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Leica announces APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH normal prime

By dpreview staff on May 10, 2012 at 21:47 GMT
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Leica has announced the APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. The company is making grand claims for its latest standard-focal-length prime, which uses specially developed glass to create an apochromatic design to minimize chromatic aberrations. The lens was designed to match the specifications of the existing 50mm f/2 lens - a 1979 design that is the oldest in the company's current lineup. The APO version of the lens will be available from late July 2012 at a cost of around $7,195.

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Press Release:

LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 50 MM F/2 ASPH.: THE NEW MILESTONE IN LENS CONSTRUCTION

Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents a new milestone in the history of lens construction: the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. With the goal of creating a lens that fully achieves the opportunities offered by high-resolution camera systems, Leica engineers have successfully redefined the limits of what is technically possible. The result is an extremely high-performance lens that sets entirely new standards and currently stands as an exceptional talent amongst the standard lenses of the Leica M portfolio.

This new reference lens achieves the best test results ever seen in the Leica M-Lens program. The MTF curves of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. that describe the contrast of fine details and, in turn, the image sharpness, confirm its outstanding performance. Even the finest details are resolved with more than 50% contrast across the entire image field. This previously unattained value confirms the exceptional positioning of this lens. All images captured with the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in any photographic situation show extreme sharpness and resolution of details from corner to corner of the image. Additionally, the apochromatic correction of the lens minimizes chromatic aberration on sharp edges to ensure natural rendition of every detail. As a result, photographers benefit from the best possible reproduction results at any print size.

The outstanding performance of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is founded on the perfect interaction of all its design and construction parameters, from optical calculation and choice of materials to the sophisticated and elaborate manufacturing and finishing of the lens. Together with more than 150 years of experience in the design and construction of optical instruments, Leica’s reputation as the manufacturer of the world’s best lenses is once again emphasized.

The new design of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is based on the optical design of its predecessor that has been on the market since 1979 and is the oldest lens represented in the Leica M portfolio. The classical specifications, 50 mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f2, offered an ideal starting point for further development. As such, Leica’s expert lens designers were able to concentrate exclusively on the improvement of imaging quality within these standard specifications.

In its optical design, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is oriented on particular features of the Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lenses. For instance, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. also incorporates a floating element. The lens group behind the diaphragm is designed as a floating element that changes its position relative to the front group during focusing, ensuring that the lens achieves outstanding imaging quality throughout its focusing range, including at closer focusing distances.

The realization of the apochromatic correction of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. involved the use of specially formulated glasses based on original developments from the former Leitz glass laboratory. The use of such glasses requires great effort and many years of experience. As a result of the consistent advancement of optical processes, working with these high-quality glasses has been refined to such a fine art that they are integrated in the best possible quality into Leica lenses as evidenced today in the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

As a particularly reliable product with enduring value and made in Germany, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is manufactured from only the best materials and is assembled in an elaborate process completely by hand at Leica’s factory in Solms. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing procedures guarantees the consistently excellent quality of every single Leica lens.

The Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in black finish will be available from Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC from late July 2012.

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length50 mm
Image stabilisationNo
Lens mountLeica M
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.0
Minimum apertureF16.0
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades11
Aperture notesPreset, with click-stops, half values available
Optics
Elements8
Groups5
Focus
Minimum focus0.70 m (27.56)
Maximum magnification0.088×
AutofocusNo
Full time manualUnknown
Focus notesfloating focus system
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYes
Physical
Weight300 g (0.66 lb)
Diameter53 mm (2.09)
Length47 mm (1.85)
Materialsmetal barrel, metal mount
SealingNo
Filter thread39 mm
Filter notesInner-threaded for screw-in filters
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
Other
NotesBuilt-in extending hood
17
I own it
9
I want it
1
I had it
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Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH

Comments

Total comments: 156
12
Cerapu
By Cerapu (Oct 24, 2012)

Fantastic MTF curves & no distortion! This lens will surely be a classic for many years to come (say 100 years?). As for price? Above my budget but not necessarily out of the ballpark. Think, the M9 sells for over $7,000 USD and the value of that will halve in a few years. My grandchildren can make great use of this lens while the M9 will be in some junk yard or museum.

Why are people comparing this to an SLR lens??

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lordsnowden
By lordsnowden (Oct 22, 2012)

Welcome to market pricing

While you may argue about what the lens is worth, the reality is that it is worth what the required number of people will pay for it to achieve a revenue objective. The numbers that work for Leica are obviously that fewer will pay more. They amy or may not have got their numbers wrong. But, guys, they are a business not a fan club.

0 upvotes
Tim from Texas
By Tim from Texas (Aug 7, 2012)

There was no anger intended. Yes chriscotec is absolutely right. These lenses are way too expensive. There are pleanty of Prime lens not at a prime price that are incredible. My point was analog was at it's zeinith when these lenses were developed and Digital is at it's infancy. Will these lenses ever be worth this money for digital? No. There are too many variables in there that weren't in there when analog needs were being satisfied for the photographers that were OCD enough to see how far they could push a tiny neg. when bigger negs. were to be had are gone...almost. Besides it's two very different mediums with very different needs. But these are the best in the world, unfortunately leica has tried to play the elitist card too long and to their detriment and everyone elses. Photographic lenses should be affordable to working photographers - period.

