We Loved These Beautiful Leica Lenses for Portrait Photography

There are very few things that render like Leica lenses. Last year, we spent the entire year reviewing every Leica lens they currently sell. And with that, we found lots of different ways to cater to different crowds. Browse any photography subreddit and you’ll probably find folks talking about the Leicas. Well, we dove into our Guide to Leica Lenses and we found some of our favorite Leica Lenses for portrait photography. They’re right here for you to enjoy.

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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 that 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 Choosing Leica Lenses for Portrait Photography

Trying to figure out which ones are the best Leica lenses for portrait photography? Here’s why we love these ones:

  • We tested all these lenses ourselves in our own real-world reviews. You can look further into our tests within each section.
  • Be sure to check out our complete guide to Leica M lenses. We reviewed everyone currently available on the market. That roundup includes our favorite Leica lenses for portrait photography.
  • We’re choosing these lenses based not only off the images we made with them, but also just how they render. They all look gorgeous.
  • You can shoot with these lenses on film and digital both! Remember that you can also adapt them to pretty much any camera system out there.
  • These lenses aren’t always the lightest of the bunch. But they’ll more than do the job. That’s why they’re amongst our favorite Leica lenses for portrait photography.
  • You’ll need your portrait subjects to be very patient as you’ll be manually focusing your lenses.

Leica 50mm f2 Summicron APO ASPH

Tech Specs

  • Diagonal picture angle: 47°
  • Working range: 0.7m to infinity
  • Largest scale: 1:11.3
  • Number of lenses/groups: 8/5
  • Length * 1: 47 mm
  • Weight * 1: 300 g
  • Lens hood: built-in
  • Filter/filter thread: E39

Pros

  • Very compact
  • Versatile
  • Contrast
  • Sharp images that retain some of the Leica character
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Easy to focus
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

How’s the Bokeh? We Tested it!

In our review, we state:

“While this lens is “only an f2,” it delivers a dreamy quality of bokeh. When the subject is closer to the background, the Leica 50mm f2 Summicron APO lens blurs the background enough to make an impactful portrait.”

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Leica 75mm f1.25 Noctilux

Tech Specs

  • Diagonal angle of view: 32 °
  • Working range: 0.85 m to infinity
  • Biggest scale: 1: 8,8
  • Number of lenses/groups: 9/6
  • Length * 1: 91 mm
  • Weight * 1: 1055 g
  • Lens hood: Integrated
  • Filter/filter thread: E67
  • Made in Germany

Pros

  • Beautiful Bokeh
  • Very sharp
  • Gorgeous rendition with lovely contrast
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • It is pricey
  • The lens is hefty 
  • It is not very comfortable to hold for long shoots

How’s the Bokeh? We Tested it!

In our review, we state:

“This lens creates some of the best bokeh available on a 75mm lens. Its painterly aesthetic is perfect for making your subjects pop. The bokeh is also beautiful when stopping down slightly.”

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Leica 90mm f2 Summicron-M

Tech Specs

  • Diagonal picture angle: 27 °
  • Working range: 1 m to infinity
  • Biggest scale: 1: 9
  • Number of lenses/groups: 5/5
  • Length * 1: 78 mm
  • Weight * 1: 500 g
  • Lens hood: Pull-out and lockable
  • Filter/filter thread: E55
  • Made in Germany

Pros

  • Metal build
  • Built-in hood
  • Bright aperture
  • Lovely colors
  • Sharp subjects melt into great bokeh
  • Flare adds lots of character

Cons

  • Softer edges when wide open
  • Like all M mount lenses, there’s no weather-sealing, stabilization, or autofocus
  • Expensive

How’s the Bokeh? We Tested it!

In our review, we state:

“At f2, a sharp subject quickly gives way to a soft background. Subjects really pop with this lens. Even stopped down to f4.8, the sharpness has a nice gradual falloff. The 90mm focal length allows even shots at that same narrower aperture to create bokeh balls.”

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Chris Gampat

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