The Leica 50 Summilux-SL f/1.4 for the Leica SL is released! Also, New Firmware 2.2.

The Leica 50 Summilux-SL f/1.4 for the Leica SL is released!

The new Leica 50 Summilux f/1.4 SL lens is finally ready to ship. It’s now available and from everything I have heard it is PHENOMENAL and sets a new standard for the 50mm focal length. While I have not had one sent to me for review yet, I will be reviewing this lens soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am still loving the SL and it now has the M version 50 Lux on it. The new version will be larger of course, but also have Auto Focus and as I said, it should be on a new level of performance from the M version. I mean, it should. Look at the size, and the price. $5295. But I have no doubts it will be an amazing performer.

You can order NOW from Leica dealers below. They should be in stock anytime now!

Ken Hansen – Email him at

B&H photo

Leica Store Miami



Leica Announces New Advances for LEICA SL: Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. Lens and Firmware Version 2.2

December 13, 2016 โ€“ Leica Camera announced today the release of its Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens and Firmware Version 2.2 for the LEICA SL.

Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH.

The Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. is the first prime lens for the Leica SL-System and sets a new standard on the market. Its large maximum aperture makes it the ideal partner in situations with challenging light, enabling the use of shallow depth of field as a creative tool. Fast, precise and reliable autofocus helps guarantee optium sharpness, leaving photographers free to concentrate on composition and creativity. The combination of its resolving power and soft bokeh in out-of-focus areas clearly isolates subjects from their surroundings, particularly when shooting at maximum aperture.

Firmware Version 2.2

Firmware version 2.2, the latest update for the innovative Leica SL mirrorless camera system, provides improved support for the MAC versions of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5 and Leica Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0. Now, version 2.2 also supports the new Microsoft Windows version of Leica Image Shuttle 3.5, improving compatibility and workflow efficiency for tethered shooting with the Leica SL. Image Shuttle 3.5 also allows users to control the camera from a computer via a USB 3.0 cable connection and manipulate shutter speed, aperture, ISO value and autofocus, displaying images directly on a large monitor screen for assessment.

Registered camera owners can log into the Leica Ownersโ€™ Area ( and download the new software and firmware updates, or visit any Leica Store to receive complimentary update installation by Leica Camera specialists.

The Leica Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0 (for MAC) โ€“ also available as a download from the Leica Ownersโ€™ Area โ€“ establishes a direct connection between the Leica SL and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 / CC for MAC via USB cable. The shutter release of the camera can be activated from the computer, with images captured displayed directly in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 / CC (for MAC), making the workflow even faster and more reliable. A corresponding firmware update is required for the use of Leica Image Shuttle and the Leica Tethered Plug-in.

Finally, in addition to the new tethering compatibility, firmware update 2.2 removes the shutter speed limitation when shooting with 6-bit coded Leica M-Lenses, further optimizing the performance of the Leica SL mirrorless camera system.


  1. I placed my name on Ken’s list for the SL 50mm in September. Looking forward to receiving it early next year. I thought I would miss my Safari M but I am very pleased with the SL. Last week I asked a friend that has Canon 5D models to use my SL for the company group photo. After the photo taking he kept staring at the SL, kept looking through the viewfinder and said that he had a new wish list.

  2. Leica is marketing the SL as a competitor to the 1DX and D5 series. But if you watch what Leica is doing in lenses (3 lines of video lenses) and their other offerings, it seems the SL is really aimed at being a competitior to the Canon video cameras. The SL on a tripod or in a video rig makes more sense to me than as a serious all day hand held stills platform.

    I do plan on renting one to try with my M lenses. But the Pen-F is such a good platform, even with most M lenses, that the SL has a challenge to match it. The big advantage for the SL is full frame for wide lenses. But 24 MP is a little light at about 5x the price.


  3. Leica’s marketing already decided that the professional press, street or travel photographer no longer is their target market. He either is a precariously paid freelancer or an agency employee where managers chose gear on a “good enough basis”.

    So Leica is in between gear for studios/sets (cost of camera or lens is neglible) and gear for rich amateurs. Among the nerdy (and competent) enthusiasts there are not so many rich enough to afford Leica, even less multiple lenses and even multiple bodies. How many owners of Ferrari really make use of the car’s capabilties, but just enjoy to own and to show?

    25 years ago slow depreciation and good resale value made Leica affordable. Today digital Leica prices are still high, but depreciation is faster.

  4. I wonder how many more 50 mm oh so phenominal lenses we are about to endure. The hard to justify price and weight (nearly) is hitting super tele territory already: M 50, 2.0 APO (being a light version at least), Otus 55, 1.4 and now this monster?

    Which customer is willing to pay 5 to 10 times more for a pic when you see little or no difference to say a Zeiss 55, 1.8 or Sigma 50, 1.4 ART?

    And subtle colour differences could be adjusted in a breeze nowadays.

    I don`t get it. Can anyone explain, please?

  5. The original idea of the Leica was to provide a small, fast, light and discreet camera and photographers the world over have used them ever since. But this???. Huge and very expensive and quite ugly in a way, ko seems to me there are far better options now. The Leica SL with this lens attached makes the Canon 5D with 50mm F1.2 look small.

    • Leica offers what you describe already, with the M, the Q and other models. They offer PRO solutions with the S and SL, nothing wrong with that at all. I use a 50 lux and 28 lux on my SL and love it, its not much larger than my Sony A7RII (smaller if I am using a larger lens on the Sony) yet it’s the best built camera in the world for 35mm full frame, and has the best EVF as well. The SL is what I call a digital masterpiece and I love it as much today as I did when it was launched. I use it more then the M. So Leica offers solutions today for all of us.

  6. I rented the SL/24-90 from Lens Rentals to “test drive” it. Was considering a purchase, then found several concerns from reputable on-line blogs re: focus shift at the 90mm end, including comments from Ming Thein and Lloyd Chambers. Contacted Leica and they acknowledged the issue, and said it would be resolved with next firmware…but alas, I see no reference to this in today’s release.

    Steve, have you experienced an issue? Any thoughts from other Huff readers?

    Great camera and lens is nice at smaller focal lengths, but for $12K, the combo should be flawless, right? Wonder how the 50 will do?

    • By chance I saw your note and question. The issue was actually not focus shift, but an AF point issue. So it was fixed with the next firmware release (2.1 or 2.2).
      Now we are at firmware 3.0 with more than 30 improvements. And among them also fully electronic shutter at speeds from 1 s to 1/16000 s – meaning you can now take pics in complete silence. (But the normal shutter was already very quiet before.)
      I found this remarkable – no extra cost, no new camera, just an “ordinary” firmware update.

  7. Wondering if the SL system was thought to replace the M system.
    It doesn’t seem that way.
    Or perhaps one needs owning both.
    But at last they’re equally full frames.

  8. I eagerly await the review of this lens no doubt it will be excellent.
    There are loads of photographers world wide who love lenses like these ie the Zeiss Otis and it will add to the appeal of such cameras as the Sony A7 and the Leica Sl.
    I love it when my fellow enthusiasts are happy – me I would prefer a Leica Mono and that 5.6 Summaron. So let’s have some photos from all above in the Inspiration soon !

  9. hah! Not sure what Leica is thinking. The size does not make a lot of sense for a 50mm prime. I am fraid it may not be very popular. Just look at Zeiss otus.

    • You are right the SL 50 is an Otus clone. With extraordinary resolution and sharpness from wide open, and a remarkble bokeh, but additionally with a very precise AF.
      It is an extraordinary lens. For special occasions.
      But he next primes (75, 90 and 35) will be smaller (Summicrons) and therefore probably much more popular. And they also will have an extraordinary bokeh.

      • If you read that review it seems the coverage is not that good, vignetting not disappearing until F4. Doubt that it would cover a larger sensor. The pictures in the review look nice enough to me but he’s obviously not greatly happy with the lens.

        • I had shot this lens on my SL in a Leica store in Italy, have to say it’s really huge, not as the 24-90 but not so smaller. The focusing is not as fast as the 24-90 but it’s really accurate. I didn’t notice distortion as described here when I opened the raw file. I had shot almost only at f1,4 and the vignetting is very good. Optical quality is astonishing. It cost a fortune but it has really character and a cinema and a medium format look

    • I have seen the report in December and asked myself what he wanted to prove. When I got my lens (3 months later) I tried to get everything out of it (bad or worse, or even nice looking pics if there was no way to avoid it … ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      I simply was not able to repeat the bad results – I was using the software that was meant to be used (or often simply the out of camera jpegs). I did not get any sort of noticeable distortion. (What for ? Why should I go the extra mile and use different software to get this ?)
      The original jpegs are said to be a bit flat with muted colors, not in my opinion. For me they are often exactly what I am looking for – for skin of people I often like the “natural” colors better. But even these jpegs look much better than what is published in jupitersnakes website. For me his colors are simply off.
      Short: jupitersnakes report was the first and in my eyes by far the worst – I would never have published such bad results, although I am no professional photographer.

      In the meantime you can find many more “positive” examples, the easiest to access is maybe David Farkas report for REDDOT. Or a picture collection at DPR. Or maybe DanCook in flickr – mainly shots of musicians on the stage (in “bad” lighting).

      If you do not trust anybody, simply try to rent the lens for a day (or get a demo lens). After the first few shots already you will see the remarkable IQ. (At least that was the case for me).

      • While this is true, as someone who uses the SL I would not put size even near the top of list of reasons why I love it.

        Top of that list would have to be the ease of focusing manual lenses (which do make the whole thing so much smaller but that’s not why I use manual focus lenses; I just prefer them). The EVF is so good you can manually focus in a heart beat.

        The user experience would be second; holding it, the layout, the noise of the shutter, he build quality.

        The image results are also wonderful. I much prefer them to the Sony A7rII I had previously.

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