0 upvotes
phillydave
By phillydave (Jun 9, 2012)

People always think that a thing has an inherent objective absolute value that is set and that if you get too far from their perceived value that it is just crazy.

Price is never stagnant. It is a dynamic interaction between a curve representing the points at which providers are willing to sell interacting with the points at which buyers would be willing to buy. Big simplification but the two main points are that it is never static and that each of 7 billion hominins on this rock have a very different take on value.

YOURS IS NOT SUPERIOR IN ANY WAY NO MATTER HOW MUCH OR HOW LITTLE EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE; Because there is no accepted universal objective measure on almost anything, let alone this issue.

Many of these angry ninnies spend thousands on vices in a single year. Any of you ranters about Leica smoke? Killing yourself to the cost of thousands of dollars while ranting against someone who finds German glass superior to your little toy L glass? Boozers? How much Geld?

0 upvotes
chriscotec
By chriscotec (Jun 15, 2012)

Hey man. Did you actually attempt to read that back before you clicked "post"? Too many words and a bit too angry, if you ask me.

Anyway, I've made a decent living for a couple of decades with my "little toy L glass". I have quite a few friends who would say the same. We are in the photography business because we can afford to buy the excellent Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, etc. equipment we need to do our job. In the last ten years I have only come across one professional photographer who uses Leica equipment. Even he complains about the cost. I greatly respect leica equipment (as well as the vintage Zeiss Contax rangefinder equipment, some of which I am lucky enough own). The sad truth is that, for practical purposes Leica is priced beyond the reach of working professionals and, in most cases, does not match the versatility of modern DSLR or mirrorless systems. The price of this lens takes the definition of overpriced to a new level.

0 upvotes
Tim from Texas
By Tim from Texas (May 28, 2012)

It wasn't untill I printed mine at 60x40 (Ilford Delta 400/ HC 110/ Schneider HM/ Handheld) that I became a believer. Maybe the real problem is the digital age just doesn't appreciate or need the level of MOJO Leica M has.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

If you really need a 50mm apo lens to take pictures on your Leica, look round and you can probably pick up an excellent condition used 50mm APO Switar adapted to M-mount with rangefinder coupling for 20% or less of the price of this lens.

I really don't think the extra thousands spent on this 50mm Sumicron are going to get you noticeably better photographs on an M9. With the Switar you'd also have a true classic.

At the time they were made, Alpa were more esoteric and costly than Leica.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Groupcaptainbonzo
By Groupcaptainbonzo (May 18, 2012)

I am at a loss to understand the complaints about LEICA prices..Everybody knows that Leica are the Rolls Royce and come with a price to match. Why? because they can.
You want cheap, there is a second hand "Happy times" camera on e-bay. You want top quality cheaper, may I suggest Cannon or Nikkon. You want Leica, may I suggest selling the house, car, wife and Kids...
You KNOW it is going to cost.
Half of the ability top produce results is the camera.
Half of the ability of a camera to produce results is the "FEEL"that the photographer gets when he /she picks the camera up. a leica "FEELS" like no other camera. My shots with my EOS are nothing like my shots with my Leica. They are of the same tech specs, but "FEEL" Totally different.
If I want a 50mm shot I can choose either set up. It depends on the "FEEL" that I am after, as to which one I use for the shot.

If you want a Leica, then only a Leica will do, and you are going to part with some serious money. But you already know that.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

Because, even for Leica, the price of this 50mm Sumicron lens is astounding. It shares very a similar optical formula to some other current Leica M lenses that are much less costly - and can't really cost significantly more to make.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 18, 2012)

I am professional photographer I have sold images and done assigments and one awards with holgas, iphones, and compact consumer cameras. Half of the ability lies in the camera thats a laugh. All the camera offers is the ability to utilize your knowledge and skill. DSLRs do this best. a leica is not even particularly good. that is why people are astounded by leica. cuz they arent worth it

1 upvote
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (May 19, 2012)

I have never heard so much ininformed bull in my life.
And you spell won as "one"? You have zero cred in my eyes.
The so called ability is from the creative talent of the photogs mind. The camera is just a dumb as a doorknob tool.
You think if I use a 10,000 dollar chisel I can create a Michelagelo level sculpture? C'mon man. You know next to zero about photography apparently.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (May 15, 2012)

It must be a typo, that price.
Why buy for 7195Euros, when you can get the Noctilux for not much more.
1795Euro is a more likely price.

Edit. Nope, that is the correct price. I have just looked on the Local Leica Dealers Website. UK Price £5400!
Leica have a nice system, with great small lenses, but that price is just plain stupid! Anyone with a Leica get the old Summicron or even better, the F1.4 Summilux. FAR better value (for a Leica!)

Mind you, with the Chinese buying up anything Leica, so I am sure it will sell well there........

