Leica is mixing the classic look of the 1954 Summicron 50mm with the modern technology contained in the current lens to create a limited edition option for Leica collectors and photographers. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Leica Society (LHSA), Leica launched the special edition APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens on Thursday, November 30.
The company’s current Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 lens is the high-end camera company’s sharpest standard lens. The new special edition option mixes the modern tech that makes that sharpness possible with the classic design of the original lens from the 1950s. Like the lens without special edition status, the new 50mm is designed specifically for modern high-resolution cameras.
While much of the technology is the same, the exterior of the lens takes on an even more classic look. The special edition’s brass exterior is available in either black or silver chrome. Both feature red focal length and distance scale engravings, while the black lens also uses white engravings and the silver uses black engravings. As a special edition option, the serial number and the LHSA logo are also engraved on the lens.
Leica is only selling 500 of the special edition lenses, with 300 available in black and 200 in silver. The lens begins selling in January of 2018 at Leica stores, boutiques, and dealers. The special edition will cost $9,595, a step up from the $7,795 list price of the 50mm that’s not a special edition.
The special edition APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH joins Leica’s line of Summicron lens for the M camera bodies, which also includes a 28mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm. The wide-angle lenses all boast high-speed apertures ranging from f/1.4 to f/2.
Leica has launched a number of special edition cameras and lenses in honor of the LHSA, including a chrome M6 as well as three earlier Summicron-M lenses in 1993. The organization welcomes members with an interest in Leica and the company’s history. 2018 will be the organization’s 50th year, and the anniversary starts with the launch of the special edition lens at the start of the year.