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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
 
 
Tue working backstage the KENZO fashion show in London with Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (version V). Leica S2 and 70mm Summarit-S f/2.5). © Thorsten Overgaard.
   
   

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

By: Thorsten Overgaard. February 2006. Latest update May 15, 2021.

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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).

In 2021, the ultimate 35mm Summicron was released, the 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0. A new crown jewel in the series of APO lenses.

 

The 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 fitted with the special 35 ventilated shade by Thorsten Overgaard.
The 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (2021-model) fitted with the special 35 ventilated shade by Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leica 35mm APO review

I did this video review and summary of Leica 35mm lenses.

 

 

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 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 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).

 

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. Some made in Germany, some in Canada.   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

Made in Canada
and
Made in
Germany

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
(11608 Chrome screw mount)
11609  Titanium

Summicron-M
ASPH f/2.0
Version VI

2016 - current
11673 Black
11674 Chrome

11689 Black
Chrome
Limited

APO-Summicron M
ASPH f/2.0


2021-
current
11699 Black
Serial -
to -
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

E39 mm
filter

Square
metal hood
on outside
screw

or
Ventilated Shade from TvO 3514

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 0,3 m - infinity
8 lenses 8 lenses 6 lenses 6 lenses 7 lenses 7 lenses in 5 groups.
One aspherical surface
  10 lensees

Four aspherical surfaces
238 g 238 g 172 g 172 g 156 g 255 g Black
340 g Chrome
255 g 320 g
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 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 Peter Karbe

 

The King of Bokeh

"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 M9 photo by Thorsten Overgaard
Close focus of 30 centimater on the Leica 35mm APO-Summcron-M ASPH f/2.0 (2021-version).

 

 

   

Leica Definitions:

 

  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
  1:2/50 the description says.
But what does it mean?
   

1: = Basically means 1 divided with. On the lens to the right, it means that the diameter of the hole throught he lens is 25mm.
We would normall call it a 50mm f/2.0 lens. The writing of 1:2/50 is a tradition from the 1800's of specifying a lens, which reveals quite a bit about the construction:
Focal length 50mm simply means that the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 50mm, and the aperture of f/2 or 1:2 means that the diameter of the hole the light comes throught is 25mm (50mm divided with 2 = 25mm).
In traditional lens design, one could usually tell from looking at the length of a lens if it was a 400mm, 100mm or 35mm. Newer designs with mirrors (in tele lenses) and more corrections (in wide lenses) can make the size of the lenses shorter or longer, but the distance from center of focus to sensor in a modern 50mm lens will still be 50mm for a 50mm and 400mm for a 400mm, and so on.
See Focal length and Aperture further down for more.

 

35mm

a) 35mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 63°vertically, 54° horizontally and 38° vertically within a 35mm film frame or "full-frame" 24x36mm digital format. See Focal length further down.
b) 35mm focal length: the distance from center of focus inside the lens to the focusing plane (the sensor or film) is 35mm.

  35mm film format (also known as full-frame) © Thorsten Overgaard
  35mm film format (also known as full-frame)
   

c) 35mm film format (also known as full-frame in digital sensors) was a standard film format that came about in 1892 where the width of the film roll was 35mm, and it's been the most used format ever since. Only a format of 24 x 36mm is used for the photo on the film roll.
35mm film format was first used in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison for moving pictures with frames of 24 x 18mm, using film supplied by George Eastman (Kodak), and this became the international standard for motion picture negative film in 1909. Later other motion picture formats came about, such as Academy Ratio (22 x 16 mm), Widescreen (21.95 x 18.6 mm), Super 35 (24.89 x 18.66 mm) and Techiscope (22 x 9.47 mm).
The inventor of the Leica camera, Oskar Barnack, built his prototype Ur-Leica in 1913 as a device to test film stock and\ motion picture lenses and had it patented. Putting 35mm film format into a small camera gave him the idea "small negative, large print" and he decided to increase the size of each frame on the 35mm film to 24x36mm (for more detail and sharpness), and then invented an enlarger to make large prints from the small negative. The length of a film, 36 pictures, is said to have become the standard because that was how far Oskar Barnack could stretch his arms (when cutting film from larger rolls to put them into film rolls for the Leica camera).
d) 35mm equivalent is often given as a standard when talking about lenses in small compact-cameras or large format cameras with other sensor/film format than the 24 x 36mm frame. Example: A camera with a 12 x 18 mm sensor has a 14mm lens on it, and even the lens is actually a 14mm, it is specified as a 28mm lens because the viewing angle that ends up on the sensor is equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm of full-frame camera.

