Viro-Elmar28-70 : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Can any of my learned Leica users inform me about, The viro-elmar-r 3.5-4.5/28-70 serial no 3526143,I am thinking of buying this lens but have read that some of the leica lens are made by well known lens manifactures and are not up to the standard. I would be interested in any information on the above ,and what results one could expect.

-- Graham Kilbey (, December 29, 2000


In his book, "THE LEICA LENS BOOK" Brian Bower talks about the 28-70 f/3.5-4.5 lens. He says it is a lens designed by SIGMA and manufactured to Leica's specifications. The performance is similar to what you might expect from any consumer level variable aperture zoom. He says it offers "good" image quality wide open, and by f/8, "very good". There is some barrel distortion at 28mm and pincushion distortion at 70mm. There is some vignetting, that can be reduced by stopping down.

If you read magazines such as POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, these comments can be seen for just about every similar lens from any manufacturer. Only you can say if this is good enough for you, but most Leica lenses start "very good" wide open and are "excellent" by f/8.

-- Al Smith (, December 29, 2000.

There are 2 versions of this lens. The first version (like the one you are considering, based on the serial#)was a Sigma lens, made in Japan by Sigma in a mount that resembles the cosmetics of other Leica R lenses. The front part of the lens turns with focusing and the samples I have handled all were much looser-turning than the rather stiff "hydraulic" feel of the German-made Leica lenses. Performance- wise I've heard it described in glowing terms as having "that Leica look" and also as "a dog". The truth is probably somewhere in- between those extremes. From my purely subjective opinion, it is a very decent lens, as good as the best slow, variable-aperture Japanese 28-70 lenses. Which is, after all, exactly what it is.

The current version of that lens is ROM, and shares a mount with the 35-70/4 (and the pesky screw-on hood; the earlier version has a Leica- style pull-out hood). I have yet to get a straight answer from any Leica official as to whether the new version has changed optically, but is is definitely no longer made my Sigma, although still produced in Japan.

-- Jay (, December 29, 2000.

There was already a thread about Vario-Elmar 27-70

Vario Elmar 28-70

-- martin tai (, December 31, 2000.

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