Today, Leica has announced the redesign of three M lenses: Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH, Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH and Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. The new designs bring these standard reportage lenses up to date with screw-on rectangular metal shades, more robust build quality and some minor improvements in optical performance. The 35mm f/2 ASPH will also be available for the first time in a silver anodized finish, replacing the heavy brass chrome version of the current model. This will mean that both the silver and black lenses will weigh the same, as they do with the latest generation Summarits.
Leica started implementing the screw-on metal shades back in 2006 with the introduction of the 16-18-21 Wide Angle Tri Elmar along with the 35, 50, 75 and 90 Summarits. New designs like the 18 Super-Elmar, 21 and 24 Elmars, as well as the 21, 24, and 28 Summiluxes all included the metal shade from the get-go. Then a few years ago, the 35 Summilux got an upgrade. The only lenses that hadn't been brought up to the new design standard were the 28 Cron, 28 Elmarit and 35 Summicron. Now, with this refresh, all M lenses feature the same design language with screw-on metal shades and modern lens barrels.
Leica isn't offering too many particulars about the optical updates, other than to say that these lenses have reduced field curvature. This enables the updated lens designs to have improved sharpness across the entire image area, from center to corner.
The two 28mm lenses should be available by the end of this month, with the 35 Cron coming a few weeks later. All three are available for pre-order from Leica Store Miami.