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

Aperture = The same function as the iris and pupil has in the eye. The pupil in the eye is the dark circular opening in the center of the iris of the eye, varying in size to regulate the amount of light reaching the retina (the sensor area inside the eye).
Aperture on a camera is the f/ stop on the camera that regulates how much light passes through the lens by increasing or decreasing the hole through the lens. On a f/2.0 lens the lens is fully open" at f/2.0. At f/2.8 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/2.0 passes through. For each f/-stop (4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16) you halve the light. 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).
Besides regulating the amount of light (so as to match the correct exposure), the aperture also affects the dept of field: , which is how deep the sharpness is. To get the sough-after photos with narrow depth of field where the background is blurry, the lens has to be wide open at f/2.0 or so. Stopping the lens down to f/8 or f/16 will result on more depth of field, meaning the background will start becoming in focus. To maintain narrow depth of field, one can use the ISO sensitivity and/or the shutter speed to match the correct exposure (as aperture is only one of three ways to control the exposure; the correct amount of light).
ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The aperture blades inside the consist of a number of blades that - as the aperture ring on the lens is rotated - narrow into a smaller and smaller hole.
© Thorsten Overgaard.

 

APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.
APO corrected basically means that the red, green and blue has been corrected to meet more precisely in the same spot. Clarity of colors and definition of details would be the result.

APO = in lens terminology stands for "apochromatically corrected". In most lenses, optical design concentrates the focus of blue light and green light into a single plane, but red light falls slightly into another plane of focus. In APO lenses, the design and expense has been put in to making red light focus on the same plane as blue and green. Under a microscope you would see that all light subject is now in focus, creating a sharper image overall. Many manufacturers offer APO designs, but in most of these only the very center of the lens is APO corrected. Leica prides itself on making most of the frame APO corrected.
APo-correction has traditionally been used for long tele lenses (and periscopes), but in recent years APO-correction has been applied to 50mm and wide angle lenses as well. One will notice that the colors are really bright and alive, almost more real than to the eye, in lenses like the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 and 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
Apochromat; ORIGIN early 20th century, made of the two words; apo (Greek origin, away from) and chromatic (Latin origin, meaing relating to color).

 

  spherical (ball)
spherical (ball)
  a-spherical (non-ball)
a-spherical (non-ball)
   

ASPH = (Aspherical lens) 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 (a-spherical, meaning non-spherical), 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.

There is another Aspherical lens manufacture technique: an uneven coating layer is applied to a spherical lens. The coating is thicker on the edges (or on the center, depending). Canon "Lens Work II" calls these "simulated" aspherical lenses. Simulated and Glass-Molded (GMo) asphericals show up in non-L Canon lenses, while the L lenses have actual ground aspheric elements.

A- means non, or without. From Latin, ex.
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)

 

  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. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.
Camera comes from Chambre, mostly in relation to Spanish soldiers’ rooms. Obscura means 'dark', so a dark room is basically the derivation for the word camera.

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).

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally 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”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of 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.’

 
Normal to low contrast   High contrast
     

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

 
  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)

 

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.

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).

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

f- (focal length). Often given in mm, for example 90mm. In the past they were often given in cm or inch, for example 9.5 cm or 3.2 inch.

