)
 
Streets of New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
   
 
   

The Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5

By: Thorsten Overgaard. January 20, 2020. Edited August 12, 2020.

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The Lux Aeterna Lens (Eternal Light)

The Leica 90mm Summilux is a first in such a lightstrong 90mm lens, but it was not made for low light photography. It is the qualities of an f/1.5 design that makes this lens interesting.

I have had a hard time figuring out how this 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 fits into the world of photography. On one hand, it is a 90mm lens with Noctilux qualities while on the other it is a lens that is so perfect it competes with one of the best lenses made for the Leica SL2 system, the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-SL ASPH f/2.0.

Now, let's think about this for a moment.

 

Mort O'Sullivan. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Mort O'Sullivan. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

       
  Leica 90mm Summilux Video Review    
 

By Thorsten von Overgaard.

 
     

 

Manhattan at night. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Manhattan at night. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

This new 90mm lens is a magnificent piece of optics where the lens designers have decided to take the space necessary to implement perfect optics. The size of the lens is the exact same as the Leica 75mm Noctilux f/1.25, which makes these two lenses the largest M lenses.

But, once you design a lens for perfection with little effort to make it as compact as M lenses traditionally are, there are alternatives. There are other perfect lenses, and mainly the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-SL ASPH f/2.0 (which fits on the Leica SL2) is quite a competitor, as well as the older Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (which fits directly on a Leica M camera).

 

The Leica SL2 with the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-SL ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica SL2 with the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-SL ASPH f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 


Double trouble: The Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (which fits directly on a Leica M camera) in silver and black . © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The 90mm f/1.5 on a Leica M body is quite a package - in comparison the 90mm f/2.0 on a Leica SL2 is almost a compact camera. Which makes you wonder, why not go for the 90mm f/2.0 that is of similar design technology and philosophy, but also has APO? (The SL2 camera body with a 90mm APO lens would be $11,690 where the 90mm f/1.5 lens alone is $12,995).

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

A Noctilux lens

What should justify the Leica 90mm Summilux-M f/1.5 is that it is the latest and greatest in the "Noctilux family". While the numbers (f/1.5 on this one and f/1.25 on the 75mm) are not the traditional f/1.0 or f/0.95 numbers we know from the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux, the behavior of light through the lens' optics, and the extreme narrow depth of field are Noctilux characteristics.

 

This is a Noctilux image in more than one way: This is the eyes of a man dreaming of adding a 75mm Noctilux to his 50mm Noctilux collection (and as you can predict from this picture, he would eventually give in and get one within a day from this capture). Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
This is a Noctilux image in more than one way: This is the eyes of a man dreaming of adding a 75mm Noctilux to his 50mm Noctilux collection (and as you can predict from this picture, he would eventually give in and get one within a day from this capture). Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The one thing the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 has going for it is that it is a Noctilux lens. In fact, it is hard to tell the difference between the 75mm Noctilux and the 90mm Summilux in most ways. They have the exact same size and weight.

When people see your photographs made with the 90mm f/1.5, the comment you mostly hear is, "Is that the Noctilux?" by which they refer to the look of the 50mm Noctilux. The 90mm Summilux has a lot of a “Noctilux feel” about the imagery it produces.

Optically, there are differences between the 75mm and 90mm of the Noctilux family, and maybe the 90mm is a winner of the two for portraits. I haven't compared the two in detail, and even I have a hard time seeing how the 75mm and 90mm would fit into the same household. They're so close you should pick one - whichever your heart says is your lens of the two. I simply can't see how they both are necessary to own.

 

Everyday details can become magic with a lens of the Noctilux family. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Everyday details can become magic with a lens of the Noctilux family. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

       
 

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36 Gramercy Park East is a grandeur building in New York by the only private park in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
36 Gramercy Park East is a grandeur building in New York by the only private park in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

A distinct "Klonk"

  A dent in the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. Not something that can't be fixed at Leiac in Wetlar, but not pretty to look at.
  A dent in the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. Not something that can't be fixed at Leiac in Wetlar, but not pretty to look at.
   

For full disclosure I should mention that I dropped the 90mm on the asphalt just 20 minutes after I put it on the Leica M10-P. The strap lug fell off the left side of the M10-P, and while this was not a first for this camera, it produced a distinct "Klonk" when the 90mm hit the asphalt with the corner of the shade first, before the camera and all rolled over a few times. I experienced the obligatory flashback of my life but then realized that both the lens and I were still alive.

I picked the camera and lens up and kept using it. The shade and front tube (where the filter thread sits) clearly needed to be replaced by Leica in Wetzlar, but apart from that it all behaved like a Leica: You drop it on the concrete or hit a corner of a wall ... and then you keep using it.

A Leica is not indestructible, but it's damn close.

 

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. 3200 ISO at 1/90th second. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. 3200 ISO at 1/90th second. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

This lens has it all

The 90mm Summilux is sharp and incredibly detailed. And it is not sharp in the ugly way where you have sharp edges. It is sharp in the beautiful sense of the word which best translates into clarity. Things are bright and clear, open if you will. You zoom in and it is all there, but with clarity rather than razor sharpness.

