The new Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens

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Just two sample photos taken at Photokina with the new Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens by - you can see the typical "Leica rendering":

leica-summilux-sl-50mm-f1-4-asph-lens-sample-photo-2 leica-summilux-sl-50mm-f1-4-asph-lens-sample-photo

This entry was posted in Leica Lenses, Leica SL and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Wow it’s really compact, a nice discrete package!

    • Les

      It’s not meant to be compact and discrete. There are other leica systems that are compact and discrete, perhaps you are confusing the SL with those ones?

      • Bruce Lerpy

        Perhaps you are confusing sarcasm with real life?

      • I wish that were true, only I’m not there is no way I buy a straight 50mm Leica that size for the SL. I’d buy an 85mm first and then a 21-28mm or a 100mm I have no use for a 50mm.
        Wides 21-28 landscape
        85mm same uses as a 50 for me and portraits.
        100mm for Pano’s
        By the way I own a couple of M’s and lenses so not my first rodeo with Leica.
        Never buy an S with all its problems…so that leaves a new M or wait another year to see what else might Leica tempt me with because the size of the SL and lens selection just AIN’T there yet.

  • Does it ship with a tripod mount?

    • Gary Craggs

      Yep, and the 90-280mm comes with a gun carriage and team of three to operate it.

  • ZMWT

    There is difference between donkeys and work horses. If you wish discrete photography and few shots here and there, grab Leica M or X and go stealth and unassuming. If you wish a workhorse camera and lenses, then prepare yourself to carry some bulk.

    • sperdynamite

      Yeah cause you’ll be carrying a Nikon not this garbage.

      • ZMWT

        Ridiculing Leica has to stop somewhere, and people around here never stop. Then they go into absurd claims, like yours. What’s the point?!
        I never saw ‘a garbage’ Leica lens. Besides, Nikon D4/5 plus fast pro lenses weigh as much as SL and corresponding lenses, or more.

        • Brennan McKissick

          Yeah but they have pro services to back them up and cost half as much and do what they are intended to do better than the SL.

          • Les

            Cost half as much?
            The D5 and SL are very close in price. Granted, Nikon has a bigger choice of cheaper lenses, but they also sell expensive lenses.

            The new Novoflex adapters will let you use most EOS lenses (or some Nikon) on an SL, so you may be able to share lenses on both systems.

            Agreed about Pro services. That’s a big issue for some users.

          • Brennan McKissick

            But what’s the point of buying an SL then adapting Canon or Nikon lenses that won’t perform as well as they will on their native bodies? I just don’t understand it. Don’t mistake what I’m saying for, “I hate the SL.” I don’t, really. I just hate the comparison of the SL and the flagship Canon/Nikon bodies. I think the SL is a great thing for Leica and the lenses are great, even though they’re massive. I just feel like Leica’s pricing on this system has gone way over anything else they’ve done.

          • Les


            It’s exactly the same point as buying an original S2 and adapting Hasselblad/Mamiya/Contax lenses.

            It’s a new system, the lens lineup isn’t complete. Unlike most people on the internet who constantly brag about “dumping” one system to move to another system, I suspect that professionals moving to the SL will transition at their own speed. Start with one body and lens, add more later as needs and finances prescribe. You always want a backup for your backup, so it makes sense to keep the old system around until you are fully confident in the new system.

          • But is this really true?

            Leica SL: $7,500.
            Leica M-P: $6,995.
            Leica SL 50mm f/1.4: $5,295
            Leica M 50mm f/1.4 $3,795

            Total SL: $12,795
            Total M: $10,790

            So the SL is about 20% more and gives you high-speed shooting, 4K video, full autofocus, GPS, WiFi, full weather sealing and an ultramodern design.

            On the face of it, it doesn’t seem like that bad a premium.

            By the way, if you compare the SL’s price to the D5, and you add WiFi ($699) and GPS ($249) to the D5, you’re pretty much dead even. The big disadvantage, of course, is Leica’s lens system, which is roughly double the cost of Nikon’s.

          • Brennan McKissick

            Yes, lenses, which you need to create a system. Hence my argument. Also, the SL is like, 4 times the size of the M. I’d pay $2000 less and have a smaller system. It’s about what you need in a camera. If you are cross shopping a D5 kit and an SL kit to actually use for work then you’d have to struggle to find a situation that the D5 wouldn’t be better than the SL.

          • Brennan McKissick

            If you want to do a cost comparative of systems that relate to it, let’s use your example.

            SL + 50/1.4 = $12,795
            D5 + Sigma 50/1.4 = $7,450
            A7RII + 50/1.4 = $4,700

            Relative to systems that the SL is “competing” against, it’s absurdly overpriced.

