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Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
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Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH F/1.4

Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 (non-ASPH)
Leica Xenon f/1.5
Leiac Summarit f/1.5

By: Thorsten Overgaard


Summilux = "Highest light lenses"

"Summilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - in this case the f/1.4 lenses from Leica. "-lux" means light, and "Summi-" probably comes from Latin summum, meaning "highest." The first Summilux lens introduced was the 1960-model of the 50mm Summilux f/1.4 which was a screw-mount lens (before then the most lightstrong lenses were the 1935-1950 Leica 50mm Xenon f/1.5 lenses), and not till six years later, in 1966, would the Leica marketing department (or whoever make up the names) discover that the "highest light lenses" was surpassed by the even higher light lens, the first Noctilux f/1.2 "Light of the Night" lens.

[This article is in the works and will be expanded over time]


The Leica M9 and Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 in the hands of Birgit Krippner who used to shoot exclusively with this lens.

50mm Summilux-M types




(Schneider) Taylor-Hobson



f/ 1.5



Version I


Screw mount

Version I


Bayonet mount

Version II

11 114
11 114
Bayonet mount
Summilux-M ASPH (APO)
Version III

11 891
11 891
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
Serial xxxxxxx
to -
            Built-in shade
E46 filter holder
            0,7 m - infinity

      x lenses in x groups
This lens is an APO construction.
xxx g xxx g xxx g xxx g xxx g xxx g xxx g
f/1.5 f/1.5 f/1.5 f/1.4 f/1.4 f/1.4 f/1.4
            xx xxx front cap
        Walter Mandler Peter Karbe Peter Karbe


Screw-thread lenses are for Leica II, 250FF, III, 250GG, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, IIc, Ic, IIIf, If, IIf, If, IIIg, Ig but can be mounted on Leica M bayonet cameras with an adapter. Everything works as if the lens had a M bayonet mount when the adapter is applied.


The current Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 is available in both chrome and black.


The Thorsten Overgaard Photography Extension Course 2010


Proud owner of a Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4, Hans van Dijk from Holland. Palermo, May 2011



    Thank you
For help, corrections and information to
Erwin Puts
Justin Scott

    – Thorsten Overgaard, April 9, 2012
Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240 (M10)   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Monochrom digital rangefinder   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
    Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses
Leica M lenses:   Leica R cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica X
Camera Compendium   Leica D-Lux
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus    
Ernst Leitz II and the freedom pledge   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
The Dream of Oskar Barnack   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Quality of Light   Thorsten Overgaard Workshops
Lightmeters   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit
White Balance & WhiBal   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Film in Digital Age   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Dodge and Burn   "Composition in Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course II
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course III
The Origin of Photo   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point   Free e-Books
The Good Stuff   I-Shot-It photo competition
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner    
Leica folder icons   Leica Photographers
    Jan Grarup
    Henri Cartier-Bresson
    Birgit Krippner
    Riccis Valladares
    Christopher Tribble
The Story Behind That Picture:   Martin Munkácsi
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Vivian Maier
Leica Forums and Blogs:  
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff
Shoot Tokyo   The Leica Pool on Flickr
Erwin Puts   Adam Marelli
Eric Kim   Magnum Photos
Ming Thein  
John Thawley    
Luminous Landscape    
Reid Reviews   Leica M240 User Forum on Facebook

Above: Leica M9 with 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. Photo: Thorsten Overgaard, Hong Kong, December 2011.

fThe 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 has been a darling ever since it was released in 2004. There is still a waiting list for it.


Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.




What does Summarex mean?
The lens was supposedly named after the dog Rex of lens designer Max Berek (1886-1949). Then again, Rex refers to "King" and Summar is "the sum of", or "highest".

What does Summilux mean?
Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.4 , "-lux" added for "light".




Also visit:

Overgaard Photo Workshop
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Digilux 2
Leica M9 and Leica ME
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 Video
Leica X

Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica S medium format dSLR
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
On The Road With Von Overgaard


Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or onlline. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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