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Leitz Wetzlar Summicron-C 40mm F/2

Wide-angle prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Sample photos

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Production details

Announced:1973
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:11542 - black anodized
Original name:LEITZ WETZLAR SUMMICRON-C 1:2/40
System: Leica CL (1973)

Features highlight

Fast
Manual
10 blades
MF
Compact
Lightweight

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:40mm
Speed:F/2
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Diagonal angle of view:56.8° (35mm full frame)
44.2° (Leica M APS-H)
Lens construction:6 elements - 4 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:10
Focusing
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:0.8m (coupled focusing)
Maximum magnification ratio:<No information>
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing tab
Physical characteristics
Weight:125g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀46×22mm
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Series 5.5
Lens hood:12518
Lens caps:N/A (front)
14051 (rear)

*) Sources of data: Leica CL booklet (PUB. 112-92) (August 1973) ● General Catalogue (July 1977).

Manufacturer description

A fixed lens imposes limitations - interchangeable lenses overcome them. That is why the LEICA CL offers the proven LEICA bayonet lens system. With two specially developed lenses - a 40mm SUMMICRON-C f/2 and a 90mm ELMAR-C f/4 - the new CL ideally meets all needs of creative picture control with minimum effort. More than 90% of all pictures are taken with medium-focus lenses. Hence the 40mm and 90mm lenses offer the most useful practical focal length combination. Both lenses are coupled with the LEICA CL view- and rangefinder. On fitting either lens the appropriate brightline frame automatically appears in the finder.

The new 40mm SUMMICRON-C with its increased angle of view and high speed is the perfect lens for snapshots, short-range feature photography, architecture, interiors, or close-quarter shooting. The great depth of field of this lens gives you enormous action shooting latitude: moving subjects remain within your field of view and sharpness zone. Further, this lens covers broad landscapes and wide views with maximum detail right into the image corners.

From the editor

A standard lens for the Leica CL (1973), but could be used on any M-series camera, although the rangefinder coupling was then slightly inaccurate due to the different cam slope.

A special rubber lens hood was provided which could be folded back over the lens when not in use and therefore be permanently attached. To fit Series 5.5 filters, unscrew the lens hood, place the filter in position and secure it by screwing the hood in again (Note: screw thread at the front of the lens is not the same as the LEICA E39 filter thread).

There were no dedicated front lens cap available for this lens. The front lens cap 14191 attaches to the rubber lens hood and will not attach to the lens without the hood.

This lens was also made by Minolta in Japan under the name M-ROKKOR 40mm F/2. The only difference is that it uses 40.5mm filters and hood instead of Series 5.5 filters and special hood.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, full to mid-body portraits, street, travel

Alternatives in the Leica CL system

Sorted by focal length and speed

2.8 Leitz Wetzlar Elmarit-C 40mm F/2.8 S.5.5 1973 
2.0 Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm F/2 [CL] ⌀40.5Pancake lens 1972 

Lenses with similar focal length

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

Pancake lens

Pancake lenses get their name due to the thin and flat size. The other distinctive features are fixed focal length and light weight.

First pancake lenses appeared in the 1950s and were standard prime lenses based on the famous Tessar design – a brilliantly simple design which was developed by Paul Rudolph in 1902, patented by Zeiss company and provided a good optical performance.

With the improvement of optical technologies in the 1970s the optical design of pancake lenses became more complicated and the latest generation has overcome the limitations of traditional designs. As a result, pancake lenses are now also available in wide-angle and even short telephoto variations.

Due to the increasing demand for cameras with a compact form factor, pancake lenses are experiencing a second wave of popularity while having reasonable prices, which makes them accessible to a wide range of photographers. Such lenses are especially useful for those who enjoy travel photography.

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 wide-angle prime lenses

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

Unable to follow the link

You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

Cannot perform comparison

Cannot compare the lens to itself.

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.

Series filters

A filter mounting system developed in the USA and used from the 1930s to the 1970s. The filters were round pieces of glass or gelatin mounted as a rule in metal rims with no threads. The filter is inserted into the screw-in or slip-on adapter ring mounted on a lens and then held in place with threaded retaining ring. A lens hood sometimes acted as an adapter or retaining ring.

Filter type Filter size
(inch — mm)
Retaining ring size
(inch — mm)
Lens diameter, mm
Series IV / 4 13/16 20.3 15/16 23.8 16-18
Series V / 5 1 3/16 30.2 1 5/16 33.3 19-30
Series VI / 6 1 5/8 41.3 1 3/4 44.5 31-42
Series VII / 7 2 50.8 2 1/8 54.0 43-51
Series VIII / 8 2 1/2 63.5 2 5/8 66.7 52-67
Series IX / 9 3 1/4 82.6 3 7/16 87.3 67-85
Series X / 10 4 1/2 114 4 5/8 117 86-114
Series XI / 11 5 7/16 138 5 9/16 141 115-138

N/A

There is no dedicated front cap for this lens.

14051

Replacement rear cover, plastic, for Leica M-mount lenses (except 21mm lens) and Visoflex.

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".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

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

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.

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.