Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 Lens
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 Lens
To follow my Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens blog post I thought I would do the same for the Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens. It is probably not the first 50mm lens people lust after or go out to buy but for me it ticks a few boxes on my wish list. Is it small and compact with a 39mm filter thread? Yes. Does it balance nicely on my Leica M3 film camera? Yes. It is sharp wide open and produces pleasing images? Yes. That was all I needed to purchase the little Summarit-M 50mm. (It is not to be confused with the old Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 lens as this is a different lens completely. I also have the 50mm f1.5 version and it gives the classic Leica glow look (and is also a very nice lens)).
Leica Summarit-M vs. Leica Summicron vs. Leica Summilux ASPH
I own and use quite a few different Leica 50mm lens, each giving their own characteristics to an image and each having it’s place. I compare here the three most similar lenses in terms of approximate age and ‘normal’ use. (I excluded the older Leica Summarit 50mm, Leica Summicron 50mm DR version, Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8 lenses and the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 lens which is different to all these 50mm lenses). So of the three 50mm lenses mentioned in the title The Leica Summarit-M is the smallest (and slowest at f2.5), the Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 is inbetween and the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH is the largest and fastest.
So of these lenses which do I use the most? Of all the 50mm lenses I own I think the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH is used for perhaps 75-85% of the images, especially for digital. For film if there is enough light I now use the Leica Summarit-M also. The Leica Summicron v5 gets very little use. I like the size of the Summicron and the built in hood but it flares easily. The Summilux ASPH is one stop faster and doesn’t flare as much so is the lens I carry when I need to rely on 50mm lens for clean sharp images. The Summarit-M is the newest addition of my 50mm lenses and I bought it for two reasons; one to use on Leica M film cameras as I like the small size and two, if I need to travel very lightweight and there is lots of available light. A perfect example of this was when I did my cycling trip in Fuertventura. I wanted to travel light and I was stopping lenses down so the Summarit-M was the perfect travel lens (to cover 50mm). I think from my experience and my copies of the lenses the Summilux ASPH and Summarit-M both give very modern looking images in how they render a scene. The Summicron is slightly softer but not as soft or as much glow as the older Leica 50mm lenses.
Visual size comparison of the three mentioned 50mm lenses
- Left: Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5
- Centre: Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5
- Right: Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH
(*Sorry for the dust on the lenses!)
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 Lens – On the Digital Leica M240
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 Lens – On Leica Film Cameras
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 Lens – Film Landscape
I really like the little Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens and it is definitely a keeper. If you don’t need the speed of a Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens the Summarit-M 50 is a great choice if you like the modern look (verses the classic look achieved with a lot of the older Leica lenses).