Chinese 35mm f2 V1 Summicron Replica (PIX INCLUDED)

M. Valdemar

Aug 5, 2013
New York City
I don't know how many of you have been following the threads on RFF about the Chinese replica of the 1950's V1 35mm Summicron, but it has been ongoing for close to two years.

They set out to make a replica of the original Leica lens, right down to the almost unobtainable flint glass elements. I won't repeat what has been posted before, but I signed up over a year ago to buy one of the initial run of the lenses. About 5 weeks ago I got an email that my lens was near completion, and I sent over $600 to a PayPal address to have my lens shipped to me. I realized I may have been insane to send money to an unknown web person, but the lens arrived via DHL today, and I am flabbergasted.

The lens is absolutely gorgeous, heavy, perhaps built better than the Leica original. It came with thoughtful touches like a heavy metal lens case with a bayonet base, a heavy metal lens cap, and accessories.

The fit and finish of the lens is 100% quality. I'm reminded of the stuff in William Gibson's "Cyber" books about "Buzz Rickson" WWII flight jackets, how the Japanese "otaku" replicated these jackets down to the tiniest details, like period nylon, the correct linings, zippers, etc. Well this lens does the Japanese one better. It is a drop dead replica of the Leica 35mm V1 Summicron. It is like I have a brand new one from a time machine.

I have not been so happy with a purchase in years.

I went out in Lower Manhattan and just snapped some frames with my Leica M9. Minimal processing in Photoshop.

Instead of posting more details I suggest you look on RFF or Google for details. More to come later. I just wanted to quickly post these.

(open images in new tab and click to expand.....these are huge files to see details)


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Jul 7, 2010
Pretty amazing how many of these old designs are coming back.

I'm on the list to receive the Skyllaney Sonnar once the company can proceed with production. I have the original Sonnars that it implements 85 years later.

M. Valdemar

Aug 5, 2013
New York City
What is amazing to me is that it is a real REPLICA in every sense of the word.

I noticed years ago that the Chinese were buying most of the desirable rare old lenses from me and others on eBay. They have a real appreciation for the technology and history.

It is fascinating how much effort and study went into producing these, and they have the will and technology to do it. This thing is no toy. This is a meticulous replica. 101% quality.

The photo doesn't do it justice, I'm going to shoot some more and post them.
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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Aug 21, 2011
Los Angeles, USA
Nice images! I'm surprised how clean the output looks from that lens. Also corners look much better on an actual Leica RF camera as opposed to adapting on a mirrorless body. Anymore info on the lens? Really digging that classic look! BTW - Flint glass has lead in it? Any noticeable difference compared to other glass formulas?

Also I hope you and your family are holding up well in NYC!

M. Valdemar

Aug 5, 2013
New York City

M. Valdemar

Aug 5, 2013
New York City
I am more and more impressed with this lens as I use it. The quality is excellent, sharpness excellent as well. These shots were taken today with the Leica M9. I'm also still very happy with the quality of images with my M9. As I said earlier, I "dialed in" the rangefinder with a hex wrench. Not an experience I want to repeat, but now that I got it as perfect as I could do myself, everything looks even better. It takes very laborious, minute adjustments of the rangefinder cam to get the focus right, but almost all of my lenses look sharper on close focus. (the focus on the second image was on the beer label)

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Hall of Famer
Jan 19, 2015
There can't be any doubt that optically, the chinese manufacturers are catching up very quickly and in some cases, have caught up. Fact is, not many people will be able to decipher a comparitive image posted on line as between the TTArtisans/ Zhong Yi 50mm F.0.95 lenses and the Noctilux (I saw some imahes from the Zhong Yi, the images looked really good). And then there's the issue of whether one has the skills to bring the best out of the Noctilux but that's another matter.


Dec 6, 2019
Here the images look better than on RFF with the inherent low-res or in the fLickRiver where multiple compression takes place.
Oh my I should not look. GAS.

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