New Leica-R lenses : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

As it was already mentionned by Andy Piper in another discussion, Leica will offer soon two new R-lenses.

A new R-15mm f2,8 ASPH, 110, 710g, mininimum focusing at 0,18 m, filter turret inside : ND, yellow, green and orange, available november 2001, "street price $4,895 (list is $5395)"according to Rich Pinto.

And a new zoom R-21-35mm f3,5-4 ASPH, 92-63, 500g, min.foc.0,5m, available February-March 2002, no price yet.

-- Lucien (, October 29, 2001


15mm-R list is $5395

How ridiculous - who is going to buy this when you can get the Heliar for $500? I like Leica-R, but this is (as I keep maintaining) a real white elephant. I think they might as well have just kept the Super-Elmar in production. It is not as though a 15mm is an everyday lens. I would have rather had a 135 f2 or perhaps even a new 24mm or 35mm ASPH.

21-35 does look useful, I must say, and it will be interesting to see how well Leica have managed to make a w/a zoom. I wonder whether it will be priced like their other "cheap" zooms (28-70, 35-70, and 80-200) or whether it will carry a 70-180-type price. 500g seems not too heavy, considering what might have happened.

-- Robin Smith (, October 29, 2001.

Does anyone still wonder if Leica management is crazy? And all that talk about not having capital to invest in a new M7. Apparently they have the capital, they just don't have the smarts.

-- Bill Mitchell (, October 29, 2001.

I'm not a Leica R user, but it seems when they introduce new lenses they're always somewhat behind the curve. As Leica is preparing to release their 21-35/3.5-4.0 ASPH lens, the standard in wide angle zooms seems to be 17-35/2.8, which Nikon and Canon are both offering. Moreover, Sigma now has a 15-30 mm WA zoom.

I agree that the price of the new 15 mm/2.8 ASPH is just prohibitive. It is even higher then the price that the original 35/1.4-Aspherical M lene (the one with two aspherical elements) sold for when it was first introduced (about $ 3600).

At less than $ 500 for the 15 mm/4.5 Heliar, you can get a Heliar and an M6-TTL to use it and still have three thousand dollars left over!

-- Eliot (, October 29, 2001.


the standard in wide angle zooms seems to be 17-35/2.8, which Nikon and Canon are both offering.

I do see what you mean. My only comment here is that Leica tend to be conservative when it comes to their home-grown zooms, speed-wise. Their philosophy is very much that the lens should have excellent full aperture performance, whereas I suspect that the Nikon and Canon equivalents are not so good at f2.8, so the ultimate value of their f2.8 speed is a little doubtful. Zooms are not Leica's forte, but they are getting better and at least all their current zooms are of very high optical quality (although there is some argument over the 28-70 Sigma designed zoom). Certainly the Leica 70-180mm is a world beater, quality wise. If the 21mm-35mm has outstanding performance then it will be useful -- as long as its price is not too awful. I am sure, though, it will cost more than I can afford whatever its price.

Personally I don't like zooms much myself, but most SLR users seem to use nothing else.

The 15mm is a real waste of resources - what a shame.

-- Robin Smith (, October 29, 2001.

I wouldn't damn the 15/2.8 ASPH out of hand. I understand the previous 15mm lens in the R line has been long out of production. Leica wanted to keep a top notch lens in the line and created a new design in collaboration with Schneider. The fact that it is very expensive is unfortunate. But heck, I'm sure some handful of buyers will want and buy the best.

The fact that they are putting this much investiture into the R system should lend credence to the statement they've made of continuing to developer and support the R system.

No, I do not own Leica R equipment and Yes, I do own a Heliar 15.

-- Godfrey (, October 29, 2001.


Leica impresses me as conservative anyhow. It seems to me that the fastest 28mmR lens is an f/2.8, when Nikon has an f/1.4; 24mm f/2.8R vs. 24mm f2 Nikkor, etc, etc.

-- Bob Fleischman (, October 29, 2001.

Kirk Tuck will do a review on and pronounce them to be the best thing since sliced bread and that any responsible Leica R owner will just have to grit their teeth and get one of each.

Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom I gotta get me one, gonna hock all my crap an' lay down that sap to get the wide on tap Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.

-- John lee Hooked on phonics (, October 29, 2001.

Salut Lucien !

Any idea where the projected new 90mm summicron-R has disappeared? Was supposed to come out at the same time as those two...


-- Alan (, October 29, 2001.

Actually, I am not damning the lens at all - I expect and hope that it will be exceptional (it had better be), but I just do not see that a 15mm is worth devoting all the development costs to it when it would have been better spent on a new 28/2, 35ASPH 'cron, 90APO Summicron, 135f2 or f2.8 etc. What was wrong with the 15mm Super-Elmar anyway? it was large and perhaps had no ROM capacity - but it was/is a good lens.

Who will be spending this large some of money for this lens - they will probably only sell a couple of hundred.

-- Robin Smith (, October 30, 2001.

28mmR lens is an f/2.8, when Nikon has an f/1.4; 24mm f/2.8R vs. 24mm f2 Nikkor, etc, etc.

Yes, but this is because they do not have Nikon's resources - also let us be frank many of the those fast 28mm Nikkors are lousy at full aperture - after all Leica users have only had a 28mm Summicron-M for a year. Until then Elmarits was all there was and Nikons have had those fast 28mm for years. I wish Leica had spent the money developing the 15mm into developing something more useful like a 28/2.

-- Robin Smith (, October 30, 2001.

I wonder if the new 15 and 21-35 are harbingers of an R-digital body, probably with less-than-24x36 CCD.

-- Jay (, October 30, 2001.

I believe we'll see a R9 before a R digital.


-- Lucien (, October 30, 2001.

Good point Jay - at least there would then be some logic to the 15mm.

-- Robin Smith (, October 30, 2001.

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