Leica announced five new SL lenses, roadmap

Leica Camera announced the previously rumored new SL lenses:

  • Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH
  • Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH
  • Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH
  • Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH.
  • Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH

There is also a new Leica SL lens roadmap:

Press release and additional images of the newLeica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens (pre-order: Leica Store MiamiLeica Store San Francisco) that will be the only SL lens released this year:

Leica expands SL-System with new lenses

Four primes and an ultra-wide zoom added to the innovative, mirrorless Leica SL-System

Leica Camera has revealed the forthcoming lens line-up for its innovative Leica SL mirrorless camera system. Within the next 18 months, Leica SL photographers can look forward to the expansion of the SL lens portfolio with the addition of an ultra-wide zoom and four prime lenses, suitable for shooting in an extensive range of photographic situations.

The Leica SL-System, which was successfully launched in October 2015, reinforces Leica Camera’s position as a premium manufacturer of professional tools and services for all genres of photography. Its impressive electronic viewfinder features EyeRes technology, a concept developed by Leica specifically for this camera. With a barely perceptible latency time, an impressive resolution of 4.4 million pixels and magnification comparable to a medium format camera, this electronic viewfinder offers an entirely new visual experience.

Whether shooting still pictures or Cine 4K video, the 24 MP full-frame sensor delivers consistently excellent image quality. Furthermore, the Leica SL has raised the bar with its intuitive handling, as well as its logically positioned, individually-configurable controls and outstanding versatility.

The Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. is the first prime lens for the Leica SL-System and sets a new standard in the market. Its large maximum aperture makes this high-performance lens perfect for shooting in challenging lighting conditions and enables the use of shallow depth of focus as a creative tool. The fast, precise and reliable autofocusing guarantee that photographers can concentrate fully on composition and creativity, rather than searching for optimum sharpness. The imaging performance of the lens fulfils the most stringent standards. In particular, when shooting at maximum aperture, the combination of its resolving power and soft bokeh in unsharp areas clearly isolates subjects from their surroundings. Thanks to uniform contrast rendition throughout the focusing range, this applies at all distance settings.

Furthermore, Leica has employed the latest manufacturing methods, testing technologies and quality assurance controls in the production of its three additional SL prime lenses: the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH., Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. and Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH. The outstanding construction and design clearly illustrate the next step in the development of Leica SL-System lenses, resulting in more compact dimensions, significantly lower weight, and exceptional performance that even surpasses that of existing lenses in terms of resolution, colour and contrast rendition – as well as consistent centre-to-edge sharpness at all aperture settings.

A further highlight is the significantly shorter closest focusing distance that allows photographers to get nearer to their subjects. The fast maximum aperture enables use in challenging lighting conditions, delivering perfect imaging performance when shooting wide open. With the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH., Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH., and Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH., stopping down becomes merely a useful tool for creative photography.

The Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH. ultra-wide zoom completes the current range of two zoom lenses, and offers a zoom range ideal for a multitude of genres, from landscape and architectural photography, wedding, event and concert photography, to reportage and documentary. In addition to its high quality and imaging performance, the spray- and dust-sealed construction of this zoom lens make it an ideal companion in unfavourable shooting conditions.

Leica SL-System and TL lenses

The Leica SL and Leica T share the same L-Bayonet, enabling the two systems to use both ranges of lenses without the need for an adapter. As a result, Leica SL owners can benefit from the advantages of the current range of six TL-Lenses: the Summilux-TL 35mm f/1.4 ASPH., Leica Vario-Elmar-TL 18–56mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH., Leica Summicron-TL 23mm f/2 ASPH., Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11–23mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., Leica APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55–135mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH. and the new Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH. This once again underlines the company’s fundamental principles of system-compatibility and sustainability, and offers users access to an even more diverse portfolio of Leica products.

A wide range of dedicated Leica Adapters also allows the use of the Leica SL with the company’s S-System medium format lenses, the legacy lenses of the analogue Leica R-System, and the legendary precision lenses within the Leica M rangefinder system. Indeed, the exceptional compatibility of the Leica SL-System grants photographers access to almost all Leica lenses ever made. Further adapters from third party providers also allow a wide range of lenses from other brands to be mounted on the Leica SL bayonet.

Available from today, a new Leica SL Handgrip makes camera operation and handling more comfortable in portrait orientation and features a shutter release button, two control dials and a joystick controller, providing access to all essential functions of the Leica SL. The handgrip also offers storage space for an extra camera battery, considerably extending the time available for photography before batteries need to be replaced or recharged.

