The Leica APO-Summicron SL50 f/2.0 Asph lens has been released. Our review is in progress here

Picture of SL 50mm

Specifications

Model No. 11 185 L-Mount, full-frame 35 mm format
Field angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) – 47.2°/40°/27.3° Degree’s
Number of lenses/groups – 12/10
Number of asph. surfaces / lenses – 4/3
Entrance pupil position before bayonet level – 63.2 mm at ∞
Working range – ∞ to 0.35 m
Smallest object field – 120 x 180 mm
Largest reproduction ratio – 1:5
Electronically controlled aperture, set using turn/push wheel on camera, including half and third values
Aperture setting range – F/2.0 – F/22
Filter mount – 67mm
Length to bayonet mount  -102 mm
Largest diameter – 73 mm
Manufacturer Weight  – 740 g/26.1oz
Bag Weight: Caps and a Slim 67mm Filter, no hood – 747g/26.3oz

In The Box

Box, lens, hood, caps, canvas case – folded, & manuals

 

Ergonomics And Handling

This lens is smaller and lighter than the Summilux, weighing in at 740g/ 26 oz vs the Summilux’s 1065g/37.6oz. That’s a substantial weight savings, which is important, if you are carrying the lens all day.

As you can see in the pictures, the lens does not have an aperture ring, which I consider a flaw. Today, video production is a reality, and the use of a de-clicked aperture ring is a requirement. If Sigma can do it on their ART series, then Leica has no excuse at this price point. If you like using the camera controls, you would then lock the aperture at “A” on the lens.  Aperture is selected on the camera with this lens, and for still photography it is fine.

Focus control, when using the linear setting, is linear. The focus ring does not have a stop. It is stiff and well dampened, and has a very natural feel when in use. I have no problem using vs a traditional manual system, and kudos to Leica for doing this.

AF does produce sound. On the internet this has been reported as loud to fairly quiet. My lens is fairly quiet, it would however, require a separate microphone from the camera to isolate this noise from video.

 
Lens Performance

This is a very very good lens! It reminds me of the 50mm M Summicron APO, but it has a better image. This lens represents the second SL 50mm from Leica, after their exceptional SL 50mm F1.4 Summilux, which we reviewed here.

This lens is about as sharp as you can get for a 50mm. It is probably the sharpest 50mm lens that Leica has made – ever. The pictures will tell the story, super sharp with great bokeh!

The AF is a joy to use, very few misses, and fast. I expect that AF performance will be great on the SL2. On the Panasonic S1r, its fast, accurate and  a pleasure to use.

The lens is not exhibiting any discernable vignetting. I am a photographer, and I do not have access to testing equipment, but the lens shows no appreciable vignetting that I can see.

 

Here are some close ups of the sample shots with the lens. As always, click on a thumbnail to view the full cropped part of the image.

  • Top Left F/2.0

  • Top Left F/2.8

  • Top Left F/4.0

  • Top Left F/5.6

  • Top Left F/8.0

  • Top Left F/11

  • Top Left F/16

  • Top Right F/2.0

  • Top Right F/2.8

  • Top Right F/4.0

  • Top Right F/5.6

  • Top Right F/8.0

  • Top Right F/11

  • Top Right F/16

  • Center F/2.0

  • Center F/2.8

  • Center F/4.0

  • Center F/5.6

  • Center F/8.0

  • Center F/11.0

  • Center F/16.0

  • APV263686BL by Andrew Gough.

    Bottom Left F/2.0

  • Bottom Left F/2.8

  • Bottom Left F/4.0

  • Bottom Left F/5.6

  • Bottom Left F/8.0

  • Bottom Left F/16

  • Bottom Left F/11

  • Bottom Right F/2.0

  • Bottom Right F/2.8

  • Bottom Right F/4.0

  • Bottom Right F/5.6

  • Bottom Right F/8.0

  • Bottom Right F/11

  • Bottom Right F/16

 

Bokeh

Bokeh on this lens is wonderful, especially considering it is an F/2.0 lens. I would say that Leica has nailed it with these fairly light SL Summicron’s, their Bokeh is almost F/1.4 like, and they are smaller and somewhat lighter. Below the two pictures show close focus bokeh in picture one, and medium distance bokeh in picture two. As with the other SL Summicron lenses, there is virtually no discernable LoCA (longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations) in the bokeh. This shows that the lens is truly apochromatic as Leica Claims. Click on the picture to see a full size version.

More to come!

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Click on image to view full size jpeg

Sample Images

The full size images are large files, please allow them to load.

  • @F/2.0

  • @F/8

  • @F/8

  • @F/9.0

  • @F/2.0

  • @F/2.0

  • @F/2.0

  • @F/2.0

  • @F/2.0

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