Leica SUMMARON-M 28mm F/5.6

Wide-angle prime lens • Digital era

Production details

Announced:October 2016
Production type:Mass production
Production status: In production
Order No.:11695 - silver chrome
Original name:LEICA SUMMARON-M 1:5.6/28
System:Leica M (1954)

Model history (2)

Leitz Wetzlar SUMMARON 28mm F/5.6 [LSM]M6 - 41mA36 1955 
Leica SUMMARON-M 28mm F/5.6Pancake lensM6 - 41mE34 2016 
Leica SUMMARON-M 28mm F/5.6 “Oslo” (10 units)Pancake lens 2017 
Leica SUMMARON-M 28mm F/5.6 Matte black paint (500 units)Pancake lens 2019 

Features highlight

Manual
8 blades
MF
Compact
Lightweight
E34
filters

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:28mm
Speed:F/5.6
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Diagonal angle of view:75.4°
Lens construction:6 elements - 4 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Aperture control:Aperture ring
Number of blades:8 (eight)
Focusing
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m (coupled focusing)
Maximum magnification ratio:1:33.4 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing lever
Physical characteristics
Weight:165g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀51×18mm
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 34mm
Lens hood:Slip-on 12474 (rectangular)
Lens caps:14058 (front)
14269 (rear)
14379 (rear)

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

35mm equivalent focal length and speed (on APS-H cameras)

In terms of FoV & DoF
Camera series [Crop factor] Focal length SpeedMax MR Dia. angle of view
Leica M8/M8.2 APS-H [1.33x] 37.2mm F/7.41:25.11 60.3°

Manufacturer description #1

The Return of a Classic:

The Ultra-Compact LEICA SUMMARON-M 28 mm f/5.6 wide-angle lens for Unobtrusive Reportage Photography with a Vintage Look

October 19, 2016 - With the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, Leica Camera expands the lens portfolio of the Leica M rangefinder system with the modern reincarnation of a classic Leica lens. First introduced as a screw mount lens in 1955, the predecessor of this new lens is still one of the most compact wide-angle lenses in the Leica M-System and is famed for its characteristic visual signature. The new Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 takes its lead from the classically compact construction of its ancestor and brings the unique, analog look of its pictures into the age of digital photography.

The optical design and mechanical construction of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 are identical to those of its predecessor, which was manufactured at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar until 1963. The perfect fusion of the latest optical developments, such as the highest quality finishing and manufacturing techniques, with this classic optical design make this new edition of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 much more than a reconstruction of an existing lens. While only slightly modernizing the shape and design of the lens, the new version of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 is reduced to the essentials but loses none of the character of its legendary ancestor. Its exceptionally short length of less than two centimeters makes it incredibly unobtrusive, and together with the inherent unassuming nature of a Leica M it is an ideal lens for street photography. The combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allow for very precise and easy zone focusing.

The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups, arranged symmetrically around the iris of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, is identical to that of its ancestor. The historic optical design of the original lens has remained completely unchanged. When shot at wide-open aperture, the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 renders subjects with rich contrast across nearly the entire image field. The combination of a large depth of field, natural contrast rendition, excellent resolution of details and a slight visible vignetting create a unique visual signature, and lend pictures a special classic look reminiscent of earlier days of analog photography.

The outward appearance of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 has been harmonized with the contemporary look and mechanics of the current portfolio of Leica M-Lenses. This is exemplified in the Leica M bayonet mount with 6-bit coding, the shape of the focusing lock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the style of the knurling on the barrel and rings. The style and construction of the lens hood reflects the original, and recalls memories of the beginnings of rangefinder photography. It is machined from solid brass and finished in an elaborate manufacturing process.

As is the case for all other Leica lenses, the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 was designed and developed by the precision engineers and optical specialists in Wetzlar. As a product made to stand the test of time with enduring value, the lens is made in Germany from only the finest materials, and assembled entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing processes guarantees consistently excellent quality and long-lasting reliability.

Customers wishing to purchase a Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 lens must place a pre-order with a Leica Store, Boutique or Dealer. Deliveries will follow according to the sequence in which the orders are received. Due to the strong demand, long delivery times must be taken into account, especially in the first few months.

Manufacturer description #2

This Leica Summaron 28mm f/5.6 is a replica of the model originally introduced in 1955 at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar and famed for its characteristic visual signature. With its 6 lens elements arranged strictly symmetrically around the aperture in 4 groups, it has the same optical design. Its extremely compact mechanical construction also corresponds to the original. Unlike this, however, the current model is equipped with the M bayonet including 6 bit code. Furthermore, various external details have been adapted to the appearance of the current M lenses, for example the shape of the focus unlock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the knurling. The style and construction of the lens hood reflects the original.

