Being a photographer requires a number of tools. As a bit of a gear head, I like mechanical things like motorcycles and most anything with nuts and bolts that moves, allows me to appreciate fine instruments that work flawlessly.
Leica has been one of those iconic brands that has filled the fine instrument niche for a good long time. They have teamed up with Panasonic to design lenses for them, and the results have been pretty special so far.
Today I will concentrate on the 15mm Summilux lens. I don’t do lens tests, but I do make many photos with a variety of lenses, and have used lenses from Leica M & R, Zeiss for Hasselblad, Contax, Rollei and Zeiss M mount, Nikon, Canon L, Mamiya RZ & 6, Bronica S and PS, and Voigtlander. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sublime over the years.
This particular lens falls into the sublime category. Sharp everywhere at any aperture, great contrast, resistant to flare and possessing a great clarity that makes it seem totally transparent. This clarity gives images a 3 dimensional feel that is enhanced by the neutrality of the out of focus areas in front of and behind the point of focus. It’s a kind of quality that does not draw attention to itself, but gets out of the way to just give a very natural looking image.
The focal length is just right, being wide enough, but not too wide as to be distorted. For me, it’s the perfect wide compliment to my 25mm lens. I own a 12mm prime, and it is a bit too broad and distorted to be used in many situations when photographing people.
Ok, enough yammering, here’s some photos taken with this lens. Please note, no pixels were harmed in the making of these images. -Mike