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.

f-stop = the ratio of the focal length (for example 50mm) of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot. (E.g., f/8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter of the aperture hole: 50mm/8 = 6,25 mm); or the other way around, the hole is the focal length divided with 8).
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
One f-stop is a doubling or halving of the light going through the lens to the film, by adjusting the aperture riing. Adjusting the f-setting from f 1.4 to f.2.0 is halving the light that goes through the lens. Most Leica lenses has half f-stops to enable the photographer to adjust the light more precicely.

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 (fairly supressed) flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image of a modern lens.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.

Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.

Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).
Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).

Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)
Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)

Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 
Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 

 

 
  Floating elements (a group of lenses or can also be s aingle lens element). .

Floating Elements (FLE) = Near focus correction in a lens by having a single lens or a group of lenses floating independently of the other lenses. Most lenses are born with poor performance at their closest focusing distance. Center sharpness may be good, but aberrations and corner softness increase when you’re shooting closeups. Floating elements are lens elements outside of the primary focus group that change position when the lens is focused on a close object, correcting aberrations and improving close up performance. 
Floating Elements originally was coined by Canon in the 1960's and quickly became the general term for this feature. Other brands came up with new names for the same thing, Minolta called it Floating Focusing, Nikon used the term Close-Range Correction (CRC), Leica call it FLE/Floating Elements.
Floating elements are for close-focus improvement of image quality and not for reducing "focus shift". Floating elements by themselves cannot reduce focus shift, but by reducing the impact of focus distance on performance, they give the designers more freedom in other areas - which could include minimising focus shift.
(As a side-note, when a lens "rattler when moved, it is not the floating elements "floating around" but can be the IS (Image Stabilization) elements for elense that has that, AF elements for auto focus lenses, or the aperture cage that rattles (as in the case of the Leica 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 FLE - if you stop down the Summilux to f/16, the sound is usually not there).

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = Originally focal length referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens (28mm, 50mm, 400mm, etc). Today one call it effective focal length (EFL) as a 400mm lens is not nessesarily 400mm long due to optical constructions that can make it shorter. The 35-420mm zoom on the Leica V-Lux 1 is for example only ca. 135 mm long. 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 focus only in the center.

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.

Focus shift = That the focus of a lens shifts as the aperture changes. For example, if one focus a 50mm lens at f/2.0 and then stop the aperture down to f/8, the focus may change, especially noticeable in close focusing. Modern lenses with floating elements (FLE) where the floating elements adjust for image quality in close-focusing may also help avoid focus shift.

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.

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.

The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.
The word lens derives from lentil, because of the similar shape.

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. The word lens if often used to refer to the entire camea lens, which is usually compose of seberal lens elements. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.
A camera lens consists of several shaped lens elements of glass. The lenses can also be made of simple cheap plastic as in "kit lenses" (sold with a camera as a kit to make a workable cheap package), but it is mostly very exotic glass (that can be heavy or light in weight, very hard or very soft in surface (esay to scratch or very resistant) with each optical glass recipe made to develop very specific qualities in how the glass and final lens treats light. As a general rule, high quality glass is soft, which is why some lenses has as their front and back element, a non-optical lens element that is there to protect the actual optical glass from scratches. As a side noite, Leica made their own glass laboraty, The Leitz Glass Laboratory, from 1949-1989, which deveopled 35 new glass types and took out more than 2,000 patents of glass recipes from more than 50,000 experimental melts of glass. These designs, or recipes, are still used today by the lens designers to obtain very specific optical results. Other lens manufacturers in the world of course have had their glass laboratories, and today one will find an interchange of glass patents amongst production facilities that service Leica, Nikon,, Fuji and so on with optical lens elements.