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 17, 2012)

Older cron is a better 'value', sure. The lux is much more, a lot more weight and size (relative to the cron), and one stop more light. Not as good of a value, but there if you want that extra stop. And if you want this level of performance and it'll make a different to your prints, nothing else matches and that's the price you have to pay.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 18, 2012)

F.95 is not one stop brighter than f/2

0 upvotes
xirik
By xirik (11 months ago)

No offence, but I am just wondering how you know for sure the Chinese like to buy the products of Leica.

0 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (May 15, 2012)

7 grand for a 50mm prime?
Now I know there is a lot of mental illness in the world, but now I see that there is much more than I thought.
Mental illness, mental ignorance, mental pride, mental retardation.
And there will always be those such as Leica who will capitalize on the problem.
It's sorta like how the lottery scams prey on gambling addicts.
Shame on all those who take advantage of the mental illness and maladjusted minds of others.
Shame on you Leica. It's time to ask yourself... exactly what is your contribution to society anyways?

0 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 17, 2012)

Best performing 50mm lens ever. By a margin. And you aren't even forced to buy it.

3 upvotes
Cerapu
By Cerapu (Oct 28, 2012)

I wouldn't necessarily compare this to a lottery ticket. Look at the lenses Leica has created in the last 50-70 years. All have held their value or have gone up relative to inflation. All this and the best optics available at the time? This doen't sound like a gamble but a good investment...if you like to use these kinds of lenses that is.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (May 15, 2012)

I wonder how it compares to this: http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/coastalopt-standard-lenses/uv-vis-nir-60mm-slr-lens-mainmenu-155/80-uv-vis-ir-60-mm-apo-macro.html

Methinks, from a technical standpoint, the CO lens on a D800 would trump any claimed APO designs on a lesser camera.

0 upvotes
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (May 14, 2012)

I had such a great time shooting some 35,000 Kodachrome images in just 4 years using Leica cameras and glass, but now that that film is gone, there is NO reason to use the overpriced stuff. You can take a D800 and 35mm 1.4G and match the Leica look in post in a matter of minutes if not seconds.

I'm sorry, but in the digital age, there is no reason whatsoever to use Leica with the way they have priced this stuff. 7 grand for a 50/2 that in the hands of the talentless hacks in the Leica forum on this site? You have seriously lost it Leica. getting rid of that stuff was the best thing I ever did.

2 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (May 14, 2012)

I guess the 80:20 rule or 90:10 rule no longer is true with such a lens.

Get 80% or the performance for 20% of the price?

No, I can get 95% of the performance for 1% of the price!

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (May 15, 2012)

Possibly 200:50 with the Coastal optics lens I posted above...

0 upvotes
Cerapu
By Cerapu (Oct 28, 2012)

Comparing an SLR to a rangefinder lens is kind of obnoxious. Unfortunately you cant create the same look in post thats why people pay for the best lenses. The 35mm 1.4g is twice the size of this lens with more distortion and the MTF curves don't even compare. Not to mention the nikon lens is plastic and sells for $1800 USD!

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 14, 2012)

Good luck with this one Leica, just don't be surprised if you go bust very soon.

3 upvotes
Fl_Gulfer
By Fl_Gulfer (May 14, 2012)

It should go great with this Leica camera prototype made in 1923 fetched 2.16 million euros ($2.79 million) at auction on Saturday.
http://news.yahoo.com/1923-leica-camera-fetches-2-16-million-euros-185156596.html

1 upvote
Dirk Rieke-Zapp
By Dirk Rieke-Zapp (May 14, 2012)

If you want to minimize CAs for a monochrome camera, you need to optimize the lens. This will be a very technical lens, for special purposes, but the current lenses are still in production - nobody is forced to buy this lens or any Leica lens.

The old summicron 50 performs better than most modern designs.

This type of lens is indeed needed if you want as little distortion, as little CAs, ... as possible on any given sensor - most complains here are about price, special lenses have a special price tag. I like the idea that such a lens is available.I even have an application for it other than blowing money or collecting dots - Btw. M-lenses do not carry the red dot symbol.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

They only say this lens reduces CA - not "eliminates CA"

You can get made-in-Germany Schneider apo lenses that cover a much larger field of view and have a built in shutter for a fraction of the cost of this lens.

This is undoubtedly an excellent lens - but, unless you believe they are actually made by gnomes and fairies in the Black Forest with coating made from nano crystal pixie dust, you are getting scalped by Leica when you buy one. But then again it is your money.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
intruder61
By intruder61 (May 14, 2012)

horses for courses boys, and some race horses cost more than others, and all owners have fun....lets move on.
...AND whats the difference with Nikon/Canon boys :) shooting 300/400/500/600 primes worth as much for their photography?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (May 13, 2012)

I'm now convinced that at least half the folks at Leica need their heads examined. Just what sort of a con are they trying to pull here?
I know optics and I know what is needed for photography and this ain't it.
This is pure madness and unbridaled materialism all rolled into a filthy and corrupt little ball. Hey Leica - why don't you just bite me.

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

It is probably not the folks at Leica who need their heads examined but some of their customers that still believe they make these cameras and lenses primarily for photographers.

