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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

  • 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

  • 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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Headline Specifications of M-Mount Lenses
Wide-angleReference
Number
(id)
Filter
Type
(size)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
 
Voigtlander Hyper Wide Heliar 10mm f/5.6BA334B n 68 x 59 mm 312 g 2016no1,099 i
 
Voigtlander Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm f/5.6BA222M E67 75 x 43 mm 230 g 2016no699 i
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZM1457-856 E72 78 x 92 mm 550 g 2016no4,695 i
 
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5BA213M E58 65 x 55 mm 247 g 2016no749 i
 
Zeiss Hologon 15mm f/811003 n 59 x 6 mm 110 g 19721976$$$ i
 
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16mm-18mm-21mm f/4 ASPH11606 E67 54 x 62 mm 335 g 2006no5,395 i
 
Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPH11649 E77 61 x 58 mm 310 g 2009no2,995 i
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4 ZM1440-733 E58 65 x 71 mm 350 g 2003no1,495 i
 
Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH11647 S8 70 x 66 mm 580 g 2008no7,495 i
 
Voigtlander Ultron 21mm f/1.8BA218M E58 69 x 92 mm 412 g 2012no1,099 i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.811134 E49/E60 62 x 47 mm 290 g 19801997$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH11135 E55 58 x 46 mm 415 g 19972010$$ i
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZM1365-651 E46 53 x 75 mm 280 g 2003no1,495 i
 
Leica Super-Angulon 21mm f/3.411103 S7/E48 53 x 51 mm 301 g 19631976$$ i
 
Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH11145 E46 54 x 43 mm 279 g 2011no2,995 i
 
Leitz Super-Angulon f= 2.1 cm f/4 11002 A42/E39 27 x 51 mm 250 g 19581981$$ i
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 21mm f/4BA211P E39 55 x 25 mm 136 g 2003no449 i
 
Zeiss C Biogon T* 21mm f/4.5 ZM1419-575 E46 53 x 56 mm 210 g 201020161,295 i
 
Leica Summilux-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPH11601 S7 61 x 59 mm 500 g 2008no7,495 i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH11878 E55 58 x 46 mm 290 g 19982010$$ i
 
Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH11648 E46 53 x 41 mm 260 g 2008no2,495 i
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZM1365-653 E46 53 x 71 mm 260 g 2003no1,295 i
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 25mm f/4BA214P E39 55 x 30 mm 144 g 2012no449 i
 
Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH11668 E49 61 x 67 mm 440 g 2015no6,495 i
 
Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH11604 E46 53 x 41 mm 270 g 2000no4,295 i
 
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (I)11801 S7/E48 53 x 38 mm 225 g 19651969$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (II)11802 S7/E48 52 x 46 mm 300 g 19721980$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (III)11804 E49 51 x 48 mm 250 g 19791993$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (IV)11809 E46 53 x 41 mm 260 g 19922006$$ i
 
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8MHEX28 E46 55 x 40 mm 230 g 19992003$$ i
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8 ZM1365-657 E46 51 x 38 mm 220 g 2004no1,095 i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH 11606 E39 52 x 30 mm 180 g 2006no2,495 i
 
Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2BA288A E46 55 x 51 mm 244 g 2008no599 i
 
Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.611695 E34 51 x 18 mm 165 g 2016no2,495 i
 
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 28mm-35mm-50mm f/4 ASPH11625 E49/E55 55 x 68 mm 340 g 19982007$$ i
 
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2BA237B E52 61 x 62 mm 471 g 2011no999 i
 
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (I)11869 E41/A46.5 53 x 38 mm 245 g 19611966$$ i
 
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (II)11870 S7/E41 47 x 27 mm 245 g 19671995$$ i
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspherical11873 E46 53 x 42 mm 300 g 19911994$$ i
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11874)11874 E46 53 x 35 mm 250 g 19942010$$ i
 
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4BA243B E43 55 x 29 mm 200 g 2003no649 i
 
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11663)11663 E46 56 x 46 mm 320 g 2010no4,995 i
 
Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZM2112-846 E49 63 x 65 mm 381 g 2014no2,395 i
 
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7BA327B E46 53 x 51 mm 238 g 2016no999 i
 
Leica Summicron f= 3.5 cm 1:2 (I)11307 E39 51 x 28 mm 150 g 19581963$$ i
 
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (II)11309 S7/E39 51 x 33 mm 170 g 19691971$$ i
 
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (III)11308 S7/E39 51 x 33 mm 170 g 19711979$$ i
 
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 (IV)11310 E39 52 x 26 mm 160 g 19791999$$ i
 
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH11879 E39 53 x 35 mm 255 g 1997no2,995 i
 
Zeiss Biogon T* 35mm f/2 ZM1365-659 E43 52 x 68 mm 240 g 2003no1,095 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.4 ASPH11671 E39 52 x 34 mm 197 g 2014no1,995 i
 
Voigtlander Color Skopar Pancake 35mm f/2.5BA245C E39 55 x 23 mm 134 g 2003no499 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.511643 E39 51 x 34 mm 220 g 200720141,995 i
 
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/2.811106 A36 51 x 29 mm 210 g 19581963$$ i
 
