How to Build Leica Summilux-C Lenses

Flippant headline notwithstanding, building Summilux-C lenses is an impressive process. Begin with Christian Skrein’s concept of Leica lenses for motion picture production. Add practical experience from Otto Nemenz, who consulted from the beginning. Get the blessing, vision, and financing from charismatic Leica owner Dr. Andreas Kaufmann. Hire legendary optical designer Iain Neil and equally esteemed mechanical designer Andre de Winter.

Next, throw in a few roadblocks. Oops–the space promised in the Leica factory in Solms is no longer available because the M9, S2, and X1–not to mention Leica still lenses–are so successful that there’s no room for motion picture lenses. Build a new, “boutique” assembly plant with the most advanced lens manufacturing techniques and equipment I have ever seen in a new building in Leitz Park–where construction is now underway across the parking lot for the entire Leica facility. Etc.

Erik Feichtinger and Gerhard Baier are Managing Directors. Band Pro is the worldwide distributor. Please email them, not me, to find out when your promised lens will be ready. But it looked to me like production has ramped up, and boxes of lenses are being picked up by the friendly local Wetzlar UPS and FedEx drivers.

Click on the first thumbnail below, and then navigate through the 33 pictures and captions below from my tour of Summilux-C production. (Sorry, the slideshow does not show captions–we’re working on that.)

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