REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
LeicaAPO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black)
 
4.2

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (5)
  • Consistent output (4)
  • Durable (4)
  • Strong construction (4)
  • Easily interchangeable (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (3)
  • Travel (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Exemplary Lens

I traditionally have been a Canon DSLR user. With my move over the last couple of years to more manual lenses (typically the more recent Zeiss offerings on the Canon mount) and a...Read complete review

I traditionally have been a Canon DSLR user. With my move over the last couple of years to more manual lenses (typically the more recent Zeiss offerings on the Canon mount) and a desire to find high quality small systems I can take traveling, my road led me to Leica. My only use of this lens has been on a Sony A7II camera body with a Voigtlander Close-Focus adaptor so my thoughts here will be on the lens itself and its marriage with the Sony body.

Everything about the build of the lens lives up to the Leica reputation - exemplary in all respects save two comments. The aperture ring is a bit too loose and one can knock it to a different setting unexpectedly or without knowing. Secondly, and this may be matter of preference after using Zeiss for years, but I could have used a bit more throw to dial in focus with more precision.

The mating of the lens with Voigtlander on the Sony is a great thing. One of the Achilles' Heel of all Leica systems has been their long minimum-focus distance. With the adaptor, you can half your minimum focus distance. While still not in macro-magnification territory, you can obtain some reasonably close (~0.4m) shooting distances. The lens, adaptor and camera all fit together very snuggly, minimal movement and no light leakage.

Performance of this lens is already well known, stellar, peerless as many have said. Usage on the Sony is generally exceptional with the lens really singing over the vast majority of the frame. It is a true feat to have a lens with such optical precision yet have a pleasing bokeh (see the flower picture). The lens is every bit as sharp wide-open as many lenses are at their best. Fringing is also well controlled as is the flare - if there was a problem with flare at launch, it has been addressed.

However, the very extreme corners of the frame do experience marginal (splitting hairs here) softening. The Zeiss Otus 55mm had consistently sharper corners at the same apertures. It should be noted that this lens is not optimized for the Sony sensor, I have read that there are panes of glass on the Sony sensor that given the distance or proximity to the rear element of the lens, cause this softness for Leica-to-Sony adapted lenses. The shorter focal-length lenses having more difficulties up to and including discoloration issues. The 50mm Leica lenses seem to be just on the edge of having no impact. I would say for a lens such as the Noctilux, this would be a non-issue given its corner performance - but the APO is an unforgiving lens. Again, extreme corner performance we are talking about here.

Overall, this tiny lens packs quite the performance - it's really quite impressive actually. I would caution others that using this lens on a Sony body as cheap substitute to a Leica body will not avail the full capability of the lens nor the Sony sensor given their respective designs. No free lunches... However, the handing and usage of the lens on the Sony make a great combination, particularly with the focus-peaking and magnification. Highly recommended lens!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Defective! Leica, what's wrong with you?

After reading lots of reviews, I finally made the decision to purchase this lens. But what I got is defective! I had the same problem with Michael: the aperture blades buckled from f2...Read complete review

After reading lots of reviews, I finally made the decision to purchase this lens. But what I got is defective! I had the same problem with Michael: the aperture blades buckled from f2 to f16. Actually the blades can't form a round aperture. The shape of the hole is irregular and is changing while turning the aperture ring. I just shipped it back today and will wait for my exchange lens.

In one month, two lenses sold by B&H have the same defective problem. A couple of years ago, this lens had flare issue, then Leica fixed it. Right now it looks like Leica's QC need to be improved. I do not know what B&H or Leica will do with these defective lenses. Although B&H customer service told me that they never re-sell them, I still want to post the lens information in here. So people can avoid them in second hand market or somewhere else. My lens is black, manufactured on 10/21/2016, serial # is 04666972.

I will keep it updated after the exchange lens comes.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-15

Back to top

(15 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Poor quality control or other issue needs Leica's attention

By HUSEYIN

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

Wow I purchased this lens as my ultimate stop and one and only one solution.  I sold my 50mm summilux and 35mm summicron to finance this baby.  It arrived brand new, sealed in gray box.   What a shock!  There is a resistance on aperture ring between f2 and f2.8 as well as at f16.  When i looked at the blades, I could not believe my eyes.  Just as the other reviewer mentioned, the aperture blades are not synchronized.  Are you serious?   I checked the quality control signature, I am in a shock!  It is either something wrong with the design or the quality control.  I had all lenses, from Olympus to Panasonic to Sony.  M lens quality is second to none.  And once you think you are at nirvana of lenses, it is such a disappointment.  Leica needs to investigate this issue to figure out what is going on.  Very disappointed frankly.

