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Overview of Leica-M Lenses

The Leica M-mount was introduced in 1954 with the M3 and has been used with all of Leica's rangefinder models since then. The bayonet mount features a relatively short flange to focal plane distance, which has made it possible to design compact, high quality lenses for the system. Indeed, the M-lenses have arguably been the main reason for many photographers to buy a Leica rangefinder camera. M-optics tend to excel in terms of contrast, resolution, and tonal depth, while their solid mechanical construction and tight manufacturing tolerances ensures longevity and provides for smooth and precise focusing action.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95
Silver version of Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH

The patent for the M-bayonet ("Bajonettvorrichtung für die lösbare Verbindung zweier Kamerateile") was registered by Ernst Leitz GmbH at the German patent office on 10 February 1950 and published on 23 October 1952. Hugo Wehrenfennig was credited with the invention.

leica m mount patent
Drawing from the M-mount patent filing
The bayonet has a diameter of 44mm and a relatively short flange-focal distance of 27.8mm, so that many other lenses, such as Leica R or LTM, can be mounted on an M-mount camera via corresponding adapters. The M-mount features four tabs and a connector that transmits the focusing distance of the lens to the optical rangefinder in the camera. The newer version of the M-mount that was introduced with the Leica M8 also has six-bit markings on the flange that provide the camera with information on the lens that is being attached, so as to enable digital corrections of lens-specific imaging flaws.

The M-lens catalog has grown continuously over time, with more than 70 Leica lenses having been released for the company's rangefinder cameras. All of these lenses are focused manually, and all are prime lenses. That said, the two Tri-Elmars (16-18-21mm and 28-35-50mm) make it possible to cover several focal length in one lens, and on the Leica M (Type 240) and newer cameras, it is possible to use them as continuous zooms in Live View mode.

New Lenses for Leica M

Nov 2017

Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25

leica m 75mm 125
  • Tele-photo Prime for Full Frame
  • Manual focus operation
  • Aperture range: f/1.25 - 16
  • Aperture blades: 11, rounded
  • Construction: 9 elements in 6 groups
  • Filter size: E67
  • Dimensions: 74 x 91 mm (3.0 x 3.7")
  • Weight: 1,055 g (37.2 oz)
  • Launch Price: $12,795
  • Street Price: check offers at Amazon
Jan 2017

Leica Thambar-M 90mm

leica m 90mm 22
  • Tele-photo Prime for Full Frame
  • Manual focus operation
  • Aperture range: f/2.2 - 25
  • Aperture blades: 20, rounded
  • Construction: 4 elements in 3 groups
  • Filter size: E49
  • Dimensions: 90 x 57 mm (3.7 x 2.3")
  • Weight: 500 g (17.6 oz)
  • Launch Price: $6,495
  • Street Price: check offers at Amazon

The listing below shows all the M-lenses that Leica released, as well as third-party offers. Moreover, Leica's earlier screw-mount lenses can also be used on M-cameras via appropriate adapters. Hence, there are many options for the M-shooter, and even though the high quality of the optics has its price, many lenses can be found in excellent condition on the pre-owned market at a sizable discount.

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Lenses for Leica M-Mount
#  Lens
Designation
Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
1
 
Voigtlander Hyper Wide Heliar 10mm f/5.6MFnn68 x 59 mm312 g20161,099amazon.com
2
 
Voigtlander Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm f/5.6MFE67n75 x 43 mm230 g2016699amazon.com
3
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZMMFE72n78 x 92 mm550 g20164,695amazon.com
4
 
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5MFE58n65 x 55 mm247 g2016749amazon.com
5
 
Zeiss Hologon 15mm f/8MFnn59 x 6 mm110 g1972$$$ebay.com
6
 
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16mm-18mm-21mm f/4 ASPHMFE67n54 x 62 mm335 g20065,395amazon.com
7
 
Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPHMFE77n61 x 58 mm310 g20092,995amazon.com
8
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4 ZMMFE58n65 x 71 mm350 g20031,495amazon.com
9
 
Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPHMFS8n70 x 66 mm580 g20087,495amazon.com
10
 
Voigtlander Ultron 21mm f/1.8MFE58n69 x 92 mm412 g20121,099amazon.com
11
 
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8MFE49/E60n62 x 47 mm290 g1980$$ebay.com
12
 
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPHMFE55n58 x 46 mm415 g1997$$ebay.com
13
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZMMFE46n53 x 75 mm280 g20031,495amazon.com
14
 
Leica Super-Angulon 21mm f/3.4MFS7/E48n53 x 51 mm301 g1963$$ebay.com
15
 
Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPHMFE46n54 x 43 mm279 g20112,995amazon.com
16
 
