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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.

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) camera, it is possible to use them as continuous zooms in Live View mode. Also, newer M-lenses feature 6-bit coding, which is recognized by digital M-cameras and used to process images according to lens-specific parameters.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95
Silver version of Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95

The listing below shows all the M-lenses that Leica released, as well as third-party offerings for the M-mount from Voigtländer and Zeiss. 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 the sizable discount.

Headline Specifications of M-Mount Lenses
Ultra-Wideangle Order
Number
(#)
Front
Filter
(type)
Overall
Length
(mm)
Max
Diameter
(mm)
Lens
Weight
(g)
Launch
Date
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Voigtlander Hyper Wide Heliar 10mm f/5.6 BA334B no 59 68 312 2016 no 1099 latest check
Voigtlander Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm f/5.6 BA222M E67 43 75 230 2016 no 699 latest check
Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZM 1457-856 E72 92 78 550 2016 no 4695 latest check
Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 BA213M E58 55 65 247 2016 no 749 latest check
Zeiss Hologon 15mm f/8 11003 no 6 59 110 1972 1976 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16mm-18mm-21mm f/4 ASPH 11606 E67 62 54 335 2006 no 5395 latest check
Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPH 11649 E77 58 61 310 2009 no 2995 latest check
Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4 ZM 1440-733 E58 71 65 350 2003 no 1495 latest check
Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH 11647 S8 66 70 580 2008 no 7495 latest check
Voigtlander Ultron 21mm f/1.8 BA218M E58 92 69 412 2012 no 1099 latest check
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 11134 E49/E60 47 62 290 1980 1997 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH 11135 E55 46 58 415 1997 2010 $$ discontinued check
Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZM 1365-651 E46 75 53 280 2003 no 1495 latest check
Leica Super-Angulon 21mm f/3.4 11103 S7/E48 51 53 301 1963 1976 $$ discontinued check
Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH 11145 E46 43 54 279 2011 no 2995 latest check
Leitz Super-Angulon f= 2.1 cm f/4 11002 A42/E39 51 27 250 1958 1981 $$ discontinued check
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 21mm f/4 BA211P E39 25 55 136 2003 no 449 latest check
Zeiss C Biogon T* 21mm f/4.5 ZM 1419-575 E46 56 53 210 2010 2016 1295 discontinued check
Wideangle Order
Number
(#)
Front
Filter
(type)
Overall
Length
(mm)
Max
Diameter
(mm)
Lens
Weight
(g)
Launch
Date
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica Summilux-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPH 11601 S7 59 61 500 2008 no 7495 latest check
Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH 11878 E55 46 58 290 1998 2010 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH 11648 E46 41 53 260 2008 no 2495 latest check
Zeiss Biogon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZM 1365-653 E46 71 53 260 2003 no 1295 latest check
Voigtlander Color Skopar P-Typ 25mm f/4 BA214P E39 30 55 144 2012 no 449 latest check
Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH 11668 E49 67 61 440 2015 no 6495 latest check
Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH 11604 E46 41 53 270 2000 no 4295 latest check
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (I) 11801 S7/E48 38 53 225 1965 1969 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit 28mm f/2.8 (II) 11802 S7/E48 46 52 300 1972 1980 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (III) 11804 E49 48 51 250 1979 1993 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (IV) 11809 E46 41 53 260 1992 2006 $$ discontinued check
Konica M-Hexanon 28mm f/2.8 MHEX28 E46 40 55 230 1999 2003 $$ discontinued check
Zeiss Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8 ZM 1365-657 E46 38 51 220 2004 no 1095 latest check
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH 11606 E39 30 52 180 2006 no 2495 latest check
Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2 BA288A E46 51 55 244 2008 no 599 latest check
Leica Tri-Elmar-M 28mm-35mm-50mm f/4 ASPH 11625 E49/E55 68 55 340 1998 2007 $$ discontinued check
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 BA237B E52 62 61 471 2011 no 999 latest check
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (I) 11869 E41/A46.5 38 53 245 1961 1966 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 (II) 11870 S7/E41 27 47 245 1967 1995 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspherical 11873 E46 42 53 300 1991 1994 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11874) 11874 E46 35 53 250 1994 2010 $$ discontinued check
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4 BA243B E43 29 55 200 2003 no 649 latest check
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH (11663) 11663 E46 46 56 320 2010 no 4995 latest check
Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZM 2112-846 E49 65 63 381 2014 no 2395 latest check
Zeiss T* Distagon 35mm f/1.4 ZM 2112-846 E49 65 63 381 2014 no 2490 latest check
Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7 BA327B E46 51 53 238 2016 no 999 latest check
Leica Summicron f= 3.5 cm 1:2 (I) 11307 E39 28 51 150 1958 1963 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (II) 11309 S7/E39 33 51 170 1969 1971 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron 35mm f/2 (III) 11308 S7/E39 33 51 170 1971 1979 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 (IV) 11310 E39 26 52 160 1979 1999 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH 11879 E39 35 53 255 1997 no 2995 latest check
Zeiss Biogon T* 35mm f/2 ZM 1365-659 E43 68 52 240 2003 no 1095 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.4 ASPH 11671 E39 34 52 197 2014 no 1995 latest check
