This lens was introduced in 1994 and represented a milestone in lens development. It was the first Leica aspherical lens produced by moulding raw glass blanks (a new, quicker and more cost-effective technology) and represented the start of the use of the new aspherical technology for a complete range of spectacular lens innovations.
The Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH is an ultra-high-speed wide-angle lens that consists of nine elements in five groups. The abbreviation "ASPH" added to the name, applies to the aspherical lens surface that provides this optical system with an unsurpassable image performance. A performance unlike that of any other compact 35mm lens: high contrast, excellent reproduction of detail in the image field, good even image field, and virtually free of coma. For the purpose of practical photography, the slight barrel shaped distortion is hardly noticeable.
Vignetting occurs in all optical systems. In this lens, it is negligible at full aperture and no longer visible at f/4.0.
These performance characteristics remain even in close ranges down to 0.7m. The Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH can be used universally as a versatile wide-angle lens.
The French photo magazine Chasseur d'Images awarded this lens 4 stars for optical performance (this lens is even marginally better at identical f-stops than the 5 star Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 ASPH).
The German photo magazine ColorFoto gave this lens 85.3 points (maximum score of 5 stars), in comparison to 84.8 (4 to 5 stars) for its Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0 ASPH sibbling.
The American photo magazine Popular Photography awarded the lens the maximum score of 5 stars.
Click here for an overview of M lenses.
Weight: 250 gr (black anodized) or 415 gr (silver chrome or titanium), length from bayonet flange: 46.2 mm, push-on lens hood. E46 filter size.
Its Leica catalog number is 11874 (black anodized), 11883 (silver chrome), 11859 (titanium).