Leitz Super-Angulon f= 2.1 cm f/4 MFA42/E39n27 x 51 mm250 g1958$$ebay.com
17
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 21mm f/4MFE39n55 x 25 mm136 g2003449amazon.com
18
 
Zeiss C Biogon T* 21mm f/4.5 ZMMFE46n53 x 56 mm210 g20101,295ebay.com
19
 
Leica Summilux-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPHMFS7n61 x 59 mm500 g20087,495amazon.com
20
 
Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPHMFE55n58 x 46 mm290 g1998$$ebay.com
21
 
Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPHMFE46n53 x 41 mm260 g20082,495amazon.com
22
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZMMFE46n53 x 71 mm260 g20031,295amazon.com
23
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 25mm f/4MFE39n55 x 30 mm144 g2012449amazon.com
24
 
Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPHMFE49n61 x 67 mm440 g20156,495amazon.com
25
 
Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPHMFE46n53 x 41 mm270 g20004,295amazon.com
26
 
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (I)MFS7/E48n53 x 38 mm225 g1965$$ebay.com
27
 
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (II)MFS7/E48n52 x 46 mm300 g1972$$ebay.com
28
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (III)MFE49n51 x 48 mm250 g1979$$ebay.com
29
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (IV)MFE46n53 x 41 mm260 g1992$$ebay.com
30
 
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8MFE46n55 x 40 mm230 g1999$$ebay.com
31
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8 ZMMFE46n51 x 38 mm220 g20041,095amazon.com
32
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH MFE39n52 x 30 mm180 g20062,495amazon.com
33
 
Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2MFE46n55 x 51 mm244 g2008599amazon.com
34
 
Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6MFE34n51 x 18 mm165 g20162,495amazon.com
35
 
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 28mm-35mm-50mm f/4 ASPHMFE49/E55n55 x 68 mm340 g1998$$ebay.com
36
 
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2MFE52n61 x 62 mm471 g2011999amazon.com
37
 
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (I)MFE41/A46.5n53 x 38 mm245 g1961$$ebay.com
38
 
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (II)MFS7/E41n47 x 27 mm245 g1967$$ebay.com
39
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 AsphericalMFE46n53 x 42 mm300 g1991$$ebay.com
40
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11874)MFE46n53 x 35 mm250 g1994$$ebay.com
41
 
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4MFE43n55 x 29 mm200 g2003649amazon.com
42
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11663)MFE46n56 x 46 mm320 g20104,995amazon.com
43
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZMMFE49n63 x 65 mm381 g20142,395amazon.com
44
 
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7MFE46n53 x 51 mm238 g2016999amazon.com
45
 
Leica Summicron f= 3.5 cm 1:2 (I)MFE39n51 x 28 mm150 g1958$$ebay.com
46
 
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (II)MFS7/E39n51 x 33 mm170 g1969$$ebay.com
47
 
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (III)MFS7/E39n51 x 33 mm170 g1971$$ebay.com
48
 
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 (IV)MFE39n52 x 26 mm160 g1979$$ebay.com
49
 
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPHMFE39n53 x 35 mm255 g19972,995amazon.com
50
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 35mm f/2 ZMMFE43n52 x 68 mm240 g20031,095amazon.com
51
 
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.4 ASPHMFE39n52 x 34 mm197 g20141,995amazon.com
52
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar Pancake 35mm f/2.5MFE39n55 x 23 mm134 g2003499amazon.com
53
 
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5MFE39n51 x 34 mm220 g20071,995ebay.com
54
 
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/2.8MFA36n51 x 29 mm210 g1958$$ebay.com
55
 
Zeiss C Biogon T* 35mm f/2.8 ZMMFE43n52 x 55 mm200 g2010895amazon.com
56
 
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/3.5 MFA36/E39n48 x 27 mm195 g1949$$ebay.com
57
 
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4MFE43n55 x 30 mm175 g2003499amazon.com
58
 
Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f/2.8MFE37n52 x 21 mm132 g2014399amazon.com
59
 
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPHMFE60n73 x 75 mm700 g200810,995amazon.com
60
 
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1MFE58/E60n69 x 62 mm580 g1976$$$$ebay.com
61
 
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1MFE58n70 x 57 mm428 g2003899amazon.com
62
 
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2MFS8n61 x 60 mm470 g1966$$$$ebay.com
63
 
Leica Summilux f= 5 cm f/1.4 (I)MFE43/A45n53 x 52 mm320 g1959$$ebay.com
64
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (II)MFE43n48 x 55 mm275 g1961$$ebay.com
65
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (III)MFE46n48 x 55 mm275 g1992$$ebay.com
66
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPHMFE46n54 x 53 mm335 g20063,995amazon.com
67
 
