Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica introduces steel-rim 35mm Summilux limited edition in black

Leica introduces steel-rim 35mm Summilux limited edition in black

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Leica is today launching a limited edition of the steel-rim Leica Summilux-M f/1.4 in anodised black. Optically and mechanically, it is identical to the silver serial version. Wetzlar announced that lens in 2022 as part of the factory’s programme of re-creating classic lenses in modern format. When it was introduced 63 years ago, the “steel-rim” Summilux was considered to be the world’s fastest wide-angle lens, and it is still highly regarded today. The edition will cost £8,600 in comparison with the £3,450 price tag on the silver serial model.

Leitz, not Leica

Leica chose to engrave the new version with “Leitz Wetzlar”. This contrasts with the Leica branding of the current silver Summilux-M f/1.4.

Only 200 of these special lenses will be produced, and they will all be individually numbered, with an engraving on the aperture ring.

To come as close as possible to the original, the designers adjusted the engravings on the special edition’s focus ring. They modelled the arrangement of the feet and meter scale on the original, swapping the colours in comparison to the silver series lens.

Soft, magical

Leica states that the imaging performance corresponds to the series model. The lens creates pictures with a “soft, almost magical bokeh which is hard to achieve even with digital image processing”. Stopping down beyond f/2.8, as we know from our own steel-rim Summilux, the lens produces very sharp and distortion-free images which compare well with those from modern lenses.

Special vintage-look packaging sets the special edition apart. Buyers will also receive a lens container, a clip-on lens hood as well as an additional round lens hood with E46 thread for the use of filters. The black anodised Leica Summilux-M 35 f/1.4 with an engraved special serial number will be available in selected Leica Stores worldwide starting now. The recommended retail price will be £8,600.00 including VAT.


Review of the Leica classic steel-rim Summilux by Jono Slack

Milan Swolfs and Leica’s retro steel-rim Summilux

Leica’s new steel-rim Summilux joins the Classic Line of lenses


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Just wondering. Does the Sigma contemporary 45mm in L mount have a similar rendering of out of focus areas at full aperture. Is the Leica significantly better or different? Could it be an affordable and available alternative?

    • Just to clarify, I know the Sigma isn’t an f1.4 but I wonder if it behaves similarly. Softer with good bokeh wide open and sharp stopped down. i thought about buying the Sigma because it has this characteristic and using it on an SL2s body.

      • The 45mm f/2.8 Sigma is a more modern design and, as far as I can remember, it is not “soft” in the sense of the retro Summilux. The Leitz lens is decidedly vintage and soft at f/1.4 and is much sharper at f/2.8. I don’t think the two lenses are comparable.

  2. Already sold out? Not surprised when there were only 200 to begin with.
    No doubt they all went to the inner circle of Leica dealers’ customers. It sucks to not be one of those.

    • Indeed. I did hear somewhere that “these lenses are for our VIP customers”. I believe buyers must sign an undertaking not to sell them within two years. Presumably, if they get busted, they into the naughty corner and will become ex-VIP customers. Although the premium on this lens is some £5,000/$5,000/€5,000 I have no doubt that they will fetch even more in the future. Meanwhile, I’m delighted with my “cheap” silver version.

      • Hi Mike, I think it’s good that they have to sign the contract not to sell, as I heard few of these VIP bought lots of Leica to be in VIP, just to get the limited editions. Then they sell it much higher in different regions. While those of us that actually love Leica & use it regularly never get the chance to get the limited editions one. I love using Leica and like to collect it too. Hopefully these so called collectors/traders will get less attention from Leica, and more focus on those of us that actually love Leica for Photography. Cheers Mike

    • Just now, I received a press release from Fujifilm announcing that the 110 X100VI Limited Edition cameras will be the subject of a fair ballot. Register, see if your number comes up, and then buy the camera. Nothing so democratic for Leica, where the big spenders get the breaks…

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