Availability and pricing

The Leica SL Handgrip is available now in the UK at a suggested retail price of £600 including VAT.

The Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. is scheduled to be available in January 2017 at a suggested retail price of £3,850 including VAT. This will be followed by the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH. in Summer 2017. The Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. and the Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH. are scheduled for Autumn and Winter 2017 respectively, followed by the Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH. in Spring 2018. Pricing will be announced nearer to each launch date.

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  • Bo Dez

    New SL lenses ready in 18 months. That is probably for the Next Photokina. lol

    • Adam

      I sent the higher ups an email outlining these exact lenses. And low and behold they release a lens map with the EXACT lenses I told them they needed for a semi-successful working photographers kit.

      I was laughed at when I told them they priced the SL + Zoom to high.. And it’s been a poor seller to the point where it’s cheap in China and HK. Coincidentally (or not) the price I said it SHOULD be sold for is the current selling price in HK.

      Also just want to point out I’ve been on them about the professional service for ages. I also told them they needed to get these lenses out ASAP. But I guess they haven’t done everything I’ve mentioned (or they would be selling them now). But seriously instead of pissing me off to the point where I leave the brand. Why not just offer me a job. Clearly I’m more in the know then like EVERYBODY over in the SL dept. in Germany.

      When this new lens rumour hit leicarumors I thought for sure that someone at leicarumors was hacking my emails and citing me as a creditable source (when clearly I’m just a crazy person).. But no, I’m just psychic I guess. Since obviously Leica would never take my input seriously.

      Expanding on what I said to Leica:

      I mentioned that although the 50lux was announced, it was coming to late. And that they really need a 35 and a 75 or 90. I said that if they needed to make them f/2 lenses just to get them out quick then do that. Work on top end Otus beating lenses later on. Heck just rebadge old R or M designs if you can get AF working well with the optics. As long as you do it quick, since the camera will be obsolete and uninteresting if they take to long releasing lenses. Then I told them they need a killer wide angle. Something landscape photographers will rave about. So a slow lens is fine, in the range of 16-35. Again focus being on ultimate quality. So make it slow if needed, it’s a landscape lens after all. And later focus on getting the faster lenses out. A good 35/1.4 and a 80/1.4 would be amazing but can come much later. When you really have something worthy of the Summilux badge. Maybe when you release a SL2

      Anyway, seems I’m psychic. Maybe I should get a job at Leicarumors.com since obviously Leica didn’t actually take my email serious and I just see into the future!

      • El Aura

        35, 75, and 90 mm are very typical Leica focal lengths. And 16-35 mm has become sort of the most common WA zoom range.

        • Adam

          Right… And when I told them they should pump them out ASAP because users need/expect these lengths in a professional system. I was told that I don’t know their market. And that their market is quite excited for their offerings 24-90 and 90-280. And that primes are not necessary for the target market who will use the SL.

          So if they’re typical, why not just make them? It took the camera system being ridiculed and selling terribly until they took their heads out of their asses and started listening to people who actually use the system.

          BTW people like me.. I actually own an SL.

      • Bb202

        Do you know how long it takes to design lenses and the effort behind it, because obviously you don’t. Those lenses were planned before you even knew about the SL, so get of your delusional rollercoaster.

        • sperdynamite

          They have these things called computers now. Maybe you’ve heard of one? It actually doesn’t take as long to design a lens as it once did. And since it’s Leica they probably just bought the designs from another company anyways.

          • Bb202

            Do you know that companies roadmap about 4 years ahead. So Leica has everything planned up to 2020 as of now and it still takes quite a bit of effort to design those lenses yes, the calculations are know done via pc’s but there is still a ton of r&d involved. It seems you know nothing about the industry.

          • sperdynamite

            Awe “quite a bit of effort”, they’re trying SO HARD. Meanwhile Fuji is putting out 6 lenses for their brand new MFD camera all in 2017 and has 3 lenses that people actually want to use (unlike the 24-90 or that tele zoom) at launch. And those Fuji’s probably won’t have baked in bad-AF motors like the S system lenses.

          • Adam

            HAHAHA… I just said this.

            Leica is just being a little bitch of a company. They could retrofit a 35/2 Summicron-r with an AF mechanism and most of us would be happy because at least we’d have a prime for the system. But yet all we’re getting is M lenses with $20 lens gears attached!!