Judging from from where they have been opening showrooms and from their special editions their primary target market for these cameras is now financial traders, rich orientals and arab sheiks - and they price them accordingly.

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (May 13, 2012)

So it's taken Leica 33 years to modernize the lense and it'll only cost you 8 grand? LOL

4 upvotes
Jim Salvas
By Jim Salvas (May 12, 2012)

People pay more than this for diamond rings. And those are completely useless.

4 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (May 14, 2012)

well, Diamond can be used to cut glass

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

you apparently dont have a woman in your life.

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

... and Leica boost their prices in almost exactly the same way that De Beers boost the price of diamonds.

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (May 12, 2012)

Selling just one of these lenses would cover Leica's development costs, a couple more and the advertisement department and all the employees are happy, then the rest just pure profit for the little red symbol ~

5 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (May 12, 2012)

>Selling just one of these lenses would cover Leica's development costs

How many lenses of your own design are on the market now? why are you not making such a decent profit as Leica? :)

BTW do you have an idea how much just a modern workstation with MATLAB license that let you calculate optical design would cost?

4 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 12, 2012)

Since it's been in development for 16 years, that would give them $450 a year to keep development ticking along. Methinks you're being a tad optimistic. $450 a year wouldn't keep Peter Karbe in chewing gum!

1 upvote
Pavlo Boiko
By Pavlo Boiko (May 12, 2012)

lxstorm, You can always use Octave + GNUPlot instead - these are free and share syntax of Matlab. And Nishi is just sarcastic, he doesn't insist that the figures are correct.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 12, 2012)

It's good money but if you want the best 50 out there, this is it. Nobody is forcing you to buy it :).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
choushin
By choushin (May 12, 2012)

The apo summicron does have an impressive MTF chart indeed, but I strongly doubt your claiming it the 'BEST'...

1 upvote
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 12, 2012)

Oh? Is there another APO out there with similar MTF graphs? There may be another that works better for you personally but nothing else that will deliver the same resolution and such low level of abherations at those apertures to the sensor. Whether it can record it or not. Presumably the one in MM can, to a degree.

It sure seems like the best 50 out there. Now, I wasn't complaining about the pre-APO one either. But if you want the next level, here it is..

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

really cuz id like a 50mm with af and f1.4 as a maximum aperture that hooks up to a camera that isnt a joke

0 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 14, 2012)

No af 50/1.4 matches the performance of this lens. And M9 IQ is hardly a joke.

But if you want af and 1.4 and don't want this level of performance, there are plenty of 50s that will be a better fit for you :).

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (May 14, 2012)

I used to own the 50mm 1.4 Asph and used it on the M9 that I rented for over a month to shoot several thousand images on paid jobs, sorry to tell you, but the M9 IS a JOKE!

0 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 15, 2012)

You'll have to elaborate :)

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

@maxnoy - and what is the point of paying thousands for all that MTF when the sensor behind it has low resolution by modern standards?

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (May 12, 2012)

Ho. Lee. Sheeit.

Somewhere, some jackass will blow the money on this. And that is why Leica still exists.

6 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (May 13, 2012)

It would go well with the Leica earrings they sell.

0 upvotes
f_stops
By f_stops (May 13, 2012)

Wish I was that jacka$$. I would buy you one too just to shut you up :)

3 upvotes
Rawmeister
By Rawmeister (May 13, 2012)

E X A C T L Y

0 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (May 12, 2012)

I'll save 7k$ and use Remove chromatic aberrations in Lightroom..

7 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (May 12, 2012)

Maybe if your are talking not about VRay, render farm and a team of 3DMAX modelers you might remove aberrations.

But using Leica APO instead will let you save a lot of money more than 7K plus it would be pure photography that is what photographers do care a bout right not computer gimmicks but photography? and will let you get result instantly BTW

The flat image without building 3D model and performing computer intensive calculations like ray tracing cannot be corrected it might be distorted only :)

3 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 12, 2012)

@lxstorm
Since when did photography become a peeing contest about who's images are sharper by 2% and field flatter by 1%?

What about stuff people were doing in darkrooms back whem film was in? Was that not photography either? Or tone curves in camera?

5 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (May 13, 2012)

@shaocaholica
I believe chasing perfection should be encouraged. I can not understand why you are criticizing Leica for aiming at perfection, especially being a commercial company spending their own capital and energy. This is what brings progress and evolution and has brought humanity to where it is now. Whether it fits your bill is another matter.

What about people in the dark ages, it would've been so nice and simple, all those stone and bone tools?

3 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (May 18, 2012)

lxstorm, I don't kow what you're talking about, I sell my pictures since 1995 and no one ever notice a trace of CA in my images, and now Lightroom removes CA automatically and very well. Even my Hasselblad lenses costs half of that price and are perfect too..

2 upvotes
choushin
By choushin (May 12, 2012)

To me, the pricing of the new Leica prime indicates Leica camera's unprecedented dependency on the optics department to make themselves living/or to acquire their anticipated growth rate.
And this is based on their self-assurance of the price-insensitivity of their direct customer buying their new Ms.

Leica M primes have always been keeping the most value when you sell lenses off. I am not sure after this apo summicron...

