Leica Brings Higher Image Quality to the SL System with the APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH
Leica Camera sets an even higher benchmark for the Summicron-SL family with another top-flight lens: the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. Often seen as the standard focal length for full frame cameras, this new 50 mm promises a level of performance high enough to demand a spot in the gear bag of any photographer looking to take advantage of the L-Mount system.
The new APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. consists of twelve expertly designed lens elements – three of which have aspherical surfaces for correcting optical aberrations – arranged in 10 groups, to achieve ultimate image quality. This lens allows photographers to seamlessly capture natural skin tones, smooth bokeh, outstanding contrast and consistent sharpness from corner-to-corner of its distortion-free images.
Leica APO-Summicron-SL 50mm f2 Technical data:
|Lens||APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.|
|Angle of view
(diagonal, horizontal, vertical)
|47.2° / 40.0° / 27.3°|
|Number of elements/groups||12/10|
|Number of asphericals||3|
|Position of entrance pupil in front of the bayonet flange||63.2 mm|
|Working range||0.35 m to infinity|
|Smallest object field||120 × 180 mm|
|Largest reproduction ratio||1:5|
|Settings/functions||Electronically controlled iris, setting with the camera setting dial, half- or one-third stop settings possible|
|Aperture setting range||2 – 22|
|Bayonet/sensor format||Leica L-bayonet, full-frame 35 mm format|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Length to bayonet flange||102 mm|
|Largest diameter||73 mm|
The APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH. keeps chromatic aberrations in check by utilizing apochromatic corrections, where it earns its “APO” designation. This ensures that all colors of the light spectrum are accurately passed through the lens and fall on the same focused point on the camera’s sensor, so the photographer can know that they will get maximum detail in all situations without optical artifacts like distracting green or purple color fringing. To accomplish this, nearly all elements used in the construction of the lens are made from specially formulated, high-quality glass types for the highest possible light transmission. The end result marks an advancement in imaging performance with the venerable “Leica look” and signature rendering.
The thoughtful construction of all Summicron-SL lenses pays special attention to the prevention of stray light and reflections. The optical and mechanical design coupled with high-quality lens coatings serve to maintain the exceptional quality expected from a Leica lens. With their effective weather sealing against dust, moisture, and water spray, combined with an Aquadura coating of the exposed lens surfaces preventing water from beading, the Summicron-SL lenses can be confidently used in most extreme weather conditions.
The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). The entire focus range of the lens – from close-up to infinity – can be fully traveled in just about 250 milliseconds to ensure spot-on focus that keeps up with moving subjects. Summicron-SL lenses also take an innovative approach to manual focusing technology, featuring a totally new focus ring construction. With this new method, a ring magnet with alternating polarization is embedded in the manual focusing ring along with a sensor that monitors the status of the magnetic field. The magnetic field changes its polarity when the ring is turned, and the sensor transmits the pinpoint details of user input that drives the focus. This intricate process happens near-instantaneously at the simple turn of the focus ring, enabling even faster and more precise manual focusing with a nicely dampened and weighted feel. The photographer can quickly access the finest manual focus micro-adjustments when they need it, right at the reach of their fingertips.
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Having shot with the Leica SL a few times while I was in Las Vegas, i’m interested to see what you can create with the new 50mm f2 and where it truly fits in the lens world. What would you use this lens for? Portraits? Street Shots? Let us know in the comments.