The Leica 28mm F2 Matte Black Is Beautiful Inside and Out

Our staff has reviewed every Leica M-mount lens currently on the market. As much as we adore them, I’m sure we’d be happier with matte black variants of their lenses. Matte exteriors have a few characteristic differences and advantages over more polished surfaces. And that’s precisely what Leica is doing with their new 28mm Summicron variant. The Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black is less shiny and flashy than their other lenses. If you’ve beaten your camera up with lots of patina to showcase, this might be the one you want. Cue George Michael’s Careless Whisper, please.

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Optically speaking, the Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black will be identical to the other lens. Our review said this lens’s render is a bit muted and classic. That’s something I still agree with. This isn’t one of Leica’s Apochromatic lenses or their f1.4 Summilux lenses with lots of natural 3D render. That’s to say that your photographs won’t appear like the subject is bursting out of the image. 

According to Leica:

The special matte black paint finish is specifically designed to be resistant to abrasion and the adhesion of dirt, while also providing a discrete appearance that is ideally suited to classic reportage photography. With its inlaid engravings in a neutral green, the special edition lens compliments both analogue and digital M bodies, as well as any SL, CL or TL camera system using a Leica M-Adapter L accessory.”

More Affordable Than the Standard?

This is a limited edition item, which means the lavish price will reflect its novelty. Only 450 Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black units will be made, with each piece yielding $4,495. The pricing is incredibly unusual. Adorama lists the Leica 28mm f2 at varying prices between $4,150 and $5,095. The Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black is more affordable than a brand-new Portugal-made version. Like all things luxury, I’m sure folks will flip them for even more in the second-hand market. But honestly, this is a lens you’d want to be stuck to your camera.

This isn’t uncommon for Leica, for those curious. There have been times when their special editions are more affordable. My theory on why it’s this way this time around has to do with the global pandemic issue. I believe that Leica got a few exterior casings that might not have been ideal, so they gave them a Matte Black finish and decided to make it a special edition. The funny thing here, though, is that Leica might not be telling the story like that while the rest of the luxury world does. If you’re into whiskey, this story Cool Hunting did on Ardbeg barrels gone wrong is a fascinating read. The fact is that people like stories. And if there is some sort of imperfection, it can always result in a happy accident of some kind. But the camera industry could tell the story, and Leica surely could as well here too!

Sample Images

Here are some sample images Leica provided from the Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black. Granted, we can tell they’re heavily photoshopped. 

To give you a bit more of an idea of what to expect without the photoshopping, here are photos from our Leica 28mm f2 Summicron review below. And you can check out our full review of the lens right here.

Leica 28mm f2 Matte Black Tech Specs

Internally, this is the same lens as Leica’s standard 28mm f2 Summicron-M ASPH. With that in mind, the following tech specs are taken from the LensRentals listing.

Angle of View75°
AutofocusManual Focus Only
DimensionsLength: 1.6″
Filter Size46.0mm (non-rotating)
Filter Stylenonrotating
Focal Length28.0-28.0
Hood IncludedYes
Image StabilizationNo
Item TypeLens
Lens TypeWide Angle
Max Aperture2.0
Maximum Magnification.045x
Minimum Aperture22.0
Minimum Focusing Distance2.3feet
MountLeica M
Weight9.5 oz.

Chris Gampat

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