Vario 35-70/f4 : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Why Vario 35-70/f4 is not considered a ASPH lens by Leica?

-- Michael Fan (, April 15, 2002


Because it has no aspherical elements. Aspherical elements imply good quality, but do not guarantee it (look at the numerous Sigma "Apo" and Aspherical" lenses). Some lens designs do not require aspherical elements. The 50mm Summicron is probably the best lens in its class and it has no aspherical elements. There is a certain degree of marketing hype about this designation. Aspherical does not guarantee good quality - but the IMPLICATION is that this is a "modern, superior" design. Don't look down on the Vario because it has no aspherical elements - it does not need them.

-- Robin Smith (, April 15, 2002.

I have read that the 35-70/4 does have an aspherical element but is not designated by Leica as such. Perhaps that's what Michael was referring to. Only Leica would have the definitive answer.

-- Jay (, April 15, 2002.

According to the large Leica sales brochure 'The Program' (their current full catalogue), this lens does indeed have an aspherical element.

-- Bob Todrick (, April 15, 2002.

I also believe this lens does have an aspherica element, as Jay suggested. In the past (until the introduction of the 35/1.4 M aspherical in the early 1990s), Leica did not market lenses as having aspherical elements, although they produced several such lenses. The first example was the 50/1.2 Noctilux M lens of 1966, which had two hand ground and polished aspherical elements. Whether or not the lens is called aspherical, ASPH, APO, or any such designation is a marketing decision. In the case of the 50/1.2, the brochures describing this lens did indeed refer to the presence of aspherical elements, but it was not used as a major marketing tool.

-- Eliot (, April 15, 2002.

The 35-70mm F4 does have an aspherical element according to the Leica lens compendium which begs the question: why is it not called ASPH?

-- Albert Knapp MD (, April 15, 2002.

If the description was "asph." we would all be paying $500 more. Be thankful.

-- wayne murphy (, April 16, 2002.

In that case: to justify a lower-than-expected price? Or to help rationalize the extra high cost of its partner, the 35-70f2.8 ASPH (now discontinued)? I suspect the latter...

-- Robin Smith (, April 16, 2002.

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