Leica APO-Summicron 50mm LHSA 50th anniversary lens officially announced

The previously rumored Leica APO-Summicron 50mm LHSA 50th anniversary lens is now officially announced. The lens will unite the classic look of the legacy Summicron 50mm f/2 from 1954 with modern technology to fully exploit the contrast and resolution offered by current digital cameras. Only 500 pieces will be produced (300 black and 200 silver chrome). The US price is $9,595. Shipping will start in January 2018. Pre-orders are now open at:

Additional information can be found on Leica's website and on lhsa.org.

Press release:


For the past 50 years, ‘The International Leica Society’ (LHSA) has dedicated itself to research, the history of Leica and the use of the company’s products. The beginning of the celebration of the 50th anniversary in 2018 will be marked by the launch of a special edition of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. produced especially for the occasion. The appearance of the lens is reminiscent of the Summicron 50 mm f/2 from 1954. The special edition thus unites the outstanding imaging performance of the current lens – which was the first to be able to fully exploit the contrast and resolution offered by modern digital cameras – with the look of the nineteen-fifties.

Depending on the choice of colour of the ‘LHSA’ special edition, the outer brass elements of the lens are finished either in black paint or in silver chrome. This also applies to the separate lens hood in the style of the nineteen-fifties that is also made of brass. While the engravings of the distance scale in feet are picked out in red on both versions, the other engravings vary in colour depending on the version of the lens selected: these are in white on the black paint version and black in the case of the silver chrome option. The special serial number is engraved on the aperture ring and is picked out in black on the silver chrome version and is not coloured on the black paint lens. Further engravings are found on the bayonet ring: ‘MADE IN GERMANY’ and the LHSA Logo – both of which are not picked out in colour.

The cordial collaboration between Leica and the LHSA has a long tradition and has already been the source of a number of special editions in the past. These include, for example, a set comprising a silver chrome Leica M6 and three Summicron-M lenses of different focal lengths produced in 1993 and a Leica MP from 2003 finished in a special hammertone lacquer.

The LHSA special edition of the APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is strictly limited to 500 examples, 300 in black paint finish and 200 in silver chrome. Both versions will be supplied together with a certificate of authenticity in particularly high-quality packaging and will be available from 4 December 2017.

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  • eric

    I still prefer the red version of the Apo summicron 50 but this retro silver model looks cool without the hood. the black looks cool also.

    • Bo Dez

      yeah that red one is sick

  • Brennan McKissick

    I always love the LHSA retro throwbacks and this is no exception.

  • Bo Dez

    has there been any talk of a 35mm APO-Summicron?

    • Budaoy

      I don’t think APO will be used on wide angle lenses.

      • Bo Dez

        Everyone said that about a 50 too. The popularity and success of that lens and the leap in IQ between the 50 APO and the 35 cron means it’s certainly possible.

        • APO isn’t necessary on WA lenses because colour convergence isn’t as much of an issue as with longer lenses, most WA lenses don’t show an objectionable amount of longitudinal chromatic aberrations. As sensor/film plane magnification increases (ie. longer lenses), aberrations become more apparent, this is why APO is usually reserved for longer lenses and telescopes, unless of course you’re Sigma who use it as marketing hype to identify their lenses which are more highly corrected, though not necessarily apochromatic in a technical sense.

          • Bo Dez

            Yeah but Leica said they hesitated doing the 50 for the same reason because it would be “naive” (their words in an interview) but they did it and the results make one of the best lenses in existence. There is a significant jump in performance between the 35mm Summicron and the 50mm APO-Summicron.

          • I think you’re making assumptions as to the reason for the jump in performance between the 35 cron and 50 cron APO. The 35mm Lux ASPH and Zeiss Distagon are also much improved over the Cron, but they’re not APO. I think people over estimate the gains from APO designs, or at least misunderstand what it brings to the table. The APO designation is probably the least important part of the design of the 50 Cron AA.

          • Bo Dez

            Yeah I am making assumptions. II just want a 35mm lens that equals the 50mm APO-Summicron. The FLE Summilux doesn’t. APO or not I don’t really care – It’s a bit like learning how a sausage is made to me. But by Karbe’s own talking about it, I wouldn’t be so surprised if it happened. Most were surprised in even an APO 50 for the same reasons – but it happened.

          • You never know, but to be honest I don’t know why people were surprised by the 50 cron AA being APO, considering the 50 Summilux is APO, it just doesn’t have the letters etched on the barrel of the lens.

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