 


A crop detail of the photo above. Admire not the edge sharpness, but how alive the textures feel. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The out-of-focus areas are beautiful silky smooth and soft. The silky feel is so visible you cannot do other than to love it. The first lens from Leica that had this distinct silky look was the 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4, and particularly in black and white is it noticeable that these lenses are special. The 90mm Summilux has a beautiful silky feel to out-of-focus areas in color as well, which makes it stand out as very special. Perhaps the most likeable feature of the lens.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The mechanical handling of the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 is excellent. The aperture ring moves easily, but stays at the aperture stop you placed it at. It doesn't slide by itself (which it does if the aperture ring is too soft), and it is easy to click (not too hard). Focusing is soft and elegant, which it must be for you to easily fine-tune the focus of a lens with so narrow a depth of field. A lens with a stiff focusing ring is impossible to fine-tune as the force necessary always makes you turn it too far.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

It has image-stabilization, right?

I had some peak over my shoulders, and they asked, "It has image-stabilization, right?" because for many people that is the explanation that an image can be so clear and sharp.

No, Leica M lenses doesn't have image-stabilization. The reson for the clarity and sharpness is simply lens design. It's a great lens. As simple as that.

One can mount it onto the Leica SL2 that has image-stabilization on the sensor side, which would be helpfull at very slow exposures 1/90 and slower.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

75mm vs 90mm Noctilux

Based on pure memory of use of the two lenses, they seem very much the same. But in comparison (though I never do systematic side-by-side comparisons) the 75mm Noctilux seems to have more of a lively bokeh (the aesthetics of the out-of-focus areas) than the 90mm Summilux. Here are two photos from the same location in New York that Ritu Raj and I did with the 75mm and 90mm. As the 75mm was taken closer focus, the background is softer and more silky. But lively:

 

Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5
© Thorsten Overgaard with Leiac M10-P
  Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
© Ritu Raj with Leica M246

 

 

Flare control

The 90mm has some beautiful flare control, by which I mean that the design suppresses any crazy flare-like rings, highlighted bubbles in the middle of the photos, flashes of light, stripes or lines. Fundamentally, the lens is designed to suppress any internal reflections of light between the optical elements and within the optical elements themselves. You look into the front of a lens, and the blacker it is, the better flare control it has.

 

The soft, silky flare as in the upper left corner in this photo is a consistent quality of the 90mm Summilux-M f/1.5 that I know from the 75mm Noctilux and the Leitz Cine lenses. It's quite beautiful. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The soft, silky flare as in the upper left corner in this photo is a consistent quality of the 90mm Summilux-M f/1.5 that I know from the 75mm Noctilux and the Leitz Cine lenses. It's quite beautiful. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Yet, it has a beautiful overflow of light in the edges and into some of the image if you provoke it really hard and balance your madness. It can give a really beautiful overflow of light, very smoky and soft, yet controlled.

 

Flare overflow from a spotlight picked up at the corner. Model Pesy Therese in Gucci hat. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Flare overflow from a spotlight picked up at the corner. Model Pesy Therese in Gucci hat. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The flare into the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 can be too much, as in this example. There is no direction, it is simply a strong overflow of light distibuted evenly throughout the image. In an older design of a lens, this image would be all white. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The flare into the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 can be too much, as in this example. There is no direction, it is simply a strong overflow of light distibuted evenly throughout the image. In an older design of a lens, this image would be all white. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

That Noctilux feeling

What has caused roughly 30% or so of my workshop students go out and buy a $10,500 Noctilux lens after a workshop, not to mention how many readers of my articles and books have been able to persuade themselves to buy one, is the promise of something beyond earthly pleasures. The idea that this is something that reaches beyond the known universe and into something magical.

 

The 50mm Noctilux has an in-built magic. My daugher Caroline in the JJ Hat Store in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The 50mm Noctilux has an in-built magic. My daugher Caroline in the JJ Hat Store in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

What makes 10% or so of Noctilux users never really like the lens, I don't know. But for the 90% or so of the Noctilux owners, this lens is easily recognized as something very special. Bending light in ways that seem to defy physical possibilities, and yet it holds the image with such detail and perfection it just makes it all that more mystical. How is this possible? You need not know, you only need $10,500 to be able to behold this ability to make almost anything look magnificently beautiful.

This is a unique thing for the Leica Noctilux lenses. Other brands trying to make f/0.95 lenses or "Nokton", "Speedmaster" or "Noct" lenses have never been able to touch that magic space that makes the Noctilux so special: The extremely high quality of the image coupled with an extreme dreamlike play with light.

The 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 tilted towards the perfected image, which I touched on in my two-page review and article about the 75mm Noctilux, as well as my talk with lens designer Peter Karbe. This, along with the size of the lens, was my reason for continuing to use the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 rather than the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25.

The 90mm Summilux f/1.5 tilts towards the perfected image as well.

In other words, the attraction of the 50mm Noctilux image - the dreamlike part, or "rock'n'roll lens quality" as I also have called it (and called for more of in lens design) is not there.

Let me be clear: Anyone can make a 90mm f/1.5 lens and achieve paper thin depth of field and the extremely blurred background that comes with it. This is physics. It's as elementary as calculating how much power is needed to get a car of a certain weight to go from 0-100km in 3 seconds.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

         
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Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The excellence of the lens designer is what determines how the out-of-focus area will look. If these will have hard edges of highlights, 'stop-sign shaped highlights' (by which is meant six-sided highlights from the shape of the aperture rings), if the bokeh will be low contrast and silky smooth or high contrast and edgy. There's lots for the lens designer to master and control. The contrast, micro details, color accuracy, tonality, fall-off of contrast, flare control and much more.

