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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
villagranvicent
By villagranvicent (May 11, 2012)

I rather take my $75dlls Minolta MD 50mm 1.4 and spend the other $6925 in a trip to Europe with my wife... As long as I stick to F5.6 who will know? :)

1 upvote
TsaiProject
By TsaiProject (May 11, 2012)

The price is the biggest drool factor.

0 upvotes
dstate1
By dstate1 (May 11, 2012)

It's a typo right? That can't be the price....can it? They have lost their senses.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 11, 2012)

No, the customers have.

1 upvote
zorgon
By zorgon (May 10, 2012)

I do like the idea of an extremely high end lens that does not compromise image quality for wide aperture.

But that said, I think I'd rather have a new car instead of this.

9 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 11, 2012)

LOL!!

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 10, 2012)

Wow. There's no way I can afford this, but boy would I like to try one. People who haven't used apo lenses may not appreciate the effects across the field, esp in oof areas, that come with a lack of color aberrations. this will be pretty much the first time we have the option to use an apo normal lens for 35mm format.

I think that, besides suddenly making the old 50/2 much more valuable, this is also going to provoke a reevaluation of the 50 summarit. Up til now, it has generally not been appreciated as much as the excellent 35/2.5, but this is going to put new pressure on it.

3 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (May 10, 2012)

2012 May 10 was an 'expensive' day.

0 upvotes
armanius
By armanius (May 10, 2012)

The EM5 feels like a bargain now!

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 10, 2012)

Cant wait to slap this baby on my pentax Q.

3 upvotes
armanius
By armanius (May 10, 2012)

Massimo ... are you the Massimo from Brazil? Did you delete your Flickr account?

0 upvotes
villagranvicent
By villagranvicent (May 11, 2012)

I will be more than happy to try it on my GF1... But I love the pictures of my dogs with the $75.00 Minolta MD 50mm 1.4 I Proudly got last week!

0 upvotes
vroy
By vroy (May 17, 2012)

You don't buy a Rolex to know what time it is. You buy a Rolex to let know everybody that you are so rich that you can waist money. That is the same with this lens. My AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1.8g is brighter (1.8 against 2), lighter (185 gr against 300 gr) and has a fast autofocus and the leiica doesn't has even a slow autofocus. The big problem with my lens is that it costs a little more than 200$.

0 upvotes
armanius
By armanius (May 10, 2012)

For $7200 ... I'd rather have the old 50 Cron and the chromatic aberrations plus $5000.

I wonder if we are going to see exponential increases across the board soon on other Leica stuff. $4000 for 50 Lux feels like a bargain now.

7 upvotes
dav1dz
By dav1dz (May 10, 2012)

People are missing the mark on this one. It's not all aperture rating or the lack thereof. Leica's produced a lens that is not affected the chromatic aberration.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

clearly that makes it worth 7000 dollars

our mistake, and thanks for clarifying the issue

5 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (May 10, 2012)

There's no such a thing, dav1dz.

4 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 11, 2012)

For $5000, I'll move a few sliders in ACR.

1 upvote
nightmedia
By nightmedia (May 11, 2012)

In fact you can get an absolutely perfect apo lens for way less than that (albeit 60mm) from Coastal Optics, that can also do macro, it outresolves Leica any day, and it has a flat response from IR to UV
http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/coastalopt-standard-lenses/uv-vis-nir-60mm-slr-lens-mainmenu-155.html

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (May 11, 2012)

Leica just say it "minimizes" chromatic aberrations - not "eliminates".

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

That jenoptik lens is listed at 4700. That's not too far from the new 50 cron. Where's the outrage there? :))

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (May 11, 2012)

You don`t have chromatic abberation only if you take picture in narrowband monochromatic light with the lens that is specifically corrected for this spectrum, like the ones used for electronic chip production.

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

@rattymouse. Yes you can correct some chromatic aberration in software. But ... not all. Better to start with an APO lens.

And when it comes to lenses. As far as I know, the Leica lenses are very good. And if someone buys them and make fantastic images, who are we to tell them that they bought too expensive lenses.

What might be sad is of it is nearly only rich people and not photographers that buys those nice cameras and lenses. That would be a waste.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

I suspect this lens will be rather good, but at B&H prices I could get 60 (sixty) Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lenses instead. The Canon's a bit faster and has autofocus, but they seem fairly similar otherwise?

In all seriousness, the MTF curves are eye-opening. The price, though, is almost offensive.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

O.O

1 upvote
DaveCS
By DaveCS (May 10, 2012)

heh.. I used this tagline on my FB and on another forum:
"Leica, YOU are the 1% !!"

(but seriously, even for a relatively distortion free lens - based on the MTF chart - I think $7,000+ is excessive - this just means used Leica M glass will go up in value AND the "new" Zeiss m-mount glass produced by Cosina can raise their prices and STILL be a bargain) :D

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (May 10, 2012)

$7K for a slow 50mm lens, when the world's economy is teetering on the brink. Epic failure Leica, and you'll will see your already tiny market evaporate.

9 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (May 11, 2012)

I don't think so. Leica is now something like Rolex. Not a camera company, but a jewel company who makes fine jewels for rich man.

5 upvotes
tschotsch
By tschotsch (May 11, 2012)

and the finest lenses as well…

1 upvote
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (May 13, 2012)

Don't insult Rolex

0 upvotes
f_stops
By f_stops (May 10, 2012)

Hit the "Pre-Order" as soon as I saw the news . . . then choked on the price. $7k, Really? Hey I'm a Leica 'fanboy' but I'd rather have the 50/1.4. Only good news is this probably bumped up the value of my old 50/1 Noctilux.

0 upvotes
Pijat
By Pijat (May 10, 2012)

something tells me Leica is trying hard to fund their new HQ project... summicron is more expensive than the summilux? I'm afraid we're going to see price hikes to every lens near future...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 156
12