(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Superb!

By Dingqiang

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

Today I finally got the exchange lens. The image quality is superb if there is no defect.

(27 of 34 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Defective! Leica, what's wrong with you?

By Dingqiang

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

After reading lots of reviews, I finally made the decision to purchase this lens. But what I got is defective! I had the same problem with Michael: the aperture blades buckled from f2 to f16. Actually the blades can't form a round aperture. The shape of the hole is irregular and is changing while turning the aperture ring. I just shipped it back today and will wait for my exchange lens.

In one month, two lenses sold by B&H have the same defective problem. A couple of years ago, this lens had flare issue, then Leica fixed it. Right now it looks like Leica's QC need to be improved. I do not know what B&H or Leica will do with these defective lenses. Although B&H customer service told me that they never re-sell them, I still want to post the lens information in here. So people can avoid them in second hand market or somewhere else. My lens is black, manufactured on 10/21/2016, serial # is 04666972.

I will keep it updated after the exchange lens comes.

(12 of 30 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Defective

By Michael

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Silver Anodized):

I would love to love this lens, which was "billed" as the perfect flawless lens, but sadly the lens I received was was defective from the start - the aperture blades buckled and would not open fully or flawless to f2.0. The lens is packaged beautifully given its very special status and looks gorgeous. But being defective I did not get a chance to actually use it.
BH allowed me to return the product and I will purchase a 50mm Summicron instead, BH customer service was awesome. I will ship the lens back tomorrow and wait patiently for my refund.

(26 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Expect excellence. Download and be stunned.

By print maker

from Asheville, NC

Verified Buyer

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

Use this lens with your Type 246 mono. Print LARGE and be happy. If you like B&W photography, this lens and camera combination WILL impress your friends. Better yet, it will confound your critics who wouldn't be caught dead with anything as small as a 35mm "toy camera". Yes, I have a 4X5 Sinar and digital Hasselblad, and yes, I enjoy using them and making large prints. I'm just say'n ...It's worth your time to take a close look at this combination.

(28 of 30 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Simply stellar

By JKMLTN

from Oklahoma

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

The APO Summicron 50mm, is everything it's hyped up to be. Incredibly sharp corner to corner and the bokeh is creamy and delicious. Hands down the best 50mm I've ever used. It'll never leave my M typ 262. An investment well worth it.

(23 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Incredibly sharp (and small!)

By Bill R

from Kirkland, WA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

Scary sharp on the M240 and on the MMonochrom 246. Normally on screen you cannot tell a truly sharp lens but this one is noticeably better than other Leica lenses, which are almost all outstanding. The combination of the MM 246 and this lens yields stunning prints with amazing detail. The small size is a bonus for street shooting and carrying the camera around all day in your hand.

(6 of 42 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

a great leans on the a7r2

By QatarMo

from Qatar

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Price

Best Uses

    Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

    has some vignetting on the sony bodys but a great leans in every other aspect

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (64 of 64 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Exemplary Lens

    By Mark

    from Chicago, IL, USA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Optical quality

    Cons

    • Expensive

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Walkabout

    Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

    I traditionally have been a Canon DSLR user. With my move over the last couple of years to more manual lenses (typically the more recent Zeiss offerings on the Canon mount) and a desire to find high quality small systems I can take traveling, my road led me to Leica. My only use of this lens has been on a Sony A7II camera body with a Voigtlander Close-Focus adaptor so my thoughts here will be on the lens itself and its marriage with the Sony body.

    Everything about the build of the lens lives up to the Leica reputation - exemplary in all respects save two comments. The aperture ring is a bit too loose and one can knock it to a different setting unexpectedly or without knowing. Secondly, and this may be matter of preference after using Zeiss for years, but I could have used a bit more throw to dial in focus with more precision.

    The mating of the lens with Voigtlander on the Sony is a great thing. One of the Achilles' Heel of all Leica systems has been their long minimum-focus distance. With the adaptor, you can half your minimum focus distance. While still not in macro-magnification territory, you can obtain some reasonably close (~0.4m) shooting distances. The lens, adaptor and camera all fit together very snuggly, minimal movement and no light leakage.

    Performance of this lens is already well known, stellar, peerless as many have said. Usage on the Sony is generally exceptional with the lens really singing over the vast majority of the frame. It is a true feat to have a lens with such optical precision yet have a pleasing bokeh (see the flower picture). The lens is every bit as sharp wide-open as many lenses are at their best. Fringing is also well controlled as is the flare - if there was a problem with flare at launch, it has been addressed.