Zeiss C Biogon T* 35mm f/2.8 ZM1486-393 E43 52 x 55 mm 200 g 2010no895 i
 
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/3.5 11105 A36/E39 48 x 27 mm 195 g 19491960$$ i
StandardReference
Number
(id)
Filter
Type
(size)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
 
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4BA2461 E43 55 x 30 mm 175 g 2003no499 i
 
Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f/2.8BA428B E37 52 x 21 mm 132 g 2014no399 i
 
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH11602 E60 73 x 75 mm 700 g 2008no10,995 i
 
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/111821 E58/E60 69 x 62 mm 580 g 19762008$$$$ i
 
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1BA247A E58 70 x 57 mm 428 g 2003no899 i
 
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.211820 S8 61 x 60 mm 470 g 19661975$$$$ i
 
Leica Summilux f= 5 cm f/1.4 (I)11014 E43/A45 53 x 52 mm 320 g 19591961$$ i
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (II)11113 E43 48 x 55 mm 275 g 19611991$$ i
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (III)11868 E46 48 x 55 mm 275 g 19922005$$ i
 
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH11891 E46 54 x 53 mm 335 g 2006no3,995 i
 
Leica Summarit f= 5 cm f/1.5SOOIA A43/E41 47 x 44 mm 320 g 19491960$$ i
 
Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM1407-218 E46 56 x 63 mm 250 g 2003no1,295 i
 
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5BA248B E49 54 x 46 mm 220 g 2013no799 i
 
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (I)SOOIC E39/A42 48 x 49 mm 220 g 19511969$$ i
 
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (II)11817 E39 51 x 50 mm 240 g 19681979$$ i
 
Leica Elcan 50mm f/2276 E39 51 x 31 mm 230 g 19721974$$$ i
 
Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/211819 E39 53 x 44 mm 240 g 1979no2,195 i
 
Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2MHEX50 E40.5 54 x 44 mm 255 g 19992003$$ i
 
Leica APO-Summicron-M ASPH 50mm f/211141 E39 53 x 47 mm 300 g 2012no7,795 i
 
Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZM1365-661 E43 52 x 68 mm 230 g 2012no895 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.411680 E39 52 x 33 mm 190 g 2014no1,795 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.511644 E39 52 x 33 mm 230 g 200720141,795 i
 
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/2.8ELMOO E39/A42 51 x 21 mm 220 g 19571962$$ i
 
Leica Elmar-M 50mm f/2.811831 E39 52 x 22 mm 170 g 19942007$$ i
 
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/3.5ELMAR A36/E39 54 x 42 mm 125 g 19541961$$ i
Tele-photoReference
Number
(id)
Filter
Type
(size)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
 
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.2511767 E67 91 x 74 mm 1,055 g 2017no12,795 i
 
Leica Summilux-M 75mm f/1.411814 E60 69 x 80 mm 560 g 19802007$$ i
 
Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8BA275O E52 58 x 74 mm 427 g 2010no699 i
 
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH11637 E49 58 x 67 mm 430 g 2005no3,795 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.411682 E46 55 x 61 mm 325 g 2014no1,895 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.511645 E46 55 x 61 mm 345 g 200720141,895 i
 
Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* 85mm f/4 ZM1486-395 E43 54 x 95 mm 310 g 2010no995 i
 
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (I)SOOZI E48/A63.7 66 x 110 mm 660 g 19571962$$ i
 
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (II)SEEOF E49 65 x 112 mm 685 g 19631976$$ i
 
Leica Summicron-M 90mm f/2 (III)11136 E49/E55 67 x 79 mm 475 g 19821998$$ i
 
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH11884 E55 64 x 78 mm 660 g 1998no$$ i
 
Leica Thambar-M 90mm11697 E49 57 x 90 mm 500 g 2017no6,495 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.411684 E46 55 x 67 mm 346 g 2014no2,195 i
 
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.511646 E46 55 x 67 mm 360 g 200720142,195 i
 
Leica Elmarit f= 9 cm f/2.8ELRIT E39/A42 53 x 94 mm 330 g 19591974$$ i
 
Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.811129 E39/A42 51 x 60 mm 355 g 19641974$$ i
 
Leica Tele-Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.811800 E39 53 x 67 mm 225 g 19741990$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.811807 E46 57 x 76 mm 410 g 19902007$$ i
 
Konica M-Hexanon 90mm f/2.8MHEX90 E46 55 x 69 mm 330 g 19992003$$ i
 
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (I)ILNOO E39 51 x 51 mm 285 g 19541968$$ i
 
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (III)ELANG E39 43 x 82 mm 300 g 19641965$$ i
 
Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/411633 E39 52 x 41 mm 230 g 2004no3,295 i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (I)11827 S7/A63.7 66 x 120 mm 730 g 19631964$$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (II)11829 E55/A63.7 66 x 117 mm 730 g 19641973$$$ i
 
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (III)11829 E55 66 x 114 mm 780 g 19761996$$$ i
 
Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.411889 E49 59 x 105 mm 453 g 1998no3,399 i
 
Leica Elmar 135mm f/411850 E39 53 x 123 mm 440 g 19601965$$$ i
 
Leica Tele-Elmar 135mm f/411851 E39/E46 59 x 112 mm 510 g 19651998$$$ i
 
Leica Hektor 13.5 cm f/4.5 HEFAR A36/E39 51 x 128 mm 440 g 19331959$$ i
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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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