1 upvote
Dan Victory
By Dan Victory (May 12, 2012)

I just sold a Leica M6 and Summi f2 50mm. I bought them brand new.
In December, I bought an X100 and now I get better shots, more keepers and better quality. Plus it's a better street camera.

I'm sure this lens will be great in conjunction with the B&W body, but give me a D800 and a sharp 16-35 zoom any day if we are looking at resolution capability.

3 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 11, 2012)

So is Leica a photography company or scientific instrument company? Isn't it kind of sterile to have a lens thats super sharp across the whole field? Not to say there isn't a use for a lens like that but it seems like it wouldn't suit a lot of the artsy folk.

Even big budget movies go out of their way to add in lens distortions and aberrations in post to add some extra character to shots. Its great to have super sharp and undistorted footage to composite CG with before adding a bunch of imperfections but thats not what Leica's are used for.

2 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (May 13, 2012)

They actually are, and while I am not aware of their full range of products they definitely are regarded as one of the best manufacturers of geodesy equipment and sell total station, GPS, theodolites, etc systems some of which easily cost in the order of €100k. I find it sad to hear people criticize excellence just because they can not make use of it or afford it.

2 upvotes
zlatko
By zlatko (May 17, 2012)

The geodesy equipment is made by a different company (based in Switzerland). Leica Camera, Leica Geosystems and Leica Microsystems are three separate companies.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 11, 2012)

I have voiced an opinion here some times now. I can do it once more. Now not as an answer to some complaints about price, but as a post of its own.

Yes - the camera and the lenses are expensive. There are more expensive lenses. But for the specs they are expensive. 35 mm F2.0 FF lenses are normally not this price.

But - for me the only thing that matters is if the Leica cameras and lenses adds anything essential to photography. Do good photographer buy Leicas and extend their possibilities and make fantastic images? Is that so? Please tell me?

Because if its not the case and Leicas only are rich mans toys - then its
just marginally interesting IMHO.

1 upvote
zos xavius
By zos xavius (May 12, 2012)

There is a love affair with brands of cameras that some do not get. I appreciate leica, and their prices really reflect economies of scale. They might make 1000 of these lenses. (If that) and the development and production costs of such a small run are pretty high. Canikon have much larger economies of scale to work with. Personally I'm a pretty avid pentaxian, so I get the cult of manufacturers. Pentax is making some very odd moves lately, but they still claim they will stand by dslrs. so when I finally upgrade to a k5 I will be good for a couple more years, but I'm really hoping that they go fullframe. Aps-c seems like it might be a footnote in the history of dslrs. Full frame is going to get cheap enough to offset aps. All the manufacturers would have preferred to go with full frame from the get go, so it will likely be the future for the dslr and mirrorless systems might find a niche in aps....pentax and fuji sure see that potential for a sensor that size. I think m4/3 is going to go away first and quickly. Just a hunch. All these manufacturers have flirted with weird formats. They can revamp production to suit the market. They have all jumped ship before. Except leica oddly enough. They stuck with the rangefinder since day 1. That's why people like them overall. People like rangefinders. I think fuji is smart and realizing this. Ricoh too with their m mount module. I don't get the richoh interchangable mount concept overall (too digital for me I think), but I see a lot of potential. I would be shocked if they don't produce a k mount module now, but the pentaxians would be all screaming and dumping their systems en masse. To me it makes sense. The dslr is probably a dinosaur, but I always like shooting the old school way with all manual and mf glass. A lot of leica shooters feel the same way and have the best optics for the most part to enjoy it with. Asides from the price, what's not to like? People like hasselblad for a lot of the same reasons.

1 upvote
CFynn
By CFynn (May 18, 2012)

Their prices reflect economies of scale?

Cosina-Voiglander make all kinds of lenses in even shorter runs - maybe not quite up to the standards of the best Leica lenses optically, but they are very well built and sell at a fraction of the cost.

0 upvotes
Cerapu
By Cerapu (Oct 28, 2012)

I doubt Voigtlander lenses are built by hand. They also don't put as much energy into perfect optical design. That said, they make great lenses. I think you made a good point, they are not as good optically or mechanically as Leica. I also doubt Leica is making lots of money on these lenses. Leicas "prices reflect economies of scale" but don't belittle the amount of work(money) it takes to design such excellent optics.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MP Burke
By MP Burke (May 11, 2012)

So now Leica has five 50mm lenses in its range. What's to complain about? A few people may buy it if they become fixated on getting the best possible performance at f2.
The older Summicron and the cheaper Summarit lenses are still available, so is a 50mm f2 from Zeiss and there are lots of second hand lenses out there. Nobody, even Leica M9 owners, has to buy this lens.

1 upvote
duartix
By duartix (May 11, 2012)

The funny thing about the price is that most probably this will raise even more the second hand price on the old 50mm... :)
LOL! That would be a first.

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (May 11, 2012)

For that price it better see through clothing!

3 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (May 11, 2012)

and automatically turns the see-through feature off when....you know....unwanted subject is also in the focus.

