[L39,M39] Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 Review – Origin of Japanese camera history

Hello, my name is hiron. I am a vintage lens addict. (Twitter / Youtube)

This time I review Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9.

I was not familiar with the history of camera lenses, so Canon and Nikon never knew the history of copying Leica Thread-Mount (L39) lenses.

I purchased the Canon Serenar 50mm f / 1.9 with interest, knowing that it was Canon’s first in-house lens series.

With Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 I learned the origin of Japanese camera history.

After World War II, Canon and Nikon in Japan made Leica copy cameras. I learned that Japanese cameras started with Leica copies. I also learned the greatness of Leica.

Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 is said to be a copy lens for Leitz Sumitar 50mm F2.

However, the specifications of the Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 are higher than those of the Leitz Sumitar 50mm F2.

I was proud of how Canon’s technology was refined to go beyond the original Leica.

As an aside, Japanese TV programs featured autobiography published by Phil Knight, the founder of sports shoe manufacturer Nike.

Mr. Knight knew Japanese camera maker’s copy technology and looked at Japanese sports shoe maker “Onitsuka Tiger”. Nike started out as an agent of “Onitsuka Tiger”.

How to move the retractable lens of Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9

I first touched the retractable lens with Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9. Make a note of how to move the lens.

After turning the lens counterclockwise, you can calm the lens barrel in the direction of the arrow.

If the lens barrel is submerged, it may hit the sensor of the mirrorless camera. Please be careful.

Select a mount adapter (to use Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 with a digital camera)

Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 is an L39 mount lens.

A mirrorless camera is required to use L39 and M39 mount lenses (you cannot use lenses with this mount with SLR cameras).

The mount adapter you need depends on the manufacturer of the mirrorless camera you are using.

For Olympus, Panasonic: L39, M39-M4 / 3 adapter
For Fujifilm: L39, M39-FX adapter
For SONY: L39, M39-NEX adapter
For Canon: L39, M39-EOS M adapter

Use a mount adapter suitable for your digital camera.

Photo samples with Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 attached to SONY NEX-5R

Here are some sample photos taken with the Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9.

I visited Harajuku with Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 attached to the mirrorless camera SONY NEX-5R.

At this time, a vintage lens festival was held in Harajuku, and I went to see the event.

Harajuku is a town where trendy fashion and trendy cafes are densely populated, and is popular with young fashion lovers. This place is always full of many young people.

This town is often the starting point for fashion and food booms.

Harajuku Location


The photo taken with this lens was soft. I thought it was similar to the last review by Kodak Angenieux 45mm F3.5.

It may be weak against backlight due to the condition of the lens.

When researching photo samples online, the Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 was said to have lower contrast in the photo taken than the Leitz Sumitar 50mm F2. Maybe so.

The photo taken is a simple impression.

Bokeh by this lens generated swirl Bokeh. The reflection is not bad.

Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9 Review Summary

This time, I reviewed Canon Serenar 50mm F1.9.

This is the first lens series manufactured by Canon as its own lens. With this lens I learned that the history of Japanese cameras began with Leica copies.

The photo is soft and light. This seems to be a feature seen in the copy source Leitz Sumitar 50mm F2.

Thank you for reading to the end.

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