Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH Matte Black Chrome (Special Edition).

Inspiration, Q&A, Teaching point

Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here… again 😉

Leica claims that the production run of the 50mm Summilux ASPH Matte Black Chrome lens was limited to only 500 units.

That can’t be true.

This special edition 50 ‘Lux was first released years ago and for many months later you could still find brand new ones for sale.   Since then, they have gone in-and-out-of-stock several times.   New ones are (as of today) still available for purchase — some at a discount.

Limited to 500?   Really?


22 thoughts on “Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH Matte Black Chrome (Special Edition).

  1. Peter, I sure would like to know if the lens was limited to 500 because I bought one about 2 years ago and like you have noted that you can still buy new ones. I very much like the lens but that’s not the point. What’s the answer Leica?

    1. Exactly! I too very much like this version of the 50 ‘lux (though I own the standard version for practical reasons, including the built-in hood and 46mm filter size), but that’s indeed not the point. It’s a question of integrity – “truth in advertising”, if you will.

      I honestly don’t know how many of these have been produced.

  2. I thought the first 500 were the LHSA Edition. I just recently bought new the second black chrome “limited ” edition of 500. It is not however the LHSA. It is somewhat confusing and to a certain degree deceiving. Uses a 43mm filter thread. Fantastic lens albeit expensive however at my approaching age of 80 why not. If this is the one you have, enjoy it.

  3. Hello Peter and everybody.
    One possible way to check this 500 unit hypothesis is to check and compare serial numbers from recently purchased lenses vs from two years ago. Leica would have done one limited production run of 500 all at once and the presumably assign these lenses consecutive numbers – no?

    I just purchased one last week from B and H with a serial number 04741205. It was out of stock for a while (months?) and just got back into stock.

    Gmlane- you got one two years ago- what’s yours?


    1. LOL… that’s a difference of 424,762 lenses!

      That tells us “the jig is up”. Unless they never produced the 500 consecutively and have just been manufacturing them intermittently amongst the other lenses and have not yet reached 500.

      I doubt the latter.

      1. Both serial numbers, being vastly different to begin with, don’t seem to have any kind of special order to them. Completely random. I would expect Leica to dedicate a new subset of numbers starting with a new sequence in the last few digits or something.
        I played with an idea of changing my regular Lux to Noctilux – based on Peter’s feedback gave up that idea and instead traded to a new chrome “special edition” which may not be so rare. But in any case – either lens is rocking sold optic with an excellent rendition. The chrome looks better on my new (to me) M10 and especially the black repainted 1958 M3.

          1. I am done considering it actually. Apart from being outrageously expensive, it’s too big and heavy for a rangefinder lens. I find myself enjoying shooting with small lenses – that’s the ‘true’ Leica philosophy to begin with. There are plenty of large lenses from other systems that offer f1.2 like Canon 85 and 50 (I happen to have both and love the results with my 5D4) – but no one offers the optical performance of something like the Summicron 28mm in such as small package…

            I just picked up a collapsible 50mm Summicron from 1950’s in pristine shape (for about 5% cost of Noct) – cant wait to test it out this weekend

    2. Leica released the first limited edition of the ASPH LHSA 50 mm lux in 2005
      Then in 2015 they released another limited edition of this lens named “Lenny Kravitz”
      In 2016 yet another limited edition the BlackChrome version

      I bought the 2016 version new from Leica in the spring of this year.
      You and probably all your other followers probably know this but just in case. I’m enjoying mine it’s a fantastic piece of equipment.

  4. Obviously, Leica has not sold 424,762 black chrome editions. However, what I don’t understand is how Leica and B&H can advertise the lens as being limited to 500. Have they sold that few since January, 2016? Please explain Leica?

  5. Peter, I know someone who works at the Leica Store in SoHo, NYC. I will give him a call and see if he can explain. He is very knowledgeable and has been helpful in the past.

  6. I have a copy reserved for pick up at my local leica store. I have a decent relationship, maybe I will learn more of the production numbers. My guess is the very first run of black chrome was 500 and sold out quickly. Then they just moved them to normal production runs (still “limited”, but in excess of 500 by now a few years later).

    I would put this on sellers not updating their language and providing misleading/old info.
    Leicacamerausa makes no reference to limited or 500 in their store.

    the timing sort of works with leica “classic” range (summaron-m, thambar) they will continue to release vintage handling, modern glass reboots. But without confirmation from Leica, this misunderstanding will be perpetuated.

    Limited edition Leica anything don’t go out of stock and get restocked continually, these are current production lenses, albeit less in numbers

  7. So I picked up a black chrome copy today. Leica guys said they know these arent limited to 500 and that pretty much helps to confirm the updated post you have on this topic. Leica let’s the myth persist and sellers haven’t updated their sales description to the point of false advertising. The new retail box is the small size square that all normal production lenses come in. Serial # 4707xxx

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