Even when fully open, the lens is characterized by high-contrast rendering in large areas of the field of view. Stopping down to 11 greatly improves the imaging performance in the corners of the picture. Although stopping down further enhances the picture corners even more, this is at the expense of the overall contrast, i.e. the imaging performance is more even overall. When the aperture is open, vignetting is max., i.e. in the image corners, approx. 2.5 aperture stages. By stopping down to 8 vignetting can be reduced to approx. 1.8 aperture stages. Distortion is negligible.

Through its combination of extreme depth of field, natural contrast, excellent rendition of details and visible vignetting, the lens gives images a unique character. Pictures made with the Summaron-M stand out from all others with a look reminiscent of analogue photography.

Due to its imaging properties and its focal length, the new edition of the Leica Summaron 28mm f/5.6 is suitable for quick and discreet photography, in other words spontaneous snapshots. Its extremely small dimensions together with the camera make an extremely manageable unit that is easy to carry. The combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allow for very precise and easy zone focusing.

Manufacturer description #3

The Leica M can be used with a multitude of lenses far beyond those available from the current portfolio. Photographers frequently use lenses with a “vintage” signature to achieve particular effects that are otherwise difficult to reproduce, even with the most modern digital post-processing software. The Summaron wide-angle, now more than 50 years old, is a particularly popular and compact lens that has been recreated with an M-bayonet mount, 6-bit coding, and a slightly revised design.

The Summaron-M is modelled on a screw mount lens produced at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar from 1955 to 1963. Its unmistakable signature is almost impossible to reproduce by digital means and makes the lens a true classic; reborn today in a revised edition with identical optical properties. The fact that this is no simple reconstruction is obvious at first glance: the design of the Summaron-M has been refined down to the essentials, without losing any of the character of its legendary ancestor.

Through its combination of extreme depth of field, natural contrast, excellent rendition of details and visible vignetting, the lens gives images a unique character. Pictures made with the Summaron-M stand out from all others, with a look reminiscent of analogue photography.

The Summaron-M is the smallest M-System lens. With an overall length of less than 2 cm it is incredibly discreet, making it perfect for street photography. The combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allows particularly precise pre-focusing. In addition, the enormous depth of field makes it ideal for taking advantage of hyperfocal distance focusing and shooting from the hip at a speed no autofocus system can match.

The lens hood conjures up memories of the early days of rangefinder photography. Its design, and the meticulous manufacturing processes that went into its construction, have been recreated to match the historic ancestry of the Summaron-M. The lens hood is first machined from solid brass and then given its ultimate form by a turning and bending process. The specialized turning process also cuts the numerous grooves into the inner surface of the lens hood.

The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups arranged symmetrically around the iris of the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 is identical to that of its ancestor. In contrast to the legendary classic, the new model features an M-bayonet mount with 6-bit coding to enable identification of the lens by the camera.

Notes

  • All LEICA lenses having a focusing lever are automatically locked at the infinity position. This feature enables the camera to be used for infinity scenes and subjects without danger of the lens becoming accidentally out of focus due to unintentional movement. To release the lever for focusing on nearer planes press the knob at the end of the lever.

Typical application

Class:

Slow full-frame wide-angle prime lens • Pancake lens

Pancake lens

Pancake lenses get their name due to the thin and flat size. The other distinctive features are fixed focal length and light weight.

First pancake lenses appeared in the 1950s and were standard prime lenses based on the famous Tessar design – a brilliantly simple design which was developed by Paul Rudolph in 1902, patented by Zeiss company and provided a good optical performance.

With the improvement of optical technologies in the 1970s the optical design of pancake lenses became more complicated and the latest generation has overcome the limitations of traditional designs. As a result, pancake lenses are now also available in wide-angle and even short telephoto variations.

Due to the increasing demand for cameras with a compact form factor, pancake lenses are experiencing a second wave of popularity while having reasonable prices, which makes them accessible to a wide range of photographers. Such lenses are especially useful for those who enjoy travel photography.

Genres or subjects of photography (5):

Landscapes • Cityscapes • Buildings • Interiors • Travel photography

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/30th of a second

Alternatives in the Leica M system

///// Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order /////

Lenses with similar focal length

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

14058

Replacement lens cap, silver finish, for the SUMMARON-M 28mm f/5.6.

14269

Replacement rear cover for Leica M-mount lenses.

14379

Replacement rear cover, plastic, black finish, for Leica M-mount lenses.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/5.6 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.