Leitz / Leitz Wetzlar SUMMITAR 50mm F/2

Standard prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Model history (11)

Leitz / Leitz Wetzlar SUMMAR 50mm F/2 [LSM]M6 - 41mA36 1933 
Leitz / Leitz Wetzlar SUMMAR 50mm F/2 [LSM]CollapsibleM6 - 41mA36 1934 
Leitz / Leitz Wetzlar SUMMITAR 50mm F/2 [LSM]CollapsibleM7 - 41mE36.4 1939 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [I] [LSM]CollapsibleM7 - 61mE39 1953 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [I]CollapsibleM7 - 61mE39 1954 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 for M3 Gold (1 unit)Collapsible 1956 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [II]M7 - 61mE39 1956 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 for M3 Gold (sample) (1 unit) 1957 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 for M3 Gold (1 unit) 1957 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 Gold (1 unit) 1957 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [II] [LSM] 1960 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [II] Dual RangeM7 - 61mE39 1956 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [III]M6 - 50.7mE39 1969 
Leitz / Leitz Canada SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 [IV]M6 - 40.7mE39 1980 
Leitz / Leitz Canada SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Leica 1913-1983” (200 units) 1983 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Year of the Rooster” (268 units) 1993 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “LHSA 25th Anniversary” (151 units) 1993 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Colombo ’92” (201 units) 1993 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 [V]M6 - 40.7mE39 1994 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “RPS Royal Centenary” (100 units) 1994 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Leica HISTORICA 20th Anniversary” (150 units) 1995 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Gold Dragon” (300 units) 1995 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 Gold “King of Thailand” (700 units) 1996 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 Gold “Sultan of Brunei” (125 units) 1996 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “150 Jahre Optik” (30 units) 1999 
Leica SUMMICRON 50mm F/2 [LSM] 1999 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Kanto” (100 units) 2000 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 Titanium (500 units) 2001 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “50 Jahre SUMMICRON” (1000 units) 2003 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 “Classic” (500 units) 2004 
Leica SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 Safari (500 units) 2019 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH.M8 - 50.7mE39 2012 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPHERICAL for RED (1 unit) 2013 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. Titanium (333 units) 2016 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. Red (100 units) 2016 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. “LHSA 50th Anniversary” (500 units) 2017 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. Black (700 units) 2019 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. “Leica HISTORICA 45th Anniversary” (45 units) 2020 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. Titanium (250 units) 2022 
Leica APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. Gold “King of Thailand” (30 units) 2022 

Features highlight

Fast
MF
Manual
Collapsible
Compact
E36.4
filters

Specification

Production details
Announced:1939
Production status: Discontinued
Order No.:SOORE / 11015
Original name:Leitz Summitar f=5cm 1:2
Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Summitar f=5cm 1:2
System:Leica SM (1930)
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/2
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica screw mount [28.8mm]
Diagonal angle of view:46.8°
Lens construction:7 elements - 4 groups
Focusing
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m
Maximum magnification ratio:<No data>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing lever
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Aperture control:Aperture ring
Number of blades:<No data>
Physical characteristics
Weight:240g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀47.8×42.7mm
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 36.4mm
Lens hood:SOOPD / 12515
Lens caps:ORSTO / 14030 (front)
ORSUM / 66846 (front)
FIRHU / 35252 / 66835 (rear)
ORYFO / ORYFOCHROM / 14050 (rear)

*) Source of data: Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 1356) (March 1950).

Manufacturer description #1

The faster objective, Summitar 50mm., f/2 (2"), angle 45 deg., is based on the so-called Gauss-type, which affords excellent correction possibilities for higher relative aperture and for greater angles of view. At variance with the normal Gauss type, the front member is composed of two lenses, so that additional means of correction are obtained. The excellent color correction deserves special mention, whereby color defects of a higher order are made unnoticeable.

The other defects, too, are limited in their extent. With reduced aperture the sharpness of the image increases rapidly and reaches its maximum at about f/5.6. Special importance was attached to the extensive elimination of vignetting which is of fundamental importance, especially in color photography.

