A Guide to Picking the Leica 35mm Lens You’ve Wanted

If you’re looking for a Leica 35mm lens, then we’ve got some great news for you. We’ve reviewed all of them! The M-mount is a mystery for so many photographers. It wrongfully gets scoffed although it’s highly capable. What’s more, it proves to us just how good the photographer is behind the camera too. However, for lots of photographers, it’s also an important tactile experience. Hold a Leica 35mm lens in your hand and you’ll probably never want to go back to the other Japanese-made products. We’re helping you make a better choice with this guide.

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple; you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Pro Tips on Using and Choosing a Leica 35mm Lens

Here are some professional tips on how to choose the right Leica 35mm lens.

  • Leica M mount lenses can potentially have a subject in focus faster than autofocus lenses. They have zone-focusing distance markers on them.
  • Sure, you buy a Leica M lens for the beautiful render. But you also use them for the great zone focusing abilities.
  • Leica has a variety of 35mm lenses. And the most recent one is more or less a macro lens.
  • Don’t always believe that you need to go for an f1.4 lens. This isn’t regular autofocus photography. The smaller rangefinder lenses are often better.
  • When you stop one of these lenses down to around f5.6 and focus a few feet away, a whole range of the area will be in focus. All you then need to do is walk that distance away (at a minimum) from your subject. This is known as hyperfocal length shooting and zone-focusing. The Leica 35mm lens is perfect for this type of shooting.

Leica 35mm f1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Pick this Lens if: You’re shooting in low-light situations often.

Tech Specs

  • Diagonal angle of view: 63 °
  • Working range: 0.7 m to infinity
  • Biggest scale: 1: 17.4
  • Number of lenses/groups: 9/5
  • Length * 1: 46 mm
  • Weight * 1: 320g
  • Lens hood: can be screwed on
  • Filter/filter thread: E46
  • Made in Germany

In our review, we stated:

“In general, I never stop these lenses down beyond f4 or f5.6. And if I stopped the lens down at all, I usually just stayed at f2 or f2.8. The reason why is because these lenses perform so well when shot wide open.”

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Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M ASPH

Pick this Lens if: You don’t want to spend a whole ton of money but you want something in the middle of the road for performance.

Tech Specs

  • Diagonal angle of view: 63 °
  • Working range: 0.7 m to infinity
  • Biggest scale: 1: 17.4
  • Number of lenses/groups: 7/5
  • Length * 1: 35.7 mm
  • Weight * 1: 252 g
  • Lens hood: can be screwed on
  • Filter / filter thread: E39
  • Made in Germany

In our review, we stated:

With the Leica 35mm f2 ASPH Summicron, you’re getting solid image quality for a pretty affordable Leica price point. For the photographer bound to stop the lens down and use it anywhere around f5.6, you’re going to get solid results consistently.

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Leica 35mm f2 APO Summicron-M ASPH

Pick this Lens if: You want one of the most innovative rangefinder lenses to come about in years.

Tech Specs

  • Unmatched image quality
  • Contemporary design
  • Easy to focus
  • Most compact 35mm full frame lens with this exceptional optical performance
  • Closest focus distance in M lens portfolio – up to 0.3m

In our review, we stated:

“So, what do you get from a lens that costs $8,195? Almost absolute perfection. The image quality is so good that every picture you create will bring a tear to your eye. I have used many 35mm lenses, but none have rendered images quite like the Leica APO Summicron M 35mm f2 ASPH. I went to edit my images and hardly had to touch them. They’re that good. Sharp, contrasty, colors to die for; you get the idea. Bokeh, oh the bokeh.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.