Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 [I]

Standard prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Model history (9)

Leitz Wetzlar XENON 50mm F/1.5 [LSM]M7 - 51mA51 1936 
Leitz Wetzlar / Leitz Canada SUMMARIT 50mm F/1.5 [LSM]M7 - 51mE41 1949 
Leitz Wetzlar / Leitz Canada SUMMARIT 50mm F/1.5M7 - 51mE41 1954 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 [I]M7 - 51mE43 1959 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 (548 units) [LSM] 1960 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 [II]M7 - 51mE43 1961 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 [II]M7 - 51mE43 1968 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 “Oskar Barnack 100th Anniversary” (1000 units) 1979 
Leitz Wetzlar SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 “Leica 1913-1983” (200 units) 1983 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 “150 Jahre Photographie, 75 Jahre Leica Photographie” (1250 units) 1989 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 Gold “Sultan of Brunei” (350 units) 1992 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 Platinum “Sultan of Brunei” (250 units) 1992 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 “Traveller Edition” (500 units) 1994 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 [III]M7 - 50.7mE46 1995 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 Platinum “Sultan of Brunei” (125 units) 1996 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 “150 Jahre Optik” (30 units) 1999 
Leica SUMMILUX 50mm F/1.4 [LSM] 1999 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 for M6 TTL Millennium (2075 units) 2000 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 “Al-Thani” (16 units) 2001 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 [III] TitaniumM7 - 50.7mE46 1995 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH.M8 - 50.7mE46 2004 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. Titanium “50 Jahre M-System” (550 units) 2004 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. Titanium “9/11 Memorial” (1 unit) 2005 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “LHSA Special Edition” (1500 units) 2005 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “60 Years PRC” (60 units) 2009 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “China’s 1911 Revolution” (101 units) 2011 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Edition Hermès” (300 units) 2012 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Edition 100” (101 units) 2014 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Correspondent” (125 units) 2015 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. Black 2015 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Leica Galerie Frankfurt” (50 units) 2016 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Meister Edition Berlin” (20 units) 2017 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “Jim Marshall” (50 units) 2017 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. “SC Asset” (30 units) 2019 
Leica SUMMILUX-M 50mm F/1.4 ASPH. for M10-P “White” (350 units) 2019 

Features highlight

Ultra fast


Production details
Production status: Discontinued
Order No.:11113 - black
SOOME / 11114 - silver
Original name:LEITZ WETZLAR SUMMILUX 1:1.4/50
System:Leica M (1954)
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica M [27.8mm]
Diagonal angle of view:46.8°
Lens construction:7 elements in 5 groups
On Leica M8/M8.2 APS-H [1.33x] cameras
35mm equivalent focal length:66.5mm (in terms of field of view)
35mm equivalent speed:F/1.9 (in terms of depth of field)
Diagonal angle of view:36°
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m
Maximum magnification:<No data>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Aperture control:Aperture ring
Number of blades:<No data>
Physical characteristics
Maximum diameter x Length:<No data>
Filters:Screw-type 43mm
Slip-on 45mm
Lens hood:XOOIM / 12521
Lens caps:14036 (front)
14051 (rear)
Sources of data
1. Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 11-34d) (January 1963).
2. Interchangeable lenses are giving your LEICA new perspective booklet (PUB. 11-34) (April 1960).
3. Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 11-34b) (October 1961).

Manufacturer description #1

From the LEICA photography magazine (1959, No. 2):

The 50mm Summilux f/1.4, a superspeed lens, has among its elements a special glass whose formula was developed by Leitz research. This new, ultra-high speed lens has seven elements. And, thanks to design improvements made possible by the highly refractive glasses used in the lens, image definition is excellent, even at f/1.4. Minimum aperture is 1/16, and the focusing range is from infinity down to 3 1/2 feet. Focusing is done via a milled ring.

A linear diaphragm, with equidistant stop marks, makes it easy to set half-stops on the new lens, while click settings are provided at full-stop positions.

The Summilux comes complete with lens hood and a lens hood cap of special design. The lens hood cap may be kept in place when the hood is reversed on the lens for carrying in an eveready case. The lens is finished in matte chrome and has both depth-of-field scale and dual-distance scales (meters and feet) engraved on it. Price of the 50mm Summilux f/1.4 is $198.00 in bayonet mount. A screw-mount model will appear later.

Manufacturer description #2

Indispensable whenever dim available light must suffice without the use of flash, this ultra-high-speed lens was a favorite of professional photo-journalists and adventurious amateurs who regard difficult lighting conditions not as a barrier but a challenge. Its advanced design and rare-earth glass construction yield surprising crispness and freedom from vignetting at full aperture. With its tremendous speed and excellent quality this "night-and-day" lens makes available light color photography a practical reality. The lens was supplied with its own special reversible lens hood and lens-hood cap.

Manufacturer description #3

The SUMMILUX is a 7-element Gauss variant with 5 members. Excellent correction for coma as well as outstanding contrast rendering and freedom from reflections at full aperture f/1.4 deserve special emphasis.

Although the SUMMILUX is designed above all for exposures in poor lighting conditions, because of its large maximum aperture, it offers excellent general performance, suitable for all purposes within its focusing range. It is not, however, designed for use on close-focusing devices or for reproduction purposes (copy work).

From the editor

Introduced as a replacement for the Summarit 50mm F/1.5. Another modification of the Xenon design.

The number of aperture blades could be 12 or 16.

Typical application


Ultra-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 M system

Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

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4 years ago

Beautiful imaging, with highlight flare at f1.4 , portraits are gorgeous, stopped down this lens is very sharp. The updated (1962-1994) Summilux has improved imaging at f1.4, eliminated the flare and the character at that aperture, at f5.6 the lens doesn’t achieve the sharpness of the 1959 Summilux. This is one of the most disregarded lenses in the Leica system and prices remain relatively modest by Leica standards. Build quality is the peak of Leica manufacturing, M3 era, solid and heavy feel. If you are considering the Summarit 50mm f1.5 (1954-1960) purchase this lens, it has a similar optical formula without the soft glass, and build quality is a quantum leap forward.

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35mm full frame

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


Sorry, no additional information is available.

XOOIM / 12521 (1960)

For SUMMILUX 50mm, f1.4. Engraved "1:1.4/50" and the codeword or catalogue number. Double trigger fastening.


Replacement lens cap, chrome plated, for the 50mm SUMMILUX f/1.4 (fits front lens flange, not lens hood).


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

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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 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 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.


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/1.4 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.


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.


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.