First Impressions: Leica Summaron-M 28mm f5.6 (Leica M Mount)

The Leica 28cm f5.6 lens (or the Leica Summaron-M 28mm f5.6) was recently re-released by the company–touting a classic look that it can deliver in addition to an incredibly small size overall. The lens was,and still is, a favorite amongst many street photographers who shoot during the daytime. With a 5.6 aperture, it’s very tough to miss any sort of moments passing you by. As the old saying goes, “F8 and be there.” The lens is very close to being a truly pancake offering, and includes a few cool features that many photographers are bound to like.

Tech Specs

According to the Leica page listing:

“The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups arranged symmetrically around the iris of the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 is identical to that of its ancestor. In contrast to the legendary classic, the new model features an M-bayonet mount with 6-bit coding to enable identification of the lens by the camera.”

Ergonomics

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The Leica 28mm f5.6 lens has some very interesting and awesome design functions to it. When you look at the lens, you’ll notice that it’s all silver with a very classic look. One of the most prominent features is the focusing tab. When turned all the way to one end, it can lock into place and then be released by pressing down on a button on the front of the focusing tab itself.

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Besides focusing, you’re also going to be messing with the aperture ring. From my memory, the aperture ring is in full stops–which makes sense with the classic design.

Build Quality

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This lens is very, very small. You’ll essentially always want to shoot it with zone focusing in mind. I mean, look at how small it is compared to a stack of Instax Mini film photos.

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Here’s the back cap of the lens. This cap is pretty much as large as the lens itself. Crazy!

Focusing

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If you attach the hood to the lens, the overall package becomes larger. In my opinion it also makes changing the aperture a bit tougher. Again though, I’m sure most people will leave this at a certain aperture and use zone focusing to shoot street photos.

Image Quality

We were dealing with a prototype at Photo Plus, so we couldn’t stick a card into the camera.

First Impressions

For a little under $2,000 Leica is giving street photographers a dream of a lens. A wide angle, a fairly affordable price, great build quality, low profile build, etc. I’m sure it’s going to be a hit with so many street photographers out there. At the moment, we’re waiting to call our unit in for review.