New black chrome Leica 35 Summicron and 1959 50 Summilux ASPH!

New black chrome Leica 35 Summicron and 1959 50 Summilux ASPH!

Two legendary lenses, the Leica 35 Summicron f/2 ASPH and the Leica 50 Summilux 50 1.4 ASPH are getting a facelift from Leica in the form of all new black chrome versions. The 50 Lux ASPH is GORGEOUS in the new finish as they designed it much like the older classic 50 Lux lenses, in fact, from the 1959 Leica 50 Summilux! I WANT IT just for the beauty of it, and of course being a LEGENDARY lens.

The black chrome 50 Summilux ASPH 1.4

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While these are the same tried and true lenses from Leica, we do get the striking black chrome finish with red accents. I feel the above 50 Lux is so much more beautiful than the standard version.

Here is what Leica says about the new lenses:

“Leica Camera now offers the Leica Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lenses in an alternative black chrome version. The matte black surfaces lend both reportage lenses a unique look and the extra benefits of a particularly robust and resilient finish.

Up to now available only in black anodised and silver chrome versions, the new black chrome lenses also offer new design features. For example, the Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. revisits the classic design of its predecessor from 1959. Typical features of this are the scalloped focusing ring with knurled segments and the finely knurled aperture ring. In addition, the focusing scale in feet is picked out in red on the black chrome lenses. The new version also includes a round lens hood and a lens cap – both made from metal.

The Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is the standard lens for the rendition of subjects in their natural proportions. Its high speed makes it ideal for available-light photography, the use of selective sharpness and art photography and also makes it a first choice when building a basic stock of Leica M-System equipment.

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The Leica Summicron-M 35 mm f/2 ASPH. is distinguished by its excellent sharpness, high contrast and exemplary resolution at all aperture and distance settings. Despite its high speed and exceptional imaging performance, it remains an astoundingly compact lens. Equipped with this 35 mm lens, every Leica M-Camera immediately becomes an extremely compact, versatile and elegant photographic tool.

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In terms of its technical specifications, the lenses are identical to the serial production versions. The lenses will be available through authorized dealers at the end of April 2015.

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38 Comments

  1. Hi PF
    Just got the Safari and this black chrome Lux 50. Tried a 43 mm Heliopan UV filter with this lens but it appears as though the pinch-on design of the hood does not allow it to sit on the lens very securely as is the case when one uses this lens without the filter. I am in Mumbai, India and NEVER have a lens without a protective UV filter.
    B+W also are doing a 43mm XS-PRO UV MRC-NANO filter, which reportedly is the thinnest 43 mm filter on the market. Planning on getting one for this lens. Any thoughts on the subject???

    • Hi Raj,

      I’m not using lens hood. I just have carl Zeiss 43mm filter on it and using like that. I’ll check how hood sits and let you know.

      • Hi again PF

        Was wondering if you had managed to try the lens with the supplied hood while using the Zeiss filter? Does it fit as securely as it does without any filter attached? Do let me know….

        • Hi Raj,

          Apparently there are two options.
          1. If hood is not used – you can use 43mm filters attached directly to lens filter thread.
          2. If reversible hood is used – you can use 46mm filters screwed into hood.

          Another interesting thing I’ve found – users manual saying this lens is “Compatible with all M cameras (Except M8)” which doesn’t make any sense 🙂

          • Hi once again

            Thought I need to dash this off to you.

            Got the Lux hood problem sorted out. Got myself these two items:
            (a) B+W 43mm XS-Pro UV MRC-Nano 010M Filter- much thinner than the Heliopan and the same in quality (USD 47) from BHPhoto in NY
            (b) EzFoto 43mm Tilted Vented Metal Lens Hood Shade for Leica, Contax Zeiss, Voigtlander Lens from Amazon.com (USD 7.19). It’ matte black metal, screws easily into the front threads of the B+W filter, has an identical design to the provided Leica hood and…. this is the clincher, has a smaller diameter than the Leica i.e. less VF intrusion. Have to see how well it will control flare though. Will keep you updated
            Cheers

          • Raj,

            I’m interested to know 2 things:
            1. Does the #12586 Hood fit over the B+W 43mm XS Pro Nano filter?
            2. Does the filter screw all the way in?
            (This replica vintage E43 thread is 0.5 pitch whereas modern filters are 0.75 pitch, although it probably still fits due to loose tolerances).
            Cheers.

