Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 Review (ZM Leica M mount)
Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 review after buying this lens for my Leica cameras
Zeiss 25mm f2.8 Biogon
My latest purchase is a Zeiss 25mm f2.8 Biogon (ZM)) lens. At my last wedding I spent much of the day swapping between a Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 and Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8 (ZM) on my Leica M9 for wide angle photos. I enjoy documentary wedding photography where people are captured interacting and shown within their environment. In contrast, for my model photography and portraiture when there is only one subject I often like to isolate by subjects with tight crops and/ or a shallow depth of field. For indoor wedding photography such as for some of my last wedding in the Peak District I often found the 21mm ZM Biogon a little too wide and the 28mm Ultron too close to 35mm, being too narrow. The ZM Biogon 21mm and 25mm are sharper than the f2 Ultron and more similar to the sharpness of the 15mm Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar. I used to enjoy the 24mm focal length on my Nikon D800 using a Nikkor 24mm f2.8 prime. I have most focal lengths in Leica M mount but nothing between 21mm and 28mm.
Leica 24mm f2.8 Elmarit-M vs. Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 ZM
There is actually three 24mm-25mm Leica M lens options –
- Leica 24mm f2.8 Elmarit-M costing £2200 weighing 290g and with an E55 filter
- Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm f2.8 costing £900 weighing 260g and with a 46mm thread
- Leica 24mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH costing around £4700 weighing 468g
The Leica Lux 24mm is beyond my budget and I don’t think I would be willing to spend over £2K on a wide angle lens as a portrait photographer. I therefore had two options, a used Leica Elmarit 24mm f2.8 or for less money a new Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm f2.8. I have no loyalty to Leica lenses and do love the contrasty punchy images from Zeiss glass. If the Elmarit and the Biogon were the same price new I would choose the ZM Biogon as the ZM 46mm filter thread fits in with my existing lenses and filters (excluding the Noctilux and 90mm Cron that are larger than 52mm). I use step up filter rings for lenses from 39mm-52mm to use 52mm filters.
Zeiss Biogon 25mm Review & Thoughts so far..
The Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 lens will hopefully replace two lenses in my camera bag, the 21mm and 28mm. The 28mm has already replaced my 35mm for most weddings so my new wedding lens trio would then be 25mm, 50mm, 90mm for focal lengths but take the 75mm for detail photos. For a two lens setup I would use the 25mm and 75mm Cron APO for a super sharp lens combo on two Leica M bodies. For a one camera one lens setup I tend favour the 50mm focal length over 35mm, hence my Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 weddings.
Zeiss 25mm Sample Photos
Here is a small sample of some of the Zeiss 25mm photos so far –
25mm Colour Film Portrait