Leitz (Wetzlar) Summitar 50mm F/2

Standard prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Model history

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm F/2 ASPH.M8 - 50.7mE39 2019 
Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. TitaniumM8 - 50.7mE39 2016 
Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm F/2 ASPH. (VI)M8 - 50.7mE39 2012 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm F/2 (50 Jahre SUMMICRON)M6 - 40.7mE39 2003 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm F/2 TitaniumM6 - 40.7mE39 2001 
Leica Summicron 50mm F/2M6 - 41mE39 1999 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm F/2 “King of Thailand”M6 - 40.7mE39 1996 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm F/2 (V)M6 - 40.7mE39 1994 
Leitz Canada Summicron-M 50mm F/2 “1913-1983”M6 - 40.7mE39 1983 
Leitz Summicron-M 50mm F/2 (IV)M6 - 40.7mE39 1980 
Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (III)M6 - 50.7mE39 1969 
Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (II)M7 - 41mE39 1956 
Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (I)M7 - 41mE39 1953 
Leitz (Wetzlar) Summitar 50mm F/2M7 - 41mE36 1939 
Leitz (Wetzlar) Summar 50mm F/2M6 - 41mA36 1933 

Designed for

Features highlight



Production details
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:SOORE
Original name:Leitz Summitar f=5cm 1:2
Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Summitar f=5cm 1:2
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Flange focal distance:28.8mm
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction:7 elements - 4 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:<No information>
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m (coupled focusing)
Maximum magnification ratio:<No information>
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing lever
Physical characteristics
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀47.8×42.7mm
Filters:Screw-type 36mm
Lens hood:SOOPD

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

Manufacturer description

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.

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.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, street, travel

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

Canon 50mm F/1.2 ⌀55 1956 
Canon 50mm F/1.4 I ⌀48 1957 
Canon 50mm F/1.4 II ⌀48 1959 
Canon 50mm F/1.5 S.VII 1952 
Canon 50mm F/1.8 II S.VI 1956 
Canon 50mm F/1.8 III ⌀40 1958 
Canon 50mm F/2.2 ⌀40 1961 
Canon 50mm F/2.8 I S.VI 1955 
Canon 50mm F/2.8 II ⌀40 1957 
Canon 50mm F/2.8 III ⌀40 1959 
Canon Serenar 50mm F/1.8 I S.VI 1951 
Canon Serenar 50mm F/1.9 S.VI 1949 
Chiyoda Kogaku Super Rokkor 50mm F/1.8 ⌀46 1958 
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm F/2.8 (C) 1947 
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 50mm F/2 ⌀40.5 1955 
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 50mm F/2 (C) ⌀43 1955 
Chiyoko Super Rokkor 50mm F/2.8 (C) ⌀40.5 1954 
Fuji Photo Film Fujinon 50mm F/1.2 1954 
Konishiroku Hexanon 50mm F/1.9 ⌀40.5 1956 
Leica Summicron 50mm F/2 E39 1999 
Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 E46 1999 
Leitz (Wetzlar) Summar 50mm F/2 A36 1933 
Leitz Hektor 50mm F/2.5 E21 1931 
Leitz Wetzlar (Canada) Summarit 50mm F/1.5 E41 1949 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 50mm F/2.8 (I) E39, A42 1957 
Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (I) E39 1953 
Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (II) E39 1956 
Leitz Wetzlar Summilux 50mm F/1.4 (I) E43 1959 
Leitz Wetzlar Xenon 50mm F/1.5 A51 1936 
Nikon Nikkor-H(·C) 50mm F/2 S.VI 1950 
Nikon Nikkor-H·C 50mm F/2 S.VI 1946 
Nikon Nikkor-N 50mm F/1.1 ⌀62 1959 
Nikon Nikkor-N(·C) 50mm F/1.1 ⌀62 1956 
Nikon Nikkor-S(·C) 50mm F/1.4 S.VII 1950 
Nikon Nikkor-S·C 50mm F/1.5 ⌀40.5 1949 
Teikoku Kogaku (Zunow Opt.) ZUNOW 50mm F/1.1 ⌀54.5 1955 
Teikoku Kogaku ZUNOW 50mm F/1.1 1953 
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F/1.5
Yashica (Super-)Yashinon 50mm F/1.8 ⌀43 1959 
Yashica Yashikor 50mm F/2.8 (I) ⌀40.5 1959 
Yashica Yashikor 50mm F/2.8 (II) ⌀40.5 1959 
Small-batch production
Cosina Voigtlander Color-Skopar 50mm F/2.5 LTM ⌀39 2002 
Cosina Voigtlander Heliar 50mm F/2 LTM (Cosina 50th Anniversary, Bessa 10th Anniversary) ⌀39 2009 
Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F/1.5 Aspherical LTM ⌀52 1999 
Konica Hexanon 50mm F/2.4 ⌀40.5 1997 

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35mm full frame

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

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Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best fast standard primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

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.


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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 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),


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


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 from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

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.

Flange focal distance

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

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.


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".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

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.

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.


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.


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.