Leica Summarit 50 1.5

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  • tsinik55

    In Soviet Union its exact copy was produced as Jupiter-3 up to 1988, in M39 and Contax versions.

    • Brian

      The Jupiter-3 is based on the Zeiss 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, completely different formula and character compared with the Summarit.

  • Thanks for the comprehensive and thoughtful review! Stopped down, I think that any shooter will appreciate the sharpness and separation with creamy bokeh that the 5cm 1.5 Summarit offers. But no, the flare and softness at full aperture are not typically what an available light shooter is looking for. I find that shooting in contrastier light with a contrasty, high accutance film/developer can really lend some help at 1.5. The crescent shaped out of focus points of light and slight swirlios really give this lens character that, for me, compensates for its shortcomings. I also enjoy the size and weight of this lens. It feels a bit heavy for my IIIc but fits great on my M6 TTL and finder blockage is minimal even with the original hood mounted. Admittedly, however, I switch to a modern 50/1.5 when I want that sharper, more glassy look at full aperture. Anyway, here are some of my results with the Leitz 50mm 1.5 Summarit.


  • Brian

    I’ve taken 5 of these apart, each one was scribed “51.1” internally, less than what the Leica RF is calibrated for. “Why would they do that”…The lens is optimized for F2.8 when used close-up, and optimized for F1.5 for infinity. This is one way of dealing with focus shift on a rangefinder camera. I modified one of mine, increased the focal length by backing out the rear groups via a 0.2mm shim. It is optimized for F1.5 across range. The Summarit, and other Leitz lenses of that age had soft inner coatings that were subject to haze. Most benefit from a CLA.

    ANYWAY: some shots with the modified Summarit here:


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