This lens was designed by Berek, the first designer of Leica, back in 1933. At the time, it was mainly designed to go up against Zeiss’ Sonnar lens. Leica Summar 50/f2 is produced in quite a lot. Because they’re so old, these lenses almost all need some maintenance. The good news is that it’s a great deal.

The glass on Summar’s camera is pretty soft, so it’s prone to scratches, which will reduce contrast. The matte paint inside the lens is also peeling off, which will also reduce contrast, so it’s probably best to use Summary for black and white photos. If you don’t have this mindset, it’s probably best to avoid using Summary.

When the Leica Summar50 is set to f2, it produces a blurry light at the edge of the highlight ratio, but some people like this feature. They say it’s a hazy, romantic look. This kind of light diffusion and infiltration effect can’t be achieved with software. The Summar disperses intense light throughout the entire image without overexposing any area, giving it a warm, charming tone.

The summar have a surprisingly high center sharpness, but it’s not the kind of sharpness you’d expect in a modern lens. The details are very rich and delicate. This lens is great for capturing elegant and romantic portraits. It creates a soft, atmospheric effect, which means you’re not just capturing an image, but an emotion.

The double Gaussian structure of Summar 50 uses six pieces of glass, while the Tiansai structure of Elmar 50mm 3.5 uses four pieces of glass. Adding more glass will reduce contrast and make it easier to glare. The double Gaussian lens requires more coating than the Tiansai lens. It’s still too early for the Summar lens to be coated, so the contrast is smaller than with the Tiansai lens.

The 1933 non-retractable Rigid version was produced in fewer than 2,000 pieces. Agfa also made a custom version (the aperture ring is notched), a folding version, a nickel version, a chrome version, a black version (the front ring is black), and different versions in meters and feet.

The Summar50 f2 is a pretty unique lens. The in-focus shots have a warm quality, while the out-of-focus shots have a romantic feel. If you don’t mind the quality, try it on the digital Leica M11 and you won’t be disappointed.