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If you are looking for lenses from roughly the same time period, then your option is limited to Leica's collapsible Summitar, Summicron and possibly Summar lenses. Summilux, which was first released in 1961, might be another option, but it has a more modern, at least compared to Summitar/Xenon, design and has a destinctively different character. Surprisingly, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 and its slower version 50/2 are actually available in LTM as well, although finding a good quality copy of this lens is close to impossible these days. Among old LTM lenses, both Nikon as well as Canon offered a number of 50mm fast primes - Nikkor 50/1.4 and Canon 50/1.4 are  more or less readily available these days, while Canon 50/1.2 and Nikkor 50/1.1 are much harder to come by. Another option might be old Russian copies of Contax lenses, namely Jupiter 3 50mm f/1.5 and Jupiter 8 50mm f/2, both of which are available in LTM and Contax bayonet mounts. Quality of those lenses are quite spotty, plus their flange distance is slightly longer and so they would need minor adjustment. However, unless you're really into 'memorabilia', consider getting one of the modern lenses - Carl Zeiss Planar 50/2 or even Sonnar 50/1.5 would be my choice, but if money is of no concern, then Leica's own Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH and Summicron 50/2 would satisfy even the most demanding users.


In the modern day, Leica's Summarit 50/1.5 feels pretty archaic and not up to snuff when compared to the slew of outstanding lenses from Zeiss, Voigtlander and obviously Leica itself. It is hard to recommend this lens for generic use - there are quite a few shortcomings that the user should be willing to accept - lower resolution, low contrast, flare, etc... Summarit can be a lens of choice for someone who is trying to reproduce an old 50s look in their photos and prefers to rely on appropriate optics, rather than extensive post-processing. If you belong to that group - go ahead and get Summarit, but also get another 50mm lens for everyday use - something like Summicron 50/2 or Planar 50/2.

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