Leitz Wetzlar Summicron 50mm F/2 (I)

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

Fast
Manual
MF
Lightweight

Specification

Production details
Announced:1953
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:SOOIC
SOOIC-M
Original name:Ernst Leitz GmbH Wetzlar Summicron f=5cm 1:2
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/2
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Leica M
M39
Flange focal distance:27.8mm (Leica M)
28.8mm (M39)
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
36° (Leica M APS-H)
Lens construction:7 elements - 4 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:<No information>
Focusing
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
Weight:220g (mount not specified)
Maximum diameter x Length:<No information>
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 39mm
Lens hood:SOOFM
IROOA

*) Source of data: Scarce manufacturer's technical data + own research.

**) Some basic information is missing in the specification as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer description

Here is a truly new advance in camera optics and design ... another Leica first. The Summicron 50mm f/ 2 is the only high speed lens that will give your pictures corner-to-corner sharpness. The Summicron is a seven glass element lens incorporating a radical new design principle and utilizing newly developed high refractive optical glasses combined with air lenses of a special shape and effect. This makes possible a degree of correction found in no other lens.

Your black and white pictures will take on a new sparkle with overall sharpness from center to edge. You will get truer rendition in your color transparencies, particularly at the edges. The Summicron lens will establish new standards of excellence in both color and black-and-white photography. See it NOW at your franchised Leica dealers'!

The Summicron is a new addition to the Leica line of lenses; new type of glass, new optical design and of excellent correction, especially for color, flatness of field and vignetting.

The Summicron is more compact than the Summitar and the diaphragm adjusting ring has click stops. All glass-to-air surfaces are coated.

A study of the schematic drawing will immediately reveal an unusual optical design. There are seven elements, only one pair of which is cemented. Utilization is made of "air lenses" to achieve an exceedingly high degree of correction. The basic design is a variation of the Gauss-type lens. (The Gauss-type is characterized by two converging lenses, one at each extremity of the system, enclosing two diverging meniscus lens components, located adjacent to the diaphragm.) This provides a favorable basis for color correction.

The Summicron has been further corrected to reduce the extra axial spherical aberration and loss of contrast at the edges to the absolute minimum, while at the same time obtaining a perfect correction of the astigmatic curvature of field, and reaching an optimum performance chromatically. Important in achieving this high degree of correction is a new optical glass of high refractive index used for the two positive elements of the system.

The front component consists of two separated elements so shaped that a diverging "air lens" is formed between them. The adjacent component also consists of two separated elements utilizing the characteristics of the "air lens" as an additional means of correction.

The Summicron performs excellently at full aperture producing an exceedingly brilliant and even image over the entire field. Optimum image quality, which normally cannot be attained until the lens is stopped down considerably, is reached in the Summicron at the relatively large opening of f/4. An extremely high degree of contrast and resolution is obtained.

Correction of vignetting in a large aperture lens is of great importance. Unless special attention is paid to this, the edges of the negative will receive much less light than other areas, resulting in a darkening of the edges of the picture, or in the case of color photography, a false rendition of color at the edges of the transparency. The front element of the Summicron is larger in diameter than required for a relative aperture of f/2. This design increases the transverse section of the bundle of oblique rays, permitting more light to reach the edges, thereby reducing vignetting to a minimum.

Increasing the width of the oblique bundle of rays to eliminate vignetting increases the difficulty of correcting other aberrations. The reduction of vignetting in the Summicron, coupled with its over-all high correction, can be regarded as an outstanding achievement of optical design. The Summicron is a lens of highest performance leaving nothing to be desired for either color or black-and-white photography.

From the editor

Clearly derived from the Summitar 50mm F/2, but with a superior performance due to the new types of glasses, some of which were developed by Leitz.

The M-mount version of the lens was made from 1954 to 1957.

The number of aperture blades could be 10 or 16.

Typical application

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

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35mm full frame

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

Travellers' choice

Note

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.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

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 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.

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".

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.

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.