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9 Best Leica Lenses in 2024 (M & L-Mount Lenses)

Last updated: June 12, 2024 - 13 min read
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Leica lenses are renowned for their quality and performance, capturing stunning images thanks to unparalleled craftsmanship.

Our guide to the 9 best Leica lenses, including M-mount and L-mount lenses. The article showcases the best Leica lenses that cater to different needs and preferences, ensuring you find the perfect lens for your Leica camera. From wide-angle to telephoto, there’s a Leica lens to match your style.

Our top two choices are the Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I for its low light prowess and the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH. for unmatched sharpness. Keep reading to see seven more sensational Leica lenses. 

Our Top 2 Leica Lenses
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.

What Is the Best Leica M Lens?

When finding the best Leica M lens, factors like aperture, focal length, and optical quality have to be top considerations. You’ll be spending a lot of money, so you need to know it’s the right fit for your photography ambitions.

Our list includes lenses ideal for low-light situations, intimate portraits, and expansive landscapes. Each lens is chosen for its optical ability and build quality, ensuring every lens meets the standards of professional photography.

Our Top Pick
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
  • Superior sharpness, even at wide F/1.4 aperture
  • Exceptional low-light performance with F/1.4 aperture
  • Durable, high-grade aluminum construction
  • Smooth, precise manual focus mechanism
  • Minimal chromatic aberration, clear image quality
Best Wide-Angle M Lens
Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH.
Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH.
Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH.
  • Ideal for expansive landscape and architectural shots
  • Compact, lightweight design enhances portability
  • Superior optical quality with minimal distortion
  • Durable construction with high-quality materials
  • Wide field of view captures detailed scenes
Best 50mm M Lens
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M
  • Versatile standard view, mimics human eye perspective
  • Exceptional image quality, minimal aberration
  • Robust metal construction, premium feel
  • Smooth manual focus for precise control
  • Ideal for portraits, street, and everyday photography
Best Versatility
Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I
Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I
Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I
  • Wide angle perfect for street and landscapes
  • Compact size ideal for travel photography
  • Exceptional clarity and minimal optical distortion
  • Durable, weather-sealed construction for reliability
  • Smooth manual focus for creative control
Best Telephoto M Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH.
  • Flattering compression effect for portrait photography
  • Fast F/2 aperture for low light excellence
  • Apochromatic design minimizes chromatic aberration
  • Smooth, pleasing bokeh enhances subject isolation
  • Robust, weather-sealed construction for outdoor reliability
 

Our Favorite Leica M Lenses

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Leica M lenses. From wide-angle primes for landscapes to telephoto lenses for portraits, there’s a perfect match for every shooting style and requirement.

1. Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4

Our Top Pick
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
200 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 is an ultra-sharp prime lens with a wide aperture range. Its 35mm focal length gives you excellent versatility, allowing you to shoot anything from landscapes to street photography. 

A super-fast f/1.4 max aperture gives you incredible exposure control, helping you capture sharp images in low-light situations. It also creates a seriously shallow depth of field, giving your images a beautiful background bokeh effect. 

Its optical design includes a floating element, which improves image quality at close range. Its minimum focusing distance of 2.3 feet (70 cm) adds to the versatility, making it a good option for street and portrait photography, where detail and bokeh are important.

This lens has no autofocus motor, so you have do all your focusing manually. This might be jarring for modern photographers, but many still prefer the hands-on control of manual focus lenses. 

Compared to the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH., the SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 offers a wider field of view, makes it more versatile for a range of photography styles. While both lenses boast exceptional sharpness and build quality, the choice depends on the photographer’s specific needs.

The Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 is a match made in heaven for a camera like the Leica M11. It’s a versatile lens of exceptional quality. 

 

2. Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH.

Best Wide-Angle M Lens
Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
263 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 3.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
21 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH is a beautiful wide-angle prime lens that’s perfect for landscape, architectural, and street photography. Its 21mm focal length captures wide scenes, making it a go-to for photographers looking to snap expansive views. While not ideal for close-up portraits due to its wide field of view, it excels in well-lit environments, delivering sharp, detailed images.

Built from high-quality materials, this lens is sturdy yet lightweight, weighing just 279 g. It’s also compact enough for camera day bags like the Wandrd Duo Daypack, fitting nicely into the padded pouches. 

Despite lacking autofocus and image stabilization, its optical performance is top-notch. Thanks to its aspherical elements, you get edge-to-edge sharpness and minimal chromatic aberration. 