Lens hood = (also called a Lens shade or Ventilated Shade). A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. In the past where lenses were not coated to prevent internal reflections inside the lens, the lens hood was often essential. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves just as much as decoration and protection (bumper) as well.
ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.
Lens hood or Lens shade or ventilated shade. In the picture is a ventilated shade with clip-on mount to a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Ventilated means it has openings that allow for view from the viewfinder.

 

Lens names of Leica distinguish which widest aperture the lens has:

Noctilux f/0.95 - f/1.25
Nocticron f/ 1.2 (Leica-designed Panasonic lens)
Summilux f/ 1.4 - f/1.7
Summicron f/2.0
Summarit f/2.4 - 2.5
Hektor f/1.9 - f/6.3 (used 1930-1960 for screw mount lenses only)
Elmarit f/2.8
Elmar f/2.8 - f/4.5
Elmax f/3.5 (only used 1921-1925 for the 50mm Elmax f/3.5)
Telyt f/2.8 - f/6.8 (used for tele lenses)

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.

M (as in "M3", "M6", "M7" etc.)
A) The M originally stands for "Messsucher", which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder". The "3" in M3 was chosen because of the three bright line finders for the 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses. Later the numbers of the M cameras were more or less chosen to follow each other.
M-body evolution in chronologic order:
M3 - MP - M2 - M1 - MD - MDA - M4 - M5 - CL - MD-2 - M4-2 - M4-P - M6 - M6 TTL - M7 - MP - M8 - M8.2 - M9 - M9-P - MM (black and white sensor) - ME (Type 220) - Leica M (Type 240) - Leica M-P 240 - Leica M 246 Monochrom - Leica M-A (type 127, film camera) - Leica M 262 - Leica M-D 262 (without a screen) - Leica M10 - Leica M10-P, Leica M10 Monochrom, Leica M10-R.
B) M also refer to M-mount as the M bayonet that couple the Leica M lenses to the Leica M camera. Before the M bayonet the coupling between the camera and lens was screwmount.
C) M nowadays refer to the Leica M line of cameras rather than the "Messsucher".

 

The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.
The Leica M bayonet on the Leica M10.

M-mount: The Leica M-mount is a bayonet that was introduced with the Leica M3 camera in 1954 and has been used on all subsequent Leica M cameras, as well as on the Epson R-D1, Konica Hexar RF, Minolta CLE, Ricoh GXR, Rollei 35RF, Voigtländer Bessa, and Zeiss Ikon cameras (2019).
Compared to the previous screw mount (M39), the M mount requires a quick turn of the lens, and ithe lens is mounted. The patent for the M-bayonet ("Bajonettvorrichtung für die lösbare Verbindung zweier Kamerateile") was registered by Ernst Leitz GmbH 10 February 1950 (patent number DE853384). Hugo Wehrenfennig was credited with the invention.

 

Focal length is determined by the distance from focus inside the lens to sensor surface to, and is given in milliemeters (mm). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Focal length is determined by the distance from focus inside the lens to sensor surface to, and is given in milliemeters (mm). © Thorsten Overgaard.

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.
(Leica and others made lenses for a while with either meter scale or feet scale; but then eventually started including meter and feet on all the lenses (two scales, usually distinguished with different colors). However, the lens' focal length remained always 50mm, 75mm and so on).
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor surface) 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.

ND
Neutral Density filters are grey filters function as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/0.95 or f/2.0 in sunshine.
If a camera is set to 200 ISO and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4.000, this will usually result that the lens has to be at f/2.8 or smaller aperture in sunshine. Else the image will over-exposed. So in order til stay within the maximum shutter speed of 1/4.000 and still use a lightstrong lens wide open, one mount a ND-filter that reduce the light with 3 stops (8X) or 6 stops (64x).
For video ND-filters are used quite a lot (as the shutter speed for video is 1/60), and ND-filters are also used to reduce the light for really long multi-exposures at night (stop-motion video and stills).
ND-filters also exist as variable ND-filters so one can adjust the amount of light going through from for example 1 stop (2X) to 6 stops (64X).
ND-filters also exist as graduated ND-filters where the top of the filter is dark and then gradually tone over in no filter (so as to reduce the skylight in a landscape for example).
The ND filters are called Neutral because it is a neutral filter. It doesn't change colors, only the amount of light.

