Review and Photo example of the ELMAR M 50mm F2.8.

Table of contents


  • Sample photo taken with the LEICA M9.
  • Sample photo taken with the LEICA M8.


The Elmer M 50mm is a lens that has been around since Leica’s early days, and this lens was manufactured between 1994 and 2007, with approximately 17,000 lenses being produced.As of 2024, it is the latest model, but it appears that production has already ended. .
It comes in black and silver, and the silver lens barrel is made of brass, so it is about 80g heavier than the black.

In the 2000s, you could buy a new one for around 100,000 yen, making it Leica’s cheapest lens at the time.
Although it is an inexpensive lens, it has a solid construction and the exterior design does not look cheap. In particular, the silver lens had a good weight to it, considering it was a rare glass lens, and it felt well balanced when attached to the camera.
The lens could be retracted, and the retraction operation was smooth.
The hood is a 39mm screw-in type and has the same model number “12549” for both silver and black.
For lenses without a 6-bit lens recognition code, a 6-bit code can be added for a fee.

As for the operating feel, the focus ring has a small turning angle and the helicoid is light. The light helicoid feels distinctly different from the smooth helicoid found on older Leica lenses.
However, I’ve only used old Leica lenses with deteriorated grease or refurbished ones, and I’ve never had a rigorous experience with a new focus ring, so I don’t know how it really feels. When I turned the focus on this lens, it felt as light as a Japanese-made AF lens.

I was able to take full advantage of the sensor resolution of the M8/M9 using lenses that I have used for two generations of digital cameras, the Leica M8 and M9. Since the aperture f-number is 2.8, I didn’t have to worry too much about it, and I didn’t have to worry about focusing accuracy due to double image matching.

Especially under clear skies, it provides pleasant photos with a clear depiction of distant scenery and good-looking colors even without any special correction. For sunset and night scenes, the brightness of F2.8 was sometimes a problem due to camera shake. It was a versatile lens, except for some darkness.
I think that with today’s high ISO mirrorless cameras, you can try out the taste of Leica lenses without having to buy expensive standard lenses.

I have a lot of 50mm lenses, but I sold them because I couldn’t use them in more situations. After that, I owned a silver lens, but I sold it quickly and couldn’t get the most out of it.


focal length(mm)50
Maximum aperture2.8
Minimum aperture16
Leaf blade6
Lens configuration3groups 4elementstesser type
Minimum distance(m)0.7
Lens length(mm)37.6Distance from lens mount flange
Lens max diameter(mm)52
Filter diameter(mm)39
Release date1994〜2007

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.03.05
  • 2022.05.13

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