The Summilux-R 35mm f/1.4 is an ultra high speed wide angle lens with a 64° angle of view. It has 10 elements in 9 groups. It has been specially designed for photography in poor lighting conditions. It is therefore particularly well suited for work in available light.
Even at full aperture it has a high contrast performance and good detail rendering in the center of the picture and in a large portion of the picture area. Falling-off of definition towards the margin occurs only close to the extreme corners of the picture and is reduced by stopping down.
The lens also performs extremely well with subjects of high contrast (e.g. in contre jour light) and even light sources included in the picture do not produce disturbing reflections. Coma is practically absent. Distortion is respectably low for such a high-speed wide-angle lens and shows a hardly noticeable increase of barrel distortion in the near-focusing range.
Because of its floating elements the Summilux-R 35mm f/1.4 produces a very flat picture area also in the near-focusing range (0.5m). From f/5.6 flat objects, too, are reproduced sharp from corner to corner.
The lens suffers from inherent vignetting at large apertures, which becomes noticeable especially with slightly short exposures and evenly bright picture areas, e.g. the wall of a house or the blue sky, and is therefore not disturbing in the useful range for which the lens has been designed: in available light. It is practically eliminated at medium stops.
In spite of the large filter diameter of E67 the use of a relatively thick, rotable circular polarizing filter cuts the edges of the picture (vignetting). This is visible even in mounted transparencies, and the use of such a polarizing filter is therefore not recommended.
The French photo magazine Chasseur d'Images awarded this lens 3 stars for optical performance (their test system penalizes lenses with large f-stops; star results can only be compared among lenses within the same f-stop category).
Weight: 660 gr, length from bayonet flange: 76 mm, built-in lens hood. E67 filter size.
Its Leica catalog number is 11144 or 11337 (with ROM). First introduced in 1984.