The rare and expensive 50mm ELCAN f/2.0
made for the American Army, and remade by Light Lens Lab in 2022
Elcan 50mm f/2 with very high resolution was specifically made as a standard lens for Leica KE-7A film rangefinder camera. 500 were made, half of them for the army. Hard to get by, and when you do, it will set you back $30,000 or more. But now Light Lens Lab did a remake of this lens so you can get one for only $900.00.
A complete set of the Leica KE-7A camera with 50mm ELCAN f/20 lens is rare and expensive, in the range of $100,000 if you can find it. The original 50mm ELCAN (1972) alone is in the range of $30,000 to $50,000.
In 2022-2023, Light Lens Lab (a Canadian company making lenses in China) remade the 50mm ELCAN f/2.0 in solid brass for $900.00 as a limited run. They are still around from Light Lens Lab, and in camera stores like Pop Flash Photo and on eBay.
The original Leica Elcan 50mm f/2.0 lens produced during 1972-1974 is actually the standard lens for Leica KE-7A, which was a military camera for the American Army. The lens and camera were made at Leica’s factory in Canada (Ernst Leitz Canada, ELCAN is an abbreviation of "Ernst Leitz Canada". In 1972, a few (unknown number) were made for a Leica M3 set.
The whole set of military KE-A7 camera and 50mm ELCAN lens is very rare and valuable, somewhat $30,000 to $50,000 in 2023. The black chrome Elcan 50mm f/2.0 applied the optical design of 4 elements in 4 groups.
Leica KE-7A is the military version of Leica M4 with its appearance and operation the same as M4. However, to fulfill the need of military, the internal elements of the camera body were improved to make it stronger and higher wear-resistant than Leica M4. Leica KE-7A is also more durable and higher dust-resistant than usual Leica cameras. Besides, it is well-operated even under minimum -20 Celsius low temperature and maximum 50 Celsius high temperature. Among 505 total productions, 460 pieces was for the American Army by contract and 45 pieces were made for civilian market.
A rare set of Leica KE-7A with Elcan 50mm f/2.0, 66mm f/2.0, 35mm f/20 and 135mm f/2.8. Selling for $155,000 on eBay in 2020.
Lens for American Army.
The standard lens
for the Leica KE-7A film camera.
Lanthanum infrared-absorbing glass and high refractive optical glass as used for heat control in Leitz projectors.
nNon-cemented glass, less problem in a high temperature range and nearby explosions
Available as brassed black paint as well.
Leica 50mm ELCAN review in context of the Leica Summicron-SL ASPH f/2.0:
In this Magic of Light review, Thorsten Overgaard talks about the Leica lens philosophy, the light-weight and economical 50mm Summicron-SL (2023) and the remake of the 50mm ELCAN (2023). the 50mm range, the Leica
Get my Leica Presets
for Lightroom and Capture One
Overgaard's Leica Presets for: Lightroom CC Classic (7.4 -->) Lightroom CC (version 1 through 7.2) Lightroom CC (cloud-based 1.0)
I have made a few essential Presets for Lightroom which do minor adjustments to the Leica files, so as to get the tones exactly how I want them.
The Presets have as their ideal, the Leica M9 sensor, as well as the Kodachrome film (which also happens to be the ideal for Leica, when they developed the Leica M9 sensor). Not that it matters much, but that is the reason why I made my own Presets: To get the that look, rather than a “digital sensor look”.
I have made a few essential Styles for Capture One that does minor adjustments to the Leica files, so as to get the tones exactly how I want them.
The Styles have as their ideal, the Leica M9 sensor, as well as the Kodachrome film (which also happens to be the ideal for Leica, when they developed the Leica M9 sensor). Not that it matters much, but that is the reason why I made my own Styles: To get the that look, rather than a “digital sensor look”.
Thorsten von Overgaard in London by Damir-Grskovic.
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish-American multiple award-winning photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops to photographers. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via email.
You can follow Thorsten Overgaard at his television channel magicoflight.tv.
I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.
Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students dotwo or more workshops.
95% are Leica users.
Age range is from 15 to 87 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level ranges from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.