Leica, the iconic German camera manufacturer, has launched a new version of its legendary Summilux-M 50 f/1.4 ASPH. lens. The previous iteration of this infamous lens has been a favorite of Leica photographers for decades, but has now been updated for Leica’s modern digital cameras with the latest high-end sensor technology to provide even more compatibility and image quality.
The new Summilux-M 50 f/1.4 ASPH. lens features a standard focal length of 50mm which is versatile for many day-to-day photographic situations including portraits, street photography and landscapes. Thanks to Leica’s promised increase in image quality, the new Summilux-M 50mm should be set to unleash the full potential of Leica’s latest 60-megapixel multi-format camera sensors found in the Leica M11 and the newly-announced Leica M11 Monochrom.
Leica claims the new Summilux-M lens offers exceptionally high-contrast and detailed results even in challenging lighting conditions. The new Summilux-M 50mm aperture blades have been increased to 11, from 9 on the previous model, allowing for what should be a noticeably rounder bokeh and smoother backgrounds.
The close focusing distance of the lens has also been reduced from 70 cm to only 45 cm, thanks to the double cam gear specially developed by Leica engineers. This has also allowed the rotation angle of the distance ring to be greatly expanded compared to the prior model, allowing even more precise focusing over the entire focal range, with neither the frame size nor the sensitivity of the focus changed at closer focus distances.
However there is a slight catch, for focusing in the extended close-up range between 70 and 45 centimetres, LiveView needs to be activated via the camera screen, Visoflex or the Leica FOTOS app. Focusing up to 70 centimetres is done as usual via the rangefinder viewfinder of any digital and analogue M-series cameras.
The new Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens’ design has been refined, similarly to Leica’s latest Summilux-M 35mm lens, the lens hood has a round design and is directly integrated into the lens, allowing it to be deployed with a simple flick of the wrist. The lens is still classically Leica in design, materials and build quality, and is available in a silver or black anodised finish.
This lens is designed for current and future M cameras, but can be used in combination with the M-Adapter L to also enable photography and filming with the Leica SL2 and the SL2-S.
The new lens will be available globally at Leica Stores and authorized dealers starting from April 13 at 2pm, with a retail price of $4,495/£4,000 for the black version and $4,795/£4,200 for the silver version.
Find out more about Leica with our guides to the best Leica cameras and the best Leica M lenses.