          • Adam

            Yes, I happen to know quite a lot about the industry. I’m currently neighbours with an ex-investor in a startup that built a successful camera company in less then two years time. We’ve had quite a few conversation about just this (I at one point wanted to get into lens design but he talked me out of it). Trust me, these things aren’t as hard as they use to be, they’re just expensive and you really need to right contacts. Heck even prototyping camera bodies and lens casings is pretty easy these days. You could even DIY if you really wanted to, look up formulas SLA 3D printer. Take apart a A7II and you can make yourself a full frame camera in the same fashion as the Hasselblad Lunar!! Seriously you’d be about as good as Hasselblad if you had a 3D printer 😀

          • Adam

            LMAO yeah they probably did just buy the designs. And Panasonic is making them. And Germany is just putting the pieces of the puzzle together, to get that MADE IN GERMANY stamp.

        • Adam

          LOL… Computer aided design. The reason why lens startup companies exist. I could create my own lens with my macbook. And I could get it prototyped out within a few months. Would it be good? Probably not, but if I had a degree in physics and optics and I studied lens designs and had 100 years of experience on the books and in patents, I probably could do it in a month. Mass produce it in another two to three months and voila. How is it that Fuji can create a mirrorless medium format camera, and 6 lenses within a years time? They maybe had it sketched out two years back at most. AND just an FYI they made the 35/2 and the CEO had mentioned he never thought it would be so popular. And since then has decided to look into other f/2 lenses. Not 1 year later they had 23/2 coming out next month and a 50/2 coming 4 months after that.

      • sperdynamite

        Leica cares about how to best match their sales techniques to those employed by Hermes. They only also occasionally do us a favor by releasing an M product.

      • Okay, I’ll bite once again … why are you not happy? They are making the exact same lenses you want them to make.

        Isn’t that, well, a good thing?

        As for why they can’t get them out faster, I was curious so I looked at their annual sales. The answer is 365m euros which is about US$408 million.

        Fujifilm annual sales are around US$24 billion. Clearly that can support quite a bit more simultaneous R&D than Leica. The Leica lenses are also largely complex zooms which I suspect take enormously more R&D than primes, especially ones as great as we have been getting.

        From what I have read over at reddotforum.com, which is a site run by the nice folks at Leica Store Miami, Leica’s lens operation appears to be carefully operated by one individual. From what its articles said, each lens’s development is personally supervised by that person. I am going to take a wild guess and say that’s an excellent recipe for pride, workmanship and overall quality but a poor one for speed of delivery. “Quick, Good or Cheap, pick one,” as the saying goes.

        Since the new SL lenses have been introduced to rave reviews, it seems like this arrangement is working pretty well.

        But still, I was curious. What about Nikon? How long does it take for Nikon to develop a lens?

        We have data here:

        The 24-70 was first introduced in August 2007. Its replacement was introduced in August 2015. That’s eight long years. And honestly, the replacement has received a lukewarm reception at best from reviewers.

        The 70-200 f/2.8 was first introduced in February 2002. It was replaced in July 2009. I understand release of a new version is imminent. So it took them about 7 long years to get that one, and the old lens had enormous deficiencies with full frame cameras. The latest one appears to be coming in another 7 years, so that looks like pretty solid data when it comes to replacement cycles.

        What about the 14-24, the closest lens in the Nikon system to the upcoming Leica zoom? That was introduced in August 2007 and has yet to be replaced.

        So here we have the SL system, introduced in early 2015, with two extremely complex zoom lenses that have been received to rave reviews. We are getting more in 2017. So it is taking them about three years to come up with a competitive lens lineup.

        I think I have shown that compared to Nikon’s record, that actually looks good, if not outright fantastic.

        I really and truly feel your pain about your unrepairable or barely repairable Leica S cameras and lenses. Hopefully this new management change will help. At least it’s a strong indication that Leica cares about their high-end professional cameras (as opposed to the collector units such as the M) and will hopefully do something to help customers such as yourself. After all, if I understand what you own correctly, you have most likely spent over $100,000 on them.

        But it does not appear that you are having much trouble with the SL system … hopefully that means they have learned something and will soon make good on the S’s problems.

        • Adam

          I sure hope the SL turns into a winner!
          And lens design and distribution has more to do with numbers then actual design. Even a small company can create a lens in a month, but there is no profit in selling it for a year before releasing a better lens. That’s why Canon/Nikon etc spaces out their upgrades. Not because it takes a long time to design a lens. Especially these days with computer aided design.

          • Thom Hogan, who has extensive Nikon contacts, has been berating them for years over their lack of DX lenses.

