The biggest and oldest names in the photography industry has got to be Leica and Zeiss. Carl Zeiss AG was founded in 1846 in Jena, Germany as a optical systems manufacturer and Leitz Camera GmbH (now Leica) was founded in 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany. Both companies have seen their market share tumble since the Japanese combined high quality optics and manufacturing along with reliability, innovation, and affordability. But Leica and Zeiss are survivors, and within the last few years there seem to a strong resurgence with these two old storied brands.
In my stable of lenses, I have the Leica Summaron 35mm f/2.8 and the Zeiss Sonnar *T 55mm f/1.8. Both 35mm and 50mm lenses are considered “normal primes,” great for street photography and general purpose photography. I’ve had the pleasure of using these over the last few months now, so I thought I’d do a brief comparison review.