RARE! 1940 Military Leitz 50mm Summitar lens, with “HEER” engraving.
Fits WWII era Leica IIIc chrome & grey paint cameras
Leica camera NOT included
This is a very rare lens, from my personal collection. This is a military Leitz 2.0/5cm Summitar with the “Heer” engraving that was used during WWII to signify that it was official Wehrmacht property, issued to the German Army.
The f2.0/5cm (50mm) Summitar was the best 50mm lens designed and produced by Leitz during the 1940’s. Summitar production began in 1939. It replaced the earlier Summar lens which had suffered when compared the competition, most notably the Zeiss lenses of the same focal length. The new improved Summitar featured a more complex optical design, a stronger mount and increased performance that placed it on equal footing with the competition. Although the glass in this lens was larger than previous lens, it still used the standard m39 lens mount which allowed it to be fitted to any Leica camera. Due to these improvements and useful application, it was also selected for military usage.
During the war, German military marking were generally added to cameras and lenses after manufacture and varied depending on specific military warehouse guidelines. There were many markings used among the different branches of the military. The Kriegsmarine (Navy) frequently used an “MF” followed by a number, the Luftwaffe used a longer “Luftwaffen Eigentum” and the Army simply used “Heer”. Naturally because of these markings, it was advisable not to use or possess these items if you were not an authorized member of the applicable organization…
Cosmetically as nearly all items produced during the war, this 80 year old lens has signs of use. That said, most collectors would be all too eager to add this lens to their collection. (And once in there, I doubt they would part with it quickly or easily.) The serial number of this lens dates production to late 1940.
The glass is very clean and clear. Focus and aperture adjustments function as they should. The aperture blades are clean and free of oil. Amazingly, there are no scratches or cleaning marks. There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems. And it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a very lovely, very desirable lens. A perfect match to your WWII Leica. Perfect for collectors, as well as photographers with a historical interest. If you’ve been looking one of these, then you’ve just found it.