          • What’s surprising is that I know this, and yet I’m still really attracted to the SL. Maybe the people in the Leica Store have hypnotized me … 🙂

          • sperdynamite

            Yeah you can pay $950 dollars more (than a D5) for 1/3rd the capability and no professional support structure. Then when you’re done with that you have the privilege of paying ANOTHER $5000 dollars for a variable aperture zoom. But it’s ok because they say it’s a really GOOD variable aperture zoom. Ask S users whether they think that professional support structure is important.

          • Les


            Again, the only new thing here is you.

            Leicas have always been expensive.
            Some people complain about that, some don’t.
            Many professionals use Leicas. Maybe not in your little circle, but that doesn’t mean anything.
            Clients don’t care about variable aperture zooms. They care about results.

            I get that you have an axe to grind, mixed in with petty jealousy. Let it go. If you think that your Nikon (or whatever) gives you a competitive advantage, then why obsess about other people’s choices?

          • sperdynamite

            I think it’s funny and quite typical that you can’t actually address anything that I’m litterally saying, so you just obfuscate it down to something I’m not saying, which is that I must be “jealous”.

          • Bo Dez

            Current S failings take 6months to fix! Then they fix it with the same part that breaks! Then it takes another 6 months to fix! on an investment as serious as an S System this is diabolically bad.

        • sperdynamite

          I was responding to your idea that the SL is a workhorse not the size and weight. It’s not a workhorse, it’s a toy. Certain Leica people wanted to do what Sony users were doing but couldn’t bring themselves to consider a plebeian brand. Leica fixed that now with the SL. No non-trust fund professional would ever consider the SL, they’d pick a system that delivers on it’s promises. But hey that 35mm lens they might release in 2018 sounds great!

        • Bo Dez

          it will stop when they wake up, pull their finger out of their a$$ and get with the program.

      • Bb202

        Why are you even on here, every time you comment you complain.

        • Brennan McKissick

          Is, “OMG praise the old and new gods! Leica has released yet another spectacular lens that has no faults in any way shape or form! They have succeeded in besting every other camera system on the market now with their latest and greatest SL system!” what you would rather see on every other post? There’s plenty of fan boys willing to take a load from Leica every time they release something, there’s room for people to criticize it too.

        • Bo Dez

          I’ve been typically obsessed with Leica for a long time but I have nothing but criticism for them at the moment. They are dropping the ball and letting us down. It’s got to the point where I feel like moving on. So, no, some of us don’t feel the need to blindly follow, symathize or blow smoke up the ar5e of any brand.

          • Les

            Are they dropping the ball?
            You may not like their new systems, but the M system hasn’t deteriorated because of that.

            I know some people would like to see a new iteration/sensor every 18 months, but has never been Leica’s way. Remember when Nikon used to release a new F every 10 years?

          • sperdynamite

            Uh yeah. The T system was a turd, so appropriately named. It sold so poorly that near the end they were giving them away to bloggers just to promote the system. Even reviewers had to admit that they didn’t really see a place for it. Now the SL has lens “announcements” stretching out to the next Photokina. They could have had a new M this year, but instead they released a $5000 dollar 50/1.4 that is the size of a Fosters can for their overpriced mirrorless fail cam. I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as the Hong Kong luxury market sustains them but if that ever crashes it’ll be a bad day in Germany.

          • El Aura

            Is it possible that manual focus, in particular rangefinder focus, appeal has peaked and that for Leica to thrive they need to branch out into other systems? Not having AF was a major reason the R system lost much of its appeal (not making the transition to digital was the final death nail).

          • sperdynamite

            Yeah of course. It’s really just too bad that this is what they came up with. Who were these photographers that were thinking, man, I’d just love it if I could spend $5000 dollars on a variable aperture zoom that is also as big as a house. Then if I could only mount it on dated sensor technology, while also spending another $7500 dollars to do so, that would just be swell.

          • El Aura

            The Leica M and its lenses aren’t really much cheaper than the SL system. These are just the prices you have to charge when are a boutique manufacturer (a few years ago some data implied Leica M body sales in the low 10’000s/yr) in a high-wage country.

