Sunday, January 15, 2023

Leitz 8-Element Summicron 35mm f2

While organizing my Flickr, I noticed that I've uploaded over 700 images taken by the Leitz lens I use the most - the first version of the 35mm f2 Summicron. I've blogged about this lens in the past when it was merely an old user lens, which took very pleasing images.

However, in the recent years, this 8-element lens has caught the attention of aficionados,  skyrocketing its value. In fact a reverse engineered version of this lens is being remanufactured in China in limited quantities.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila 2011
Kodan Tri X in Diafine

It's not a razor sharp optic and the corners vignette wide open.

Macau 2014
Fuji Acros in Diafine

Hong Kong 2014
Fuji Acros in Diafine.

I like the way it creates an illusion of a three dimensional image with a smooth bokeh.

Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

It's sharp enough to capture essential details with good contrast.

Porsche 356 in NYC
Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal

Carnegie Hall 2016
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

NYC 2016
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

High Line NYC 2016
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

SoHo NYC 2016
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

Segerstorm PAC 2016
Kodak Plus X in Diafine

Bunker Hill, WV 2017
Fomapan 100 in Rodinal

Toronto 2017
Kodak Plus X in HC110

Kensington Market, Toronto 2017
Fuji Acros in HC110

NYC 2019
Kodak Portra

Color rendition is on the cool and muted side.

New York 2019
Kodak Portra

Subtle tonal gradations are well preserved by this medium contrast lens.

Princeton U 2021
Kodak Portra

NoMad NYC 2018
Fuji Acros in HC110

The technical limitations of this lens contribute to its overall character and charm.

Water Jug 2014
Fuji Acros in Rodinal

Lincoln Center 2019
The Juilliard School (left) + David Geffen Hall (right)
Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal

JE Labs LP Collection 2022
Sony A7II

I like how this lens tames a digital sensor, just like I utilize vacuum tubes + transformers to turn a number crunching DAC chip into a musical device.

JE Labs HiFi 2022
Sony A7II

I love seeing the tonal quality of my hifi through this lens.😉