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Leica APO-Summicron 35mm F2.0 ASPH

Maximum performance in a compact construction: the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH sets new benchmarks.

What is new and special about the 35mm Summicron APO is that now we can focus down to 30cm to our subject whereas previously it has been 70cm. This is achieved with a new focus mechanism. This lens’ 50mm brother, the 50mm APO-Summicron is regarded as the world’s sharpest ever camera lens. I’m waiting for Photoco to get one where I tend to buy all my gear.

Leica Press Release (Wetzlar 4th March 2021)

With the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH., Leica Camera releases yet another M-lens whose optical performance can hardly be bettered. As with the successful APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH., the designers were given just one brief: to achieve maximum imaging performance without compromise – the only difference being that this time, the lens in question has a moderate wide-angle focal length of 35 mm. The result is a lens whose sharp detail rendition will challenge not just current, but also future image sensors; in addition, the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. is the only M-lens with a closest focusing distance of just 30 centimetres, which – in conjunction with the high light sensitivity – opens up a host of new compositional possibilities.

This exceptional performance capability is made possible by the elaborate lens design, combined with the high-precision manufacturing processes at the Leica production plant. The ten lens elements are divided into five groups; three elements feature aspherical surfaces (one of them on both sides). Six elements are made of glasses with anomalous partial dispersion, which not only reduce chromatic aberrations to almost zero, but also provide apochromatic correction – a quality that is rarely found in lenses of this focal length.

The APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. also delivers outstanding results at close range, thanks to a floating element that ensures a consistent performance at all distances. The focus ring has a particularly large throw of 300°, enabling precise focusing at all times despite the extended closest focusing distance. Via the rangefinder, the lens can be focused at a distance as close as 70 cm – at which point a slight resistance can be felt on the focus ring. At distances between 70 and 30 cm, the photographer can optionally focus via the camera’s display screen in Live View mode, the Visoflex electronic viewfinder, or the Leica FOTOS app.

The innovative construction of the lens hood, in combination with highly effective anti-reflective coatings, makes the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. extremely resistant to any type of stray light – allowing the photographer to shoot into the sun or other sources of light. Optical flaws such as chromatic aberration and distortion are almost entirely corrected. This – together with the extremely high, edge-to-edge contrast rendition – facilitates an especially pronounced bokeh at open aperture. Seeing as the aperture is almost circular (thanks to the use of eleven blades), this effect is also retained when the lens is stopped down.

Even more than any other M-lens, the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. only has to be stopped down for compositional purposes – never for exposure control. The rendition quality at the centre and edges of the image is already so outstanding that there is no scope for further improvement by stopping down. Despite its exceptional performance, the APO-Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH. is both compact and light-weight. With its classic reportage focal length, this is a lens for every photographic situation that can be used on any current and future model of the M series, as well as the Leica SL2 and SL2-S.

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