Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH.
One of the cheapest, which is certainly not noticeable in it's performance.
17 Photos • 29 September 2014
The Leica Elmarit-M 28mm ASPH. at a glance
The Leica Elmarit-M 1:2,8/28mm ASPH. is a wide angle lens for M mount cameras and serves as a 36mm lens on the M8 and M8.2. Back then when I used the M8 and M8.2 it was my most used lens. It might not be very fast at only f/2,8 but it is razor sharp and has virtually no distortion what so ever. It is more sharp and has less distortion than the more expensive Leica Summicron-M 1:2/28mm ASPH. but is one aperture stop slower. It only weighs approximately 180 grams, is very small so doesn’t block your viewfinder at all and has the E39 filter size which is nice if you have other lenses in that size. It is also one of the cheapest Leica lenses with only the Summarit line being cheaper.
You can click images to enlarge them.
Great starter lens combined with a Leica M8 or M8.2
If you don’t have a Leica yet but would like to get your first Leica, you will probably be shocked and amazed by how expensive the lenses and camera bodies are. Most people start by buying a second hand body. And with the introduction of the M (Typ 240) the prices of the M8, M8.2, M9 and M9-P have dropped significantly. If you want to start out as cheap as possible it’s better to save money on the body than on the lenses, because the lenses only go up in price over time and you will bring the lenses to your next M body when you upgrade later on. This Leica Elmarit-M 28mm ASPH. combined with a M8 or M8.2 is a great starter set with a approximate 36mm equivalent focal length due to the M8 and M8.2’s x1,33 crop factor.
The lens on the full frame bodies
The lens performs just as well on the fullframe bodies as it does on the x1,33 crop M8 and M8.2 and only has a very tiny amount of distortion in the very far corners and a little vignetting. But it has the real 75˚ diagonal viewing angle. It is great for street photography, get in close and intimate with your subject. Or for architecture and landscapes. This lens is a great performer for allot of different subjects. And for the price it goes for should be in any M owner’s camera bag.
The lens has only very little vignetting on full frame bodies wide open, and only very little distortion in the very far corners. It is very sharp from f/2,8 – f/8 with it’s sweet spot I would say at f/4. From f/11 and smaller you will notice diffraction limiting the sharpness slightly but the lens is still sharp enough and if you need it for a very large depth of field you can easily stop down to the smallest aperture setting on this lens: f/22. The lens does flare when there is a direct light source just outside of the frame, but the supplied lens hood will keep this from happening when attached. It has a 10 bladed aperture diaphragm making for nice ‘sunstars’ when shooting night time cityscapes for example.
On the x1,33 crop bodies this lens is perfect. It is sharp and has no vignette not even wide open. The lens on full frame bodies is already that good, and if you ‘crop’ the image slightly like the M8 and M8.2 do you end up with a photo that is near perfect.
The lens handles great, it is a really light weight at only 180 grams, so you barely feel it is there on the camera. It has a nice focus tab just like the 35mm Summicron-M ASPH. or the 50mm Summilux-M ASPH. etc. It has a short focus throw but is precise enough to get accurate focus quickly and consistently. The aperture ring is very smooth with half stop clicks, in my opinion it’s a bit too smooth just like most other modern Leica lenses. Sometimes I accidentally change the aperture value when I am wearing gloves, for example. All in all handling is pretty much the same as the 35mm Summicron-M ASPH. the lenses also look alike but the 35mm Summicron-M ASPH. is a lot heavier and slightly taller. It also doesn’t protrude into the viewfinder so you get a clear view on your subject.
A few more images for you to enjoy
Below you will find a few more shots taken with the Elmarit-M 28mm ASPH. I hope you have enjoyed reading and checking out the photos in my article and as always feel free to subscribe to my newsletter to receive an email when I publish a new article, or to leave your thoughts in the comments bellow.
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The Leica 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH - one of the best lenses I've ever... sold... - 35mmc
[…] More reading A few more shots from me A review from Yip Van Kuijk […]
Very interesting article. Thank you!
Very nice user review with excellent photos showing the performance of the lens. Review was very well written.
Jip van Kuijk
Thank you Mubeen!
Dear JIP, Thank you for everything you did to write this review. It is next on my list to buy! Looking for a used copy.
have you ever try this lens on Sony a7rll body ? Im trying to this combo..
Jip van Kuijk
The lens itself is amazing, but a lot of wide lenses (wider than 50mm) in M mount don’t work well on most digital cameras except the digital Leica M cameras. This is because lenses real elements get quite close to the sensor, so instead of the light falling on the sensor straight from the front the light falls on the sensor in quite steep angles. This makes for purple edging etc on the Sony Ax cameras.
This is just my theoretical knowledge I share with you, since I have never used a Sony camera yet, let alone with M mount lenses.
I hope this helps,