Leica 90mm f/1.5 Summilux: Has poster boy just revealed all?
A few weeks ago I ordered the new Leica lens poster, containing pictures and details of 112 Leitz and Leica lenses through the ages.
I unravelled it today and I was astonished how up to date it is. In fact, it is positively futuristic and includes one lens with a very strange maximum aperture that isn’t yet in the public domain. Poster boy should have kept this one in his budgie smugglers.
Shiver me timbers, I thought, as I spied this unicorn of an optic — a Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH with a very odd f/1.5 aperture.
Could it be a hoax? As far as I can recall (and someone will surely correct me if I’m wrong¹), the only Leitz lenses made with an f/1.5 aperture were the screw-mount Xenon (on sale between 1936 and 1948) and the screw/bayonet Summarit from 1949 to 1960. Zeiss and Voigtländer, though, have had a bit of a splurge on f/1.5 over the years.
No, the obvious explanation is that someone has been rather quick off the mark and that the 90mm f/1.5 Summilux ASPH is a lens that hasn’t been announced but which should come in the next few months.
I’m going out tomorrow to get my poster framed just in case the new lens rubs off. I do wonder how this could have happened, however. We don't normally do rumours, but this is hardly a rumour. After all, the check is in the poster — and it won't be long before other netizens discover the deliberate mistake.
If you'd like your own copy of this fascinating and prescient wall decoration, send an email to Rainer Giacomelli at email@example.com, telling him how many you want and he will let you know how to pay. I used PayPal which seemed the most convenient method. The cost is 25 euros per poster and it is well worth it.
¹ I was right about someone pointing out the error of my ways. Bill Rosauer of the LHSA came back like a flash with the one I'd overlooked:
"Mike, you forgot about the closest classical Leica lens to this focal length/f stop combination, the mighty 85/1.5 Summarex! This was quite a marvel when it was introduced in black during the war and then post-war in a chrome finish with the first lens coating from Leitz. It is said that only about 276 of the black version were made out of the 4,342 lenses produced. I have both versions in my collection. Its a pity they have never used the Summarex name again."
UPDATE 27 February 2018. According to Leica Rumors: "This is not a leak, the listing is based on previous reports and rumors about more fast lenses coming in the future (probably by the end of this year)."