LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 50 MM F/2 ASPH: THE NEW MILESTONE IN LENS CONSTRUCTION

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Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents a new milestone in the history of lens construction: the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. With the goal of creating a lens that fully achieves the opportunities offered by high-resolution camera systems, Leica engineers have successfully redefined the limits of what is technically possible. The result is an extremely high-performance lens that sets entirely new standards and currently stands as an exceptional talent amongst the standard lenses of the Leica M portfolio.

This new reference lens achieves the best test results ever seen in the Leica M-Lens program. The MTF curves of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. that describe the contrast of fine details and, in turn, the image sharpness, confirm its outstanding performance. Even the finest details are resolved with more than 50% contrast across the entire image field. This previously unattained value confirms the exceptional positioning of this lens. All images captured with the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in any photographic situation show extreme sharpness and resolution of details from corner to corner of the image. Additionally, the apochromatic correction of the lens minimizes chromatic aberration on sharp edges to ensure natural rendition of every detail. As a result, photographers benefit from the best possible reproduction results at any print size.

The outstanding performance of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is founded on the perfect interaction of all its design and construction parameters, from optical calculation and choice of materials to the sophisticated and elaborate manufacturing and finishing of the lens. Together with more than 150 years of experience in the design and construction of optical instruments, Leica’s reputation as the manufacturer of the world’s best lenses is once again emphasized.

The new design of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is based on the optical design of its predecessor that has been on the market since 1979 and is the oldest lens represented in the Leica M portfolio. The classical specifications, 50 mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f2, offered an ideal starting point for further development. As such, Leica’s expert lens designers were able to concentrate exclusively on the improvement of imaging quality within these standard specifications.

In its optical design, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is oriented on particular features of the Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lenses. For instance, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. also incorporates a floating element. The lens group behind the diaphragm is designed as a floating element that changes its position relative to the front group during focusing, ensuring that the lens achieves outstanding imaging quality throughout its focusing range, including at closer focusing distances.

The realization of the apochromatic correction of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. involved the use of specially formulated glasses based on original developments from the former Leitz glass laboratory. The use of such glasses requires great effort and many years of experience. As a result of the consistent advancement of optical processes, working with these high-quality glasses has been refined to such a fine art that they are integrated in the best possible quality into Leica lenses as evidenced today in the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

As a particularly reliable product with enduring value and made in Germany, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is manufactured from only the best materials and is assembled in an elaborate process completely by hand at Leica’s factory in Solms. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing procedures guarantees the consistently excellent quality of every single Leica lens.

The Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in black finish will be available from Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC from late July 2012.

The price of the new Leica 50mm Summicron lens is $7195.00.

Technical data LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH.
Angle of view in °(diagonal, horizontal, vertical): 47° / 40° / 27°
Dimensions(Ø . L from bayonet flange): 53 . 47mm (2.09 x 1.85 in)
Weight: 300g (10.58 oz)
Closest focusing distance(from the sensor/film plane): 0.7cm
Smallest object field: 217 . 407mm
Number of iris blades: 11
Number of lenses (elements/groups): 8/5
Aspherical surfacesPosition of front lens (from the bayonet): 24.4 mm
Focusing
Focusing range: 0.7 m to infinity
Scales: Combined, feet/meters
Largest reproduction ratio: 1:11.3
Apertures
Settings / function: Preselection with click stops at half stops
Smallest aperture: 16
Bayonet: Leica M quick-change bayonet
Filter mount: Inner-threaded for screw-in filters
Filter thread size (Ø in mm): E39
Lens hood: Integrated, extendable
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  • Regular

    Thank you, Leica. Magnificent.
    Oh, and please don’t forget to build my 50lux asph and to send it quickly to Paris.

  • bidou

    Does that means that m10 will have a crazy resolution ?

    • thatguy

      No. This means that my current 50 Summicron 6bit will be worth more, even though it is used. Way to go for Leica used lenses.

    • zd

      $8000 for the new Summicron!!! Leica is f—king delusional these days. I first thought that was a mistake but the more I read, the more it seemed real. So now it will be more expensive the Summilux, which is highly revered and even claimed by some to be “the best 50mm in the world”.

      • AG

        +1… delusional… 50mm 2.0 lens

        • CHD

          +3
          Just absolutely crazy……for a 50mm lens in the 35mm format…just nuts.

          Can’t wait to see all those razor sharp pics of people’s cats once the lens comes out.

          • Nobody Special

            meeoowww!!!!!!!!! : )

      • J Shin

        It’s APO and Asph… I think that makes it worth it.

        But, I think they should also keep making the regular ‘Cron…

      • zd

        No, APO or ASPH doesn’t justify that price. The 90mm f/2 APO ASPH costs $4000, and that’s for a 90mm!!

        Leica’s (or most prime lens) pricings follow two predictable patterns: (1) the faster the glass, the more expensive it will be, and (2) the further away from 50mm, the more it costs. This pricing is clearly out of whack!

        • http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter genotypewriter

          The “further away from 50mm, the more it costs” to make is correct for the wides. It’s easier to make longer lenses than wider angle lenses. The 90 Cron is easier to make than a 50 Cron.