The opti-mechanical designer also has his work cut out for him in making the mechanical movements of such a lens work perfectly, accurately and smooth.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

But then, there is the magician who must add magic to all this technical perfection. In sending a car from 0-100km in 3 seconds, it's the sound, feel and smell of it that makes it something special and legendary. In lens design, it's the look and feel of the image. The 50mm Noctilux has this magic, and it’s a legendary lens as well. It has this beyond and above of any other lens design. This is what makes it mythical or mystical. The 75mm and 90mm 'Noctilux' lenses do not have that magic as part of them. You can create some of it by the use of long backgrounds and out-of-focus highlights in the background, have bright light sources hit just the right spot in the edge of the frame to create some film-like or maybe even Noctilux-looking magic.

But the 90mm lens was clearly made for perfection rather than unpredictable magic. On the edge of the possible, but with so good a grip of it all that you never really are in real danger.

Predictable, is a good German word for it.

 

When not provoked with difficult or exciting light, the 90mm f/1.5 performs flawless, predictable and realiable. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
When not provoked with difficult or exciting light, the 90mm f/1.5 performs flawless, predictable and realiable. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Black Magic Lasagne

Here is where we go off subject a bit, though it is highly related. There's a restaurant in Los Angeles that serves their famous Black Magic Lasagna, and it's just as magical as the many reviews promise, though it is not entirely black as some might expect. But some of the ingredients are black.

 

Black Magic Lasagna as served by the Italian chef at Pure Vita in Los Angeles.
Black Magic Lasagna as served by the Italian chef at Pure Vita in Los Angeles.

 

It's a unique lasagna, and even if you have tried it, it would probably be impossible to make it just as magical as they do in that restaurant. It also comes with some bread to die for, just to make the experience more magical.

Things like these don't happen often. It's a mix of competence, luck and ideas that melt into something highly unique and desirable.

In many ways, whenever I open a box with a new lens inside it, I hope to find an experience like that black magic lasagna.

 

A scene from The Joker movie. Beautiful narrow focus, bokeh and colors. Magic.
A scene from The Joker movie. Beautiful narrow focus, bokeh and colors. Another serving of Black Magic Lasagna.

 

The lens that nobody needs to have

I've had a hard time placing this lens. Why would one need it? The 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 is a great lens, one which I should use a lot more but seldom do. The 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 came before the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 as a natural answer to a dream many had of an exotic portrait lens. So where does that leave the 90mm lens?

I can't find any reason. And perhaps just because this is a lens nobody really dreamed about or wanted to come into existence ... this might be the very reason to get one and use it.

An exclusive choice of lens for you who find a way to use it.

 

The Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 on Leica M10.
The Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 on Leica M10.

 

The alternative 90mm lens

The obvious 90mm lens to use on a Leica M is the 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 ($5,095). I've used the f/2.8 ($1,100 second-hand) and the f/2.5 lenses ($2,195), and then I went with the 90mm f/2.0 as the perfect 90mm lens.

If you want excellence and you want 90mm, the 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 is the optimum lens. If you want to take it further, the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 may be what you need ($12,995).

But don't forget the f/2.0 version in this era of excitement when a new lens was released. In fact, with the fairly little use that a 90mm lens gets by most of us, the f/2.8 is excellent and probably the most bang for your buck (not being produced anymore, they are around $1,100 second-hand). I love the 'soft but detailed' look of this 90mm f/2.8 lens (even the older versions), and it is compact, light-weight and produces great results (more of a Leica look than the f/2.5 and f/2.4 versions, in my opinion).

Once I've said this - and it is all true and makes a lot of sense - we both know that we always dream of wider aperture, and that is how the f/1.5 will remain the ideal and the dream for any 90mm user.

 


Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

"Gradually and then suddenly"

Hemingway has the famous quote, “Gradually and then suddenly” about how one goes bankrupt. This is in essence the route of 90mm lenses. First you start out cautious with a second-hand 90mm f/2.8, but then you get curious as to what the next one might produce in terms of images. This is how you will move your way through the 90mm range until you end up with the ultimate 90mm, the f/1.5.

If this sounds plausible for how you usually do things, hand over the $12,995 to the Leica dealer right away and go for the sudden bankruptcy rather than the gradual. The choice is that simple: gradually or suddenly.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Handling a 90mm Summilux lens

The 90mm Summilux - along with the 75mm Noctilux – are the bulkiest and heaviest lenses for the Leica M. They both follow a sort of new philosophy, that larger is better. In terms of precision lens design, this is true, because the more space the lens designer has for the glass, the easier it is to make perfect optical results. There are also production advantages when lenses have the same sizes (as the 75mm Noctilux and 90mm do).

 


Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I wouldn't say it's a heavy lens to carry around, but it's bigger than any other, and it takes some time to get used to. It's tempting to leave it home for studio work, rather than taking it to the streets. But, once you get used to the size and the weight, which might take some days or weeks, it's just a fact. It’s your lens.

 


Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

A 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 is lighter, but still as long, with a result that the lens doesn't feel compact and takes time to get used to.

The 90mm f/2.8 is a very light and compact lens in comparison, and has great optics by the way, though it is still as long.

