Leica APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4 lens officially announced

Leica SL Typ 601 mirrorless full frame camera
Today Leica officially announced a new telephoto zoom SL lens: APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4. After the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH, this is the second lens for the new SL mirrorless system.

Technical specifications and full press releases (US pricing not yet announced):

Update: the US price of the lens is $6,395.


LEICA APO-VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4 versatile zoom lens designed for a wide range of situations, from close-ups to travel to sports photography

Leica Camera has today announced the latest addition to the Leica SL-System lens portfolio: the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4.

Available from 24 March 2016, this fast telephoto zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths that follows on directly from the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH., which launched with the SL camera at the end of last year. Together, these two lenses cover focal lengths spanning 24 to 280mm, providing the versatility to shoot a multitude of subjects and situations – from close-ups to travel and sports photography.

The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is characterised by its incredibly high speed and offers outstanding optical and mechanical precision. Its integrated optical image stabilisation (OIS) enables exposure times to be increased by up to 3.5 stops, and guarantees shake-free hand-held photography even at telephoto settings.

Furthermore, this exceptional zoom lens features an entirely new design, with dual internal focusing that ensures extremely fast and quiet autofocus, and delivers consistently impressive imaging performance at distances from infinity to its close focusing limit.

With a close focusing distance of 0.6 metres at 90mm and 1.4 metres at 280mm, and a reproduction ratio of 1:4.8 to 1:5, this versatile lens is particularly useful for close-up photography.

As with all Leica lenses, the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 was designed and developed by Leica’s optical specialists in Wetzlar, Germany, combining outstanding optical expertise, cutting-edge technology and premium materials – guaranteeing the consistently high quality that Leica photographers have come to expect. The design of the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 comprises 23 elements (in seven moving groups), seven of which are made from glass with anomalous partial dispersion, ensuring minimal chromatic aberration. The movement of the two focusing elements is provided by newly developed drive technology with linear positioning of the lenses by stepping motors.

This means the overall length of the lens does not change when either focusing or zooming. In addition, the lens hood supplied with the lens suppresses undesirable reflections and stray light, and prevents the risk of flare.

Furthermore, the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is sealed against dust and splash-proof, to protect it from the elements.

The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 features a detachable tripod plate to connect the lens to a tripod for easier handling. Its ergonomic design makes the lens easier to carry by hand and also allows the attachment of a lens belt. A lockable rotating tripod collar ensures the lens can be fixed at any angle, and features detents every 90 degrees for rapid switching from landscape to portrait format.

The current Leica SL-System portfolio will be extended later this year with the addition of the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. prime lens (available in Q4 2016). Furthermore, the extensive compatibility of the Leica SL-System gives photographers access to the majority of Leica lenses ever produced. For example, all Leica T lenses can be mounted on the Leica SL without an adapter, while the M-Adapter T enables the use of almost all Leica M-Lenses constructed since 1954. In addition, Leica S-Lenses can be mounted with the S-Adapter L (available in May 2016), and the forthcoming R-Adapter (available Q3 2016) will allow Leica R-System lenses to be used with the SL camera.

Availability and pricing

The APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is scheduled to be available in the UK from authorised Leica stockists from 24 March 2016, at a suggested retail price of £4,650 including VAT.


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