0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (May 11, 2012)

I used to shoot with Leica years ago M4 and M3. Wonderful stuff. They were expensive 20 years ago, they are expensive now. Its no surprise. It I am sure an excellent lens. I will never own one.

0 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 11, 2012)

I don't know why people complain about the price. A simple Hasselblad HCD 4-5.6/35-90 mm Zoom lens which is made by Fuji, cost 6.300 Euro. A Canon CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L, cost 45.000 USD. Nobody complains about the price here, but hey it's Leica, it needs to be bashed.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Samtendo 64
By Samtendo 64 (May 11, 2012)

What a stupid apples vs oranges comparison.

The Fuji is a medium format lens, which covers a much bigger sensor-area than full frame and requires much more glass and materials to produce.

The Canon is a huge beast f2.6 zoom with probably a hundred times more glass than this Leica and it has to resolve a completely new video format with an insane 4K resolution.

This Leica is just a normal full frame prime (50mm is the simplest to construct!) with a relatively modest aperture, and it costs 6000€ while its predecessor "only" costs 1700€.

You think a 4300€ price increase, which is more than 3x more expensive than its predecessor, for a new version of a lens is not enough reason to complain?

You must be a Leica sheep.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
15 upvotes
anentropic
By anentropic (May 11, 2012)

4k video resolution (8-12mp) is less than typical stills resolution of current cameras. but yeah, all the Leica stuff is way expensive

0 upvotes
Samtendo 64
By Samtendo 64 (May 11, 2012)

The Canon covers 35mm full frame, is a zoom that opens with 14mm WA, has a constant f2.6 aperture and is a very complex construction containing more than 4kgs of glass. Comparing it to this little lens is just crazy.

And the Leica isn't expensive, it's an overpriced ripoff for deluded red dot-fanatics. The lens was expensive before, now they increased the price by more than 300%.
They are laughing their asses off with every one of the 50 units they sell and treat their costumers like idiots that can be money-milked like cows.

4 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (May 11, 2012)

>This Leica is just a normal full frame prime

Nope neither Leica APO no Zeiss superachromat are just "normal" lenses. 8 grand is a very reasonable price actually.

MF Fujinons are inferior than Zeiss ( I am a Hassy shooter BTW). Top notch Japan optics not on a par with top notch German made forget about it.

4 upvotes
Samtendo 64
By Samtendo 64 (May 11, 2012)

How much of that esoteric superiority do you see once you mount the lens in front of the ancient M9 sensor? Do you need to put MTF charts and red dot-glasses next to the images to be able to see it?

Buy a Nikon D800 and some Zeiss lenses and it will blow this away, and you can even shoot in low light. That won't be that much cheaper, but you get a camera that doesn't have a decade old electronics and can use sensitivities above ISO400.

7 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 11, 2012)

@Samtendo64, You are assuming that the price of something is largely dependent on the materials it is composed of. While there is some truth to that, the fact is that this lens and many other limited production lenses have a ton of associated development costs that have to be recovered over a very small production run.
Yes, they will make a profit and hopefully a handsome one for those willing and able to come up with the money. You have to remember hobbyists will come up with the money for their toys.
You find money for yours, these guys just play in a different sandbox.

2 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (May 11, 2012)

Besides native Leica M I was owning 50mm & 28mm KONICA HEXANON M. Hexanons were very decent but I found myself not using them pretty soon because they do not stand against Leica M. I do not discover it right away from one or 10 shoots but eventually you do feel that Leica's ones provide better outcome especially being used wide open.

Whether one can justify the premium to pay for German optics or US ICs it depends of course. But that Japan manufactures cannot compete with US ICs like Intel Core I7 or German fluorite lenses that is the fact of reality.

BTW low ISO setting and longer exposure/brighter glass delivers better color depth resolution as well as larger pixels (less megapixels per FF) means better color accuracy more obvious bokeh in the final image that is important for Leica glasses especially.

Regarding Zeiss for 35mm camera market yes Zeiss cines in NEX mount priced like real Zeiss ones and most likely would deliver real Zeiss IQ not just the label on a lens ;)

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 11, 2012)

@Samtendo - does it matter?

Leica makes and sells cameras. You dont want to buy them. OK - thats your choice.

My question though is if the Leica cameras adds something to photography. Are there great photographers today that makes greater images because of the M cameras?

0 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 11, 2012)

Samtendo 64 , I don't see a website or gallery with your images on your profile that proof your statements.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
tschotsch
By tschotsch (May 11, 2012)

Eh Samtendo,

you must be either a top-notch lens designer or you read a lot of crap in your spare time… why would the quantity of materials, glass or aluminum, make the sales price of a lens…!? The last time I looked, it was the qualities of the lens, the exotic glass and aperture that dictated the price! And how on earth would you know how hard or easy it was for Leica to design and manufacture this lens!? And how would you know how good or bad this lens really is!? Besides, MF lenses may have to cover a larger film/ sensor area, but the lens is sure as hell not anywhere near as close to the sensor as with a Leica RF… think about it… or go ahead with some more drivel.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 11, 2012)

@Samtendo. Maybe the M9 does not make the lens justice. I dont know. But a lens is a lens and there will be more cameras to put it on.