That a 90mm lens is called 90mm lens is because there is 90mm from sensor plane to the center of focus inside the lens. Hence, most 90mm lenses are the same length (90mm), and most 50mm lenses the same length (50mm), just as a 400mm lens is usually 400mm or longer.

The diameter of a lens is decided by the f-stop in this simple way: f/2.0 means the focal length divided with two, and that is then the diameter of its optical elements. The 'hole through the lens' is the focal length divided by the maximum aperture. A 90mm f/2.0 lens will have a 45mm diameter of optics, and a 90mm f/1.0 would have to be 90mm in diameter. And the 90mm f/1.5 has a diameter of 60mm (plus the metal housing of the lens). There is just no physical way an f/1.5 lens could be less in diameter. The only way to make a lens smaller is to reduce the focal length to say 50mm and the f-stop to f/2.0 (which then makes the lens 25mm in diameter and 50mm in length).

 

The original 90mm Noctilux prototype

A 90mm lens was made in the 1970's, and as you can see, it's quite a chunky lens. This one was a prototype made for the US military. Some sort of spy tool to get close in the dark. The lenses were made by the Leitz factory in Canada back then and they were called ELCAN when made for specialized uses like this. (Read my article "Leica History" for more about ELCAN and Leitz Canada).

 

This Elcan-M 90mm f/1.0 was sold at Christie's auction in London for 20.900 £ a few years ago (with a Leica KE-7A from 1972 included). A similar lens was offered for sale by Arsenal Photo in 2008 for 23,000 £.
This Elcan-M 90mm f/1.0 was sold at Christie's auction in London for 20.900 £ a few years ago (with a Leica KE-7A from 1972 included). A similar lens was offered for sale by Arsenal Photo in 2008 for 23,000 £. 

 

Why is it called a Summilux?

Summilux refers to the maximum lens aperture of f/1.4, which traditionally in Leica terminology has been named Summilux. The 90mm is an f/1.5 which also is classified as a "Summilux" lens.

There are many guesses how the 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 "-lux" is added for "light". Highest quality light lens, if you will.

 

The 90mm Summilux handles the shadows and highlights of the night excellent. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The 90mm Summilux handles the shadows and highlights of the night excellent. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Why the 90mm Summilux-M is an f/1.5 lens and not an f/1.4 proably has size limitations as one of the reasons. The small (image) diffference in aperture would increase the lens diameter with 5mm, which in this context is quite a bit.

 


Soho, New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Close focus with the 90mm Summilux

Where the 75mm Noctilux has closest focus range of 85cm, the 90mm Summilux has closest focus range of 1 meter. In reality, it will give approximately the same frame of closest focus.

The f/1.25 of the Noctilux vs the f/1.5 of the 90mm will result in a similar depth of field.

The floating element of the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.50 is kind of magic, though mostly one would use the lens wide open and not use the floating element. The floating element is that when you change f-stop to for example f.4.0, the lens elements move so as to compensate for any change in focusing, so that focusing will be accurately adjusted.

 

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Focusing a 90mm Summilux lens

Focusing a 90mm is something that frightens most people. The framelines inside the Leica M viewfinder are so small that it seems one has to have really good eyes to see the focus. But that is an illusion, because the size of the focusing field itself is the same.

My experience with the 75mm Noctilux and 90mm Summilux is that the rangefinder offers better focusing than using an EVF. You have to trust that you can do it, which translates into not being overly concerned about it. Just focus and take your photos. Mostly it will work. Once you try it, you will find that it is true.

Using an EVF is the opposite, because here you have the possibility of putting great concern into focusing. But then there is a delay from your focus until the shutter release goes off (which is part of the electronic delay of using an EVF). In that small span of time, the camera or subject may move enough that the ever-so-precise and carefully orchestrated focus is lost.

The rangefinder offers direct views, fast reaction and no delay. It's just easier and better.

 

Lens designer Peter Karbe on the future of lenses

A while back I had a talk with Leica Camera AG's lead designer Peter Karbe about the 75mm Noctilux and lens design overall. To understand the perfection of the 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 and how it relates to traditional M lenses and new SL lenses, have a read here: Interview with Peter Karbe on the Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 and the future of lens design.

 

My daughter Caroline with the Leica M Monochrom. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
My daughter Caroline with the Leica M Monochrom. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

APO and noctilux

The main lines of new exciting lenses at Leica goes in two directions, sort of: A lineup of APO-lenses in the Leica SL department, and a series of Noctilux lenses in the Leica M department. It seems evident that the research team that make these new lenses are inspired both ways. The APO lenses design overflow to the Noctilux lenses and vice versa.

 

The Leica Q2 on the streets of New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica Q2 on the streets of New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The need for 75mm and 90mm lenses

A portrait lens is generally thought of as a short tele lens, for example a 75mm or a 90mm. To me, the reason 90mm was labeled “a great portrait lens” is due to the advertising back when the first 90mm lenses were made by Leica about 90 years ago.

Back then, a 50mm lens had typically an f/2.8 or smaller aperture, resulting in a great deal of the background being visible. When the 90mm came out, the background would be out of focus and the subject isolated in the portrait. Hence, a great lens for portraits, providing a different look than what was seen with the eye.

Today, a 50mm lens at f/0.95 or f/1.4 makes it possible to blur out the background and isolate the subject.

