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Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I vs II: 24MP vs 42MP Resolution Test

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I vs II: 24MP vs 42MP Resolution Test

For those of you who have seen my sorry excuse of a Pokemon post on my Instagram page, I would first like to apologize for such a poorly executed piece of content. All the same, Pokemon is very cute, and I didn't have a model at the time. Well, now I have a model, and I've done a better job this time around.

For this shootout, I compared the Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I with the Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II. I shot both lenses on the Leica MP240 and the Sony A7r MKII. I have published the sample images at 2400 pixels per inch. And insofar as editing, I just adjusted the white balance, since it's not the fault of the lens, if the white balance is off. Other than that, I also tweaked the exposure, to compensate for the light flickering in my office.

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Sony A7rII

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Sony A7rII

Below, I have cropped images of the sample shots. The images shot on the Leica MP240 are at 400% magnification crop. The images shot on the Sony A7r MKII are at 300% magnification crop. They are at different magnification, so that the cropped comparison images would be more or less the same size optically.

I have turned off the lightbox for these cropped images, because they are already at maximum magnification as posted below. I've included these sample crop to make it easier for my readers to see the results up close. If however you want to examine the entire file, please click on the full size image above.

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Leica MP240

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Sony A7r MKII

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH I x Sony A7r MKII

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Sony A7r MKII

Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II x Sony A7r MKII

Upon examination, it's clear that the current version Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH II resolves more detail on higher resolution camera sensors than the previous version 35mm Summicron ASPH I. This you can plainly see on the subject's eyelash. At 300% magnification at 42 megapixels, the details on the eyelash shot on the previous version 35 Cron is beginning to look a little muddy. However, the current edition 35 Cron is still reasonably detailed and sharp.

In the 300% magnification crop of the current version 35 Cron shot with the Sony A7r MKII, you can actually begin to make out the perceivable detail of my desk and my outline in the subject's iris - or at least that's my opinion. In the other 3 magnification crop, although you can also make out that white line where my desk is, it doesn't seem to have as much detail to it. 

At the standard 24 megapixel resolution of the Leica M240, I still think that the newer version has a slight advantage too in resolving details and sharpness.

I can only assume that the same is true for all of Leica's recent lens upgrade, ranging from the APO 50mm Summicron ASPH, the 28mm Summicron ASPH II, and the 28mm Elmarit ASPH II. 

Since Leica upgraded these lenses, it is logical to assume that they are going to upgrade all their lenses to resolve more details at higher resolutions. This can only mean that Leica has plans in the future to release a higher resolution camera body. Whether this body is going to be an M-Mount body or a higher megapixel SL version, that is up to the tea leaves.

Special thanks to Nora for helping out.

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