ND-Filrers. Neutral Density. Photo © Thorsten Overgaard
ND-filters / gray-filters.

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 closer, 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 close objects than they are 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.

 
  Vanishing points are the points where lines meet. This is how you make perspective in paintings and drawings (and some times make movie sets or theatre stages appear more three-dimensional than they are)
   

Painters works with vanishing points, which is where the lines meet, so as to create an illusion of perspective and three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.

The human eye corrects for perspective to an extreme degree. We always see vertical lines vertical and horisontal lines horisontal: The eye has a angle of view equivalent to an 8mm wide angle lens, a size ratio equivalent to a 50mm lens and we focus on relatively small area of the viewing field - one at the time. Three things happens that are worth paying attention to:

1) We compile areas of our view that we focus on, to one conceptual image that "we see". Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer pointed out that a large camera used for landscape photography capture every detail in focus and sharp so you can view it in detail after; but the eye does not see everything in focus when you try to compose the landscape photography, the eye scans only one part at a time and stitch the idea together. This makes composing or prevision of a landscape photography challenging.

2) We compile areas of our view that we individually adjust the exposure of. A camera adjust the exposure of the whole image frame to one exposure. That's why what looks like a nice picture to the eye of houses in sunshine with a blue sky above, becomes a photograph of darker buildings with a bright white sky: The camera simply can't take one picture that compare to what we "compiled" with our eyes, adjusting for each type of light.

3) Objects (on a table, for example) in the bottom of our viewing field will appear 100% perspective corrected - to a degree that it is impossible to correct in optics, with or without software correction. A wide angle lens, even with little distortion, will exaggerate the proportions of the closet part so it - to the eye - looks wrong.

 

Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).

Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.  Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).
Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 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, de-saturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full de-saturation would make it into a black and white photo.

A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

  The 6-bit code on the flange of the lens is read by the sensor on the Leica M bayonet of all digiral Leica M cameras since 2006. © Thorsten Overgaard.
  The 6-bit code on the flange of the lens is read by the sensor on the Leica M bayonet of all digital Leica M cameras since 2006. © Thorsten Overgaard.
   

Six-bit code (6-bit code) - An engraving on the flange of M-lenses that makes it possible for digital M-cameras to recognize the lens that has been mounted. The camera can include information on the attached lens and its focal length in EXIF data and make digital corrections for lens-specific flaws, such as color-cast or vignetting. Six-bit coding was introduced for all M-lenses sold since 2006, but many older lenses can be retrofitted with the code at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar.

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.

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

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.4 , "-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.

Ventilated Shade - A shade is a hood in front of a lens that provides shade from light going straight onto the lens from outside what you are photographing, which could cause internal reflections like flare, which would make the picture less contrasty.
The ventilated shade has holes so it doesn't obstructs the view from the viewfinder. In many of today’s mirrorless cameras where there is no viewfinder looking ver the lens, so there is no actual need for a ventilated shade; but they are considered classic or vintage looking and are still in high demand. It makes no difference for the purpose of the shade (to create shadow) if it is ventilated or not.

 


Ventilated Shade for the Leica Q. I make ventilated shades for most lenses and sell them from here.

 

 

   

 

   
   


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


   

 

   
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:
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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    
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Leica OSX folder icons    
     
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Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
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Morten Albek    
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The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
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Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
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The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
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: Tue working backstage the KENZO fashion show in London with Leica M9 and 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (version V). Leica S2 and 70mm Summarit-S f/2.5). © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 


Also visit:

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Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
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Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
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Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
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Lightroom Survival Kit 7
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Thorsten Overgaard
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

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