0 upvotes
Samtendo 64
By Samtendo 64 (May 11, 2012)

Lea5, I don't see any facts or arguments that prove your statements in your post. Just a snarky remark to cover up that you don't have any. ;-)

Besides, you can't find out what sensor area a lens covers or how much glass/weight/focal lengths it has by looking at a web-gallery, you need to look at the specs, which you will find on the manufactures website. Google is your friend.

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (May 13, 2012)

A 'simple" Hasselblad zoom? You mean a medium format zoom lense? Leica have been a joke since I was a kid.

0 upvotes
spiegellos
By spiegellos (May 11, 2012)

With this lens is going to make sure that leica lenses will cost a lot over the year wheater they are old or new. It is the same like gold. The prices for all other summircon 50 f2 will held their price over the next year. That´s the fact. Leica --------> gold

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (May 11, 2012)

David Eisendrath once told me that Leitz products were overpriced. But then, I knew that already.

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (May 13, 2012)

If Leica made toilet paper it would be $1,250 a roll. A6 sheet sizes of course.

0 upvotes
Michael J Davis
By Michael J Davis (May 11, 2012)

Lovely! Wish I could afford one...

With even more increased quality, I wonder if the DoF scale is being adjusted to reflect smaller cocs?

1 upvote
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (May 11, 2012)

this is OPTIMUS PRIME.. it will transform lens manufacturing and cost forever.

2 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (May 11, 2012)

You can rent one

0 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (May 11, 2012)

All that talk about price and mental sanity of buyers. Leica improved what could be improved. It`s called technological progress without which we wouln`t have Nikons 800E, IPads and spaceflights. Some people buy BMW motobikes others Leica lenses.

2 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (May 11, 2012)

OK, let me see the sample images.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 12, 2012)

dngs, I hope.

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (May 11, 2012)

Well gang, when I brought my three Leica lens, I paid no more then three grand per lens. A 24mm f2.8 asph., 35mm f1.4 asph (the shifty one) and a 90 mm APO f2.0. And the 24mm and 35mm are chrome.
Leica does not need a new 7 grand lens, they need a camera.
As far as lens go, I had orginally brought a 90mm f2.8, chrome. The 90mm APO is one of Leica best lens to date. I saw little difference between the two 90's.
I have learned there those who are photographers and equiment buyers. In the old days one would buy a Hassenblad, you looked for a camera traded in by a doctor (The got to have best and have the money). They sell the camera because it is hard to use.
Leica makes all these lens so well and a very sharp and contrasty. Unlike Nikon and Canon they have no dogs. That being said who can afford these lens, maybe used. But above all at no price does Leica offer a good camera. Maybe Leica should just make lens. Their best camera is the M7. "If you have to ask how much..."

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

in all honesty buying a 3000 dollar prime is nuts unless it is a super telephoto

0 upvotes
Vibrio
By Vibrio (May 11, 2012)

It's bought BTW not brought

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (May 11, 2012)

Whenever Leica release anything I think there is a rush to be amongst the first to complain about the price. Should Leica build like the Nikon, Canon Olympus etc? just be another volume over quality camera maker, justify the price with more pointless software gadgetry built in.
I'm glad the World can still find a place for Leica, I'm glad people still make enough money to buy them.
The Leica value will be in this lens in twenty years time, my Canon gear will be worthless by then if it lasts that long.
I've never owned a Leica but I'm glad people do. I hope it sells well and I hopeit performs brilliantly even if it's just a bench mark for the others to be judged against.
I'd have one.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

nikon and canon pro cameras are built like brick shithouses out of magnesium alloy. the lens are often sharper for 10 percent the price.

every nikon pro camera i have had is still working today. and some are 15 years old. most have never been repaired. and remeber they were being used day in day out by a working pro.

It seems to me it is leicophiles who have a snooty attitude about products of great quality

7 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

http://img1.focus-numerique.com/focus/news/3/3067/nikon-d800-chassis-magnesium.jpg

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (May 11, 2012)

And what are they worth? my 1DsII or 1DsIII not worth much now and in 10 years time not even efficient paper weights.
The lens will be worth nothing as well.
I got out of Nikon because at the time the f2.8 70-200mm was a poor joke and not cheap either. I doubt a Leica lens has ever been that bad. Granted the pro cameras of Nikon like Canon will be able to work in 40 years time. But outdated and next to useless.
The chances of the lens being useful 10 years from now are slim, how many 15 year old lenses do use on a new Nikon day to day. My two latest model prime L f1.4 lenses are not up to scratch at f1.4, I bet the Leica lenses are very acceptable wide open. The Nikon 28-70 was no great performer either. Yes Canon/Nikon do make some great performers amongst the mass of average products they produce.
I see no problem in paying for handmade if that's what you like and can afford.
It's not Leicas fault we can't justify spending the money on them.
Good luck to them I say.

1 upvote
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (May 11, 2012)

Cameras are tools, not jewelry.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 11, 2012)

Talk, talk, talk, .....

