Vario-Elmar 80-200/4 vs. Apo Telyt-R 180/3.4 : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I would consider to buy either Vario-Elmar 80-200/4 or Apo Telyt-R 180/3.4. Please, give me any suggestion in term of contrast, distortion color saturation, detail resolution and etc. Thank for your holp.

-- Yon (, May 22, 2002


The 180/3.4APO-Telyt from my experience with two samples does not live up to its mythical stature. It only focuses to 2.5m and the performance under about 10m is mush less than the performance at longer distances. If you need the extra speed, go for the 180/2.8. Otherwise, the 80-200/4 can't be beat. They seem to be selling for just under $1000 in mint condition, and from experience I can say that it is a spectacular lens, just as good as the 70-180/2.8APO but half the size and a fraction of the cost. To me there's no contest between it and the 180/3.4.

-- Jay (, May 23, 2002.


I have the 180/3.4 APO and find it to be a very good lens. Most of the time I use it mounted on a tripod and find the lens really benefits from a solid base. I am not sure if Leica would approve, but I use 180 the most with a macro extender to gain enough stand off distance and still focus closely.

However, if I had a chance to pick up a 80-200/4 I would. From all accounts it is a bargin. The added utilty of the zoom at nearly the same lens speed really makes this lens attractive to me. The are times whrn I cannot move my feet in order get the right cropping.

If you decide to try one please let us know what you think.

-- Scott G (, May 24, 2002.

It depends a lot on whether you have a 80-135mm lens already. If not then the zoom might be a good choice, but if you do then there seems little point in duplicating the focal lengths and you will have an APO lens. The zoom may be good but it is not an APO - I do think it makes a difference - a secondhand Telyt is about the same price or less. I couldn't live without my faster 80-90s so I would find an 80-200 very slow at the 80-90 end. But as far as zooms go the 80-200 is reputed to be excellent.

-- Robin Smith (, May 24, 2002.

I owned a 80-200 Vario-Elmar (the new one), and sold it because I didn't like the weight and size (althogh much lighter than the 70- 180/APO). It was very sharp and contrasty though, with the typical Leica colour signature. The 180mm Apo-Telyt, which I still own, is slighly sharper, (and is said to have significantly higher resolution according to lensaficionados) and gives i my opinion a nicer overall picture quality. It doesn't have the extremely high contrast of some of the recent Leica lenses, more like the 90mm Elmarit-R latest version (which is even sharper). The close focus performance of the Apo-Telyt might not be high-end, but I can't complain from my experience (except for the closest focusing distance).

-- Marc Holmström (, May 24, 2002.

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