Introduced at Photokina in 1972 and delivered in 1973, the Hologon M 8/15mm is one of the rarest and most sought-after Leica lenses ever.
It was first built by Carl Zeiss in 1968 in the Zeiss Hologon super wide-angle camera and was available from 1973 in a modified version as an interchangeable lens with M-bayonet mount. Zeiss obviously produced only three small series with a maximum of 350 lenses for Leica.
The information in the current literature vary significantly in the indication of the produced quantities. Probably only 225 pieces were sold! It is certain that the Hologon 15mm was listetd from 1973 to 1975 in the Leica sales catalogs and within this relatively short time only a very small number of these lenses was sold.
The reason for this is certainly the extremely special application of this super-wide-angle lens and on the other hand, the very high original retail price. Immediately after expiration of the lens in the mid-seventies, the price of the Hologon 15mm skyrocketed.
The lens became a collector's item overnight!
Technically worth noting is that the lens is not coupled with the rangefinder of Leica M cameras. The distance is estimated, which does not cause any problems with the depth of field which the objective allows. Focusing far into the close-up range (at 20cm) is possible and the imaging performance is impressive even today.
The hologon is virtually distortion-free and highly optical corrected. Exeptional for such a lens. In addition, the optical design of three very special single elements is impressive, especially considering the high level of correction.
Total production: only approx. 225 units!
Rarity forecast: R8