Voigtlander Color Skopar Pancake 35mm f/2.5 BA245C E39 23 55 134 2003 no 499 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5 11643 E39 34 51 220 2007 2014 1995 discontinued check
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/2.8 11106 A36 29 51 210 1958 1963 $$ discontinued check
Zeiss C Biogon T* 35mm f/2.8 ZM 1486-393 E43 55 52 200 2010 no 895 latest check
Leica Summaron f= 3.5 cm f/3.5 11105 A36/E39 27 48 195 1949 1960 $$ discontinued check
Standard Order
Number
(#)
Front
Filter
(type)
Overall
Length
(mm)
Max
Diameter
(mm)
Lens
Weight
(g)
Launch
Date
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 BA2461 E43 30 55 175 2003 no 499 latest check
Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f/2.8 BA428B E37 21 52 132 2014 no 399 latest check
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1 11821 E58/E60 62 69 580 1976 2008 $$$$ discontinued check
Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH 11602 E60 75 73 700 2008 no 10995 latest check
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1 BA247A E58 57 70 428 2003 no 899 latest check
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 11820 S8 60 61 470 1966 1975 $$$$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux f= 5 cm f/1.4 (I) 11014 E43/A45 52 53 320 1959 1961 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (II) 11113 E43 55 48 275 1961 1991 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 (III) 11868 E46 55 48 275 1992 2005 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH 11891 E46 53 54 335 2006 no 3995 latest check
Leica Summarit f= 5 cm f/1.5 SOOIA A43/E41 44 47 320 1949 1960 $$ discontinued check
Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM 1407-218 E46 63 56 250 2003 no 1295 latest check
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 BA248B E49 46 54 220 2013 no 799 latest check
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (I) SOOIC E39/A42 49 48 220 1951 1969 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron f= 5 cm 1:2 (II) 11817 E39 50 51 240 1968 1979 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elcan 50mm f/2 276 E39 31 51 230 1972 1974 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 11819 E39 44 53 240 1979 no 2195 latest check
Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2 MHEX50 E40.5 44 54 255 1999 2003 $$ discontinued check
Leica APO-Summicron-M ASPH 50mm f/2 11141 E39 47 53 300 2012 no 7795 latest check
Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZM 1365-661 E43 68 52 230 2012 no 895 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.4 11680 E39 33 52 190 2014 no 1795 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 50mm f/2.5 11644 E39 33 52 230 2007 2014 1795 discontinued check
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/2.8 ELMOO E39/A42 21 51 220 1957 1962 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmar-M 50mm f/2.8 11831 E39 22 52 170 1994 2007 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmar f= 5 cm f/3.5 ELMAR A36/E39 42 54 125 1954 1961 $$ discontinued check
Tele Order
Number
(#)
Front
Filter
(type)
Overall
Length
(mm)
Max
Diameter
(mm)
Lens
Weight
(g)
Launch
Date
(year)
Prod.
Stop
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4 11814 E60 80 69 560 1980 2007 $$ discontinued check
Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 BA275O E52 74 58 427 2010 no 699 latest check
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 75mm f/2 ASPH 11637 E49 67 58 430 2005 no 3795 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.4 11682 E46 61 55 325 2014 no 1895 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 75mm f/2.5 11645 E46 61 55 345 2007 2014 1895 discontinued check
Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* 85mm f/4 ZM 1486-395 E43 95 54 310 2010 no 995 latest check
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (I) SOOZI E48/A63.7 110 66 660 1957 1962 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron f= 9 cm 1:2 (II) SEEOF E49 112 65 685 1963 1976 $$ discontinued check
Leica Summicron-M 90mm f/2 (III) 11136 E49/E55 79 67 475 1982 1998 $$ discontinued check
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH 11884 E55 78 64 660 1998 no $$ latest check
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.4 11684 E46 67 55 346 2014 no 2195 latest check
Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5 11646 E46 67 55 360 2007 2014 2195 discontinued check
Leica Elmarit f= 9 cm f/2.8 ELRIT E39/A42 94 53 330 1959 1974 $$ discontinued check
Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 11129 E39/A42 60 51 355 1964 1974 $$ discontinued check
Leica Tele-Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8 11800 E39 67 53 225 1974 1990 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8 11807 E46 76 57 410 1990 2007 $$ discontinued check
Konica M-Hexanon 90mm f/2.8 MHEX90 E46 69 55 330 1999 2003 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (I) ILNOO E39 51 51 285 1954 1968 $$ discontinued check
Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 (III) ELANG E39 82 43 300 1964 1965 $$ discontinued check
Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4 11633 E39 41 52 230 2004 no 3295 latest check
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (I) 11827 S7/A63.7 120 66 730 1963 1964 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (II) 11829 E55/A63.7 117 66 730 1964 1973 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Elmarit-M 135mm f/2.8 (III) 11829 E55 114 66 780 1976 1996 $$$ discontinued check
Leica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 11889 E49 105 59 453 1998 no 3399 latest check
Leica Elmar 135mm f/4 11850 E39 123 53 440 1960 1965 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Tele-Elmar 135mm f/4 11851 E39/E46 112 59 510 1965 1998 $$$ discontinued check
Leica Hektor 13.5 cm f/4.5 HEFAR A36/E39 128 51 440 1933 1959 $$ discontinued check

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.