Beautiful new Summarit lenses from Leica

The new Summarit lenses announced by Leica this morning are a triumph of design. What's more, they are beautiful. The big surprise is the weight of the aluminium versions. Anyone used the to the extra heft of a chrome Summilux 35 or 50 will be amazed to find these new lenses weighing more or less the same as the black versions. They could even be lighter; I haven't checked the stats. 

The design is superb, with a new lens cap design that can fit over the hood or the lens. Leica has also taken the opportunity to increase the aperture of the new Summarits to 2.4 instead of 2.5.  

In the past I often heard that Summarits were made to a lower manufacturing standard that other lenses in the range. I cannot say I have ever noticed this. But, if there were any lingering doubts, the newcomers are exquisitely crafted and desirable. 

They also represent good value for money by Leica lens standards. I can see them cannibalising sales of Summicrons, although we have to wait for verdicts on optical performance.

The Summarits are certainly lighter and smaller than equivalent Summicrons and I think Leica has a winning range here.   I think the aluminium versions will be in demand by owners of the new T. 

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Daniel: D-Lux is not a micro four thirds camera. It's a four thirds

Sometime last year Leica said it would never adopt the micro four thirds standard. Yet isn't this the very sensor installed in the new D-Lux?

Not true, says, Stefan Daniel: It is a four-thirds sensor. He draws a clear distinction between the micro four thirds interchangeable lens system and a camera with a fixed lens. I had not seen it that way but he is probably right. 

New Leica X not what I though. Better

The newly introduced Leica X is not, as I thought, upgraded X2. It is an X Vario with a fixed 23mm Summilux (f/1.7) lens and a revised hotshoe to accept the Visoflex EVF first seen on the T. It is an impressive camera and, particularly for anyone who is happy with a single angle of view, it is almost preferable to the T with the 23mm 'Cron. At £1,550 it is well priced to sell and will attract many former X2 owners. The only downside is that it is larger and heavier than competitors such as the X100T and requires the bulk-adding viewfinder. 

New Leica Summarit lenses

New generation of the Leica Summarit-M-Lenses with improved performance and new design

Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents a new generation of Leica Summarit-M-Lenses. In comparison with the previous models, these new lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.4 offer improved performance characteristics and new lens design. The range of focal lengths available in the Leica Summarit-M-Lens family remains the same, with 35, 50, 75 and 90 mm. For the first time, they are now available in a choice of black and silver anodised finishes. 

Manufactured using cutting-edge technologies, the Leica Summarit-M-Lenses provide exceptional imaging quality in all photographic situations. As is the case for all Leica lenses, they are designed and constructed by Leica optical specialists and combine the best of optical and mechanical expertise. As particularly reliable products with enduring value, they are made in Germany from only the finest materials and assembled in an elaborate process entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing procedures guarantees consistently excellent quality. In summary, in the Leica lens portfolio, the Leica Summarit lenses represent an ideal compromise between lens speed and compact size.

The universal Leica Summarit-M 35 mm f/2.4 ASPH. is the smallest and lightest 35 mm lens in the Leica rangefinder system. It is the only lens of the new generation of Leica Summarit-M-Lenses to feature an aspherical lens element.

Its high performance, light weight and easy handling make the Leica Summarit-M 50 mm f/2.4 ASPH. a particularly versatile lens. The angle of view of this lens corresponds to the field of view and normal vision of the human eye and offers impressively neutral and natural perspectives and proportions. It delivers high contrast, perfect image field flatness and impressive colour correction.

The Summarit-M 75 mm f/2.4 is significantly more compact than other M-Lenses with similar focal lengths and achieves outstanding imaging performance. In comparison to its predecessor, the new lens now has a closest focusing distance of only 0.7 m. In combination with the 35 mm Summarit-M, it makes up an ideal pair of lenses for exploring the fascinating world of creative image composition.

The Leica Summarit-M 90 mm f/2.4 rounds off the family of Summarit-M-Lenses with an extremely versatile telephoto lens. This particularly compact lens offers ideal handling and is characterised by exceptional optical and mechanical quality. The closest focusing distance was reduced for this lens, too, to 0.9 m.

The 75 and 90 mm Leica Summarit-M-Lenses will be available from authorised Leica dealers from September on and will be followed by the 35 and 50 mm lenses from October. The lenses are sold complete with a lens hood and a metal lens cap.

SUMMARIT-M 35 mm/f2.4 ASPH. £1450.00 RRP

SUMMARIT-M 50 mm/f2.4 ASPH. £1250.00 RRP

SUMMARIT-M 75 mm/f2.4 ASPH. £1400.00 RRP    

SUMMARIT-M 90 mm/f2.4 ASPH. £1500.00 RRP

 

Leica's massive presence at Photokina

Leica appear to have taken over the whole of Hall 1 at Photokina and the enormous area is staffed by hundreds of grey shirts with red dots on the sleeve. 

I am sitting in the Leica Gallerie (commemorating Leica and music) waiting for the start of the conference. Dr Kaufmann is getting ready. 

I had intended to add some iPhone photos but for some reason the shots are not getting uploaded to Squarespace. I know, I should have had a trial run. Live and learn. Fortunately, I have all the new product announcements ready to flow.