What was/will be the R 35-70 2.8?

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I have seen advertisements in back-issues of PoP, Photo, etc for the Leica R 35-70 2.8. Of course, these were roughly 1 year ago or more. Additionally, the latest "Leica The Collection" catalog has eliminated the 2.8 35-70 page. However, the tech sheet is still available for downloading from leica-camera.com.

Did this lens ever make it to the public? Are there used ones available then? Or, will it be put into production again? I understand that there were cost considerations and that was the reason for the stoppage. But, are there plans to replace or rebuild it?

-- Reto (redcave@schweiz.com), March 05, 2002


Rumors abound as to why this lens is no longer in production. Some people believe, it was because there were some manufacturing problems and several had to be returned for service and the problem was substantial. Others say the cost of the lens was just too high to continue production at the current price.(which was already high). Yes the lens was available to the public but sold out immediately as only about 300 were made available. Rumor is there are many more at Leica which were never sold. Nobody seems to have an opinion if the lens or a close successor will be sold in the future. Of course, this is all rumor.

-- Bob Haight (rhaigh5748@aol.com), March 05, 2002.


The answer to this is a little strange. The standard line seems to be that it was just too expensive to make and so the profit margin for Leica was barely positive or even negative. So they had to stop production. It is probably the best such zoom lens in the world and since all of them were sold, perhaps they should have priced it even higher to enable them to continue production? I suspect, though, that the price they would have had to charge would have looked ridiculous even by Leica standards (and maybe it would have looked bad to potential customers). Clearly Leica felt they could not charge the price needed to ensure its survival. The lens is outstanding and is a matched complement to the equally superb 70-180 Apo. There are mutterings about having another go at producing a 35-70 f2.8 which I am sure would be welcome. Meanwhile the 35-70f4 is excellent, but too slow for me.

-- Robin Smith (smith_robin@hotmail.com), March 05, 2002.

The shop Photografica in Copenhagen (www.photografica.com) has this recent news on their website:

NEWS - Leica R 35-70/2,8 ASPH 25-02-2002 16:27 - by martin The long awaited lens IS NOW ON STOCK !!!! Leica had very great difficulties in making this lens, and the price has alos risen quit a lot. The new price is DKK 52.000,- + VAT (moms) Be sure to be of the few to own this lens. Today the 27th feb. the lens is unfortunately out of stock. Leica has promised me yet another 2 pcs, so lets hope to get them.

Please note that 52.000 DKK is more than USD 6.000!

-- Niels H. S. Nielsen (nhsn@ruc.dk), March 05, 2002.

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