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Leica and Zeiss Lens Nomenclature

Last updated 2010-01-12 - Send Feedback
Related: Leica, Leica M
Guide to Leica

Leica uses a nomenclature to describe the lenses. It seems superfluous to me, given that the aperture number serves the same purposes, but such it the historical situation.

View near real-time pricing and availability for Zeiss ZM an Leica M lenses on the Leica M gear page.

Lens speed nomenclature

Noctilux — f/0.95
There is one of these, the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux (and older f/1.0 models). What does it cost?
Summilux — f/1.4
Summilux means an f/1.4 lens. These lenses are the most expensive, largest and heaviest, and often the most highly corrected, but might have compromises (eg distortion) that makes the Summicron a better choice for some uses.
Summicron — f/2
One stop slower, but significantly lighter and smaller, the Summicrons are an outstanding choice for their more moderate cost and good balance of size and weight.
Summarit — f/2.5
At 2/3 stop slower than the Summicrons, but significantly lighter and smaller, the Summarits are Leica’s most recent offering. They are a good choice for the lowest cost and minimal size and weight.
Elmarit — f/2.8
The Elmarits are a stop slower than the Summicrons, but very compact, and thus an outstanding choice for a compact kit.
Elmar — f/3.8 - f/4
The Elmars are the slowest lenses, but also very compact.
APO Telyt — f/3.4
There is one of these, the 135mm f/3.4 APO-Telyt-M.

Suffixes

ASPH
This means that one or more aspheric element are used.
APO
This means that the lens is correct for apochromatic behavior and should be free of color fringing.

Zeiss lens terminology

Biogon, Distagon, Planar, Sonnar, Superachromat, Tessar: please see this page.

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