LEICA SUMMILUX-M 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH.
Leica’s fastest wide-angle lenses for experts and professionals
Leica Camera AG is writing a new chapter in reportage photography with the Leica rangefinder camera with its super fast wide-angle lenses LEICA SUMMILUX-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and LEICA SUMMILUX-M 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. Their exceptional speed and outstanding imaging performance combined with extremely large angles of view and compact dimensions make these lenses unique. The 21 mm lens is even a world first: it is the first 21 mm lens in 35 mm photography with an initial aperture of f/1.4.
The new Leica Summilux-M lenses have wide application potential, particularly for available light exposures. Despite their pronounced wide-angle characteristics, they feature extremely shallow field depth. This allows the main subject in close-focus shots to be effectively detached from the background, enabling a level of creative and expressive photography that can only be realized with system cameras. Stopped down to medium values, the field depth range is so great that entire landscapes can depicted in sharp focus. As precise focusing is not essential in this case, the M camera is quicker than any camera with automatic focus.
“The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 21 mm and 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. are remarkable high-performance lenses. They combine the advantages of ultra-high speed, such as selective focus and excellent available light capability with outstanding imaging and extremely wide angles of view. This extraordinary potential makes the new Summilux–M lenses simply indispensable for the professional M photographer. Their special reliability and value retention is the result of using high-quality materials and intricate assembly by hand at the Solms factory. The combination of state-of-the-art technology with meticulous craftsmanship based on skill and experience guarantees the constant quality of every single Leica lens, once again widening the creative potential of Leica M photography,“ comments Stefan Daniel, Product Manager for the Leica M system at Leica Camera AG.
Both Leica Summilux-M lenses consist of ten elements in eight component groups. The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH. has two aspherical elements, the Summilux-M 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. one that has been adopted from the 21 mm lens. The realization of the new Summilux-M lenses was only possible by using state-of-the-art blank-pressing techniques for aspherical lens elements, which have several key advantages: besides the possibilities of using a wider spectrum of glass types and a larger lens element diameter, they meet Leica precision specifications. Both lenses feature total focusing. To achieve high imaging performance right through to the close-focus range, a floating element is used, i.e. two lens elements change their relative position to the rest of the optical system during focusing. Great pains are taken to correct chromatic aberrations: the Summilux-M 21 mm f/1.4 integrates seven elements with partial anomalous dispersion, the Summilux- M 24 mm f/1.4 five.
Vignetting and distortion, two parameters that are generally difficult to control in fast wide- angle lenses, have been corrected to such a high degree in the new Summilux-M lenses that they are hardly noticeable in practice. At aperture 2.8 already, the lenses only exhibit the natural vignetting. Due to the use of a second aspherical lens surface in the 21 mm lens, distortion is only -2,3%, and only -2.2% for the 24 mm lens, and is therefore hardly visible.
Both lenses are equipped with a patented, rectangular lens hood that accommodates series VII (24 mm) or series VIII (21 mm) filter mounts. Like the new NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH., the new SUMMILUX-M lenses are manufactured to extremely narrow tolerances. New methods of lens centration and adjustment were designed for this purpose.
The LEICA SUMMILUX-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and LEICA SUMMILUX-M 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. will be on sale at Leica stockists’ from December 2008.