    However, the very extreme corners of the frame do experience marginal (splitting hairs here) softening. The Zeiss Otus 55mm had consistently sharper corners at the same apertures. It should be noted that this lens is not optimized for the Sony sensor, I have read that there are panes of glass on the Sony sensor that given the distance or proximity to the rear element of the lens, cause this softness for Leica-to-Sony adapted lenses. The shorter focal-length lenses having more difficulties up to and including discoloration issues. The 50mm Leica lenses seem to be just on the edge of having no impact. I would say for a lens such as the Noctilux, this would be a non-issue given its corner performance - but the APO is an unforgiving lens. Again, extreme corner performance we are talking about here.

    Overall, this tiny lens packs quite the performance - it's really quite impressive actually. I would caution others that using this lens on a Sony body as cheap substitute to a Leica body will not avail the full capability of the lens nor the Sony sensor given their respective designs. No free lunches... However, the handing and usage of the lens on the Sony make a great combination, particularly with the focus-peaking and magnification. Highly recommended lens!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (38 of 39 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A lot of technical in a small package.

    By David C. Baker

    from Nashville, TN

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

      When I put this on my 240 and walk outside the hotel to capture images, I feel like I'm holding a camera. When I dissect the images back i the hotel room, I feel like I'm looking at a better version of reality than exists. I do love the natural light falloff of the f/0.95, but for perfect images with contrast and clarity, this is the best lens I've shot with on my Leica.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (12 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The Perfect 50mm

      By Gleica

      from DC

      Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

      Absolutely the sharpest lens. Beautiful in every way.

      (34 of 36 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Expensive BUT Worth Every Penny

      By Chadwick C

      from Vancouver, BC

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

          Leica is not cheap , definitely not the best bang for your buck . However being a long time Leica user , and shooting Noctilux , Summilux 50 for few years. I came across this lens . Now it is my favorite lens, sharpness all corners, colors , vignetting is just way better than the other lens, even Noctilux . Leica has perfected this lens which no other manufacturer has . Not only it is a keeper , I am sure it will go up in value . I have used this lens on M9-P , MonoChrom , and M240 . I sense this lens go beyond M240's limit.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (31 of 40 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          An outstanding lens in all aspects

          By Markie

          from Philly, PA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Lightweight
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

            A lightweight lens with extraordinary optics (by report tests) and real-world capture by me. The feel, fit and finish of the lens is beyond all my very high expectations. I appreciate the fancy metal lens cover and lockable built-in lens hood. This is one piece of glass I KNOW will be in my camera back for LIFE. I am in the unique position to own both the new 50mm summilux and the 50mm 0.95 noctilux. And therefore, able to compare. [There is a great youtube video by Steve Huff showing this comparison as well]. Of the three 50's, the summilux is probably the most "reasonable" when it comes to price vs optics. The weight of the noctilux is very high compared to the other two. The noctilux does have some chromatic aberration that I have not seen on this lens. But, of course, the noctilux out performs the others in the near darkness. At the present time, this lens is still "new" for me. I have tried it on the Monochrom and M9 so far. The M 240 will be next. I will need a longer period of time to experiment with this new APO summicron version, however, I am certain that it's great advertizing claims will be born out in the end. While I am still in shock over the uber-high price, I do not believe I will EVER have buyer's remorse.If you have the opportunity to try this lens, DON'T!!! It will be very hard to return it due to it's favorable size, weight, and optics. YOU WILL WANT TO BUY IT. The price tag is very steep and the wait is still very long. [Mine was 6 months]. If, on the other hand, you ARE in the market for such a beast, think no more...venture no further...you have found near perfection!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (34 of 41 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            My Wife hate this lens!

            By Nuttawut

            from bsngkok, Thailand

            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

            • Pricy

            Best Uses

            • Everyday use
            • Portraits
            • Traveling

            Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

            I've just got my APO 50 Sumicron in June 2013. Try it with my old M9 and new M 240 and my friends' M Monochrome. I love my 50 Sumilux, but this new APO 50 is so unbelievably good. Soft bokeh, nice contrast, and super sharp. My wife hates this lens, too many wrinkles on her photo! No wonder, it's very hard to get one in the market. Must have!

            Nuttawut
            Bangkok

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (12 of 51 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            image consistency and clarity

            By Rangefinder

            from New York, NY

            About Me Semi-Professional

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape Photography
              • Portraits
              • Studio
              • Traveling

              Comments about APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH Lens (Black):

              Could it cost less? Probably not.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Displaying reviews 1-15

              Back to top