1954 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 – Example images & follow up review
(Link to original review below)
I have owned the Leica Summarit lens a few weeks now and have been using it for everything from Leica fashion beauty, portraiture, engagement shoots, landscapes, flowers and as a walk around lens. Here is a photo of my vintage silver Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 on my vintage 1958 Leica M2 35mm film camera (taken with a Leica Summicron 90mm f2 on my Leica M9).
Example images using my 1954 Summarit 50/1.5 on my Leica M9
How does the Leica Summarit compare to my other 50mm lenses?
I have 6+ 50mm lenses including Leica Summilux ASPH, Leica Summicron v5, Zeiss ZM Sonar and Zeiss ZM Planar. Despite owning all these ‘pedigree’ lenses I am finding myself chosing the vintage Leica Summarit first. Why? The Summarit has an amazing glow shot wide open at f1.5. It is sharp enough for female portraiture and I like the flare for my style of photography. The bokeh is like no other lens I own and together these traits give a photo a very unique and vintage look straight from the camera that I love.
Why does this lens have so many bad reviews?
This lens is prone to flare (as mentioned) due to the old lens coating applied when manufactured in the 1950s. The coating was soft so on many copies of this lens it is damaged. I was very lucky to buy my lens with the original Leica UV filter meaning the lens optics are in near mint condition. The lens is also known to suffer from focus shift and to be optimised at f2.8 rather than at f1.5. I have not noticed any problems shooting at f1.5 so I guess I got lucky here also. Lastly, older lenses can be prone to fogging but again my lens optics are clear so I have not experienced this problem.
One of my favourite lenses on my Nikon D800 is the 1970s manual focus Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s. This lens also has an amazing glow shot wide open at f1.2 yet is easily sharp enough for portraiture.
I am very happy to have discovered this amazing old lens and I loved the vintage Leica look so much that I then bought a 1951 Leica Summaron 35mm f3.5. Full review on the Summaron to follow.
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer
1954 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 – https://matthewosbornephotography.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/leica-summarit-50mm-f1-5/
Leica Summaron 35mm f3.5 – https://matthewosbornephotography.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/leica-summaron-35mm-f3-5/