Today, Leica has announced that the highly anticipated APO-Summicron-SL 50mm f/2 ASPH L-Mount prime lens will start shipping immediately with a price tag of $4,495. The 50mm APO-Summicron-SL joins the existing roster of reference-class APO-Summicron-SL lenses, which currently includes the recently-introduced 35mm along with the 75 and 90mm telephotos.
Like its siblings, the 50mm APO promises to be the highest performing lens in its respective focal length that we’ve ever seen from Leica, in any system. (You can read my review of the 75mm APO-Summicron-SL here.) In fact, this new 50 APO SL version would appear to best even the venerable 50 APO M in imaging performance!
The completely new and quite sophisticated lens design consists of 12 elements in 10 groups, the majority made from exotic glass types with partial anomalous dispersion, and three of which feature aspherical surfaces. All that glass is enclosed in a weather and dust-sealed sleek aluminum housing.
Autofocus is quick, precise and silent, care of the Dual Syncro Drive system which employs two lightweight focus elements moving independently of each other, driven by powerful and extremely precise autonomous stepper motors. Manual focus is smooth and fluid, with Leica’s new magnetic polarity detection and near-instant fly-by-wire offering seamless interaction and responsiveness.
The 50mm APO-Summicron-SL is offered in L-Mount, which is now not only compatible with the Leica SL, TL2 and CL bodies, but also with the recently introduced Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras, as well as the upcoming Sigma CP+. As the driving force behind the L-Mount Alliance, Leica is dedicated to setting the benchmark for optics in the Leica L-Mount and the 50 APO-Summicron-SL is no exception.
All APO-Summicron-SL lenses utilize the same outer barrel and are therefore the same physical dimensions. With a 67mm front diameter, the f/2 primes are significantly more compact than the exceptional, yet large, zooms. The 50mm is the now the fourth lens in this series, with 21, 24, 28mm focal lengths coming by 2020.
Ordering and Availabilty
While the 50mm APO-SL has already started shipping, keep in mind that quantities will be limited, especially initially. If you are interested in purchasing the lens, you can place a pre-order with Leica Store Miami, either by calling 305-921-4433, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by clicking the button below.
|Lens||APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.|
|Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical)||47.2° / 40.0° / 27.3°|
|Number of elements/groups||12/10|
|Number of asherical elements||3|
|Position of entrance pupil in front of the bayonet flange||63.2mm|
|Working Range||0.35m to infinty|
|Smallest Object Field||120 x 180 mm|
|Largest Reproduction Ratio||1:5|
|Settings/Function||Electronically controlled iris, setting with the camera setting dial|
|f-Stop increments||1/2 or 1/3|
|Aperure setting range||f2 – 22|
|Bayonet/sensor format||Leica L-Mount bayonet, full frame 35mm format|
|Dimensions and Weight|
|Length to bayonet flange||102 mm|
|Largest Diameter||73 mm|
|Weight||740 g / 26 oz|
Sample Image Gallery
Wetzlar, 15 August 2019. Leica Camera AG has expanded the Summicron-SL lens family with another high-performance lens: the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. Its focal length makes the new SL-Lens extremely versatile and recommends it for use in almost any situation – for instance, reportage and travel photography, studio work, architectural, landscape, portrait, close-up or documentary photography. As is the case with the other Summicron-SL lenses, the APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. sets standards and takes its place as the new reference lens among the standard focal lengths. Thanks to the L-Mount standard, the APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is also fully compatible with cameras manufactured by other partners of the L-Mount Alliance that also use the lens mount developed by Leica.
Twelve extremely complex lens elements – three of which have aspherical surfaces – arranged in ten groups contribute to the ultimate in terms of image quality, even wide open. After all, Leica lenses fulfil the following promise: the maximum aperture is a working aperture. In view of this, stopping down is exclusively a creative imaging tool, and is not necessary for achieving better imaging performance. Natural skin tones, soft transitions into the bokeh, outstanding contrast in details and consistent sharpness from edge to edge of distortion-free images are further quality characteristics of lenses manufactured by Leica Camera, and also apply to the APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.
All glass elements in an optical imaging system – for example lenses – refract light in certain colours to a different extent. This leads to the effect that not all rays of light from a multi-coloured subject are focused at a single imaging point – the result of this is chromatic aberration. In the new APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. these chromatic aberrations are minimised by apochromatic correction. For this, the majority of the lens elements used in the construction of the lens are made from specially formulated, high-quality glass types with anomalous partial dispersion that push even the innovative manufacturing methods of the Leica Factory to the limits of the technically possible.
The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). Thanks to these, the entire focusing throw can be traveled completely in only around 250 milliseconds. Leica Camera also takes an innovative approach in the case of manual focusing technology: Summicron-SL lenses feature a totally new manual focusing ring construction concept. In this concept, a ring magnet with alternating north-south polarization is embedded in the manual focusing ring. The magnetic field changes its polarity when the ring is turned. A sensor monitors the status of the magnetic field and sends the data to the main processor. The drive then shifts the lens to the corresponding focusing position on the basis of the angle of rotation and the rotational speed – this in turn enables even faster and more precise manual focusing.
Both the construction and the design of the cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the next step forward in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. New, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies have been developed especially for the production of these lenses. The results of this are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, but also in their excellent imaging performance. In the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses, particular attention has been paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections. Together with an optimization of the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coating to lens surfaces reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. Thanks to effective sealing against dust, moisture and water spray, and Aquadura coating of the exposed lens surfaces, the lenses can be used without a second thought in almost any weather conditions. The APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is on sale now.