Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH – Revisited


Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH – Revisited
Reviewed by Editor AL Lee

Image: Editor AL with Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH mounted to a Leica M10. 

**UPDATE: Lens Sold**

16th March 2021, Singapore – It had been a while since I took a Leica out for a walk. Been itching to visit Orchard Road as my last visit was 2 Christmas ago so I decided to warm the M10 up and do a revisit review for one of the most sought-after bokeh lens from Leica – the Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH.

For those new to Leica lenses, here’s a quick introduction.
Lens type: Elmar – These are entry-level “slower” lenses with a max aperture of F3.8-F4.
Lens type: Elmarit – These slightly faster lenses comes with a max Aperture of 2.8
Lens type: Summarit – Latest Leica lens-line with a max Aperture of 2.5
Lens type: Summicron – The premium line of F2 lenses.
Lens type: Summilux – The “First Class” fast & sharp lenses with 1.4 Aperture.
Lens type: Noctilux – Out-of-this-World lenses with F0.95 Aperture with an unworldly price. (Note: previous Noctilux lenses come in F1.0)

The Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH is widely known for its legendary bokeh and sharpness.  My Summilux 50mm comes in anodized black while a slightly heavier silver is available out there. It’s one of my favorite lens from Leica which grows on me over the months that I started using this lens – the more I use, the more I love it. Sitting just below the Noctilux range, it is a little solid lens. Made as if it can withstand another world war, the Summilux 50mm weights just 335gm and measures only 53.47 mm X 52.60mm, (if you ask me, I secretly wish all M-Series Leica should comes with this lens as a kit.)

**UPDATE: Lens Sold**(This lens is for Sale by the way as I have the Silver Version which I am keeping – do scroll down for the details)





Inside the lens, the optics are arranged in 8 elements in 5 groups including one aspherical element (thus the ASPH code) and it is probably the ONLY 50mm in this world that has a floating group of elements if that matters to you. It has 9 unique aperture blades that curved inwards to which I wonder if this has anything to do with the crazy bokeh that this lens produces. When you focus down to F16, the apertures looks the roundest otherwise the inward curved blades created a strange but pleasing look though.

**UPDATE: Lens Sold**(This lens is for Sale by the way as I have the Silver Version which I am keeping – do scroll down for the details)




The Summilux 50mm starts focusing from a distance of about 70cm which makes sense since most photographers will be using this lens for street photography, portraits or newsroom images. The front of the lens takes 46mm filters which is common & easily available. (I recommend the use of B+W 46mm Filters for this lens) I like the idea that this lens comes with a built-in retractable hood, although small but definitely served its purpose. The thumb rest for the aperture ring control was also designed for maximum control which I love it.

**UPDATE: Lens Sold**(This lens is for Sale by the way as I have the Silver Version which I am keeping – do scroll down for the details)




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For this review, I paired it with a Leica M10 and took it to the streets of Orchard Road in Singapore for 3 km walk – passing by 3 MRT stations, several key landmarks and malls along Orchard Road. You may wish to check out the full album over at my FB.

Now, let’s check out the photos!
*All images on this review are clickable to view at 100%.

**UPDATE: Lens Sold**(This lens is for Sale by the way as I have the Silver Version which I am keeping – do scroll down for the details)



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The walk begins. I start from Dhoby Ghaut MRT/ Plaza Singapura.


OK, I got naughty during editing. I know of many Leica users loves to set their M10 to infinity and shoot at random street scenes but personally I felt that they might as well go get a mirrorless like an Olympus or Fuji if they are shooting that way. Using a Leica M10, the joy-of-use is really the take-your-time focusing and waiting out for subjects/ scenes at my own pace. While some may beg to differ, I will attribute that to using the right camera for the right mood & purposes.


The Summilux 50mm – apart from its fame as a Bokeh monster, it is also a very competent street lens promising sharpness that are unmatched. And the details are crazy – just click on the above image of a tailor shop, you can probably see me from the mirror that is inside the shop and I shot this from across the street – that is what I call details!

The colors produced from this combo (M10+50mm Summilux) is super rich and defined. The accuracy is almost 99% correct which makes editing a breeze when it comes to color management.




Now let’s test the bokeh.

Living up to its fame – I did a few shots in wider apertures and I am truly AMAZED. I still think that the inward-curved aperture blades has something to do with this creamy bokeh. The focused area are sharp and full of details while the bokeh area are simply silky smooth!

I took a few shots of Serene from Serene Digital Crafts using F1.7 & F2.4 (yes the apertures are half-steps clickable) and you can see the bokeh progression. In fact you can click on the image and view the EXIF Data.




I am loving the super creamy bokeh, the amount of details captured on the focused area and to add – I did not edit the above 2 images.



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Street scenes & situation in Orchard Road can change very fast given the high amount of activity and people that are moving around all the time and everywhere in Orchard Road.



One of things that I like to observe while shooting on the streets are showcase displays – some are really interesting to shoot or simply watching. The Summilux 50mm did an amazing job when I was trying to shoot this lighted display – the lens did not mess up the focusing despite the display was behind a glass that reflected the street behind me.



Some say architectures are not a thing with the Summilux 50mm, well I do not care and did/ shot everything with the Summilux 50mm during this walk. Personally I think it is great for shooting buildings too since 50mm focal range has less distortions compared to other wider lenses.







Focusing at areas/ scenes with inconsistent lights are a challenge for many cameras/lenses, but definitely not the Summilux 50mm (with M10). Say all you want with your auto-focus cameras – I got all my shots accurately & easily with this manual combo. No details were compromised.

Orchard Road is not one of the top choice for street photographers – even locals don’t even really visit this place. Then again, I just want to take a walk here since I had not been to Orchard for a really long while.

The crowd observed on this day seems to have forgotten about Covid-19, but luckily everyone is masked up.


I love the below shot of 2 boys chilling outside Civic Plaza. Among the busy surroundings, these boys are enjoying peace in their own world ignoring the real world that they are in.


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As the skies turns dark, the Summilux 50mm takes on the incoming darkness with ease. I set the lens to wider apertures and shoot. The Leica M10 by itself is really an amazing  night camera – paired with the Summilux 50mm, this combo is ready for a night out.

The Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH will continue to be the street photography staple-lens for Leica M users. Built like a tank and performs well in different lights & environment. Being a Summilux, this lens is definitely built to last a few lifetimes. If you are a Leica M user and had not tried this lens, I wonder where on earth have you been.

For Sale
This very unit here from this review is for sale. This Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH comes with the Leica custom leather pouch & everything that came with the box – including the box. I am selling because after months of deliberating, I decided to keep the Silver unit and sell this black unit. I had only took this Black unit out once to Chinatown and I had not used it again until I did this review – so you can imagine how new this unit is. There is no dusts, no fungus, no mould and at a pristine condition.
**UPDATE: Lens Sold** **This review unit is yours for SGD $4,000.00**
Buy Here: https://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Leica-Summilux-50mm-F-1-4-ASPH/294074090479

Buying this Lens
If you have a few more thousands to spare & intend to buy new then buy from our accredited merchants for a peace of mind!

Renting this Camera – Please check for availability first.
For those of you who wish to try out the camera/ lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

Reviewer: AL Lee
Chief Editor

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About Editor AL

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2 Responses to Leica Summilux 50mm F/1.4 ASPH – Revisited

  1. Pingback: Leica Super Elmar-M 18mm F/3.8 ASPH – Revisited | SHUTTER JOURNEY SINGAPORE


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