Leica Summicron-C Lenses Are Here

Jon Fauer over at Film & Digital Times is reporting that the newest Leica cine lenses, the Summicron-C, are now available. Similar to the still camera lenses, the new Summicron-C lenses are T2.0 while the existing Summilux-C lenses are T1.4. This first release consists of six lenses (18, 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100mm) and will grow to ten (adding 21, 29, 40, and 135mm). The Summicron-C lenses are about 30% shorter and 20% lighter than the Summilux-C... Which is pretty impressive.

Just as Leica still camera lenses come as f/2 Summicron and f/1.4 Summilux models, there are now two lines of Leica Cine lenses. The two product lines offer a choice of aperture, performance, and price. The new Summicron-C lenses are T2.0. Leica Summilux-C lenses are T1.4. The Summicron-C lenses are about 30% shorter and 20% lighter than the Summilux-C.

CW Sonderoptic, manufacturer and designer of the Leica Summilux-C lenses, is introducing 6 new T2.0 Summicron-C prime lenses: 18, 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100 mm. They should begin shipping in large quantities soon.

The Summicron-C set will grow to ten, with additions of 21, 29, 40, and 135 mm focal lengths. Prototypes were seen at various venues last year: first in Berlin, then at Micron Salon in Paris, NAB, and IBC.

Summicron-C lenses all have a maximum aperture of T2.0. Minimum aperture is T22 and there is a totally closed position. All have PL mounts, 95 mm front diameters, and are 101 mm / 4″ long (except the 135 mm, which is longer). Focus and iris barrel gears of Summicron-C and Summilux-C lenses line up in the same position relative to the lens mount, so follow focus and lens motors don’t have to be repositioned when you change lenses.

The image circle is greater than 34 mm, making them a good match for the RED Epic Dragon sensor in 6K mode.

Leica Summilux-C lenses remain the high-end, top of the line, hand-crafted in Wetzlar, artisanal pinnacles of performance. They have cam focus, uniform focus scales, rear net holders, and threaded fronts. The set currently comprises 12 focal lengths.

The new Summicron-C lenses have helical focus mechanisms. The difference of one T-stop makes them more affordable, delivery times shorter, and quantities practical in larger numbers.

The new Leica Summicron-C lenses are a cost-effective companion to their Summilux-C siblings, as comfortable on the new generation of PL mount cameras introduced lately (F5, F55, C300, C500, Epic Dragon) as they are on Alexa, F65, Epic and One. The Summicrons have a simpler design than Summiluxes, making them more affordable. Nevertheless, quality and performance remains high.

I have checked them out on a lens projector. Resolution, contrast, and MTF achieve the same lofty heights as the other members of the high-end lens society (except the Summilux, which is in a league of its own). Geometry is straight and distortion-free. Breathing is comparable to most classic lenses. Of course, the Summiluxes are almost breathless.

The lightweight and compact size let you pack an entire set in one small lens cases.

In summary, the Summicron-C set, all T2, consists of 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100 mm. The 21, 29, 40 and 135 mm will arrive later.

Cost of the initial set of 6 Leica Summicron-C lenses at the moment is $97,500 (72,200 Euros) or $16,250 per lens.

So, the difference between T1.4 and T2.0 is one stop and $8,500, along with a few other details. Summilux-C lenses, if you are lucky to be at the front of the line, are currently going for $24,750 each, $198,000 for the “starter” set of 8.

Summicron-C lenses are available directly from Leica/CW Sonderoptic or from Band Pro.

Contact Seth Emmons at the Leica Store LA.
8783 Beverly Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048

Or contact Band Pro at www.bandpro.com