Leica Summarit f= 5 cm f/1.5MFA43/E41n47 x 44 mm320 g1949$$ebay.com
68
 
Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZMMFE46n56 x 63 mm250 g20031,295amazon.com
69
 
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5MFE49n54 x 46 mm220 g2013799amazon.com
70
 
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (I)MFE39/A42n48 x 49 mm220 g1951$$ebay.com
71
 
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (II)MFE39n51 x 50 mm240 g1968$$ebay.com
72
 
Leica Elcan 50mm f/2MFE39n51 x 31 mm230 g1972$$$ebay.com
73
 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2MFE39n53 x 44 mm240 g19792,195amazon.com
74
 
Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2MFE40.5n54 x 44 mm255 g1999$$ebay.com
75
 
Leica APO-Summicron-M ASPH 50mm f/2MFE39n53 x 47 mm300 g20127,795amazon.com
76
 
Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZMMFE43n52 x 68 mm230 g2012895amazon.com
77
 
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.4MFE39n52 x 33 mm190 g20141,795amazon.com
78
 
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5MFE39n52 x 33 mm230 g20071,795ebay.com
79
 
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/2.8MFE39/A42n51 x 21 mm220 g1957$$ebay.com
80
 
Leica Elmar-M 50mm f/2.8MFE39n52 x 22 mm170 g1994$$ebay.com
81
 
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/3.5MFA36/E39n54 x 42 mm125 g1954$$ebay.com
82
 
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25MFE67n91 x 74 mm1,055 g201712,795amazon.com
83
 
Leica Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4MFE60n69 x 80 mm560 g1980$$ebay.com
84
 
Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8MFE52n58 x 74 mm427 g2010699amazon.com
85
 
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPHMFE49n58 x 67 mm430 g20053,795amazon.com
86
 
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.4MFE46n55 x 61 mm325 g20141,895amazon.com
87
 
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.5MFE46n55 x 61 mm345 g20071,895ebay.com
88
 
Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* 85mm f/4 ZMMFE43n54 x 95 mm310 g2010995amazon.com
89
 
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (I)MFE48/A63.7n66 x 110 mm660 g1957$$ebay.com
90
 
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (II)MFE49n65 x 112 mm685 g1963$$ebay.com
91
 
Leica Summicron-M 90mm f/2 (III)MFE49/E55n67 x 79 mm475 g1982$$ebay.com
92
 
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPHMFE55n64 x 78 mm660 g1998$$amazon.com
93
 
Leica Thambar-M 90mmMFE49n57 x 90 mm500 g20176,495amazon.com
94
 
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.4MFE46n55 x 67 mm346 g20142,195amazon.com
95
 
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5MFE46n55 x 67 mm360 g20072,195ebay.com
96
 
Leica Elmarit f= 9 cm f/2.8MFE39/A42n53 x 94 mm330 g1959$$ebay.com
97
 
Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8MFE39/A42n51 x 60 mm355 g1964$$ebay.com
98
 
Leica Tele-Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8MFE39n53 x 67 mm225 g1974$$ebay.com
99
 
Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8MFE46n57 x 76 mm410 g1990$$ebay.com
100
 
Konica M-Hexanon 90mm f/2.8MFE46n55 x 69 mm330 g1999$$ebay.com
101
 
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (I)MFE39n51 x 51 mm285 g1954$$ebay.com
102
 
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (III)MFE39n43 x 82 mm300 g1964$$ebay.com
103
 
Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4MFE39n52 x 41 mm230 g20043,295amazon.com
104
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (I)MFS7/A63.7n66 x 120 mm730 g1963$$$ebay.com
105
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (II)MFE55/A63.7n66 x 117 mm730 g1964$$$ebay.com
106
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (III)MFE55n66 x 114 mm780 g1976$$$ebay.com
107
 
Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4MFE49n59 x 105 mm453 g19983,399amazon.com
108
 
Leica Elmar 135mm f/4MFE39n53 x 123 mm440 g1960$$$ebay.com
109
 
Leica Tele-Elmar 135mm f/4MFE39/E46n59 x 112 mm510 g1965$$$ebay.com
110
 
Leica Hektor 13.5 cm f/4.5 MFA36/E39n51 x 128 mm440 g1933$$ebay.com

Further Reading

Erwin Puts wrote extensively about the history and the making of M-lenses and published his findings in the Leica Lens Compendium or more recently, the Leica Lens Chronicle. Online versions of these books and some other reference material are available as free downloads on the Leica pdf resources page. Further, if you need to protect the precious front elements of your Leica M-lenses, you might want to have a look at the information on Leica UVa filters, or Series filters that is available on this site.

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