Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens now shipping in the USA

APO-Summicron-M 50mm f2 topAPO-Summicron-M 50mm f2 front

The guys from  Dale Photo & Digital got a confirmation from Leica USA that the APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens is finally shipping in the US. The lens was officially announced last year, but then it was delayed. The price is $7,195.00.

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens design and technical specs:

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 range: 0.7 m to infinity
Focusing scales: Combined, feet/meters
Largest reproduction ratio: 1:11.3
Aperture 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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  • daniel gautreau

    I think this is just absurd. If you can afford this lens you have too much money! I recently purchased a Fuji XE-1 with the 35mm 1.4 (which translates to 50mm) & it takes a damn fine picture. And for over 7K you can buy also buy 4 of your friends this same system, & have some change left for a trip to Brazil! There is no way in hell that this lens will do anything that special, and I do in fact own an M9 & M7, which I am using less & less! I agree that Leica make nice stuff, but get a grip guys!

    • stefano60

      I am with you 100%! i just got the x-pro 1 instead, and all my leicas are gone.
      enough is enough. this is a company that has unfortunately lost its way.
      their focus apparently went from trying to build an excellent product that could take great pictures to creating over-priced hype targeting people with more money than sense.
      the marketing has become quite bad as well, from the disgraceful videos celebrating war, to really lame photography on their blog, to their association with ‘international street photographers’ and other clowns who are masters at self promotion but very lacking in photographic skills.
      too bad; some of their product is still exceptional, but luckily now we have choices!

    • lefse

      It’s a handmade lens, made to _extreme_ tolerances.
      There is no autofocus system (like on the Fuji XE-1) to correct for focus shifts, so everything has to be nearly perfect to begin with.

      This is partly why the manual rangefinder system has been considered obsolete for over 50 years. If you want to use an M9 (or M type 240) at the peak of its performance, you have to pay the price.

      Or just get an ordinary summicron 50 with 95% of the perfomance.

    • John-F

      I totally agree with you – with this new lens, Leica has now reached a new level of insanity.

      According to B&H Photo in NY, the new APO-Summicron-M 50mm Asph will have an even higher price than the Summarit-S 70mm Asph ($ 4995) – which BTW includes autofocus, fully automatic diaphragm and electronic contacts on the lens mount.

      Even the APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm will sell for $200 less! And please don’t tell me the APO-Summicron-M 50mm is even more complex mechanically than an APO macro lens with AF.

      I have been using Leica M equipment for over 30 years. I love the concept of viewfinder-rangefinder photography. The speed (no waiting for AF hunting back and forth), the reliability of the rangefinder under difficult lighting (great with w-a lenses), the compact size and quietness of the camera. Back when I started with Leica, you could buy a 50mm Summicron for well under $1000. Sadly, I find that prices in the past 10 years have gone up at a rate that cannot be justified (from a customer’s point of view of course – Leica might differ…).

      Another strange pricing strategy: the current (and still available) Summicron-M 50mm sells for $2295 at B&H Photo – which is $100 more than the more complex Elmarit-M 28mm Asph. An old fashioned 34 year old design lens that sells for more than a modern ASPH lens.

      In all honesty, given these prices – and given the ever increasing quality of recent full-frame Nikon and Canon lenses – how can we convince newcomers to switch to Leica… I do hope that some sanity will eventually prevail at Solms – or Wetzlar…

      • David

        Speaking as a fan of supplied-side economics, I am in agreement that a vendor can demand whatever price they want for their goods or services, and the market will respond accordingly. The fact is — there have been plenty of newcomers to Leia since the introduction of the M9; and the special-edition cameras have made Leica pieces a mainstream in the luxury market, especially amongst the Russians and the Chinese (yes, the same people who are buying the $100M condos in New York). In FY2012, Leica brought in more revenue than any other year in its history, making it difficult to argue with the financial results. Nikon and Canon are in a different market, I don’t consider these products to be competitors.

  • scott

    You don’t have to buy the lens if you don’t want to. Like the $13,000 Noctilux, Leica sometimes pushes the envelope too hard and prices are reflective of that. At least the non-ASPH Summicron is still available. Despite being a 34 year-old optical design, coatings have changed to make it more flare resistant. And the lens is renowned for being sharp, perhaps too sharp to some eyes.