            If lenses are easy to develop, why is it that even now, over a decade since they created the DX format, lenses in that format are still scarce, and Thom is so upset he has started coverage of Canon?

          • Adam

            Numbers game.

          • ZoetMB

            There isn’t a lack of DX lenses. Nikon actually has 21 DX lenses in the current lineup. There’s a lack of DX primes (there’s only a 10.5 fisheye and a 35mm), but since FX primes can be used on DX cameras and since most wide to medium primes are relatively small in size and lightweight, there isn’t all that much reason for Nikon to produce DX versions, except perhaps in extremely wide angle focal lengths. They should probably have done an 18, although they’ve got 11 DX zooms that start at 16 to 18mm.

            Furthermore, according to CIPA stats, the average number of lenses purchased per body is only 1.7. For Nikon, it was only 1.46 last fiscal. Most consumers get a kit zoom lens and never buy another lens. Nikon isn’t Leica: they make their money in the mass market, not the esoteric market. While I understand Thom’s complaints, I also understand why Nikon hasn’t responded in this one regard.

            I owned the Nikon D70 and D200 (both DX) before moving to the D800 (FX). Aside from kit lenses that I sold, I only owned one DX lens – the 12-24mm. All my other lenses were (and are) FX. While that’s anecdotal and might not reflect the market, the lenses/body figures I quoted do reflect the realities of the mass market. Leica lives in a completely different world.

          • My real complaint about DX is that most DX lenses seem shoddily built compared to their FX counterparts. A lot of this simply goes down to Nikon’s desire to keep prices down, of course, but FujiFilm (at least in my eyes) has much more appealing crop sensor lenses at fair prices.

        • sperdynamite

          It could be said that having one person in charge of lens development is some kind of craftsmanship move, or it could be said that Leica doesn’t want to hire more people and actually serve their customers.

          Your Nikon example isn’t just poorly thought out, it’s stupid. Why would Nikon replace perfectly good lenses at a rate faster than they do now? If Nikon has a good 14-24, who exactly is asking for an upgrade? The thing is, you can actually buy the lenses you need for Nikon, and get the fixed quickly, often with loaners for working pros. You can spend as much as you want on Leica gear, when your gear breaks down it’s going to spend months at the factory with no loaners, and might not even come back fixed. SL owners won’t be waiting for a replacement 35mm until 2018, they’ll be waiting for one to exist for the first time.

        • Adam

          The whole lenses are overlooked by one fellow statement is marketing BS. They don’t even design their own lenses. Another company does, and Leica just buys the designs. You’ll know when Peter Karbe overlooks a lens design. Because the lens will have poor flare control, and most likely veiling flare. And tends to loose all it’s contrast in certain lighting conditions. Like the 50APO, 50Lux-asph, 75APO 😀

          • What company designs the lenses?

          • Adam

            In the case of the 90-280 it would be Panasonic.

  • Brennan McKissick

    What a nice compact system for photojournalists and people on the go!

    • leica man

      The 50mm looks HUGE.
      A nice camera, but I’ll use an M any day.

      • Brennan McKissick


        • Adam

          HAHAHA @brennanmckissick:disqus sarcasm is an understatement. That lens is stupid big. Might as well just use my S-system.

          • Brennan McKissick

            Or sell that S system and get the new Fuji and go on a nice vacation haha.

          • Adam

            YES, now you’re onto something. TBH I really do like the S-006 colors. I still think it’s the best sensor ever made. I just hate Leica corporate and how they treat customers. And I hate the fact that my S-system in general breaks down way to much for the fact that it was SO MUCH. BUT if someone offered me a fair price for the S-006 and 120S, I’d probably sell. Keep the remaining 100S lens I have left (had them all [even a double of the 35/70/120], sold them all but the two lenses the 100/120).. Anyway, if I got a good price for the S+120 I would sell, and keep the 100S for use with the SL until the SL 50 came out. Then I would reevaluate the worth of the SL system. If I’m not impressed with the 50lux-SL then I’m going to sell the SL+Zoom also. At that point, I’d buy the Fuji MFD and just call it a day. Especially since I am really liking the X-T2, which I’ve just opted to take on a trip with me instead of my M system or S or SL.

          • Adam

            As a side note, I still really love RF cameras/lenses. And even though I reduced my 22 M lens kit down to 4!! I still love RF focusing and will probably keep one M and maybe two lenses (thinking 35FLE and 50APO). Made a mistake though, sold off all of my remaining color M cameras and kept the M246, now thinking I should have kept one color M instead and sold off the remaining ones along with the M246. Not that the M246 isn’t good, just that I kinda miss color on the days when I feel like using my RF despite my annoyances with Leica.. Though that matte black finish on the M246 is sexy!

