Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Lens

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Lens

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

February 2018


I realised I haven’t yet write a review on the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens I bought back in 2016.  It is a fantastic lens, super sharp wide open at f2.8 (as you would expect from Leica) and very compact for a Leica lens with a 39mm filter thread.

Rather than probably just repeat what others have written before me I thought it is probably easier to show you what the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm lens can do, both on a digital Leica camera and on film, black and white film and some colour film (click any image for details of what film was used).  Thanks to Ruby who features in a lot of these photos.  Many of the photos were shot during one of my 1-2-1 model photography workshops on location in London.

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 – On the digital Leica M240 camera

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8
London Model Photography Workshop
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 + Leica M240
Leica B&W
Leica M 240 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 – On a Leica film cameras (Leica M2, M4-P)

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm Fashion
Kodak Double-X 5222 film
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH
London Photography Workshop
Kodak Double-X 5222
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH Film

Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222

Kodak Double-X 5222 @800

The Beauty of Film

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 – Landscapes on Film

River Danube with Ice
Leica Film Landscape
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm Landscape
Leica Landscape Photography

28mm Leica M Mount Lenses

My first Leica M mount 28mm lens for my Leica cameras was a Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 lens.  I bought it to use for weddings early in my Leica photography.  I will write a short review on the Ultron 28f2 when I get chance.  Next I bought the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens, featured here, as I wanted a smaller 28mm lens for travel when size is everything.  Finally only a few weeks ago I invested in a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH lens as I want to try to use it for weddings in 2018.  It is larger and heavier than the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens, being an f2 lens so I will keep the smaller Elmarit for when there is plenty of light or if I am stopping the lens down for say landscape photography.  I wanted get the Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 to use for available light wedding photography.  Yes the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm lens is also f2 but I think I got my heart set on the Summicron-M 28mm ASPH (and it will hold it’s value in the long term so I see it as an investment).

Here is a quick visual size comparison of the three 28mm lenses

  • Left: Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8
  • Centre: Leica Summicron-M ASPH 28mm f2
  • Right: Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2

(*Sorry for the coloured lighting and dust on the lenses!)




I highly recommend the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8  lens if you photography in places where you don’t need a faster aperture.  No complaints from me and definitely a keeper!

Related Posts


Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy

Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy – 23 April 2016

Matthew Osborne Photography / @MrLeicaCom

May 2016

Katie with CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

Amateur Photographer Magazine

Vintage lenses on modern cameras

I wrote a six page article for the UK Amateur Photographer Magazine (23 April 2016 issue) on using old “legacy” lenses on modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras.  (*This does not include rangefinder cameras without Live View such as the Leica M8 and Leica M9).

Rather than repeat myself I have linked the full article below.

Harriett with Pancolar 80/1.8 SOOC

The images used for the article are quite old as they date back to my pre-Leica days when I was using a Nikon D800 DSLR, 2012-2013 mostly I think.

Here is a more recent photo using the same equipment with Stacey

Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f1.8


The article also describes a photography technique which was my norm before I moved to Leica cameras and that was “Freelensing”.  I have written an article on this in the past so I have linked it below for perhaps better image examples.

Hasselblad Lens Freelensing

Old habits die hard

Shortly after the article was published I was explaining to model Elle how freelensing works.  As a result here is freelensing image from a few weeks ago before I went to Poland.


Freelensing on film

Finally, here are a few freelensing photos closer to my heart.  They are all shot on film cameras with model Tegan.  (My apologies for the grain!  It was expired film).

Expired 120 Ilford Delta 400

Vega 28 + Mamiya 645 Super

Ilford Delta 400 Film


Magazine Article – Full

Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy – 23 April 2016

Related Posts

Amateur Photographer Magazine 2014 – Freelensing

MrLeica @ OnFilm.Photo

MrLeica @ OnFilm.Photo

Matthew Osborne Photography / @MrLeicaCom

April 2016

120 Kodak Portra 400



OnFilm.Photo kindly got in touch with me a month or so ago and asked if i’d like to feature on their blog. I answered there series of questions and sent some example film photos and here is the result –


