In the early years of photography, post production was limited, while darkroom skills did become very advanced, at the start you had to get it right in camera.
All lens had a degree of character, today we are used to lens that together with software lens profiles give us a view close to real life, correct verticals and aberrations removed. We now choose lens based on there size, speed, and range of zoom. Any affects we had later in software.
Because some defect in lens design was always visible, lens designers began to make a feature of it. Lens with sharp centre and dreamy edges, romantic vignette etc.
The Lomography company has over the last few years been making a name for itself by reintroducing some of these old classic lens.
Leica joined in back in 2016, by reintroducing the 28mm Summaron-M. Now there are very strong rumours that Leica have a new camera and another lens, this lens is going to be one of Leica’s portrait lens with a distinctive software focus affect. I look forward to seeing if the rumours are true.