When buying something that has Leica on it, a sober mind is required. Nothing wrong with the M6 combination that was recently acquired but I got weak and gave in hence here we are. So why not the 1.4 Summilux since a price difference of 64 percent isn’t a massive jump when one is already in this deep?
Aside from price, the size and weight of a ‘Cron can be a reason why it is chosen over the ‘Lux. Especially the former where finder blockage is annoying on a rangefinder camera. As difficult as it was to opt for a narrower aperture lens due to snobbish reasons, I am unable to use anything larger than f/5.6 when shooting Portra 400. The maximum shutter speed of a Leica M6 at 1000th of a second is hopeless when shooting under daylight conditions.
Leica M Mount
7 elements 5 groups
252 grams (Without Hood)
287 grams (With Hood)
Why not get a used one? When it comes to buying vintage even for cars, service history is important however sometimes they may not present themselves like you imagine. Truth be told, the M6 isn’t perfect as it’s got some bubbling on its paint and the bottom plate clip has lost its tension. Check one out in person, take a shot at every aperture value so long you do some homework, buying used is a smart move. A Leica may not depreciate much at second hand prices but it is good to keep in mind that they do require servicing.
I went for one straight from the oven to avoid disappointments plus I was given a discount that beats the price of a used copy. Having said that, a 35mm f/2 Summicron at this price point still is no bargain given top lens manufacturers are able to offer an autofocus f/1.4 at half the discounted price. A designer handbag, granted they are well finished they do not offer more over a regular bag. Likewise buying anything Leica is more often skewed towards emotion than rational thinking.
In 2016, Leica gave the 35 mm Summicron an extra blade to improve bokeh and replaced the plastic hood with a metal one which features a cut out to reduce viewfinder blockage. A plastic lens cap for the hood doesn’t feel good to touch or it belongs. Should you choose not to use the hood entirely, a thread cover and a metal lens cap are included. Although the lens have compact dimensions, its heft is definitely felt. The aperture dial clicks nicely into place while the manual focus action is smooth though a tad tight.
The Summicron is less compact compared to the Voigtlander, it too has a larger focusing tab which I very much appreciate. Using both of them back to back, surprisingly the Leica lens feels more in-tune to use. And once again considering the Summilux, its chunkier size together with weight is more fitting on a digital M. Furthermore, it’s optical excellence is not as pronounced on film negatives
As much as shooting a Leica being a good experience, these things that were originally made to be tools have become something of a luxury today which is a shame. I certainly wish that prices of these things can be a lot more sensible so more people can experience them instead of limiting things to a small pool of individuals. Hence, no judgements should one shoot a non-native lens on a Leica body or a regular Canon, let pictures do the talking.