At its release in 1961, the ‘Steel Rim’ 35 Summilux was one of the world’s fastest wide-angle lenses. Despite its fast F1.4 aperture, it was incredibly compact, weighed very little and offered incredible image quality. It also had absolutely incredible bokeh, leading it to be nicknamed the ‘True King of Bokeh,’ in Leica’s own words.
Only 1500 units were produced between 1961 and 1966, at which point the lens received ‘a slight redesign to accomodate a different lens shade with Series VII filter compatibility.’ This second version went on to be produced for nearly 30 years, until it was replaced with a new aspherical model in 1995.
This 2022 re-release stays true to the original, non-aspherical design, consisting of seven elements in five groups with a 10-bladed aperture diaphragm. However, it does make use of ‘modern production techniques, mechanics and optical coatings,’ although Leica doesn’t specify what exactly has changed.
It also features the signature ‘Steel Rim’ front ring, the removable black lens hood and the focus ring lock, all of which were found on the original version. This 2022 re-release also includes a second lens hood that’s round with a 46mm thread so you can easily add filters.
The M-mount ‘Steel Rim’ 35 Summilux joins the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2, Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 and Noticlux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH lenses in the ‘Leica Classic Line’ and is available with a silver chrome finish for $3,895. You can pre-order the lens now through Leica’s online store. The first units are expected to be delivered starting next week for pre-orders on a first-come-first-serve basis.