Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH review

What price a ‘nifty fifty’? The Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH is a big lens that costs a small fortune

5 Star Rating
Leica 50mm Summilux-SL f/1.4 ASPH
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

We’ve grown completely accustomed to extravagant price tags on Leica cameras and lenses down the decades but northwards of £5,000/$6,500 for a 50mm f/1.4 lens might frankly seem a bit bonkers. For the most part, however, you get what you pay for. It’s perhaps the sharpest lens that has ever passed through our lab and the image quality is simply stunning in every way. However, autofocus is a bit slow, manual focusing is a bit fiddly and there’s simply no getting away from that price tag.


  • +

    Spectacular image quality

  • +

    Rock-solid build quality

  • +

    Reliable autofocus


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    Big and heavy

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    Autofocus is quite pedestrian

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    Outrageously expensive for a 50mm f/1.4

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The Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH aims to set a new benchmark in sharpness. It uses a lot of glass in this pursuit, and is uncommonly big and heavy for a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Indeed, it measures a sizeable 88x124mm and tips the scales at over a kilogram. It’s even heftier in terms of purchase price, so this lens isn’t for the feint-hearted nor the slim of wallet.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.