Finally picked up January's Asahi Camera magazine. (You can too if you live near a Japanese bookstore such as www.kinokuniya.com) Basically the magazine tests four pairs of lenses: 1) ZI 25/2.8 vs Leica 24/2.8 ASPH. (one photo each) 2) ZI 28/2.8 vs Leica 28/2.8 (one photo each) 3) ZI 35/2 vs Leica 35/2 ASPH. (one photo each) 4) ZI 50/2 vs Leica 50/2 (two photos each) All the pictures were portraits of the same lady taken at (pairwise) comparable settings on Provia 100F and printed at very high quality (FAR better than the average North American photo publication). Differences in lens signature, although sometimes subtle (true for modern lenses in general), can be seen from these pictures. Overall the magazine views the two groups as equally strong, with perhaps a slight preference given to the Zeiss group. (This has been noted in another message.) HOWEVER, before reading the conclusion I did a test of my own. Essentially I looked at each pair of pictures very closely and decided my own winner, before revealing to myself which lenses took which pictures. Here are my findings: 1) Among the 5 pairs of photos, I picked Leica over Zeiss 4/5 times. The only exception was with respect to the 35mm's. 2) My wife, who has no experience in serious photography of any kind, picked Leica over Zeiss 5/5 times. (She took her picks without first knowing what my picks were, or which lenses took which. We did this completely independently, and I didn't guide her through which traits to look for in the pictures.) 3) To both of us, the images were not large enough to show sharpness or resolution differences. All pictures appeared equally (and very) sharp. 4) Color rendition, subtle color nuances and bokeh, however, were visibly different, and both of us ended up picking pictures based on these qualities. (This is a bit interesting as I didn't tell my wife those qualities were what I based my decisions on. But some how the differences, although subtle, were compelling enough.) 5) In terms of color rendition and subtle nuances, the Leica's appeared to be superior in every case (to both of us) except the 35mm. Leica's colors were more natural, real, and showed slighly finer and smoother gradations. The Zeiss's were punchier and tended more red/magenta balance; 35mm was the only exception where the situation was reverse. Even there, however, my wife picked the Leica feeling that the Leica image was overall more "pleasing". I picked the 35mm Zeiss as superior to the Leica. 6) In terms of bokeh, there was a visible difference with the 50mm pair. The Leica had a more classical look, while the Zeiss was smoother and more controlled. Both of us rated Zeiss bokeh as superior here, but interestingly enough neither of us thought it was a sufficient reason to pick the Zeiss as voerall winner. We both felt that the Leica colors were just more pleasing and real, and the Zeiss colors were a bit bloated which was slightly distracting and diminished the effects of subtle tones. In the end, we both picked the Leica as overall winner despite it losing out in bokeh. (Again I find this to be interesting because we didn't communicate our findings/choices but came to exactly the same conclusion.) 7) Overall our findings as well as the magazine's are all very subjective. These are not based on any "objective" or measured criteria. Purely personal preferences. However I do think this is the only way to really judge a lens. Aside from the ZI vs. Leica test this issue of Asahi Camera has some very nice pictures taken with Leica lenses, including a small calendar of "cat pictures" taken by famed photographer Iwago using an R6.2. These pictures are excellent in composition and tehnique and printed at an exceedingly high level of quality. Well worth a look. I'd encourage anyone to check out this issue. Discalimer: I have been a Leica user for many years and owned both R and M systems. Prior to those I used two Contax systems. I regard Zeiss lenses very highly and I'm certainly not biased towards Leica.