    • AG

      So the 50mm Summicron goes through a 250%+ price increase… Does that mean that the M10 will cost $20,000 when they release it later this year? Glad I already have all of the Leica lenses I need… they will continue to get great use on my Leica M4 and on mirror-less cameras in the future… the mirror-less cameras made by vendors other than Leica…

  • the midnight barber

    $7200? Cannot be an accurate price, since a new Summilux if you can find one is $3500 new.
    Well if it is true my current 50 Summicron will be forsale for $5000, thanks Leica.

  • CHD

    Wow…$7000 for a 50mm f2……these guys are on crack. Thank God I didn’t sell my Summicron….looks like it just went WAY up in value. The crazy thing is the existing 50mm Summicron is already pretty much perfect…how much better could they have made it????

    • Nobody Special

      I’m guessing only the big sh***s at Leica smoking something – the technicians and assemblers are happy to be working. Of course when Kaufmann walks by they smile but inside are thinking – ‘there he goes, spoiled little billionaires’ son…..you better not screw it up.’

  • Daryl

    For 7k you could purchase a 50 lux and a 90 cron almost, or if shooting Nikon a D800e, a 24 f1.4, a 50 f1.4, 85 f1.4 almost. For 14-15k the new monochrom and 50 f2 asph. Sorry Leica but this lens is way to expensive for what it does.

    • http://jorgemancin.com jorge mancin

      for 7K i can buy year old harley. some gas, and ride away while ya’ll take picstures of me hahaha. the new summicron price is just ridunculous. makes no sense what so ever. i only thought of replacing mine if the new one had a focus tab, but not at that price.

  • CHD

    Still shell shocked by this……I can only imagine how Leica comes up with these prices. It’s like they say, ‘what’s the most people would would think we could possibly charge for this’..and then they add an additional 50%.

    • Friese

      Nope, they took their pricing algorithm from their buddies at 24, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré: “What does a reasonably good [enter product here] cost? Ah, let’s add a 0 to it!”. In this case: 700$ buys you a REALLY good 50mm fixed lens, so 7000$ seems about right for them.
      That said – unfortunately I’m a big sucker for Hermès stuff :-(

  • Sloaah

    Even if this is absolutely perfect in its image quality, the cost is ridiculous. Given how central a lens this is to any camera system, a Leica setup is no longer feasible. I really hope that they get their act together; with the release of the M9, it seemed like they were going somewhere, but now they’ve shown they don’t produce products for real photographers. The Leica system shouldn’t be about pixel-peeping, but that’s clearly what it’s become.

    • verso

      .. i agree; although i have some very fast Leica glass (1,4 21, 1,4 35 II and III, 1,4 50 asph, and others) i rellay begin to dislike the “new rich marketing apporach” of a craftmanship routed company.. obviously since it was taken over vy a millionair who himself is no photographer (amateur = lover) – together with Blackstone and its blunt profit approach they will kill the last sympathies of many ACTIVE “users”… steve for instance already had his coming out, when he revealed his new love for the mft Cam OM d 5.. which sensor is already better than that of the outdated m 9..

      i am very disappointed and future will tell what will happen, when all that chinsese and 3rd world millionaires discover, that for their needs a small point and shoot produces much better images…

  • Silver

    Cool. Just pre ordered one for my NEX-7

    • CHD

      LOL….best post of the day. (I AM assuming you were being sarcastic)

  • anon

    leica jump shark

  • http://www.agniusdigital.com Agnius

    I’ll take two – these babies will only appreciate in price.

  • Kevin

    expensive? yes. but i think the market has enough rich people that can help leica be profitable.

    imagine that you have 10 million worth of assets, you already have a D4 and preordered the 1Dx and all the pro lenses that were released — ever — you’ll probably start looking into leica.

    celebrities and pro-sports players can easily afford these + business men/women — you have a pretty big market already

  • J Shin

    The language they are using suggests that they are trying to compete for medium-format pros? They are already used to the prices of Hassy H and Mamiya/Leaf, so this could come across as a bargain, with a faster lens. If M10 has more pixels…

  • TC

    This is the same optical design as the 50mm f1.4 asph. and the 75mm f2 asph. The 50mm f1.4 is APO, even though it is not in the name. Elements in front of the aperture – standard Gauss type; elements behind the aperture – arrangement borrowed from the 35mm f1.4 asph. There was an interview with the lens designer a few years ago about this.

    But this new lens has a smaller aperture (smaller, cheaper lens elements) than the 50mm f1.4 asph. and costs twice as much. Shame on them.

  • Bho

    This is the last drop…i’ll keep only my old mp with the 35lux…..i cna’t wait for for Zeiss to enter in the digital RF market: may10th was just a big joke…i’m tired of all this arrogance…i want some real innovation not some crap f2 50mm for 8k….we are photographers not collectors (at least i hope so…)

  • Lefse

    If people complain because older lenses will see a price increase on eBay, I understand them.
    But if the complaining in here is mainly about not being able to buy fresh Leica gear – you folks need to look at another brand. Leica has always been ridiculously expensive.

    ….and if they can charge three times as much for a standard 50, they will do so. The demand for their gear is obviously there. Hurtful as it may be, to those who can “only” afford a half-assed M8 to impress their friends.

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