Another reason for choosing a short 75mm or 90mm tele for portraits would be to avoid the nose becoming disproportionately big due to distortion (the face changes shape because the nose and things closer to the lens become proportionally bigger than the rest of the face), but that’s really not a concern until you go to wide lenses like the 35mm and 28mm.

So, what are we going to use our 75mm and 90m lenses for? That’s a really good question as I've used my great 90mm APO for 3% or less of my photos, and my “classic” 75mm Summilux for less than 1% of my photos. I know, because I looked through my archive for the last ten years. To my surprise, I’ve seldom used these lenses.

 


Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

             
 

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TED talk speaker Charlotte de Brabrandt in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
TED talk speaker Charlotte de Brabrandt in New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The 90mm lens as a portrait lens

To get a nice portrait that is not a cropped passport photo, you need to step back far enough that you get the shoulders and elbows in the frame as well. Or at least, usually, more than just the face.

If you want to do editorial portraits that include some more of the environment to tell a story, you have to step even further back.

There’s not much to it, except that the distance to the subject sometimes requires that you speak your instructions loudly.

 


Mort O'Sullivan in New York. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard

 

Leica 90mm Summilux on the Leica M Monochrom camera

I use the Leica M Monochrom camera again, the original "Leica M9 Monochrom" which I found produced stellar pictures. I decided back when that I didn't need a monochrome camera as the Leica M9, Leica M240 and the Leica M10 files can be converted to monochrome images that makes just as much sense. I have used one camera that takes color pictures, which could also be turned into stellar black and white photos.

That was true for a long while ... but then I looked at some of my images made with the Leica MM back in 2010-2011 and decided it was time for it to get put back into action.

 


New York. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard

 

Not much to say about it, except that the 'older’ Leica M cameras without EVF work perfectly with the Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5.

Any hesitation you may feel about using a rangefinder with the 90mm Summilux-M APSH f/1.5 … don’t be afraid, it will work perfectly.

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard

 

 
   
   
         
   

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Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

       
 

The history of Noctilux lenses

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

If you ever wondered what made the super low-light lenses like the Noctilux 0.95, the Canon 0.95 (and let’s just include) the Canon 85mm f/1.2, so dreamy; it’s moving the design so close to the edge that it gets really dangerous.

Still, due to the perfection in lens design and assembly, the 50mm Noctilux stands out amongst all the daring low light lenses as superior in clarity, control, details, contrast and “an overall grip of the picture”. All super low-light lenses have the dreamy look that we admire, but only the Noctilux maintains high image quality at the same time. Canon climbed on safer ground with their 85/1.4 which obviously is easier to get to behave, but still offers the 85/1.2.

Traditionally, low light lenses have been made by opening up a lens to more light than the lens (and the lens designer) was able to handle. Back when low-light lenses became extreme and a must-have for any reportage photographer and war photographer about 60-70 years ago, the lenses simply became more light-strong by opening the aperture wider; but the result would mostly be a proportional degrade of quality or lack of “grip of the picture”. Contrast was lost, colors became milky and one could even get a yellow or purple cast. The focus wasn’t exactly optimum. Micro-details were gone in a blur. But you could use it in less light, and that was the mantra back in that period.

 
  The Noctilux 50mm family: From bottom and clockwise, the 50/1.2, the 50/0.95 silver, the 50/1.0 and the 50/0.95 in black on the camera.
   

The first Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 (1966) was a breakthrough as it was a low-light lens that made extraordinary progress in image quality. Today it’s a collector’s item, which is why it sells for $20,000 - $30,000. It’s certainly not for its sharpness or image control, which was impressive back in 1966 on a film camera, but doesn’t impress much today on a digital sensor. The f/1.2 was a breakthrough lens, but with fuzzy edges and a lack of detail, even non-existent micro-details.

The next Noctilux f/1.0 (1976) was a great improvement not only in more light through the lens, but also in having a grip on image quality to a degree that you didn’t really see the step from the 50mm f/1.4 standard low light lens (1960) to the extreme f/1.0.

With the Noctilux f/1.0, something else happened: We got a lens that performed as a standard lens, but had a look like nothing else. I don’t know what the lens designers thought about it, or what was said inside the factory. I’m sure they must have wondered what people would use this lens for. Such a strange, dreamy look, but a terrific lens for low light!

Only two lenses from Leica have brochures that bear the description, “requires a professional to utilize this lens”. One was the ‘terrible’ 80mm Thambar f/2.2, the other was the 50mm Noctilux. In other words, this is the internal lingo for lenses that are so far away from the traditional ideal that they may become subjects of either eternal love or eternal scrutiny. Still, 80 years after the Thambar came about, nobody seems to be able to decide whether it was genius or terrible.  

As history tells us, the Noctilux became “The King of the Night” and has a really unique position: No other lens, from any producer, does what it does, with so much dreaminess or rock’n’roll, and with so much technical control and excellence at the same time.

Nothing exists like it.

With the f/0.95 (2008), the fingerprint of the 50mm Noctilux was unchanged, but the contrast, micro detail, overall clarity, and the color accuracy were improved visibly; even if the lens was made a bit more light-strong.

The daring move to 0.95 (which is an 11% increase of light with a more or less 300% more difficult lens design to control) was likely both an attempt to excite the lens designers themselves, as well as a (successful) attempt to produce a 50mm f/0.95 that is perfect where nobody else has been able to do this (by which I refer to the Canon f/0.95 50mm which could be classified as an ‘exciting disaster’ – daring, funky and fun, but by no means able to produce a high-quality optical result at f/0.95).