The Leica Super-ELMAR-M 21mm F/3.4 ASPH is a high-quality lens offering a wide field of view. Its build and optical design put it firmly near the top of our list of the best Leica lenses. 

 

3. Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M

Best 50mm M Lens
Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
240 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

Every photographer needs a good 50mm lens, and the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M is the best option for photographers with a Leica M-range camera. 

The 50mm focal length makes it a popular choice with street photographers. The sharpness and optical quality also make it a good option for portrait, product, or food photography. 

Its f/2 aperture offers excellent creative control, even in poorly lit conditions. It also allows you to enhance portraits or close-ups with a lovely bokeh effect, blurring the background so your subject stands out.

This lens is both durable and has a premium feel, as you would expect from a Leica product.

Like many other Leica lenses, this 50mm is manual focus only. There is no AF motor, so you’ll have to find focus the old-fashioned way. 

In terms of optical performance, the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M excels. It delivers images with minimal distortion and chromatic aberration, which is why we can’t recommend it highly enough.

 

4. Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I

Best Versatility
Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
180 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
28 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. I is known for its compact design and exceptional optical quality. Its 28mm focal length is perfect for capturing wide landscapes, bustling street scenes, and detailed architectural shots. Despite its wide view, it maintains sharpness across the frame.

This lens is particularly suited for photographers who prefer a hands-on approach. Its manual focus system allows for precise control, enhancing the creative process.

A high-quality metal construction ensures durability, making it a reliable choice for daily use. Its weather sealing offers added protection against the elements, allowing photographers confidently work outdoors.

While the lack of image stabilization and autofocus might put off some users, the lens’s optical performance makes it a valuable asset for those prioritizing image quality.

The Leica ELMARIT-M 28mm F/2.8 ASPH. is ideal for photographers who value simplicity and versatility. It’s a tiny prime lens with breathtaking optical control, making it a perfect fit for any decent camera bag.

 

5. Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH.

Best Telephoto M Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
473 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
90 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH is the best telephoto prime lens for Leica M cameras. With a 90mm focal length is perfect for portraits, offering flattering compression and a tight composition.

Its fast f/2 aperture is another bonus for portrait photographers. It provides solid low-light performance and a gorgeous background bokeh, giving your portraits a professional finish.

It is one of the heavier lenses at 1 lb (500 g), but that’s not surprising when you understand the build quality. All the materials are of the highest order, and they’re beautifully put together. It’s a true thing of beauty. 

The manual focus ring is smooth, allowing for precise adjustments. Despite the lack of image stabilization, its fast aperture and exceptional build quality make it a reliable choice for professional use.

The Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm F/2 ASPH is the best portrait lens for Leica cameras. Its ability to create sharp, clear images with beautiful background blur makes it a valuable tool for professional-standard photography. 

We have even more options in our full article on the best Leica M-mount lenses

 

What is the Best Leica L Lens?

This section explores the best Leica L lenses for Leica’s full frame cameras, where optical performance, versatility, and durability are top priorities. 

The list includes prime lenses known for their sharpness and a versatile zoom lens, catering to a broad spectrum of photography needs. These lenses are not cheap, but the Leica quality is unmatched. 

Our Top Pick
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
  • Superior sharpness, even wide open at f/2
  • Beautiful bokeh enhances subject-background separation
  • Durable, high-quality metal construction
  • Weather-sealed for reliable outdoor use
  • Quick, accurate autofocus in various lighting conditions
Best 50mm L Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH.
  • Exceptional optical performance for professional use
  • Ideal for portraits with pleasing bokeh effect
  • Robust build and weather-sealed design
  • Fast, silent autofocus ideal for discreet shooting
  • Minimal chromatic aberration enhances image clarity
Best Telephoto L Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH.
  • Flattering perspective for portrait photography
  • Excellent low light performance with F/2 aperture
  • Advanced optical design minimizes aberrations
  • Durable, weather-sealed construction for outdoor use
  • Fast, accurate autofocus enhances shooting experience
Best Zoom L Lens
Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH.
Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH.
Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH.
  • Versatile zoom range for diverse photography needs
  • Constant F/2.8 aperture enhances low light shooting
  • Robust, weather-sealed construction for durability
  • Exceptional sharpness across the zoom range
  • Fast, accurate autofocus system for reliable performance
 

Our Favorite Leica L Lenses

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Leica M lenses. From the wide angles perfect for capturing expansive landscapes to the longer focal lengths suited to intimate portraits, there’s a lens here for different types of photography.

Whether you’re looking to improve your street photography skills or capture detailed close-ups, this selection has plenty of options to enhance your photography bag.

1. Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.

Our Top Pick
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
750 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH is our favorite prime lens for Leica’s full frame cameras. Its versatile 35mm focal length gives you the freedom to shoot landscapes, street photography, and group or environmental portraits. 

You get excellent exposure control thanks to the fast f/2 max aperture. It also gives you more control over the depth of field, helping to produce a lovely bokeh effect. 

Its ability to deliver sharp images with minimal distortion and beautiful bokeh is due to its advanced optical design, which includes aspherical elements and anomalous partial dispersion glass.

Many photographers will be pleased to know this lens is autofocus compatible, with a Dual Syncro Drive delivering fast and smooth focus support. 

The lens’s metal construction offers durability, although it is heavier than some alternatives. This might be a consideration for photographers who need to carry their gear for extended periods. 

Compared to the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH, the 35mm lens offers a wider field of view, making it more suitable for capturing expansive scenes. Both lenses share a commitment to optical excellence, but the choice between them may come down to preferred focal length. 

A truly breathtaking example of Leica’s engineering standards, the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH is a must-have for Leica lovers. 

 

2. Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH.

Best 50mm L Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
740 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

We had to select the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH for its sharpness and clarity. The versatile 50mm focal length and fast f/2 aperture give you a high level of flexibility and creative control, allowing you to try different photography styles and genres. 

The optical quality is unsurprisingly excellent, which is in part due to the specialist aspherical lens elements. 

It weighs 740g, which is on the heavier side for a prime lens. But it balances well on compatible camera bodies, offering a solid feel without being too bulky. 

There’s no AF support, so all focusing is done manually, and there’s also no image stabilization or custom control ring. But the stripped-back simplicity is part of the Leica charm. 

The Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH is optically flawless, which more than makes up for the lack of advanced features. It’s a worthy investment if you have the money. 

 

3. Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH.

Best Telephoto L Lens
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
720 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
75 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH delivers stunning portraits with its 75mm focal length and f/2 maximum aperture. This combination allows for a shallow depth of field, creating a beautifully blurred background that elevates your portrait photography.

Its optical design features aspherical elements that ensure sharp, clear images with minimal aberration. Multi-layer Quadra coatings also reduce lens flare, ghosting, and vignetting for even cleaner images. 

With a durable metal body and weather sealing, this lens is ready to work in any environment. Its weight and size are well-balanced, ensuring comfortable handling during long photo sessions. 

A Dual Syncro Drive motor powers the autofocus, so focusing is both quick and quiet. The manual focus override adds flexibility, allowing for fine adjustments to achieve perfect focus.

Combining Leica’s optical quality with a few modern features, the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 75mm F/2 ASPH is the best L lens for portrait photography. 

 

4. Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH.

Best Zoom L Lens
Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH.
Brand
Brand
Leica
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
856 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
24-70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH is one of very few zoom lenses in the Leica catalog. While the optics aren’t quite as sharp as the prime lenses, the added versatility is a big selling point for some photographers. 

Thanks to their versatility, 24-70mm lenses are among the most popular lens types in photography. You can use the 24mm end for landscapes or architectural photography, and the 70mm end is perfect for portrait photography. This flexibility also makes it a good option for street and travel photography. 

Its constant f/2.8 aperture allows for consistent exposure settings across the zoom range, so you don’t lose any stops when you zoom in. You also get complete control over depth of field, putting more creative control in your hands. 

The optical performance is impressive thanks to its advanced element design. It delivers sharp images with minimal chromatic aberration at any focal length in the zoom range. 

The lens has a high-quality metal construction and weather sealing, making it a great option for outdoor shooting. Despite its robust build, its weight and size may be a consideration for those who prefer a more compact setup.

Quick and accurate autofocus ensures that subjects are sharply captured, with manual focus override available for fine-tuning. T

The Leica Vario-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm F/2.8 ASPH is the best zoom lens for Leica cameras. The zoom range gives you flexibility, the optics are sharp, and it’s relatively affordable by Leica standards.

 

Conclusion: The Best Leica Lenses

The best Leica lenses all stand out for their exceptional quality. While lack the advanced features we see on lenses from other brands, Leica has stayed true to its philosophy, and Leica lenses are second to none when it comes to build quality and optical performance. 

Our top two choices are the Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I for its low-light performance and the Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH. for its sharp images These lenses are ideal for photographers who prioritize image quality and performance over modern features.

Our Top 2 Leica Lenses
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica SUMMILUX-M 35mm F/1.4 I
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-SL 35mm F/2 ASPH.