A Frequently Overlooked Lens – Leica’s 75mm Summarit

(There is an update to this post with a series of photos of the 75mm Summarit mounted to the M9.)

Leica has numerous lenses that I would love to own that I will never be able to afford. The 50mm Noctilux, 75mm Summilux, the new 50mm APO-Summicron, and the 21mm Summilux are just few of the lenses I can think of off the top of my head. Fortunately there are a few Leica lenses out there that are far less glamorous than the ones mentioned above that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan. From a taxi, windows up, at 30mph. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan. From a taxi, windows up, at 30mph. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

One of those lenses is the 75mm Summarit f/2.5 (older version). The newest version of this lens is ever so slightly faster at f/2.4. The one I have and the one that was used for this review is the older f/2.5 version. All of these lenses are 6-bit coded, have buttery smooth focus throws, are very compact and best of all this lens can be had for less than $1000 used which may seem a little pricey, but when you’re looking at a genuine Leica lens this is a bargain.

Follow the lines. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Follow the lines. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

I bought this lens a few years ago and probably have only mounted it 5 or 6 times. It’s a shame. The biggest reason is that I’ve become more of a 35mm shooter since moving to a rangefinder. A few days ago, I found the 75mm sitting in the back of cabinet, mounted it, took a few shots and asked myself why it has spent so much time collecting dust.

Three generations. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Three generations. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Handling wise, it’s fantastic and balances nicely with the M9. The focusing is especially smooth, the aperture ring snaps into place with a reassuring click and the size is matched perfectly with M bodies. There is also a metal hood that screws onto the front of the lens, but this adds a little too much length to the lens for my taste.

Taking it in from the pedestrian overpass. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Taking it in from the pedestrian overpass. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Busy crossing near Taipei 101. I'm a HUGE fan of crosswalks, especially from this perspective. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Busy crossing near Taipei 101. I’m a HUGE fan of crosswalks, especially from this perspective. It was getting dark and the ISO has been pushed a bit with this image, not one of the M9’s strengths. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Sunday night shopping. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Sunday night shopping. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Something got their attention. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Something got their attention. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

A crowd watching a baseball game on the big screen. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

A crowd watching a baseball game on the big screen. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Sunday night at the cafe. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

Sunday night at the cafe. Leica M9 and 75mm Summarit.

The color images in this post were DNG files edited to taste in Lightroom 6. The black and white images were DNG files edited in Tonality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s