Orion-15 28mm f/6 lens.

The rather strange lens fitted to my Leica SL (Typ 601) is an Orion-15 1:6 F=2.8cm LEICA LTM WIDE-Angle Lens 28mm. As ever I got it looking around ebay for a light cheap W/A for my Leicas, film and digital. Also as ever it turned out to be a bargain (£199). It's Russian, probably made in the 1960's. It's widest aperture is f/6, so it's an outdoor, good light lens, which of course suits me. It also has the aperture ring inside the hooded section, which is unusual. It is also unbelievably sharp - corner to corner and has virtually no distortion. 

Now when I see modern, overpriced, plastic lenses I often wonder whether they will be delivering stellar results in 50 years time. Because the results from this lens are as good as anything I've used on my SL. The lens is also a nice companion to my 1957 Leica 90mm f/4.

Now long term regular readers will know that I am an old lens enthusiast ever since I started putting Nikon film lenses on my original m4/3 camera, the Panasonic G1. I do in fact have a cupboard packed with them. And anyone who has ever used lenses like this will testify that a well made film lens can often beat the pants off the supposed polycarbonate marvels that we are constantly urged to buy, by those who have a financial interest in us doing so. Because this nonsense about lenses being 'designed for digital' is of course total BS and in many ways the standards of construction were higher when lenses were manufactured for film cameras. For a start they were comparatively more expensive than many lenses made today, with some notable exceptions. Plus a significant factor in all of this is that these older lenses are manual focus, which makes their construction simpler. Those AF motors and all the moving parts required to achieve AF do tend to make lenses heavier, more complex and more expensive. 

As yet I haven't had the opportunity to see how this lens performs with my Leica M7, as I'm waiting for my processed films to come back. But with it's performance on the SL I have no concerns about the results. However when I get them back I'll post some samples together with some images of the Orion on my M7.