does Leica care for its cutomers? : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Why does Leica release an extremely expensive 15mm R lens (around 6.000 euro) for which there will only be a very limited amount of customers, when their 2,0 35mm lens is of no more than mediocre quality. The 35mm is a much more popular lens, still expensive but everything Leica is overpriced. For the price of a 15mm I can buy a Hasselblad 905 or a large format super wide camera.


-- Frank Bunnik (, April 16, 2002


The 35mm Summicron asph is a superb lens. Don't know how it could be much better! Ditto the 35mm Summilux asph. A 15mm f2.8 with so little distortion is probably unique for those who need it. The Voightlander 15mm is much slower and has more distortion, but of course is much more affordable. Here as is usually the case, you get what you pay for, but the idea that the current Leica 35mm lenses are inferior is absurd!

-- Jack Matlock (, April 16, 2002.

I think your dealer is playing games Frank. In Canada Hasselbad and Leica are distributed by the same company (Lisle Kelco). The 15mm R lens is $1000.00 (CND) less than the Hassey. Somethings amiss.

-- Bob Todrick (, April 16, 2002.

I've owned four current optical design 35mm f2 Summicron-R lenses (two pre-ROM, two ROM) and I would hardly say they are "of no more than mediocre quality". Why four? Because although the lens wasn't fast enough and I kept selling it to get faster, I kept coming back to it because of the phenomenal and consistent sharpness and contrast, edge to edge and throughout the aperture range. If you look hard enough you can even find exc pre-ROM examples with mint glass for about $500 or so. It's one of the best lenses I've ever used, and I've shot with plenty in this range (including 35/2-M ASPH, 35/1.4-M ASPH, 35/1.4-R, Canon EF and FD 35/2, EF 35/1.4L).

-- Anon Terry (, April 16, 2002.

I know of only one source that disses the 35/2-R v.2, and that is the Leica Lens Compendium. The nearly universal opinion of users and other tests is that this lens is one of the finest of its type. Undoubtedly the 35/2ASPH-M is a better performer, but compared to any 35mm SLR lens past or present the 35/2-R E55 v.2 is at the head of the class, and the v.1 is up there with the best of the rest. I also have shot with several 35's from Nikon and Canon and Pentax, 4 versions of the M lens, and sold both the 35/1.4-R and 35/2.8-R E55 in favor of the Summicron E55.

I have to agree that the 15-R (old or new versions) are among the worst buys (IMO)in lenses...not that they're unsharp, quite the contrary, just that for their limited usefulness they cost a whopping lot of money. Can't compare them to a Hassy 905 because that lens is equal to approximately a 25mm. For a 15mm lens for me, the $300 C/V Heliar on any M, LTM or Bessa body, does the trick beautifully. If I really need wider than my 21 S/A for the R system, I've got a Tamron SP 17/3.5 adaptall which is a surprisingly good lens.

-- Jay (, April 16, 2002.


You sound as though you live in a good place - can I come and buy a Hassey in your neck of the woods? Don't believe everything you hear or read on the web! Absolute nonsense about the 35mm 'cron.

Certainly though I have always thought the new 15mm R lens is a complete waste of money - not that it is not a great lens, but R users would much prefer a new 90mm APO or even a new 24mm. It is not as though 15mm is really that useful. After all there is a 1st class 19mm already. They have at least put out a new w/a zoom.

-- Robin Smith (, April 16, 2002.

Bob, one thousand dollars Canadian is less than $650 US for a new 15mm R lens? Sorry i dont think so.

-- Joel Matherson (, April 16, 2002.

Joel, please re-read my post. I said the 15mm R was $1000 cheaper than the Hassey 905.

-- Bob Todrick (, April 16, 2002.

I realise the Hasselblad offers me a less wide lens compared to the 15mm R lens. However, the 21mm mm of the biogon is much more usefull than the 15mm at a similar price and with 6x6 I get an imagequality that surpasses every 24x36 slide/negative.

Mediocre was maybe a bit too bad but it is not up to the quality offered in the m series. It is a good lens but nothing special as was the conclusion of an independent lens test in the leading photographic magazine here in Holland a couple of years ago.

-- Frank Bunnik (, April 17, 2002.

Its true that Leica is expensive, but I guess that the price reflects the low sales wrt to other companies. The prices of bodies and lenses are justifiable (esp the lenses as they are so well made), but its stupid accessories that are way overpriced, such as plastic lens caps, hoods, carry straps etc....

-- karl yik (, April 17, 2002.


The 35/2ASPH is optically a wonderful lens. It also handles very well. Thought that the hood would be a problem in interfering with the ap. ring but it is not really. I buzz mine underneath with a straight finger. Once a skeptic, now a believer! There are worse ways to toss a grand.



-- Alex Shishin (, April 17, 2002.

I thought it was obvious but maybe I was wrong, I do not mean the 2/35mm asph. M-lens but the 2/35 R lens. Otherwise the question would not make any sense would it?

-- Frank Bunnik (, April 17, 2002.

Mediocre was maybe a bit too bad but it is not up to the quality offered in the m series. It is a good lens but nothing special as was the conclusion of an independent lens test in the leading photographic magazine here in Holland a couple of years ago.

Yet another example of how "lens tests" aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

-- Anon Terry (, April 17, 2002.

Yet another example that shows that when an article writes something bad about Leica the article is crap but when it is in favour of Leica it is a good article. Since you don't know the test or the testing method you can not judge.

-- Frank Bunnik (, April 17, 2002.

Frank, check out which tests a great many lenses and in which the 35 R Sumicron comes out as good as any of the high end stuff from Nikon/Canon. It sounds as if your guilty of what you accuse Leica users of, only in reverse. If a report says Leica's good you think it's crap, if they say Leica's bad you figure it's a good, honest report.

-- Bob Todrick (, April 18, 2002.

Guess you can't put things in brackets here. The above should read "check out"

-- Bob Todrick (, April 18, 2002.

Very nice but we all know that MTF-graph. tell nothing about practical use.

-- Frank Bunnik (, April 19, 2002.

Oh, but I do like to read an interesting article or test on Leica. In the same magazine mr. Puts published a couple of articles in which he compared different generations of leica m lenses (28, 35 etc.) Good articles from the time before Erwin had to rely on scientific nonsens to proof that he is right. And the same magazine publishes interesting articles on Leica from time to time that I like to read.

-- Frank Bunnik (, April 19, 2002.

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