The 50mm Noctilux life-line from 1966 through today thus shows an improvement over time, of contrast, color accuracy, details and micro details. At full aperture they all display vignetting (darker corners), light rays traveling seemingly at their own determinism, and a few other odd things – which have all become part of what makes a Noctilux an amazing and unique lens that defies any simple characterization.

The 75mm Noctilux and 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5 are a further development towards excellence in lens design. Gone is the vignetting and purple fringing of yesterday, and what remains stands crisper and more detailed.

 

Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

       
 

History of fast lenses

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       

 

History of fast lenses

Here are some of the extreme light-strong lenses introduced over time.

  Rangerfinder lenses SLR lenses and other lenses  
  Zunow 1.1/50mm. 1953    
  Fujinon 1.2/50mm 1954    
  Nikon 1.2/50mm 1956    
  Canon 1.2/50mm 1956    
    Carl Zeiss 50mm f/0.7 (NASA/Kubrick) 1960  
  Canon 0.95/50 1961    
  Leica Noctilux f/1.2 (1966)    
    Canon 58/1.2 for SLR 1971  
  Leica Noctilux f/1.0 (1976)    
    Nikon 50mm Noct 1.2 SLR (1978)  
    Nikon 1.2/58mm SLR 1983  
    Canon 85mm f/1.2 SLR 1989  
  Konica M 1.2/60mm 1999    
  Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 (2008)    
  Fujinon 56mm (80mm) f/1.2    
  Leica 75mm f/1.25 (2018)    
  7atisans 75mm f/1.25 (2019)    
  Leica 90mm f/1.5 (2019)    

 


Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

       
 

Leica 90mm lenses through history

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:  
  Leica 90mm lenses by Thorsten Overgaard  
     
     

 

Here is an overview of Leica 90mm lenses through history:

Screw-thread 90mm lenses
Intro End   F Code Weight Designer
1930 1930 Elmar (un-coupled) 4.0 ELANG    
1931 1931 Elmar (thick < 100,000) 4.0 ELANG    
1931 1931 Elmar (thick coupled) 4.0 ELANG    
1933 1933 Elmar (black nickel) 4.0 ELANG    
1933 1945 Elmar (black) 4.0 ELANG    
1935 1939 Thambar (black) E48 filter 2.2 TOODY 500 g  
1946 1947 Elmar (all chrome) 4.0 ELANG    
1947 1954 Elmar (chrome A36) 4.0 ELANG    
1954 1964 Elmar (chrome E39) 4.0 ELANG    
1957 1959 Summicron (I) removable lens-hood 2.0 SOOZI   Dr. Walter Mandler
1959 1962 Summicron (I) 2.0 SEOOF   Dr. Walter Mandler
1959 1963 Elmarit no. 11 029 2.8 ELRIT    
1964 1964 Elmar (3 element) 4.0 ELANG    
M Bayonet-mount 90mm lenses
Intro End   F Code Weight Designer
1954 1963 Elmar (rigid)  ELGAM 4.0 11 830   Dr. Walter Mandler
1954 1968 Elmar (collapsible)  ILNOO 4.0 11 631   Dr. Walter Mandler
1957 1959 Summicron (I) 2.0 SOOZI   Dr. Walter Mandler
1959 1974 Elmarit 2.8 ELRIM   Dr. Walter Mandler
1959 1979 Summicron (II) 2.0 SEOOM 475 g Dr. Walter Mandler
1964 1968 Elmar (3 element) 4.0 11 830   Dr. Walter Mandler
1964 1974 Tele-Elmarit (I) black 2.8 11 800   Dr. Walter Mandler
1964 1974 Tele-Elmarit (I) chrome 2.8 11 899   Dr. Walter Mandler
1965 1965 ELCAN-M (produced for the US millietary) 1.0     Dr. Walter Mandler
1973 1977 Elmar-C 4.0 11 540    
1974 1990 Tele-Elmarit (II) 2.8 11 800 355 g Dr. Walter Mandler
1980 1998 Summicron-M (III) black 2.0 11 136 475 g Dr. Walter Mandler
1980 1998 Summicron-M (III) silver 2.0 11 137 690 g Dr. Walter Mandler
1990 2008 Elmarit-M black 2.8 11 807 410 g 76 mm long
1990 2008 Elmarit-M chrome 2.8 11 808 560 g 76 mm long
1998 - APO-Summicron-M ASPH (IV) black 2.0 11 884 500 g Lothar Kölsch
1998 - APO-Summicron-M ASPH (IV) black paint 2.0 11 636 500 g 78mm long x 64 mm
1998 - APO-Summicron-M ASPH (IV) chrome 2.0 11 885 500 g Lothar Kölsch
2004 2014 Macro-Elmar-M (collapsible) black 4.0 11 633 230 g 59mm long
2007 2017 Summarit-M black 2.5 11 646 360 g 66 mm long
2014 - Macro-Elmar-M (collapsible) black 4.0 11 633 230 g 59mm long
2017 - Summarit-M black 2.4      
2017 - Summarit-M silve 2.4      
2018 - Thambar-M (remake) 2.2      
2019 - Summlux-M ASPH 1.5 11 678    

 

More to come …

I hope you enjoyed this review and photographs. As always, feel free to email me with ideas, suggestions and questions.

