Light Lens Lab Summicron 35mm f2 Comparison – LLL vs Original

LLL vs Original

Light Lens Lab Summicron Comparison

Comparison between original Leica Summicron 35mm f2 V1 and Black paint V2LC and Brass version from Light Lens Lab

Light Lens Lab Summicron 35mm f2 Comparison – LLL vs Original

Versions of LLL and Original Summicron

Light Lens Lab in Black paint and Brassed Version

Two weeks ago, I borrowed 2 Light Lens Lab (周八枚) from my friend. Brassed version and Black paint version in amber coating. The brassed version has oxidation and seems they will produce another with a coating to prevent the oxidation. But my personal love will be black painted LLL. I would like it to be fully black paint including the bottom silver part and also with a brass mount. I have done two different posts on this lovely lens. You may refer to this link if you haven’t read it Light Lens Lab Summicron 35mm f2 8-Element from China.

Weather is so hot in Hong Kong in July and also the pandemic situation here. I decided to take some indoor test shots again to show you their performance in black and white film.

All test shots are taken with Leica M2 and Kodak Tri-X at iso 400. Developed at 21’C with Kodak HC-110 developer. Processed and scanned by myself. The scanner is Epson V850 with SilverFast software. Scanned in tiff and converted to jpeg in Lightroom.

All test photos below will be in this order

Orginal Summicron (Left) LLL Black Paint (Amber coat) (Middle) LLL Brass version (Right)

Compaison at F2 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Results are too close but with one exception

Amber coating (current production) from Light Lens Lab has actually better performance and close resemblance of the original Summicron 35/2 V1. The brassed version has a little more contrast than the black paint (Amber coat).

The micro-contrast and overall Leica glow are quite similar. Of course, Leica has better glow rendition since it was aged really well in the past 50 years.

Sharpness is the only complaint from me. I think if the coating can make it less sharp then that will be perfect.

Compaison at F2 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Compaison at F2.8 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Compaison at F4 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Compaison at F5.6 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Compaison at F8 - Kodak Tri-x 400

Better performance on film than digital

Based on three tests that I have done with this lens on 3 different versions. It performs extremely well on film. Whereas on digital, it has so much sharpness and contrast than the original Summicron which seems to be less obvious on film performance. I haven’t tried doing a comparison with colour negative film. Maybe one day I will do it. I think I need to spend months with this lens in order to give you guys another update about the performance and tastes. You can refer to my previous post Light Lens Lab – Summicron 35mm f2 (Digital test) 

Brassed version Light Lens Lab on Brassed Leica M2

Thoughts on Light Lens Labs

What I can say is, get one if you are interested in the legendary Summicron 8 elements. The construction, quality and paint job is just wonderful. It is totally different league compare with the Chinese 7artisans or TTartisan brand. This is a masterpiece, huge thanks to Mr. Zhou!

Versions of lights lens lab and original summicron

Still waiting for my copy

I hope I can receive my copy soon. I know Mr Zhou has done everything he can to improve the lens in every aspect. Looking forward to seeing other projects from him such as the Hologon 15mm f8 that he has shared some pictures in Weibo. The rumoured Noctilux 50mm f1.2 asph as well as Elcan 50mm f2. And I am deliberately excited about the panoramic camera that he is designing together with a Leicavit. Special thanks to Kevin because he has done a great job to let us know this project actually exists and bringing us this wonderful lens!

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  1. Thank you so much for this review!
    You mentioned this is way better than 7artisans or TTartisan lenses, can you share which lenses have you used before and are comparing to?
    I have the TTartisan 35mm 1.4 and its a very well made lens, I am wondering if the LLL is even better than that.

    • Hi Calvin,

      Thanks for your comment. I have tried 7artisans 50mm f1.1 and TTartisan 75mm f1.25 before. Overall performance in terms of mood, bokeh and transition in different tones on film and digital, LLL probably better. But for TTartisan 35mm 1.4 will be different. First of all it is an ASPH lens and I saw some reviews and tons of sample pics with very nice performance. But the thing that won’t disappoint you if you like the rendition of vintage Leica lenses and the construction of this lens.

      Best Regards,

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