          • Brennan McKissick

            I’m just a lowly film M user. I’m happy using a V2 Summilux, a 50DR and a 9 element V1 28mm Elmarit.

          • Adam

            I had a few of the older lenses. Loved them, but they were the first to go since they cost less and people like them. I like them too, just don’t own them anymore.

          • Brennan McKissick

            X-T2 and the GFX would be a solid kit. This is coming from a die hard (film) M user. I love the Leica M ecosystem but Fuji is really killing it right now.

  • MrWelshB

    Quite a wait then. Still, the zooms launched are tremendously good but if you were looking to switch systems and wanted to go all autofocus you might be put off by such a drawn out roadmap.

    • Adam

      I beg to differ.. The zooms don’t really have that Leica magic that I was looking for/hoping for. BUT I’d say from a landscape perspective they’re good lenses (the standard zoom anyway).

      • MrWelshB

        Adam, I know what you mean. I am a landscape person, primarily,so really like the zoom. But I’m also enjoying using M legacy glass on the SL via the adapter and taking advantage of the focus aids too. It’s great to have so much choice and so many great lenses.

  • Daniel Cook

    Look forward to some sample images from 50mm

    • sperdynamite

      Take a look at images from the Sigma 50/1,4 Art or Sony 50/1,4 Planar. They will be 99.9% the same.

      • Adam

        I hate the Sigma ART series.. I hope that Leica doesn’t go for that sharp image blurry bokeh look and end up with horribly flat images with shit colors. But seems they’re headed in that direction. Seems everybody is… Why I don’t quite get.

        • sperdynamite

          I don’t mind the Siggy 35 but I do think the Nikkor renders better. I definitely went with the 58/1.4G over the 50 Art because I knew it would be sharp but totally sterile. Everyone now seems like they’re making Distagon derivatives a la the “Otus” line . Distagons make great retrofocus wide angles but at 50 and longer I want some more character.

          • Adam

            Yeah if I had to pick one ART it would be the 35mm. I actually liked the bokeh of the 85/1.4 EX DG. Just felt they needed to update the focusing motor on it. I’m also not a huge fan of the Otus lenses, though a friend of mine does really good work with his set.

  • Gary Craggs

    I don’t get it: How do Canikon make 50mm f1.4 lenses with 58mm threads and yet Leica need this 82mm behemoth? Especially as they are the masters of the miniature with their M primes coming in billiard ball sizes. This thing is as big as the S primes even with a sensor only 65% as big.

    • Licheus

      It’s very likely a retrofocus design in the same class as the Otus, which has a filter thread of 77mm.

      • Gary Craggs

        It doesn’t even have a central shutter to accommodate. Fuji just announced a 50mm equivalent lens for their new GFX- it’s 2cm narrower, and feeds light onto a MF sensor! Ah well, another reason to save my money by not buying the SL…

    • Adam

      I think they think that making the lens big will attract the China market.. Big lenses get good attention from ppl who don’t know much about cameras. Then the rich collectors can brag more about such big lenses… Hence the Noctilux and it’s big front element.. People love that friggin lens when I take it out. they’re all like wow it’s so big, look at that big piece of glass. WOW that must be an awesome lens. And I’m all like… Leave me alone so I can shoot my blurry CA riddled photos in peace.

      Oh and shit when I walk around with the S-system.. Man o man do people love that thing. Those big lenses.. People think I can shoot the heavens. The comments that roll in, wow.

  • Ben Woodard

    I think the key quote in this press release is “The outstanding construction and design clearly illustrate the next step in the development of Leica SL-System lenses, resulting in more compact dimensions, significantly lower weight…” I think that they may have got the message that people feel like the SL lenses are great but that they are too big and though the telecentric design has advantages, they need to pull a couple of tricks out of the M-Lens bag-o-tricks to reduce lens size and weight.

    • Adam

      Yes, exactly.. I don’t understand this shit. Take an R lens and put a ducking motor on it… How hard is that?!

      Seriously it would still sell, people LOVE R and M lenses. And honestly even TechArt makes an AF adapter for the M lenses.. It moves the whole bloody lens. So don’t say you can’t retrofit a motor for one or two elements.

      Just bullshit. And should have come out already.

  • Licheus


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