          • sperdynamite

            That might be true but my answer to that is that it is Leica’s job to keep their feet on the ground as far as pricing goes. They could find solutions to keep things affordable for high end consumers. The Q is priced correctly IMO. Now that no-one wanted it, the T is finally near appropriate price levels. If Leica is selling only 10k M bodies a year that is because they chose to bake in exclusivity via price. Even many of my professional peers balk at the price of a new M, even though they might really love to add one into their service. Leica is such a bubble that people forget that the Canon 5DIV is about $3500 bucks, but it’s a pro camera and pros will get their investment back no doubt. The D810 is a little cheaper but in the same universe. About $3-3.5k gets you a mid-tier pro camera from the big two, and a wedding shooting with his salt can get 3 years out of those and easily justify that investment. Hypothetically, If the M was only $4.5k, it would be a very expensive purchase for a photographer, a full 1-1.5k more than a pro camera from Canikon. Same story at $5k, only more so. At $6k (where it is now) it’s kind of absurd from an ROI standpoint. The M is not the same as a D5 or 1DX. It isn’t used the same way, and it can’t do the same things. It’s also not as reliable and doesn’t have the support to back it up when it fails. Even from an investment standpoint, M 240s used are selling for $3.5k, a nearly 50% loss! Now photographers come from all income levels and there are plenty (apparently 10k a year) of photogs that don’t mind spending that much on an M. I got mine used for a relative steal($2900). It’s Leica’s job to evaluate the market and make pricing decisions. My point about the SL overall is, they wayyyyy overstated the price of that thing. I am an NYC pro photographer and I know people who would like to be in the brand but can’t justify the cost. When pros don’t want to spend the money, you know it’s a problem. I suspect that Leica really only cares about well heeled enthusiasts and the Hong Kong luxury boom, but IMO, that’s a shame.

          • Les


            What you don’t realize is that it’s always been that way. Leica has always been more expensive than Nikon. People have always claimed that the Japanese brands were more cost-effective. Nothing new here, just you.

            They keep finding their market, year after year, decade after decade. Some photographers love their stuff, some don’t. Nobody’s forcing your hand, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

            You come across as a petty insecure person when you start dissing people who make different equipment choices than you, or who can afford slightly more expensive equipment.

            As my old photography teacher said about his Hasselblad, “cabbies drive $30,000 cars, nobody bats an eye. Show up with a $30,000 camera and some people have a jealous fit! Where’s the logic?”

            Do you also get upset if you see a professional musician playing an expensive guitar, or if the officiant at a wedding wears expensive shoes? Let it go, you will feel better in the long run.

          • sperdynamite

            I know I’m making a better argument when the opposition has to obscure what I actually said into an entirely different narrative. Nice try, but you once again fail to grasp the concept.

            It’s not that I don’t think cameras should be expensive, it’s just that when they are, they better be worth it. Did you know that Phase reps will make HOUSE CALLS to trouble shoot your gear? They will also give you loaner equipment for any service, and their buy-back deals keep customers loyal. Same with Hasselblad. Leica can’t even come close to this level of service. Apparently all you get from Leica is a half baked mirrorless and a bunch of super-fans online who refuse to accept any criticism of the great-red-dot.

          • Les

            I’m sure they are working on a new M. They always announce those at quieter times of the year anyway. Would you rather they release something that’s not ready?

          • sperdynamite

            Always? The M9 and M 240 were both released right before Photokina on predictable schedules.

          • Bo Dez

            You are proving to talk much nonsense. M8 was Photokina 2006. M 240 was Photokina 2012.

          • Les

            I recall them having big events at their factory in the late Spring.
            They will announce the next M when it is ready.

          • Bo Dez

            Leica S reliability issues are woeful. 6 months to fix, the fix only replaces the broken part with the same broken part so it will break again and take another 6 months to fix. S is the same resolution since 2009, no new lenses where is the 300? where is the T/S?. No new M. a new system with lenses due by NEXT Photokina.

          • Les

            Everyone else has moved to 100MP, except Pentax, Fuji, and Hasselblad’s new system.

            In other words, everyone who is selling in the same price range has stuck to the 37-50 MP range. Maybe that’s a sweet spot in the market?

            The new Sinar addresses the T/S requirement (albeit using Sinaron Digital lenses). T/S is one application where a mirrorless technical camera is preferable.

            That leaves a missing 300, and the half dozen collectors who would buy it instead of using an adapted Pentax 67/Hasselblad/Mamiya lens (or even a modified Leica R 280). I think Leica realizes that they have higher-priority lens requirements to fulfill.

            You are just speculating that Leica is replacing focus gears with the same part now. No one other than Leica knows if there’s been a design or material change. The first problem lenses were probably fixed using identical parts, but I would be surprised if they didn’t analyze the failure mode and make a change. If nothing else, it would save them a lot of money.

          • Bo Dez

            Current S pricing is not what a large percentage of users invested in with the S2, S2-P or 006. They dropped the price because they couldn’t keep up with the pace of resolution and they couldn’t continue to charge what the other brands where for 37MP instead of 60 or 80, now 100.

            No, Sinar solves nothing. I am not buying one more piece of Leica gear, let alone another 10K back plus camera and lens. I’m close to selling it all as it is and going with the new Fuji or Hasselblad or Phase One.

