Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/09

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Subject: Vs: Vs: Vs: [Leica] 50mm lens: now "-M"
From: "Raimo Korhonen" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 23:08:35 +0200

If you consider 18 year old lens to be "of the latest optical design available, currently or not, from Leica" - whatever that means, then you are correct. Was it you who wrote that - according to the late Mr. Sartorius - the M means that it is the latest version with built in hood? Then you were told that a lot of lens designs exist with and without the M and you invented that now it is the hyphen which is important. Now when you have learned that all M lenses have the hyphen, too - what next?
When the next generation arrives, do they remove the M from earlier lenses? Summicron 90 mm has also the M - is it "of the latest optical design available, currently or not, from Leica" when there is now the APO Summicron - with the M, too? Latest optical design not currently available from Leica? Maybe all discontinued designs should be labelled with M?
All the best!
Raimo (with M6 without the hyphen but undoubtedly the latest design not currently available from Leica)
photos at

- -----Alkuperäinen viesti-----
Lähettäjä: <>
Vastaanottaja: <>
Päivä: 09. elokuuta 2000 19:53
Aihe: Re: Vs: Vs: [Leica] 50mm lens: now "-M"

>In a message dated 8/8/00 10:44:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
> writes:
><< If a lens has a "-M" it is indeed newer than a similar lens which does not,
> but, it is not necessarily the latest and greatest. >>
>    Greatness is not the issue.  Nor is the question as to when the suffix 
>was added to a particular lens.  Nor are the changes, being new optical 
>designs, merely cosmetic. The evidence remains, as you indeed confirm, that 
>if it has the "-M" suffix a given lens is of the latest optical design 
>available, currently or not, from Leica.    While the suffix itself may be 
>confusing in a certain context (M v. LTM), it is clearly intended by Leitz as 
>an indicator of current or latest available optical design.  All of the 
>examples you cited support this conclusion.  Try instead to think of 
>instances where the "-M" lens has been superseded by a later optical formula.
>Joe Sobel