By April 4, 2012Blog

Leica Lenses

It seems like I’ve waited a lifetime for these lenses, of course the reality is that I have waited months not years, my desire to own and shoot this glass has clearly distorted the passing of time………In much the same way that a child longs for Christmas I have longed for these lenses.

Today, the final grains of the proverbial “sands of time” fell and with their passing I had in my hands what I fully expect to be my most used lenses, whilst I have not shot them yet, or for that matter even mounted them on the M9 I already have a history with them, they owe me, big time….. 

After much deliberation I decided I would order these lenses from Leica Mayfair, of course they can’t tell you how long you will have to wait, only that the wait can be lengthy, these are after all desirable lenses. Without doubt you can obtain these lenses immediately if you so choose, you’ll pay more than the RRP which I guess you can live with if your a pro but for me having already spent a considerable amount it was the right decision. After all, whilst it would be frustrating to wait, at least more water would pass under the bridge, more time would elapse since my last major purchases and hopefully I’d be able to deal with their arrival as and when it happened. With no immediate need to concern myself with explaining my order I put the awkward bit to the back of my mind and the months passed slowly by.

The phone rang, not in itself an unusual occurrence, however it was 3.30am and this usually means a call from overseas, my wife was first to responded, agitated she answered the phone. Increasingly agitated “It’s for you…..Leica Mayfair, they say the first of your lenses has arrived in stock!!!!” I don’t need to elaborate on the conversation that followed. That lens, the 50mm Summilux f/1,4 ASPH “FLE” has caused me heartache already, more will no doubt follow in terms of missed focus and the inevitable learning process that accompanies any new glass. Still it would be ages before the other lens was available, that was a good thing now, still painful, but good…. 

A few weeks later and the dust is beginning to settle, there have been no more calls in the small hours, I’m slowly being forgiven for the error of my ways, although the mere sight of the M9 is generally greeted with disdain, not unlike the roadside sandwich board holder I wear it around my neck like a sign reading “Leica M9 owner – selfishly spending a small fortune on himself”…..owning this camera for many of us clearly comes at more than a financial cost!

I just didn’t see it coming. Leica Mayfair, now more aware of my geographic location and associated timezone, changed their method of delivering what to most people is great news. I can’t quite believe what I’m reading, but there it is in black and white, the email clearly states, your 35mm Summilux f/1.4 ASPH “FLE” is now in stock, please email back urgently to confirm you still want it and to arrange payment……..well of course I want it, but it wasn’t supposed to be in for months yet. Yes less than a month after what I’ll refer to as “that call” I’m faced with the prospect of either passing up on this sought after glass or fronting up once more and dealing with the consequences…..a tough call either way.

The truth is Leica glass is special and it seems to hold with it a power to make you do things you might not normally do, I know I’m fortunate, fortunate to own these lenses and fortunate enough that despite my continued dalliances with Leica glass I am once more forgiven, for now at least…….

These are without doubt a beautiful pair, those amongst you who are of a certain age may have noticed that I drew my inspiration for title and image for this post from a very well know add campaign, a campaign that featured another famous pair – Here


  • Jason_B says:

    Just finished emailing you saying I expect you’re playing with your new lenses only to find you’re way ahead of me! 🙂 Have fun with them.

    • janrzm says:

      Ha, so far all I have done is fit the UV filters and stroke them……..I can’t wait to get out with these!!! Cheers

  • Adam Malcolm says:

    That is amazing, yet at the same time looking at the cost, frightening!

    I can’t even afford the Jupiter 50mm f/1.5 right now! sigh.

    What an amazing set of lenses though, it’s at this point you have to wonder, does one really need any more…

    • janrzm says:

      Thanks Adam, Your quite correct, really common sense needs to prevail now…..I am really looking forward to seeing how the 50 Lux compares to my 50mm Jupiter 3 f/1.5 because without a doubt that is still one of my favorite lenses. In all honesty if you could at some point land a good one of those you’ll be blown away. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers Jason

      • Adam Malcolm says:

        I managed to find a Canon 50mm F/1.4 for not too much money, so I’ve gone for that! hopefully it’s just as good as the Jupiters!

        I’ve heard of issues with LTM lenses & Jupiter’s having focusing issues at infinity on M bodies… that does worry me a little, but I almost never focus at infinity.

        • janrzm says:

          Hi Adam, well that was a sound choice, I have the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and I have used it briefly on my M9, it shows a lot of potential, it’s highly regarded and you will not be disappointed. Look forward to seeing some images from it. Cheers Jason

  • Jason_B says:

    Cant say I remember the other add campaign with same slogan 😉

  • Rich says:

    As you know, the 50 Lux is a beautiful lens. Great for street stuff but also for portraits and feels great to actually hold and use which is almost as important (in some ways *more* important, to me at least). On my second already. Sold the first for a premium, regretted it, bought another for a premium. Ha. Stupid. I do lust after a 35 Lux but at the same time more than happy for it to remain as porn on the internet; my 35 Cron is more than adequate 99% of the time. In fact, been having fun at sunny f16 of late.

    • janrzm says:

      Hey Rich, I expect a lot from the 50 Lux, probably more so because it’s my focal length of choice at the moment, in terms of the 35 Lux I have read so much positive stuff but, anything could happen. I was going to sell my 35 cron but now I’ve decided to keep it until I have formed an opinion on the Lux, also I need to get myself shooting at 35mm more than I have been. Your story is like lots that I have read, bought, sold, bought again…..that will almost definitely be mine too….!! Cheers Jason

  • Rich says:

    My latest has oil on the aperture blades… noticed only this afternoon, strangely enough.

    I’m also a 50 guy – pretty much covers all my needs.

  • Just had a good old laugh reading this post. I upgraded from the 50 Summicron to the 50 Summilux a month ago and I agree. Leica glass will make you do crazy things. My M9 is referred to as “that camera!” by my better half. If I had to pick only two Leica lenses, the 35mm Lux and the 50mm Lux would be my choice. Although, I was very happy with my 50mm Cron and really love my 35mm Cron for street work.

    • janrzm says:

      Thanks Stephen, I tried to relate how comical the situation had/has become….also at the same time I hoped others could relate to my experiences. So I have to say reading your comment is reassuring!! For me at least. The 50 Lux I have just started to play around with, already I am hooked. In terms of the 35 Lux I know I will like what I see, I just need to get back to shooting 35mm a little more, something I have been making a concerted effort to do. Let’s be honest they are all superb lenses, I have decided to keep the 35 Cron for now at least until I am sure I’ve done the right thing. Thanks again for reading and taking time to comment. Cheers Jason.

  • InFrame says:

    I laughed with the phone call and the wife answering.. I made the promise to the wife that I would not purchase anymore len’s but how can you resist that Leica temptation. I ended up getting both the 50mm and 35mm Summicron.. never regretted getting them and the style of the photo’s are amazing.. I just wish I could go back in time and advice not to think of any other brand. Nikon and Canon can keep debating while a Leica photographer with keep on shooting 😉

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