            Leica made a promise to commit to a system and they haven’t.

            I am not speculating they are replacing the focus gears with the same one, that is official fact – ask Leica. Go and read the Leica forum for the people who are having it fail on them for the second time, on multiple lenses. You are surprised? So is everyone! It is diabolical and you don’t even get a loan lens while it’s being fixed.

          • Les

            As far as I know, Leica hasn’t said they they are using the same part with the same specifications. If you’ve seen an official statement, pass it on.
            They have officially stated that they will keep fixing this issue at no charge (other than downtime) for the foreseeable future, which is impressive.

            If you don’t want to spend the money on a Sinar/Leica technical camera system, that’s fine. It was never going to be cheap anyway. That’s a given with both of those companies. Don’t act surprised.

            “No signs of life” is a bit harsh. The newest S only started shipping a year ago, and the Sinar back adds considerable flex to the system. It may not be for you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          • Bo Dez

            No, Leica are replacing the part with the same part. Go read the countless disgruntled people in the Leica forum. Fixing it, taking 6 months to do it, with no loaner, for it to potentially only fail again is NOT impressive.

            No, a 15-20K Tech cam is NOT a solution to a system lens for a compact medium format camera.

            There are no signs of life. The only sign is Leica has given up on the S for the SL. The newest S shipped a year after it was suppose to, yet another let down.

          • sperdynamite

            Everyone has moved on to 100mp? Only Hasselblad and Phase One offer that sensor and it is only in their uber price backs and cams. The S was never in that market place. Hasselblad and Phase will sell more 50mp 44×33 cams by far, Leica is trying to compete in that market. But now we have a Fuji that will be cheaper than an SL and it will actually come with lenses you can buy and rely upon. Only red-dot obsessed idiots will continue to buy the SL or S.

          • Les

            The first part is exactly what I said.
            The second part is the old delusional “everyone who is different from me must be idiots” song and dance. Got anything to contribute, or are you venting?

        • sperdynamite

          I’m here for news about the M system and I like to keep Leica cultists honest. Sorry I can’t provide a safe space for you. *Trigger warning* I’m gonna call out bullshit when I see it.

  • Timothy Rule

    At least its possible to understand why they made the SL body so large! It must be nice for Leica to design lenses without the limitations the M imposes (on lenses). I don’t like it myself, but I can see the point of the SL, or at least why they are doing it.

    Perhaps the point Leica see’s is something other … 😉

  • Chad Hsieh

    those images look pretty average tbh

  • yama naka

    I saw photo of 35mm/2 SL in Leica web. .. It’s still big like 50/1.4… : ( I am thinking to switch to T….I can not expect SL future. It’s really good camera, but it’s heavy…for street. But M is not my favorite. I like AF. I enough enjoyed SL.

  • Mark

    Nice lens, I am off to the gym / buy steroids to use it..

  • I know it is comparing apples to pears. But why does a 50mm 1.4 have to be so big and heavy, compared to brands like Canon and Nikon? Is there a technical reason, or is it just a brand decision to have a match to the large SL body? I mean, of course a Lecia lens has better quality in glass and build. But why build a 50mm that is as large as 24-70 lens….

  • wiep

    Hi everyone, I recently made the switch from nikon to SL with 24/90 and must say I’m very very happy with it.
    What does surprise me a little is the sarcasm on the leica forums. It seems like a lot of disappointed people.
    For me the SL delivers and for now the 24/90 is all I need. This zoom gives me a better image than the nikon primes, the bokeh at F4 is far better than I expected and I do like the extra 20mm.
    I love the viewfinder, build in wifi with the SL app and though it toke me a few weeks to fully get used to the camera I’m now on that point. I earn my living with photography so 10 k for a camera with lens is not a deal breaker.
    But you know what’s really nice? Every assignment I do there is somebody who says: Wow, a Leica! That never happened with my nikons.
    Maybe I’m a snob (okay probably, even my daughter says so..), but this camera says to my clients that I invest in the best there is. At least that’s what they think. And for me it’s true, this camera makes me happy.
    I love the M but never bought one cause it doesn’t suit my work.
    In the end you have to buy what works for you and then forget about the costs.
    This 50 mm btw is to big for me so I won’t buy it, too bad. But I would like to have a new T with small lens as spare camera and for traveling.

    • archer

      I’m sure the camera will perform well. I’ve seen many shots from this camera on Dpreview’s Leica pages, and they look superb.

  • SteveDK

    Looks bigger than the Otus 55mm, which isn’t a small lens. I’m really not getting the point of sticking an SLR size lens on a smallish camera. I’ll stick with the Leica M system for now thanks, Leica.

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