Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5 on Sony NEX - Review / Lens Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published September 2010


Continuing our vintage lens tour on the Sony NEX we're now having a closer look at the Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5 - a Leica M-mount lens adapted via a Metabones Leica M to Sony NEX adapter.

Such adapted lenses can only be used with manual focusing and "working aperture" - there's no data coupling whatsoever here. The field-of-view is equivalent to about 75mm in and in terms of depth-of-field it behaves like a f/3.5 lens in this scope - a rather obvious solution for portrait photography for instance. The Summarit is the "most affordable" Leica M lens. However, Leicas are the Rollce-Royces in the industry so the absolute price tag remains insanely high at around 1300EUR/US$. The Summarit lenses are comparatively slow as opposed to the Leica Summicron (f/2), Summilux (f/1.4) and Noctilux (faster than f/1.4) lenses - just in case you wonder about the Leica naming conventions.

It's a full-metal construction build to the very highest standards - it's even a tad superior to the already excellent Zeiss ZM lenses. They're also made in Germany by Leica rather than in Japan. The focus ring operates as smooth as silk (dampened). Typical for adapted lenses a change of the aperture setting is applied immediately so you can check the effect on the depth-of-field on your screen (without the darkening like when stopping down a DSLR with a conventional optical viewfinder). The lens extends marginally when focusing towards closer focus distances. The front element does not rotate, of course. You may notice the "lack" of a bayonet mount for the lens hood in the product images below. That's not because there's none - there's a dedicated ring which simply covers it ... just for the beauty of it.

Manual focusing may sound like a major annoyance but it is not that bad actually. On Sony NEX cameras you can easily switch to a magnified focus view so accurate manual focusing is really simple unless you try to track a moving object of course. We recommend this camera-lens combination for static scenes only.

Equiv. focal length75 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3.8 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 4 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.8 m (max. magnification ratio 1:14.1)
Dimensions33 x 51 mm
Weight230 g
Filter size39 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional, screw mount, square-shaped
Other features-

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