    • Looking forward to it! I’m supposing the smaller filter size is because it doesn’t have the narrow built-in hood like the original asph, will be anxious to see your results and any noticeable vignetting (hope not)

      • Just got it. Few impressions:
        1. Much better build quality – feels very solid.
        2. Very smooth focussing straight away.
        3. Focussing ring is very comfortable (but I prefer lenses without tabs)
        4. Hood looks quite big and very well made (probably brass as well?), however I’m not using hoods too much. I’ll test vignetting with it.
        5. two caps included – one on-lens metal cap, second is the cap which goes on a hood – just like with old lenses.

        I’ll make short video within few days. Looking for 43mm filter now )))

        If anyone has questions – let me know 🙂

        Cheers

  2. I wonder if the black chrome finish will look good on a black paint m-p. Will the black of the blackchrome lens look not as dark as the regular black anodized lenses?

  3. I think this lens looks nice, I’ve always liked the appearance of the pre-asph. Colors are a little different, but it still looks nice. But the best thing about this lens is that it gets you 50 asph optical performance without the focus tabs. I’m probably in the minority, but I bet there are a lot of Leica users who enjoy Leica just for the optical performance, but don’t like the focus tabs.

  4. You had a post a few weeks ago from someone who didn’t like the “look” of the Sony A7. Now someone wants the “aesthetics” of a lens to be to his liking. How trivial. As I said about the first post, I would much rather have people comment about the aesthetics of my prints than of my camera or lens. The old Nikon FTn didn’t look like it was designed by an Italian race car company but a lot of people took great photos with it.

    • @Tony – Of course you’re correct…but nobody buys a $4000 Summilux who doesn’t care how the lens looks….for that kind of money you want looks AND performance. Same goes for a M240…let’s be honest, if image performance was the only criteria there are a lot of cheaper options.

      What’s wrong with having gear that’s excellent optically AND looks great? For me at least this adds to the shooting experience. Gear that is enjoyable to handle and use will tend to get used more:) Unless you are a complete utilitarian….not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • Exactly. Some great Leica photographers who USE their equipment are offended by these limited edition products for some strange reason.

  5. Gorgeous lens, but SO long — and no focus tab 🙁

    I don’t think the design is identical to the 1959 lens — Leica says it was “inspired” by that design. I imagine the weight will be closer to the chromed brass lux which comes in around a pound. Leica isn’t the best at posting true specs on their website and the few dealers that are accepting pre-orders for the lens are showing the ASPH Lux specifications.

  6. The 50 Lux asph is possibly my favorite M-mount lens optically, but I HATE focus tabs. This is a dream come true!

        • Sorry…not following you….’looks like it doesn’t know what it wants to be’…really? As we know asthetics are subjective…but IMO it looks REALLY nice. That said, from a usability perspective the lens has a nice big focussing ring (not a fan of the tab), and a clearly defined aperture ring. All engravings are easy to read with red font on black…not sure what the problem is. Maybe your comment should have read, ‘doesn’t look like what I want it to be’.

          • It’s confused. The texture around the DOF scale wants to be forward-looking 1970s detailing, similar to the Contax Zeiss lenses. (Remember we’re talking about only the 50mm).

            The focusing ring is certainly straight from the ’50s – but I don’t like it anyway, it’s too wishy-washy. It must be said that it is practical, if unattractive.

            Then we have the red on black (for the feet scale) which doesn’t look that nice to my eyes, though it’s not really that bad.

            So we have this mish-mash all around, and one of those elements doesn’t jive with me in the first place. The only nice thing about it is the paint.

            I do prefer the current barrel design, no question.

  7. This 50 lux was available in chrome or black paint along with the MP3 LHSA sets. They were both made of brass – quite heavy but lovely to use. I seem to remember they had a long throw in the focus. The filter size is 43, so you will need new filters if you use them.

  8. So Steve. Black Chrome is different from Black anodized in what way? Because black chrome is not black paint.

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