Leica 50 Lux ASPH Problems – Back to My 50 Summicron For Bokeh Shots

Leica 50 Summilux ASPH Not Focusing…Back to my 50 Summicron:

Yes, my 50 Summilux ASPH…my favorite lens is not focusing correctly at F1.4.  I must admit that I am not happy about this at all.  When this lens is working properly, it is simply amazing!  Now it’s a bit frustrating.  I brought it in for calibration with my Leica M9 in May, and it still is not sharp when shot wide open.  Why don’t I just stop it down a bit?  That’s what one of my friends has asked me.  Well, if that was the case, I should’ve just saved myself $4,000, and stick with my 50 Summicron.  I bought the 50 Summilux ASPH so I can use the F1.4.  I never had a problem with this lens until I brought my M9 in for a sensor replacement because my original sensor cracked.  Leica NJ did a great job replacing my sensor in a very timely manner (and under warranty) but maybe something is off…IDK.

I’m not sure what I should do at this point.  If the Leica M10 is coming out in September, I might as well wait to see if I’m interested in purchasing one but if it is only being announced in September, then maybe it will be a good idea to bring my M9 back to Leica NJ for calibration.  The other option: go for a Nikon D800E, and all of the fast primes :).  Nothing against DSLR’s but I was never a big fan.  For what I do, I just prefer rangefinders, and I just love how a Leica image looks.  However, I would love to shoot with something like the Nikon 85 F1.4.  I have a 75 Summilux (which I reviewed before) but again, that lens is also not focusing correctly with my M9.  Originally, I figured that since I had the 50 Lux, I could wait until the release of the M10 to get my 75 Lux calibrated.  Lastly, prices are getting a bit crazy for me when it comes to Leica these days.  I would love to own a fast wide angle for my M9 but have you all seen the prices for something like a 21 Summilux ASPH?  I can buy a decent DSLR kit for the price of that one lens (that’s where my D800E idea came from lol).

The Leica 50 Summicron:

So today I bring you some photos I took just walking around my local park with the 50 Summicron attached to my M9 (You can check out my 50 Summicron review).  Honestly, I feel that even my 50 Cron is not as precise as it once was (maybe it also needs calibration) but it’s doing a lot better than my 50 Lux is right now.  How does the 50 Cron perform wide open?  Well, I haven’t used it in a while but I must say, the 50 Cron performs better than I remembered.

↑ For roughly half the price of the 50 Summilux ASPH, you can get pretty nice bokeh balls from the 50 Summicron.

In fact, maybe I should sell the 50 Lux, and get the 50 Summicron calibrated instead lol.  Some have said that the shallow depth of field or bokeh is a bit distracting with the 50 Cron but I disagree.  It’s a great lens, one of Leica’s best, and a lens that everyone should experience at least once if they own a Leica M.  For the asking price, dare I say it, the 50 Cron is a steal in the Leica world.  It is definitely one of the sharpest lenses that I have ever used from any manufacturer, and it never disappoints.  My original plan was to sell the 50 Summicron when I bought my 50 Lux but I just couldn’t bare to let it go.  It is a legendary lens, and still one of Mandler’s original designs.

↑ I think the 50 Summicron definitely has that “painting” effect that many Leica lenses are famous for.

For now, I hope you all enjoy these shots taken with the 50 Summicron.  I will keep you all updated on my 50 Lux focusing issues.  Thanks for taking the time out to check out my post.  Take care everyone!

↑ I think the 50 Cron has a combination of a classic and modern look.

↑ More of the classic “painting” effect.

↑ The 50 Summicron definitely can offer smooth looking bokeh.

↑ One last photo of Kopi, my sister’s golden retriever.


2 comments… add one
  • Richard Lindström

    Hi, did you get your summilux to work? I seem to have the same problem now…

    • Patrick

      Hi Richard,

      I never got it to work right but I believe at the time, the M 240 had just been released, and I switched. My M 240 worked great for a long time, and then near the end of my time with it, I had trouble focusing the Lux again. I’m now an SL user all the way, and love it. I’ve kept all my M lenses, which are easier to focus on the SL, by the way, but truthfully, they’ve been collecting dust because I love the SL lenses. I don’t have my 50mm Summilux-SL review up yet but here’s a recent picture post, if you’d like to see it. All pics shot at f1.4, and tack sharp :).


      Can I ask you what model M you’re using? The M 240 was a lot better than the M9 because I heard Leica had improved the rangefinder a bit to help with this focusing issue. Either way, if it’s really bad, my suggestion is to send your camera back to Leica to have them calibrate it. They might even ask you to send them the lens as well. I hope this helps!



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