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Summar chrome collapsible 5cm f2 #238339 C. 1935


The Leitz Summar is an oft overlooked lens. Most examples look very scruffy and the front element on many are scratched beyond belief. Also, these lenses are uncoated, although many were coated post-war. A bad idea in my opinion because the soft coatings made them more prone to fungus and other problems.


These lenses were considered to be 'fast' back in the day at f2 and need to be stopped down to get reasonable results. In actual fact, this lens can be very sharp at f2 - a central area of sharpness that increases as you stop-down. This is a great lens for photographing people wide-open for that reason and the bokeh is soft and pleasing in my opinion. The twelve aperture blades are unusually 'domed' and this particular lens has been fitted with new (old stock) blades. We will never get any more, I'm sure.


When shooting colour, this lens seems to accentuate warm tones. It will flare, so you should use a lens hood. Images are slighly less contrasty than a modern lens but that isn't always a bad thing. This lens has real character but to appreciate a Summar you nned one that has good glass and no internal haze. Because we managed to obtain a lens with good optics, we decided to overhaul and restore it and offer it for sale.


The optics have been cleaned and the front and rear element were given a very light polish. They had been coated post war but most of it had already worn off. The focus unit was fully disassembled and rebuilt. Focus action is now silky smooth. New aperture blades were fitted and the aperture ring damped. There are no click stops on this lens. The aperture range is f2 - f12.5 - yes, an unusual range. Edge painting was also re-done on the lens elements. The chrome is in good condition. The lens collapses in and out smoothly as it should. The distance scale is in feet.


This is a screwmount lens but you can use a Leica 50mm L39-M adapter so that you can use it on any Leica M camera - including M10, M11 etc.


Supplied with a reproduction lens cap and an original Leitz bubble type rear cap.


I've included some test shots done with this lens. All are shot wide-open other than the down the street shot that was between f4.5 and f6.3. That shot was also tweaked slightly in Lightroom. No adjustments were made to the other shots. The chairs were wide open and about f5.6. Shot on a Leica M-240 at 100 ISO. This lens is sold with a 12 month guarantee.


PLEASE NOTE: I just noticed that the L39 adapter had been left on the lens when it was photographed. That isn't included. Because the design of these things are so simple, we've never found a cheap eBay copy adapter that hasn't worked perfectly.

Leitz Summar L39 Restored

SKU: Sum238339
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