3 Lenses for the Leica M4 You’re Bound to Love!

The Leica M4 is a camera with a cult-like following. Of the fully analog Leicas, it represents the pinnacle of things while also being very affordable. It’s outdone only by the Leica M6 in terms of accruing a following. But what are the best lenses for the Leica M4? Well, we’re rounding up a slew of options that we really like. And we’ve actually used all these lenses too.

View this article with minimal banner ads in our app for iOS, iPad, and Android. Get no banner ads for $24.99/year.

How We Chose the Best Lenses for the Leica M4

This list of lenses for the Leica M4 was put together with a lot of ethical values. Here’s what you should know.

  • We’ve not only reviewed the Leica M4, but we’ve also reviewed each of these lenses. The product images and sample images were all shot by our staff. And each section includes links to our full reviews. 
  • We’re creating this list of lenses for the Leica M4 based on value for the money. As such, not all the lenses are from Leica themselves. 
  • We’ve noticed a lot of issues with Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses having mount shake. So we’re not including any of those.
  • The Leica M4 doesn’t have a light meter. So you’ll have to use an external one or the Sunny 16 method. 
  • We no longer own the Leica M4; we’ve upgraded to the Leica M6. But still, the Leica M4 and all the variants are quite awesome.
  • Check out our full Leica M Mount lens guide right here at this link.

7Artisans 50mm f1.1

Pros

  • Very beautiful bokeh
  • Stop the lens down just a bit and it will be tack sharp
  • Nice feeling in the hand
  • Works beautifully on M mount cameras and when attached to a Sony a7r III
  • This gorgeous lens flare
  • Fun to use
  • You get a rubber focus tab that you can paste on for yourself
  • Very affordable at $369

Cons

  • There are these empty screw holes on the focusing ring. I’m afraid of stuff getting in there in the long run

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“Yup, there’s tons of bokeh here. The best bokeh from this lens obviously comes at f1.1 and when you’re focused closely to the subject. But given that this is a rangefinder lens, the closest focusing is around three feet. The bokeh is creamy, dreamy, gorgeous. There is so much to say about it that simply can’t be put into words. But in addition to that it’s also unlike any bokeh I’ve seen before. Some say this lens is a copy of a Voigtlander, but I’m not sure I see that. Portrait photographers will surely be pleased here.”

Is it Worth the Price?

This lens is an f1.1 with a vintage design for less than a dinner tab of 11 people (not including tip). It’s very worth the price point, and you can get one here.

7Artisans 35mm f2

Pros

  • Full aperture stops only
  • Sharp images
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Small and lightweight
  • Metal body

Cons

  • Nothing really, except that it’s not Leica’s, Zeiss’s, or Voigtlander’s quality. But it’s still very good.

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“The bokeh from the 7Artisans 35mm f2 is very nice to my eyes. It’s not what the f1.4 lenses I’ve tested have, but it’s still very beautiful in its own way. This is partially due to the design and how subjects tend to bloom with light if they’re backlit. If you love bokeh, then you’re not going to really complain. Instead, you’re going to be more thrilled that you’ve got an affordable lens that can give you solid quality.”

Is It Worth the Price?

This lens can be had for under $200. The other day I spent more on new bed sheets, and this lens is bound to last me longer.

Leica 28mm f5.6

Pros

  • Very low profile build
  • A very classic look to the image quality that I seriously wish more manufacturers did
  • F5.6 is probably what I would use for street photography anyway.
  • Smooth operation

Cons

  • Full stops for aperture, though if you’ve shot film that shouldn’t be an issue at all
  • Weird zone focusing scale so it’s tough to figure out what you’ve got in focus

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“The color rendition for the Leica Summaron-M 28mm F5.6 is fairly muted. It’s classic and really nice on digital sensors. On a Sony sensor, it’s obviously going to be more saturated.”

Is It Worth the Price?

The Leica 28mm f5.6 has pretty unique image quality overall. Plus, the build quality is far better than any alternatives out there. We think it’s very much worth the price for this reason.

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.

Chris Gampat

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