Leica Summicron 40mm f2

Since buying both the M10 digital & M6 film bodies, I’ve had a bit of GAS with regards to a Summicron lens.

At present, I have a Voigtlander 50mm f1.2, a Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 and a Jupiter 8 50mm f2, all of which in their own right do a good job for me but the call of the Summicron still remains.

After a bit of research I decided the 40mm Summicron could be a really interesting option – it offers a good compromise between 35mm and 50mm focal length which I tend to waiver between and am still not sure which I prefer to shoot with.

I’d also considered the M-Rokkor 40mm f2 as it’s identical to the Summicron originally being made for the Minolta CLE – remember the Summicron was originally developed for the Leica CL and both these cameras were part of a collaboration between Minolta and Leica.

Summicron 40mm on the M6.

It’s also a lens which is a lot cheaper to buy than it’s 35mm or 50mm equivalents, which never hurts does it.

Originally developed for the Leica CL film camera, the 40mm Summicron f2 is quite a popular option for M cameras, albeit reviews are mixed in terms of whether or not they are really suited to M use.

Leica M6 with Summicron 40mm f2

For sure the biggest issue is the frame lines which don’t show on M bodies. On both my M10 and M6 I’ve noticed the 40mm brings up the 50mm frame lines.

In real terms it makes little difference to me personally, I find I just need to consider there’s another 10% or so in the frame when I’m lining up a photo.

I find the frame lines a little optimistic on either camera so the best course of action seems to simply work with them with a little caution.

First Impressions
The first thing to notice about the 40mm Summicron is its size.

It’s a small, little lens – even smaller than the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.4 which is small. It also feels reassuringly solid in hand, but not heavy.

Whether the 40mm is on the Leica M6 or M10-P, it fits either camera body perfectly.

It feels reassuringly solid without it being heavy and the small dimensions of the lens makes it a great choice for either body.

M6, Summicron, Kodak Tri-X400. Match made in heaven.

Focussing is simple enough, although in a ideal world it would have a more contoured focussing tab as opposed the triangular tab it comes with as standard.

Conclusion

Personally I think the Leica Summicron 40mm f2 is perfect for when you love the 50 and adore the 35 and cannot decide if you are a 50 or 35mm man!

In fact the more I use it, the more I’m thinking about adding a second lens in order to have one of each on each body.

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