Is This the Sharpest Lens Leica Has Ever Produced?

Leica may be the most polarizing brand on the market, but they have an undeniable quality of products. When it comes to their lenses, however, is this their crème de la crème?

Leica is a strange brand when it comes to the court of public opinion. It has disciples and it has vocal critics — which is true of most things — but Leica widens the gap more than most. I've always tried to remain impartial, but I felt that their products were unjustifiably overpriced for the most part. Then I visited their London office and tried some of their cameras and it made a lot more sense. Yes, they're expensive, but they are also singular. The images I took and the experience of using their cameras both had a "feel" that was difficult to define. All I could say is that I understood the allure. 

However you feel about them, they have a wealth of great lenses and that much is difficult to contest. When Peter Karbe, Leica's lead lens designer, described the Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. as the sharpest lens they have ever produced, it certainly pricked up many ears. What makes it most interesting to me is the science behind this lens. I won't go into detail here, but the summary would be that this lens outperforms Leica's 35mm f/1.4 in ways that, frankly, it shouldn't.

I am yet to get my hands on this lens to try myself, and at $8,195, I'm not about to buy one to review, but everything I have seen and read points towards this lens being a hall of fame contender.

What do you think of this Leica lens? Do you own one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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6 Comments

Daniel Holden's picture

The video is not about the lens you are linking to or talking about. The video is about an L-mount 35mm lens the article is about an M-mount lens.

John Ricard's picture

I was confused by that as well when I read the article.

Matt Williams's picture

Not the same lenses here. Switch the video out with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLdKhO0q65k&ab_channel=LeicaCamera

Scott McDonald's picture

Being a Leica user (along with Sony and Canon), I have a 35mm f1.4 ASPH FLE Summilux that is simply outstanding. I couldn't imagine Leica being able to produce something even better! At $8K, I'm probably not going to find out any time soon either...so, I'll just have to take your word for it.

Cliff Batson's picture

Wondering how to buy this lens without my wife finding out... :-)

Michael Dougherty's picture

It would be interesting to find out how it holds up on a Nikon Z7II. (with adapter of course)