Lights & Light Modifiers Compared

Lights & Light Modifiers Compared

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
March 2016

Lights & Light Modifiers Compared



I have collected quite a few lights and light modifiers over the last 5 years or so.  I would say it is my biggest weakness when it comes to buying new gear.  Luckily for me my taste in lights is not yet as expensive as my choice of cameras (such as Leicas!).  I don’t have a Profoto B1 (though they are very nice) nor Elinchrom Quadra kit.  My first high power lights for location were Lencarta Safari 600W twin head kit.  They were powerful for sure.. so much so at the time that I found them too bright so sold them.  It sounds crazy – “too bright” but at the time I was shooting everything wide open at f1.4 on the Nikon D800 so even at the lowest power the Safari 600W were an overkill.  I then moved to using Yongnuo 560ii and 560iii speedlights and for inside I got some Lencarta 200W and 300W studio strobes. Next I think was a Godox AD-180, then a Godox TT850, then a smaller Neewer TT520 speedlight and more recently a Godox AD-360.  I also used to use an Arrilight 650W fresnel light in the studio but sold that also.

Light Modifiers

I love using additional light (where possible) to make my images hopefully look better than if the photo was taken with just flat light.  Additional light might be from a reflector, a continuous light or a strobe.  I soon realised how useful different light modifiers were and so started to build a collection.  As with my lights I don’t use high end brands such as a Boncolor Para or Westcott Rapid Box even though they are very nice.  I tend to invest in lenses and where possibly analogue film cameras (rather than digital) and then skimp on everything else.  I started with the basic white shoot through umbrella and the silver reflective umbrella and then moved to a softbox, umbrellabox, octabox, stripbox, beauty dish, reflectors with grids, gridded softbox, bigger octabox, very large umbrellas and then back the other way to small 20×20 and 40×40 softbox for portability.

Comparing different light modifiers

Yesterday I didn’t have a model so decided to compare the effect of different light modifiers side by side. It was a non-scientific experiment for purely my own entertainment but I thought others might find it of interest.  I setup a Godox AD-360 on a tripod at a distance of 2m from a white wall in the garden.  I then tried various light shapers / light modifiers to see the effect on the light spread and light power.  I wasn’t organised enough to record photos by each modifier sorry but I did write down the power output. I used a Sekonic L-758D spot meter to meter the light hitting the wall at the bright point.  The Godox AD360 was set to full power and the lightmeter at ISO 100.


  • Bare Godox AD360 – f16.3 (base – to nearest 1 stop)
  • White shoot through umbrella  (shot through) – f16.3
  • White shoot through umbrella  (bounced) – f16.1
  • Silver reflective umbrella (bounced) – f22.3 (+1)
  • 40×40 softbox (+2 diffusion layers) – f16.2
  • 40×40 softbox (+1 diffusion layers) – f16.8
  • Godox 32″ softbox umbrella + diffusion layer – f16.9 (+1)
  • Godox 32″ softbox umbrella + beauty dish inner – f16
  • Godox 32″ softbox umbrella (bare) – f22.5 (+1)
  • Godox white dome  – f16.5
  • Silver beauty dish – f22.9 (+2)
  • Silver beauty dish + grid + diffuser – f8.9 (-1)
  • Small silver studio reflector – f32.5 (+2)
  • Large deep silver studio reflector – f45.5 (+3)
  • Godox kit reflector – f45.7 (+4)
  • Godox kit reflector + diffuser – f32.9 (+3)

I then tested the power of a few other lights..

  • Bare Neewer TT520 – f16.9
  • Bare 200W studio strobe – f16.9
  • Bare 200W studio strobe + white shoot through umbrella – f16.3
  • Bare 200W studio strobe + white shoot though umbrella (bounced) – f11
  • Bare Godox TT850 @ 105mm – f32
  • Bare Godox TT850 @ 28mm + white shoot through umbrella – f11


The effect of different light modifiers on the light power output

I found it really interesting to do this little experiment.  I’ve used all the above light modifiers and lights with my models but I normally just set the power for the exposure I desire at the time and shoot away.  The experiment clearly showed the impact of light shapers on the light power.  I was surprised at how little impact some modifiers had on the power output of a bare tube strobe.  Equally I was super impressed at how magnified the power output was using reflectors with bare tubes.  It makes perfect sense of course but it is nice to put a value to it.  To recap the Godox AD-360 was 4 stops brighter with the Godox kit reflector attached than if a bare tube.  Interestingly the cheap Neewer TT520 speedlight, the 200w studio strobe (bare) and the Godox AD-360 (bare) all had equal output at 2m distance.  Of course the speedlight light output is more concentrated to the area being metered whereas the other 2 lights light the wall the same brightness but over a much wider area.  I think the Godox TT850 speedlight at 50mm would have also been the same power output on full power as the previous 3 lights mentioned.  It would be interesting to have tested a Profoto B1 against the Godox AD-360.  The Profoto B1 light is recessed (not bare bulb) and similar looking to the Godox AD360 + reflector + diffuser layer.  The Godox in this setup metered at almost f45 which I think will be plenty bright enough for my current needs.

