02 Aug Leica Summarex 8.5cm f/1.5 – an old dog with new tricks

Source: About Photography - Tom Grill

The Leica Summarex 8.5cm f/1.5 lens was originally designed in 1936 by Max Berek but had a production run from 1943-1960. It is quite rare in that only 4066 silver and 276 black versions were made. The one shown below was manufactured in 1951. 

I just sold this lens on eBay and was intrigued by a question the buyer asked me about it. He wanted to know if the lens was up to the resolution status of a modern M10 Leica camera, which is how he planned to use it. My curiosity was piqued so I mounted it on a Nikon Z6 camera and took it outside for a test run. I have to admit to being extremely surprised at the high-quality images delivered by this vintage lens. It was sharp, even when used wide open at f/1.5. But the really pleasant surprise was the unique bokeh effect it displayed when used wide open.

The lens mount is solid metal and quite heavy with its 5 groups of 7 elements. The controls take a bit of getting used to because of the way the barrel turns as you focus it.

The optical design is made up of one major hunk of glass!

You will need two adapters to mount the screw-mount Summarex lens onto a Nikon Z-camera. On the left is the Fotasy Leica-to-Nikon-Z adapter, and on the right is a Leica screw mount to Leica M bayonet mount. This Fotasy Leica-to-Nikon mount only accepts a

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