 

 

         
  Articles about the Leica M10:  
         
 
The Force Awakens
 
Leica M10 in the Rain
 
         
 
Sexy Stuff for the Leica M10
 
Leica M10 Masterclass (video on-line course)
 
         
 
The Leica M10 Video Review
 
Leica M10 Goes to Cuba
 
         


 

 
 

 

 

       
 

Leica History

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:  
  Leica History by Thorsten Overgaard  
  Inside the Leica Campus in Wetzlar by Thorsten Overgaard  
     

 

 

 

       
 

Leica Definitions

   
  By Thorsten von Overgaard  
       
  More resources:    
  Leica and Photography Definitions    
  Leica Camera Compendium article by Thorsten Overgaard    
  Leica Lens Compendium article by Thorsten Overgaard    
       

 

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 makes 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 through 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.

 

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode. When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

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)

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

 

  Barrie Gledden
  Bokeh of a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. British composer and producer Barrie Gledden.
© 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

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, which is 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.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

 

Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Narrow Dept Of Field in use: The face is in focus, the hand in front is slightly out of focus, the background is much out of focus and blurry, reduced to an atmosphere. Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 at f/1.0 and 2.5 meters distance to subject in focus. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4.   50mm f/1.4 lens at f/5.6
     

 

  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
  The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
   

DOF = Depth of Field (or Depth of Focus), an expression for how deep the focus is, or (more often use to express) how narrow the area of focus is. This is how much of the image, measured in depth or ditance, will be in focus or "acceptable sharp".

The appearance of the DOF is determined by:
1) aperture (the smaller the aperture hole is, the deeper is the depth of field, and opposite, the wider open a lens you se, the more narrow will the DOF be) and
2) distance to the subject (the farther away, the larger area is sharp; the closer the subject in focus is, the more narrow the DOF gets)..
The DOF scale measurement on top of the Leica lenses shows lines for each f-stop that indicates from which distance to which distance the image will be sharp. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance, like f/1.4 and f/0.95 lenses, which can be used to do selective focus; making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).
in modern cameras like the Leica SL2, the camera has a DOF scale inside the viewfinder. As DOF is the same for all lens brands and designs, only depending on focal length, distance and aperture f-stop, the camera can calculate it and show a 'digital DOF scale" in the viewfinder.

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.


Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

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

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

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). Vario-Elmarit is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses.

EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. The Leica M10/T/TL/TL2 uses the Leica Visoflex model 0020. The Leica M240 and M246 uses the Leica Visoflex EVF-2.

f/ (f-stop, also knwn as aperture).

f- (focal length).

f/1.25 is the size of the "hole through" the lens, the aperture. f/1.25 means focal length divided with 1.25. In the Leica 75mm NoctiluxM ASPH f/1.25, the "hole through" the lens at f/1.25 is 60mm in diameter. At f/1.4 the "the hole through" is 53.5mm in diameter. At f/4 the "hole through" is 18.75mm in diameter.
Each step smaller from f/1.4 to f/2.0 to f/2.8 to f/4.0 and son on is a reduction ofthe light to half for each step. The Noctilux f/1.25 therefore lets 50% more light in through the lens than a 75/1.4 Summilux.

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.
     

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.

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame.
The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

Ghosting = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica TL2 sensor is around 100-150 which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make the same picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).


6400 ISO indoor photo. With modern cameras the ISO can go to 3200, 6400, 12,800 and even higher without loss of dynamic range and without digital noise. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

JPEG = A standard for picture format made in the 1990's by Joint Photographic Experts Group). Mostly referred to as JPG as in L1003455.JPG which would be the name for a JPG file from the camera.

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. Before that the brand name was Leitz.

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.

Live View = This is the ability to see the image the sensor see, live, via the screen, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’

 

The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.9 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Maestro II - A processor developed first as Maestro for the Leica S2 and upgraded to Maestro II for the Leica S (Typ 007). The Leica Q has a Mestro II (Leica Q edition) processor developed by SocioNext Inc. based on Fujitsu's Mibeault architecture.

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.

Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Noctilux - King of the Night"

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 people 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 people 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.

S = Single image. When the ring by the shutter release on top of the camera (or in the menu of a digital camera in case it does not have this ring on the ourside) is moved from OFF to S, the camera takes only one photo at the time (Single). The other possibility is Continuous (see above).

SDC = Software Distortion Correction. A correction of lens distortion (not straight lines) applied in the camera and which is part of the DNG file. In Lightroom the SDC of the camera file is applied automatically (and cannot be removed), in software like AccuRaw one can open the DNG file without the SDC correction. Sean Reid Reviews have written a good article on what SDC is and does in "Software Distortion Correction".

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off.
 If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.

Sensor = A device that detects a physical property (like light) and records it. A camera sensor is a plane plate with thousands of small “eyes” with a lens in front of each, which each individually records the amount of red, green and blue light rays that comes through the lens. together Red, Green and Blue form all colors of the spectrum. From Latin sens- ‘perceived’.

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”

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
Shutter speed dial set to 1/1000 of a second.

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. The Leica Q has no traditional viewfinder and no mirror. the image seen in the EVF is what the sensor sees.

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). Vario-Summicron is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses f/2.0 as the one that is on the Leica Digilux 2.

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.

Vario- is the Leica Camera AG name for zoom lenses. Vario-Elmarit and Vario-Summicron and so on.

Viewfinder a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses vider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.

 

 

See my Leica 50mm Noctilux review and user report here -->

See my Leice 75mm Noxtilux review here -->

 

 

 

 
 

 


   

 

- Thorsten Overgaard
#2015-0120

 

     
   
   

 


A Life With Leica from Northpass Media.

   
Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital cameras:   Leica L digital cameras:
Leica M10   Leica SL
Leica M10-P   Leica SL2
Leica M10-R   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E    
Leica M9-P   Leica R digital cameras:
Leica M9 Monochrom   Leica R8/R9/DMR
Leica M240    
Leica M246 Monochrom   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Leica D-Lux
    Leica C-Lux
Leica M film cameras:   Leica V-Lux
Leica MP   Leica Q2
Leica M4   Leica Q
    Leica Digilux 3
Leica M lenses:   Leica Digilux 2
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4    
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R4
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2    
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from Leitz Cine Wetzlar   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Leica S digital medium format:
Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica S
Leica Camera Compendium    
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" 4K Television Channel
    Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
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
The Origin of Photography    
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner    
Leica OSX folder icons    
     
Leica Photographers:    
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
More than 200 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
Leica Forums and Blogs:   Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Leica Q2 Masterclass (video course)
Jono Slack   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog    
I-Shot-It photo competition   Thorsten von Overgaard Free Online Masterclass
Connect with Thorsten Overgaard:   Thorsten von Overgaard Academy Online
Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram   Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses
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Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook   Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide
 
 
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Ventilated Shades "Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Camera Straps "Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
The Von M Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
The Von L Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
The Von Mini Messenger Walkabout Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
The Von 24hr Jetsetter Travel Bag   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Desk Blotters 'Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Computer Shade for MacBook Pro   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
  Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
    Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade for Leica Q and Leica Q2
 
     
   
     
     
     
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
   
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
   

 

   
     
     
   
     
   

 

   
     
     
   
     

Above: Streets of New York. Leica M10-P with Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5. © Thorsten Overgaard.


 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Ritus Raj.
Thorsten von Overgaard by Ritus Raj.

Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
7artisans 75mm f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux f/1.5
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M10-P

Leica M10-R
Leica M10-D
Pixii Digital Rangefinder
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Leica D-Lux

Leica C-Lux

Leica V-Lux

Leica Digilux

Leica Digilux 1

Leica Digilux Zoom

Leica Digilux 4.3

Leica Digilux 3

Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / Q2 / TL2 /

 

 

 

 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

     
Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard
     
"Finding the Magic of Light"   "A Little Book on Photography"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     
"The Leica Q Know-All eBook"   "The Moment of Emptional Impact"
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"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"   "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
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Preorder:
Leica Q2
Know-All eBook
    Add to Cart
     

The Portrait Book
How to Make People Beautifu
Aoril 5, 2020:   Add to Cart
     
Extension Courses
     
The New Photography Extension Course"   "New Inspiration Extension Course"
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"Lightroom Survival Kit 7"
Lightroom
Survival Kit
  "Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
Capture One Survival Kit
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Video classes
     


Leica Q2
Masterclass

  Street Photo
Masterclass

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  Add to Cart
     
"Leica TL2 Quick-Start Video Course"   "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
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"Leica M10 Video Masterclass"   "Leica M 240 Video Masterclass"
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Lightroom Presets
     
Lightroom Presets Leica M10   Lightroom Presets Leica M9
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Lightroom Presets Leica TL2   Lightroom Presets Leica Q
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Lightroom Dutch Painters Presets by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
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"Hollywood Film Presets"
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Hemingway Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
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201 Lightroom Presets
+ 4 Export Presets
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Capture One Styles:
     
    Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
    Add to Cart
     

17 Capture One Styles
Add to Cart    

 

 

 

 

 


     
     

Join a Thorsten Overgaard
Photography Workshop

I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.

Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students do
two or more workshops.
95% is Leica users.
Age range is from 16 to 83 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level range from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.
1 out of 600 of my students have
asked for a refund.

I would love to see you in one!
Click to see the calendar.

     
     

Hong Kong

 

New York

Shanghai

 

Boston

Beijing

 

Washington DC

Tokyo

 

Toronto

Kyoto

  Montreal

Taipei

  Québec
Seoul  

Seattle

Jakarta

 

San Francisco

Bali

 

Los Angeles

Manila

 

Las Vegas

Singapore

 

Santa Barbara

Kuala Lumpur

 

Santa Fe

Bangkok

 

Austin

Sydney

 

Clearwater

Perth

 

Miami

Melbourne

 

Cuba

Auckland

 

São Paulo

Napier

 

Rio de Janeiro

Moscow

 

Cape Town

Saint Petersburg

 

Tel Aviv

Oslo

 

Jaffa

Malmö

 

Istanbul

Stockholm

 

Palermo

Aarhus

 

Rome

Copenhagen

  Venice

Amsterdam

  Wetzlar

Frankfurt

  Mallorca

Berlin

  Madrid

Münich

 

Barcelona

Salzburg

 

Amsterdam

Vienna

 

Paris

Cannes  

London

Reykjavik   Portugal
    Milano
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 
           
  · © Copyright 1996-2020 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

© 1996 - 2020 Thorsten von Overgaard. All rights reserved.

 

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