Leica M 240 Shots with the 50 Summicron and 50 Summarit 1.5

Leica M 240 Shots with the 50 Summicron and 50 Summarit 1.5


Seeing that I re-purchased the Leica M 240 I decided to bring it along today while I took my son shopping. I wanted to compare old and new with a new modern 50 Summicron (PRE-ASPH, but latest) and a 50 Summarit 1.5. I tested the old Summarit on the MM last week but had yet to try it on the M 240. I figured it was time to take it for a spin to see if it really is a lens worth hanging on to. As for the 50 Cron, to me, it is legendary in all forms from the older Rigid to the Current APO. On the 240 the current 50 Cron (non APO) is stellar. Sharp as a tac and with plenty of 3D POP. For those worried that an f/2 lens will not give you enough shallow depth of field, think again.

Below are just some snaps from the day with each lens, just for fun. Nothing technical, no tests, just showing detail, sharpness, color and Bokeh. I have to say, I love BOTH and owning both can give you a mix of modern and classic for about $1500 less than a Lux ASPH.

The Leica 50 Summicron f/2


The 1st set is from the Leica 50 Summicron. This lens is now coming it at $2295 but stellar on the M 240. Rich color, great sharpness and plenty of pop. As for the color, the 1st one is OOC from RAW. The rest have had tweaks by me during the RAW conversion.








THE Leica 50 Summarit 1.5 Lens


The next few shots are all from the vintage 50 Summarit which I have seen go for as little as $300 and as high as $3300. My copy is in the $500 range. What you can bank on with the summarit is that you will get all kinds of character and some swirly as hell Bokeh. Some of you will LOVE this and some of you will HATE it. The cool thing is that these lenses are not so hard to find if you do like it and they can be found pretty cheap if you look around. The issue with these lenses though is that some of them that are floating around are very well used AND abused. Some will have haze, some will have scratches and some will have bubbles in the glass. If you get a decent copy though that focuses with your RF you are in for a treat.

The classic 50 Sumnarit 1.5 blew me away on the 240. I thought it would only be good for B&W but I like it even more on the M. This lens will indeed stay in my collection of 50’s.  1st shot below is OOC color from RAW. Some of the others have had tweaks. 








I feel these lenses bring out the pop and bam in the M 240. More so than the 50 Lux. More so than the Zeiss Planar.

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    • I always have to laugh at comments like yours. Imagine running a review site like Steve’s where every pic you post has to be a ‘gem’ or you have the masses criticising….just sayin’.

      • Some people do not realize that when I post things such as this it is with snaps I took casually throughout my day with one purpose. To show the character of the lens or camera being used. That is exactly what this post was for..to show the 3D pop and sharpness of the cron and to show the crazy Bokeh of the Summarit. But yea, posting non stop for almost 5 years..it would be impossible to post works of art every time 🙂 I am lucky if I get 10 photos a year I am thrilled with, but again, that is not my goal when doing posts like this or reviews. Thanks!

    • Agreed. I keep trying to like the 240 but it just isn’t special. Very clean but no character at all. I guess thats why they kept the M9/M-E in production.

  1. Reminds me of Digital vs. Analag and taming the “sterile qualities of digital” by using a tube amp…

  2. Love the Cron pictures.
    I personally don’t like the bokeh from the summarit.

    Steve do you still one the 35MM summilux?

    • Yes, that bokeh from the Summarit looks just nasty. The 50mm Cron is awesome…love that lens….which is why I was so shocked when Leica released the 50mm ASPH Cron at $7200…..just couldn’t fathom how it could be that much better.

  3. Tip for the Summarit: “Tiffen #611 adapter ring” allows use of Series VI filters. Search on Ebay got me one of them for $4. The Summarit takes hard to find 41mm filters, the Tiffen adapter allows use of many filters and hoods.

  4. MM & 240 have clinical sensors.
    Marrying them with modern clinical lenses just adds to the sterile clinical.
    Marrying them with golden oldies brings that humanity, organicness.

  5. Cool! I rececently bought a 50 Lux Asph and even thought it’s sharp and has very smooth bokeh, the 50 Cron still has tremendous pop and consistently puts out amazing pics. Just watch out for small highlights in the background as they are very different from the Lux asph

  6. Hi Steve,

    I have a question regarding the 50 Summicron:

    “(…)wanted to compare old and new with a new modern 50 Summicron (PRE-ASPH, but latest)”.

    This suggests a version of the mentioned lens before the one you are referring to and could therefore not mean the 50 APO (which you also mention below the quoted text).

    Is there now a 50 Summicron ASPH? 35 yes, but 50?

    Please advise on this since I am about to get the current (coded, NOT asph) 50 Summicron and perhaps I should wait and get the asph version in stead?



  7. Steve,

    So glad to see you reunited with the M. Thanks for sharing, as always.

    I’m curious, though: What on earth is that silver lens on your sons Nikon v1? Manual focus? Does that even work on the v1?


    • Steve,

      I second Jan’s question re: the silver lens on the v1. If you or your son have experience using vintage lenses on the v1 (or have some tips for which lenses to try), I’d like to hear. Yes, there are forums out there with suggestions, but I want YOUR opinion. Nice shots, of course. Sometimes newer isn’t necessarily better–just “different.”

      • That is the 50 Summarit. He has an adapter and was testing out the 50. Only problem is that on the V1 with its 3.7 crop, it is almost a 200mm. He still had some interesting results, just very telephoto.

  8. Hi Steve,

    With the Summarit you refer to scratches, haze and AIR-BUBBLES in the glass, in the ’50’s (and before that area too…)bubbles in the glass were concidered as normal (and even as a sign of quality!). Air bubbles in lenses don’t affect IQ-there are many, may reports on this item on internet…



  9. Great read. If I knew back then what I know now, I most probably would not have bought any modern Leica glass. I have the latest 50mm Asph 1.4, a Planar 50 f2, a Summicron DR 50 f2 (1955-ish) and a Summicron V1 50mm f2 (1952-ish).
    The old lenses are just tremendous. If anything my V1 Cron is my favourite because not only is it fantastic optically, but also is just so cool from a mechanical steam punk vibe, with its collapsing brass body.
    It cost me $500 on ebay, has no haze, no scratches, no nothing to affect picture quality. Like I said, if I knew, I would not have bought my $4K Asph…

    Don’t get me wrong, the modern lenses (Planar, Asph) are fantastic. Where they rule is flare control and extreme micro contrast. But the old lenses are fantastic too. Leica never has made average lenses.

    Steve, if you want to borrow my V1 Cron pm me and I’ll mail it out. Keep it a couple of weeks and send it back (it’s NOT for sale!!!!). A thank you for this site.

  10. It’s a nice think that you have back a M240 as we will be able to enjoy your amazing color picture.
    The summicron rocks.

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