The effect of different light modifiers on the type of light emitted

In terms of how “nice” the light was coming from the various light modifiers I think the winner for me was the silver beauty dish for soft diffused light for portraits.  The Godox softbox umbrella performed well too and a simple cheap white shoot-through umbrella is probably impossible to beat in terms of value for money, small, lightweight and gives a super soft light output.  For magnifying the light output the reflectors are a must for a bare tube light but less useful for a speedlight with a zoom head function.  A softbox can help control the spread of light better than an umbrella and grids can be used to control the light even further.  The tighter the grid pattern the tighter the light output pattern.

Diagrams comparing different light modifiers

The are already plenty of similar light modifier comparisons online with diagrams as to the type and shape of light emitted.  You can easily find a diagram via Google of a softbox vs umbrella or beauty dish vs softbox if interested.  I was mainly interested in the light power for this test.

Real example images

I am planning to do some strobist location work at my next 1-2-1 workshop so I will get the results on Flickr (and eventually on here) when they are ready.  I will be using the Hasselblad 501C with it’s Zeiss leaf shutter lenses at up to 1/500 flash sync speed to control the ambient light.  Can’t wait!

Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures in this post.  I have another post to follow consisting of mostly attractive model photos 🙂



Leica Summicron 50f2 DR

Leica Summicron 50mm f2 DR Lens

I have always had the old Leica Summicron 50f2 DR (“Dual Range”) lens on my ‘to try’ list despite owning a modern Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 lens.

New lens :) #Vintage #Leica Summicron 50mm f2 DR with goggles for close focus. Looks beautiful on the #leicam3 :) #leicacamera www.MrLeica.com

When considering new glass my first reference point is Flickr. I ask myself ‘do the images with this lens have something special about them, regardless of the subject matter or talent of the photographer?’ My modern Leica Summicron 50f2 v5 lens is my least used 50mm as I tend to favour the Leica Noctilux 50f1 or Leica Summilux ASPH 50f1.4. The vintage Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 creates beautiful images but flares easily so not for all occasions. I sold the Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 and Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 but I don’t think I fully appreciated the strengths of the Sonnar until after it was sold. With the 50f1 Noctilux normally living on digital Leica M9 body I wanted another 50mm lens to live on the Leica M3 film camera. I shortlisted either another Zeiss Sonnar 50f1.5 or a vintage Leica Summicron 50f2 DR. I did a quick reality check for the usefulness of the two 50mm lenses.

Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50f1.5 vs Leica Summicron 50f2 DR

Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50f1.5

  • Fully functional on all my Leica M camera bodies
  • Modern lens coating so less prone to flare
  • Zeiss ‘3D’ pop look wide open
  • Sharp wide open
  • 50f1.5 is almost 1 stop brighter than 50f2 DR so more useful in low light
  • Close focus only 1m (the reason I sold my first ZM Sonnar lens)
  • Some copies of the lens are said to have focus shift issues

Leica Summicron 50f2 DR

  • Can close focus at 0.5m (0.478) when using goggles attachment
  • Sharp images wide open
  • Images have a signature ‘DR’ look that I dont see with the modern v5 Summicron lens
  • Lens only functions at a range of 1-4m on my Leica M9 and M8 (no close up or infinity focus ability)(*note lens is fully functional on my Leica M3 and M2)(and non-TTL M6)
  • Have to attach-detach goggles every time you want to go from close focus (0.478-0.88m) to 1m to infinity

I was keeping my mind open then on a recent trip to Munich Germany I visited the Leica Munich store to say hello and to see if they had a Leica Summicron 50f2 DR lens in stock to try. Sadly they didn’t have in but instead kindly recommended a shop that may have one. I found the shop and my luck was in! They had two 50mm DR lenses. One copy of the lens was cheaper so I tried that one first. It was not calibrated with my Leica M9 so I tried the second copy and asked the store if I could take it out the shop to try in the street. I left the Noctilux lens with them as a small deposit and they smiled and agreed. What struck me most was the sharpness wide open at f2 and the beautiful way it rendered out of focus areas. It took maybe five test photos and that was all I needed to see. Sold to the man that has enough lenses already but felt a need for one more!

