Friday, July 1, 2022

A HIDDEN GEM IN THE LEICA LENS LINEUP


The 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 on the Leica M9. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 on the Leica M9. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.
                       
Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0


Between 1973 and 1979, Leica Camera AG produced 54,000 lenses of the Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 (order no 11542), made for the Leica CL (also known as the "Leica Mini M") film camera they developed with Minolta. It's lens it's easy to get around, and it's not expensive.

Los Angeles. Leica M10 with 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.  
 Los Angeles. Leica M10 with 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

The Minolta CLE and the Leica CL were sister cameras in an age where Leica tried to catch up with the Japanese camera producers of the so popular SLR cameras. The idea was to work with Minolta. A lot of Minolta staff went to Leica in Wetzlar to learn the German way of engineering and assembling, which obviously took quite some resources.

The Leica CL 35mm film camera was made as Leica CL and Minolta CLE and shared technology. It also introduced three CL lenses together with it, as a compact and economical alternative to the Leica M camera. See more on the original Leica CL here. 
 The Leica CL 35mm film camera was made as Leica CL and Minolta CLE and shared technology. It also introduced three CL lenses together with it, as a compact and economical alternative to the Leica M camera.

Despite the success of the Leica CL and the Minolta CLE, the innovative cameras didn't save Leica. In early 1980's the Leitz family had to sell the Leica company. But that's another story for another day.

What we are left with is the hidden gem of the Leica lens lineup, the Leica 40mm Summicron-M f/2.0 that sells second-hand on eBay and elsewhere for around $350 - $600.

Joy Villa for 90th Oscars. Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard. 
 Joy Villa for 90th Oscars. Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

Should I buy the 40mm Summicron-C..?

If you are looking for something to tweak things a bit, the 40mm Summicron-M f/2.0 offers the usual high lens quality, the look of the 1970's and a very compact lens. So if you lust for something different, this is the one to throw your love at. It fits straight onto the Leica M.

 Leica M9 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica M9 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

Imagine the framelines

As the Leica M only have 35mm framelines and 50mm framelines, and never had 40mm framelines you have to imagine or approximate where the frame is. If you use an EVF (electronic viewfinder), you see the frame exactly..

 Raven and David Campbebll. Leica M9 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Raven and David Campbebll. Leica M9 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

The look of the 1970's

The Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 is pretty detailed and with very good control of light, colors and contrast. What you see, compared with for example the current Leica 35mm Summilux-M f/1.4 FLE (which is a $5,500 lens), is that newer Leica designs tend to be able to pick up more details in the shades.

For me, the Leica 40mm Summicron-M f/2.0 represents a somewhat 'film look' because it doesn't have the crisp high-contrast details as modern lenses have.

 
Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

Close focus

A feature of the Leica 40mm Summicron-C is that you can close focus as near as 80 cm. If you pick a long background with some sparkling light, you will get some nice sparkles.

Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © Thorsten Overgaard.   
Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard. 

Compact lens

With just 120g and a length of 23mm (1 inch), this is as compact as it gets for street photography and travel.

Designers

Optical designers of the 40mm Summicron-C is Georg Knetsch, Hermann Desch (also 21mm and 28mm Elmarit), Heinz Marquardt (also 60mm Macro-Elmarit-F, 28mm Elmarit-M and 50mm Summilux-R), and Walter Watz (also 35mm Summilux-M and 35mm Summilux-M Aspherical AA).

 
Leica M10 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

Leica M9 with Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. 
© Thorsten Overgaard.

Lens shade

           
The original rubber hood (order no 12.518)
             
The Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 comes with an original rubber hood (order no 12.518), which was a popular hood back in the 1980's. The original rubber hood is not worth pursuing as the rubber will be pretty old looking. I prefer mine to look a little more sophisticated, so I fitted the E39 Ventilated Shade that I designed myself for Leica lenses.

Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 with the E39 Ventilated Shade designed by Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 with the E39 Ventilated Shade designed by Thorsten Overgaard.  



Thorsten von Overgaard is an award- winning Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator.  
Thorsten von Overgaard is an award- winning Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator.

For more information go here


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Thursday, June 30, 2022

LEICA CONTEST: AN ODE TO JOYFULNESS AND HOPE



Leica announced a photography contest to give Leica photographers a chance to have their work used in Leica's future advertising campaigns.

They write:

From great history come great stories. Stories we help create, stories we share, and stories that have been with us for generations. Photographers have always played a big part in capturing these stories. With a single image, they bear witness to fleeting moments that make up the world's history. That is why Leica is committed to showcasing the talent of photographers around the world in its international advertising, and multi-awarded Brand campaign "THE WORLD DESERVES WITNESSES". 

Now it's your turn to become a witness. Submit to one of the open categories (Joy and Hope) and have your work selected to form part of the next wave of Leica's "THE WORLD DESERVES WITNESSES" campaign.

Learn more→


For other articles on this blog please click on Blog Archive in the column to the right

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

All ads present items of interest to Leica owners.

_______________________________________________________________________

EDDYCAM - the first and only ergonomic elk-skin camera strap     
 www.eddycam.com        

      


Click on image to enlar
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Click on image to enlarge
Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography
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Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography