Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux M Lens

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A Real Performer, Even Wide Open

50mm f/1.4 Leica Summilux-M lens Within some Leica circles, this lens has often been thought of as, being not up to par with other current model Leica M lenses due to it's aging design with a virtually unchanged optical formula since the 1960s. Some speculation exists that Leica may upgrade it some time in the future, as recently occurred with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R, now being a shining performer in every respect. although, it is still commonly agreed upon that this 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M is still one of the better 50mm f/1.4 camera lenses available.

A real performer, even wide open, in general a strong suit of Leica every lens, and is further improved by stopping down 2 to 3 stops. The color rendering and contrast; is excellent, coma and flare control are also first rate. There is some noticeable vignetting around f/1.4 through f/2 although in poor lighting that is not an issue most of the time; and vanishes by f/4. Distortion is non existent.

This 50 Summilux is rather compact and weighs only 275 grams (in black) or weighs 380 grams (in silver), with a 46.7 mm length with a 54.5 mm. width The present model can focus is as near as 0.7 meters plus features a retractable hood which is built-in. Prior models focused down to a minimum of 1 meter plus featured a hood that's removable.

The Leica 50 Summilux is just a single stop slower than it's big brother, the way larger, heavier and more costly 50mm f/1 Noctilux, weighing 630 grams, 62 mm in length and 69 mm in width. The Summilux performance is similar to the Noctilux at every stop both lenses share in common from (f/1.4 through f/16).

The 50 Summilux is a stop quicker than the somewhat smaller and much les expensive Summicron. Although the optical performance is somewhat less than the the benchmark of the Summicron when apertures exceed f/5.6 although it's still very good nonetheless. As with most all Leica glass, the big downside of the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux is the extremely high price. The retail price is around $1,800 in contrast with "only" $950 to buy the 50mm f/2 Summicron lens. That's a whole bunch of extra dollars for just a single f-stop! However, the 50mm f/1 Noctilux is around $2,600 but that's an extra special lens. 

An outstanding normal lens that is a consequence of combining Leica engineering design and the last word in developments of manufacturing techniques It delivers excellent high-contrast photos, featuring high-resolution fine points, even at wide apertures, all the way down to the minimum focusing range. All achieved by several factors including employment of a floating lens element, with special anomalous partial dispersion high refraction index glass styles with distinctive refraction properties, plus elements with aspherical facades. This lens properties not only cause it to be perfect for just about any photo environment demanding a convenient all-round lens with the natural angle of view of a 50 mm normal focal length, additionally for shooting in available light environments, capturing selective-focus images, and even for fine art photography - most often the realm of much larger set-ups.

Its wide-ranging adaptability also puts on the list of top choices when putting together a Leica M kit. It dispenses virtually identical exceptional performance throughout every aperture and focus setting. Whether you use selective focus with close up ranges, high-contrast existing light purposes or a stretched depth of field when photographing landscapes, this is the lens to handle every circumstance with stride. An extremely quick normal lens that is employed a lot in photo journalism photography.

There are many good Leica lenses in the used marketplace for around half the price of a brand new lens. Previous models are priced at even less. Grey market lenses are one more option, providing savings of around 20% of the normal retail price.  

An f/1.4 lens is not usually as efficient as the same manufacture's f/1.8 or f/2 lenses, even when both are stopped down to f/5.6. the lens with the wider aperture is heaver and more expensive, so don't choose it as your standard unless you are planning a great deal of photography poor light conditions. There' plenty of reasons for using a wide aperture, but avoid buying a lens with an aperture wider than you need.

This Leica lens features the new updated "6-bit" coding, that allows the M digital camera to optically read this information and then identify the lens being mounted. Optionally the M camera can then apply a software based "last stage" vignetting adjustment (for images captured in RAW, the lens mounted is simply recorded, with no changes made).  Apr 20, 2011

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50mm f/1.4 Leica Summilux-M lens

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50mm f/1.4 Summilux M Lens by Leica Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5