Manufacturer description #2

From the diameter of the front element of the Summitar lens, one would be led to believe that its aperture is about F:1.6. In spite of this, the effective aperture remains F:2 and this means that the increased amount of light transmitted by the larger front element has the effect of considerably reducing the falling off in illumination at the edges of the field. In other words, the lens gives even intensity of illumination at the edges of the image. This is of great advantage, particularly in color photography. While it is always possible to reduce the vignetting effect in a lens by increasing the diameter of the front element, this is usually done by a sacrifice in definition at the edges of the field. In the Summitar lens, however, the increased marginal intensity of illumination is not accomplished by a sacrifice in definition; on the contrary, we have improved the correction of the Summitar lens to such an extent that, in spite of the increased marginal intensity of illumination, a considerable improvement in definition over the entire area has been accomplished, even at full aperture.

Another advantage of the Summitar lens lies in the fact that the large front element of this new objective is made of a new type optical glass which protects the lens surface very effectively against adverse climatic conditions such as encountered in the tropics or in humid atmospheres.

When using the Summitar lens, it is of utmost importance to eliminate all possibility of stray light from entering the lens and causing flare or halation on the film. Therefore the Summitar lens should always be used with the collapsible sunshade which has been specially designed for it. This is especially true when the full, or nearly full, aperture of the lens is utilized, even on occasions where photographs are being taken in artificial light or out of doors without sunshine.

The advisability of using a sunshade refers to all photographic lenses.

In general, the same rule applies to the Summitar lens which applies to all high speed photographic lenses. The full aperture should serve as a reserve of speed for such cases where unfavorable lighting conditions would make it necessary to use exceedingly long exposure times; where a short exposure time is necessary because of a too rapid movement of the object, or where it is desirable to use a differential focus, in order to reduce confusing background detail in portraiture.

The Leitz Summitar lens is collapsible and equipped with the standard type focusing mount with depth of focus scale and coupling for the range finder of the Leica camera. When stopped down to F:6.3, the Summitar lens may be used for enlarging. For close up photography and short distance work, the Summitar lens may be used with the Optical Short Distance Focusing Device (Nooky-Hesum).

From the editor

Coated since November 1945.

Originally the lens featured the European aperture scale: 2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, but the international aperture scale was introduced in 1946: 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, from No. 601001.

The number of aperture blades could be 6 or 10.

The lens uses special screw-in 36.4mm (type "L") filters. 42mm (type "O") filters can also be used by means of the adapter SNHOO / 13078.

Collapsible lens hoods SOOPD and SOOFM served as a lens cap when folded. There were clamp-on with set-screw and clip-on variants of SOOPD lens hood.

Notes

  • All LEICA lenses having a focusing lever are automatically locked at the infinity position. This feature enables the camera to be used for infinity scenes and subjects without danger of the lens becoming accidentally out of focus due to unintentional movement. To release the lever for focusing on nearer planes press the knob at the end of the lever.

Typical application

Class:

Fast full-frame standard prime lens

Genres or subjects of photography (7):

Landscapes • Cityscapes • Buildings • Interiors • Portraits • Street • Travel photography

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/50th of a second

Alternatives in the Leica SM system

///// Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order /////

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

///// Sorted by manufacturer name /////

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

SOOPD / 12515 (1949)

New York, also made at Wetzlar. For SUMMITAR 5cm. Similar to XIOOM. Black or chrome, engraved with Wetzlar or New York logo and "Summitar". Later Wetzlar model replaced the clamping ring and screw with spring-loaded clips which engaged in the groove round the rim of the later SUMMITARs and were operated by push levers at each side.

ORSTO / 14030

Spare lens cap, chromium plated, for the SUMMITAR 50mm f:2.

ORYFO / ORYFOCHROM / 14050

Rear cover, chromium plated, for screwing on base of LEICA lens when not in use.

FIRHU / 35252 / 66835

Dust cap, for screwing on base of LEICA lens when not in use.

ORSUM / 66846

Spare lens cap, chromium plated, for the SUMMITAR 50mm f:2.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/2 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.