    At the same times you are bashing Leica for make things too expensive, remember they released the Leica M-E, which is a cheaper version of the M9. The Leica M-E kills two birds with one stone: it gives people a lower entry point (still not cheap by any mean) to the Leica system, and pushes down the resale value of the M9 (going for~$4K now).

    • John-F

      I agree that we all have the choice to buy or not to buy the new APO-Summicron-M 50mm Asph, or the 50mm Noctilux-M Asph or the fantastic Summilux-M 21mm Asph. You will not get any argument from me about that. Whenever Leica comes out with a new lens that pushes the envelope, I am all for it. There have been rumors for a few months about a new Summilux-M 28mm – that would be fantastic!

      My point was not about the price of Leica lenses in absolute terms but rather in comparison to other Leica lenses. In the specific case of the APO-Summicron-M 50mm Asph, my comments were about its price compared to other simlar lenses at Leica. For example, the Summarit-S 70mm f2.5 ASPH, which is very close to a 50mm f2 in focal lenght and speed, and yet sells (in New York) for $2200 less that the new APO-Summicron-M 50mm. And as I mentioned, the Summarit-S 70mm includes AF, all electronic diaphragm and lens contacts. Even worse, the APO-Summicron-M 50mm sells for $200 more than the APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f2.5 (wich BTW is equivalent speed of f2 in 35mm!).

      Who is the marketing genius who came up with those prices! Was will be next – a new Super-Summilux-M 50mm that will sell for 50% more than the Noctilux? What gives?

      As for the old (1979) Summicron-M 50mm f2, while I am grateful for new more advanced anti-reflection coating technology and assembly methods, I remain perplex when I compare its current price to other modern Leica lenses – the far more complex Elmarit-M 28mm Asph being a good example.

      Now if someone at Leica could convince their Japanese partner Panasonic to allow them to use Pana’s nanoparticle anti-reflection coating (see Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 Asph for Lumix), on their lenses, that would be great!

  • Leica is the only camera manufacturer which sometimes tries to push to extremes regardless the selling price.
    While others has to pull the price regardless the quality.
    I would call it brave, rather than insane.

    If you cannot afford the new cron (like me), don’t complain without knowing the hard facts, like manufacturing processes and specs.

    They also offer the summarit lenses, which are pretty cheap – in the rangefinder context. They are beautiful an have very good optics too.
    Oddly they are the low-sellers of their product range.

    But the good thing is: You have the choice!

  • Nobody Special

    If I’ve learned one thing about the ‘new Leica’ is they have decided – actually decided, to go upmarket. If the lenses they design are super-sharp, even in the didgital age when even M4/3 records sharp images, they are close to being too sharp. Maybe the new glass would look really good on film, but I haven’t heard about that, nor tried. The rangefinder is practical, but limited, and I’ve mentioned that I want, or like, a certain ‘look’ from the glass I use and to that end, I shop accordingly.

    It is possible to have excellent results in the final image without having to have the latest, and yes, over-priced, whizz-bang lens. Practically, speaking, the Noctilux completely ruins the concept of a light-weight, compact M camera. Having owned one, it was a disappointment for that reason alone. The same can be said for the R 70-180 2.8, it was just a beast, really HEAVY and unusuable off a tripod and even on, not easy – and – it cost a ‘left u-know-what’. As to this latest greatest Leica M glass – at least it’s not a beast size-wise, but the price…when is enough, enough?

  • Bryan Campbell

    Leica can justify the cost however they want. Because there is less volume than something like Canon they have to make it up by charging more. The designs are also more complex and more challanging. Further more, only so many people know how to design AA lenses.
    Someone mentioned Leica having more affordable price points, and I agree. Summarit lenses are OUTSTANDING and can be had from $1400-$1800 brand new. I have the 35 Summarit and I actually tie it with the 50 Summilux ASPH as the BEST lenses I’ve ever used by far. I’ve owned lots of Canon L lenses too, but they just aren’t as good and much larger / heavier.

  • klinerm

    You can say whatever you want about the price of this lens, but is anyone displeased that Leica is making it? They are just pushing the envelope, if they actually sell a few, fine, if they sell a lot, great, I’m glad they are committed enough to make the best product they possibly can.

  • Leica can’t justify the price, but don’t have to. They charge what they charge, and (some) people will pay it. That’s their business model, and it seems to work.
    It can’t be more complex and challenging than designing, developing and building Image Stabilisation, but people in the dSLR world are spoiled and do not expect to pay much a a premium.
    This is part of Leica having offerings across different markets, and true believers will continue to pay for it.

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