Leica has updated its popular 35mm f/2 ASPH lens with the new and improved APO-Summicron-M 35 F/2 ASPH. Although this new lens is slightly larger and heavier than the original, it boasts far better overall performance, particularly wide open.
The new Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH can now focus all the way down to 30 cm. This is a huge change in working distance, allowing far greater flexibility. The previous model had a minimum focusing distance of only 70 cm. This change in working distance means that the new lens can produce even shallower depth of field when shooting close to subjects. It's worth noting that due to the rangefinder design, in order to focus closer than 70 cm, you may be required to use the display instead of the optical viewfinder.
The other big change is that the new 35mm lens is now an APO series lens. Similar to the APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH, Leica has stated that it focused primarily on the optical quality of the 35mm lens. The only compromise is that the new lens is slightly heavier at 320 g as opposed to older 255 g lens.
The new 35mm lens also has three new lens elements, bringing it to a total of 10 elements in 5 groups. Also, the fact that it has 11 aperture blades means that the lens will produce smooth-looking bokeh even when it's stopped down.
Leica states: "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 as the rendition quality at the center and edges of the image is already outstanding".
The innovative lens hood design and optical improvements in this new lens mean that it is extremely resistant to stray light. This will be especially useful when shooting subjects that are backlit. Issues relating to chromatic aberrations and distortions have been corrected in the new lens and photographers will experience good edge-to-edge contrast rendition.
You can preorder the new Leica APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens for $8,195 using this link here.