Fact ; I haven’t used Leica Lenses. I can’t see how I can motivate the cost, compared to Zeiss and Voigtländer lenses. I am not a professional and I am mostly shooting for my own pleasure. If I tried a Leica lens, I am sure I would be stuck – but as for now I haven’t tried one.
For me, the expirience of shooting with a Leica rangefinder is the most important. I love to use the ”M” – and there is almost no other option if you want to use a true rangefinder. You have to have a ”M”. But you don’t have to use a Leica lens. There are some great alternatives like Zeiss and Voigtländer, for one 10th of the price in some cases. Yes – of course – there is a reason for the higher price, but we have to ask our selfs how much money we can spend. If I had the money I most defenitly would try one out. For me photography is my main intrest, as a sailing boat or a motor cycle can be to others.
Today I use four different lenses for my M:s; three Zeiss and one Voigtländer. My most used lens is no doubt the Zeiss Biogon 35/f2,8. For a full frame M this is the perfect lens for my kind of photography. The lens is very well built and it is very sharp from the widest aperture. It sits on my camera 70% of the time. My number two lens is the Zeiss Planar 50/f2. Just as well built and just as sharp.
My third Zeiss lens is the Biogon 28/f2,8. The same quality as the other two Zeiss lenses I own. I don’t use this quite that much on my digital M240 – beacuse I wear glasses. The magnification in the rangefinder combined with my glasses result in that it is hard to see the whole 28mm picture. This lens finds it self fitted to my M6 with the 0.58 magnification rangefinder.
My fourth lens is a Voigtländer Nokton 50/f1.1. This is a special lens. Not the sharpest when uses at f1.1 – but not even the Leica Noctilux 1.0 was the sharpest when used at f1.0 as I understand it. The great thing with the Nokton is the possibility to shoot with very short depth of field. I think the sharpness is good enough for me – the effect I can get from it is more worth. I use it to get the artistic effect more than the perfect quality.
Perhaps there comes a day that I – as an amatuer photographer – can motivate why I should pay $10.000 for a lens – but I seriously doubt it. The cheaper alternatives are good enough for me.