#cameraporn #leicam3 #leicacamera #rangefinder #vintagecamera #leica #summicron 50f2 DR + Goggles - www.MrLeica.com

I will sell my near mint modern Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 lens with box if anyone is looking buy one? I know many Leica shooters swear by them but I dont use it enough to keep.

Eager to try the Leica Summicron 50mm DR to its full potential I fitted it to my Leica M3 and shot half a roll of black and white Kodak T-Max 100 film which was already loaded in the camera. It was sunny and I felt I was missing out by not shooting colour during the golden hour. I had no 35mm colour film with me in Germany,  only 120 Portra for the Mamiya 645 Super. Luckily I discovered a small camera shop when out exploring and when I asked for colour film they opened a box of the old Kodak Portra 400 VC that they must have had in stock for years. I’ve only ever used the new Kodak Portra so was interested to try the older 400 VC Portra. The model had cancelled for the afternoon shoot so I took the opportunity to set myself a challenge.  Shoot a 36 exposure roll of film in one afternoon of anything and everything using the strengths of the Summicron 50 DR lens. To me this meant mostly shooting wide open at f2 with plenty of close ups and considering the out of focus areas for colour and bokeh. Results to follow!

#filmchallenge 1x roll of Kodak Portra 400 VC (36 exposures), 1x Leica M3 rangefinder film camera, 1x Leica Summicron 50f2 DR, 5 hours of walking the streets taking photos of anything that caught my eye and finished off with 1x KFC meal :) #kodakfilm #lei

Leica Summicron 50f2 DR vs Mamiya 645 / Mamiya RZ usage

My most used non Leica camera is currently the Mamiya 645 Super.  What I enjoy most about the Mamiya 645 and even more so the Mamiya RZ 67 (and Rolleiflex SL66E) which use bellows, is the ability to focus close to my subject.  To me that is one of the biggest weaknesses of the Leica M system, the 0.7m rangefinder closest focus distance. Now my Leica M3 will focus to 0.5m at f2 I am excited to try the Summicron 50 DR for my portrait work. Again, results to follow!

I feel the Leica Summicron 50f2 DR is the perfect lens for my Leica M3. The combination look beautiful together and function is on a par with form. If the combination looked pretty but wasnt capable of taking good images it would be worthless to me. I buy vintage cameras to use not to polish.

I hope to try the Leica Summicron 50f2 DR on both my Leica M9 and also Leica M3 this weekend so sample images coming soon.

Here is a test shot SOOC from outside the camera store.  Leica M9 JPEG

Leica Summicron 50mm f2 DR - SOOC

Ken Rockwell is a big fan of this lens. More tech detail here – http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/50mm-f2-dr.htm

2014 Wedding: Sam & Patrick

A few highlights from Sam and Patrick’s wedding photography last September in the Peak District – Leica M9 wedding

Leica Wedding Photographer (MrLeica.com)

2014 Wedding: Sam & Patrick

Destination Leica Wedding Photographer

Wedding Venue: Upper House Hayfield, Peak District

http://www.MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk / www.MrLeica.com

September 2014

Last Septemeber I drove from Coventry to the Peak District to cover Sam and Patrick’s wedding day.  I joined the family at Upper House, Hayfield the evening before the wedding to enjoy a lovely home cooked meal and to get everyone ahead of their big day.  Patrick was Dutch so his family had flown in from the Netherlands and house was full so I left them for the night and returned the next morning ready to go.  I find it so beneficial to meet couples ahead of their wedding as on the wedding day morning I was eating breakfast chatting to the family and taking photos without people even noticing I was there.  I enjoy documentary style wedding photography and often blend in with the guests with my…

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2014 Engagement: Sam & Patrick

2014 Sam & Patrick’s Engagement shoot highlights – Leica M9

Leica Wedding Photographer (MrLeica.com)

Engagement: Sam & Patrick

Leica Wedding Photographer – Engagement Shoot

Venue for Engagement Session: South Peak District

www. MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk / www.MrLeica.com

September 2014

Last September and ahead of their wedding day, Sam and Patrick requested a pre-wedding engagement session to get some practice in front of the camera before the wedding.  We arranged to meet in the Peak District but when we arrived it was raining so much of the shoot was done with me shooting from under an umbrella or using trees and an old out building for shelter.  All photos we taken with a Leica M9 camera and the majority with the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO lens. At the time I was shooting less film so no film examples i’m afraid.


It is surprising when only looking back six months how much my style has changed.  For 2015 the engagement and wedding photos are softer utilising mostly…

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