DXOMark: Leica’s Summicron SL 35mm F2 ASPH Falls Behind Sony, More

Leica Summicron 35mm f2

The Leica Summicron 35mm SL f2 ASPH is a solid lens for those who have adopted the L mount, but it can’t keep up with the other players.

DXOMark has been hard at work in their labs once again, and this time, they put the Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH through its paces. The Leica Summicron is a solid 35mm offering for those rocking a Panasonic S1R, or any other L mount camera. But this particular lens falls short of matching the quality of lenses from Canon, Sigma, and Sony. Join us after the break for a full rundown of the test results, and to see how it stacks compared to the competition.

The Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH is a beautiful lens that will no doubt please anyone who decides to purchase it. We love the 35mm focal length here at the Phoblographer for many reasons, and honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with any lens with this focal length. According to DXOMark’s findings, though, the Leica Summicron SL 35mm F2 ASPH, which costs an eye-watering $4,595 falls just behind the level of performance that similar 35mm lenses Canon, Sony, Tamron, and Sigma achieve at a fraction of the cost.

Leica Summicron 35mm SL

Overall, the Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH scores 39 points when paired up with the 47.3 megapixel Panasonic S1R. At the top of the pile is the Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon f1.4 with an overall score of 44 (A7R II), the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art, which scored 44 (Nikon D800E), and the Canon EF 35mm f1.4L which scored 42 (EOS 5DSR). Surprisingly the Tamron SP 35mm f1.8 beat the Leica by three points too (Nikon D800E), and that lens costs just $599!

Leica Summicron 35mm SL

The Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH does perform better in some categories when compared to those lenses. What really hurts it is the amount of light the lens transmits. The Leica scored 32 points for sharpness (the highest rated was the Canon 35mm1.4L with 37), it scored 0.1 for distortion, which ties the Canon for the top spot in that category, and it scored a -1.8 for vignetting (the Tamron scored -1.4). In terms of light transmission, the Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH scored a 2 compared to 1.5 for the Carl Zeiss, 1.6 for the Sigma, and 1.7 for the Canon. For chromatic aberration, the Leica scored 6 points, which puts it within 1 point of the rest.

By no means is the Leica Summicron 35mm f2 a bad lens: we’re sure it is capable of producing gorgeous images. But we were hoping to see a little more, especially considering the price point. Will you be picking one up for your L mount camera? What do you think about the results? Let us know in the comment section below. To read the whole shebang from DXOMark, head on over to their website.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.