The interesting question is - are people buying those expensive (an nice!) cameras to make fantastic pictures. Are the Leicas tools for very good photographers or not.

Point me to some sites where I can see outstanding Leica photography.

If you can - who cares about the price. Some - in that case - buys them and uses them.

0 upvotes
KAllen
By KAllen (May 11, 2012)

What does it matter? some will buy them to shoot the pet cat others for assignments. I bet the majority of Nikon or Canons are over the top for what most need. A good point and shoot will do the job, but still they rush to get a 800 because it's flavour of the month or DXO says it's the best. Why if you can't afford it do you need to get hot and bothered by those that can.
If I was rich I'd have one why not? If all these rich people are so easily fooled into parting with their wealth how did they get rich in the first place. I really wonder who the mugs are, those that can or those that laugh at them.

0 upvotes
tschotsch
By tschotsch (May 11, 2012)

Just words, KAllen, good on you m8!

0 upvotes
aldoc
By aldoc (May 12, 2012)

http://www.magnumphotos.com/
http://de.leica-camera.com/culture/galleries/
http://de.leica-camera.com/culture/galleries/gallery_tokyo/
http://www.leicaimages.com/welcome.php

PS Although I am not able to afford such a masterpiece of optics, I am just enjoying that such gems are made and would like to thank Leica for doing so.
The value or worth of an object is not dependent on possession, you can admire a movie although that marvellous and perfect star won't kiss you ever...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Stilograph
By Stilograph (May 11, 2012)

I do not think Leica buyers consider any price to be an issue. For many, it's difficult to grasp, but at a premium pricing, the clientel they are going for is absolutely diffrent from a normal consumer. They flat out don't think about money same way others do.

I actually know a friend who got a Leica M8 and 35 Summilux for 3700 euros from an old lady, who got the camera for holiday pictures. She the proceedeed to buy Oly E-P3. I'm not kidding.

Anyway, i guess Leica is something that Apple was about 5-7 years ago. Unique. You buy it, beacause it's one of a kind, and everyone knows it's premium.

1 upvote
lajka
By lajka (May 11, 2012)

Stilo. You don`t have to be lucky spotting leica asph. in the fleemarket. There`s used market too. I bought from photobussiness some ten years ago a Noctilux for 600 $ just because it had couple hairthin miniscule scratches completely invisible in picture.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (May 11, 2012)

i agree... people who buy 3500 euro handbags like my aunt never worked a day in their lifes... and her husband has people who work for him. he spend most of the time at his boat. so money does not have the same value for them. it´s just THERE....

3 upvotes
davidxyz
By davidxyz (May 11, 2012)

This lens will produce some awesome pet cat shots!

So much for the global recession...

4 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (May 11, 2012)

well there is a recession .

but the 5% are getting richer and richer.
who cares if more people have to starve in asia or africa?
sure not people who make money from their labor.....

and im sure some politician in GREECE will buy this from my TAX money that is meant to support their broken economy.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 11, 2012)

Well, there's two ways to make money: (1) sell a lot at a lower price; or (2) sell just a few at a higher price. I guess we know which business model they are using.

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (May 11, 2012)

Glad I shoot Nikon :^)

0 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (May 11, 2012)

Just think that this might be sharpest, best-color 'renderer', and best against-light 'dealer' lens in the world, and it's worth! But I think Leica could include a kind of GPS sensor to help find it in case being stolen.

2 upvotes
Skipper494
By Skipper494 (May 11, 2012)

We had apochromats decades ago. Leica lenses are superb, but $8,000? I don't think so. I'd say they're making money out of pros who can write these prices off.

0 upvotes
Klarno
By Klarno (May 11, 2012)

Pros aren't buying these, people making money with photography aren't making enough to afford things like this; doctors and lawyers and celebrities and executives are the ones buying photo gear at this level. :)

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

pros cant afford this and a write doesnt do that much. Rich people with more money that sense buy these

3 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (May 11, 2012)

As a pro I would say not. The idea behind my work is to make money not spend it, thus I use Nikon.

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (May 11, 2012)

20 years ago, I was the user of the old 50/2.
The quality of that old 50/2 was so good already, this new one should be better.
DPR, when will you prepare a review of this new lens?

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 11, 2012)

The crazy thing is that many purchasers of this lens will probably keep it in a safe in its unopened box.

5 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (May 13, 2012)

That's not as crazy as it sounds.

0 upvotes
abracadabenhotmailfr
By abracadabenhotmailfr (May 11, 2012)

I guess there is a market for it.... there has to be.... I prefer to to stick to my mark III and 50 1.2L, bear the extra weight and spend the extra $10K I save for a trip in Asia AND a trip in Europe.....
:p

2 upvotes
abracadabenhotmailfr
By abracadabenhotmailfr (May 11, 2012)

oh forgot that just the taxes on both leica body and lens would pay for an extra flight

1 upvote
paisatge
By paisatge (May 11, 2012)

Ditto that 100x

0 upvotes
billybones1918
By billybones1918 (May 11, 2012)

Maybe they bought some Greek govt bonds a while back and never told anyone

3 upvotes
Total comments: 156
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