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Leica Announces 2 New APO Prime Lenses | Leica 75mm & 90mm F/2 APO-Summicrons

By Kishore Sawh on January 15th 2018

Leica had teased the notion of a new line of Summicron lenses back in fall of 2016 at Photokina, and the first in that line are the new short telephotos, the 75mm and 90mm f/2 APO-Summicrons.

Product Highlights

  • L-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
  • One Aspherical Element
  • Multi-Layer and AquaDura Coatings
  • Dual Syncro Drive Stepping AF Motor
  • Floating Elements System, Internal Focus
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Design

If you’ve ever shot using a Leica APO lens like the APO-SUMMICRON-M 50mm f/2 ASPH, this is exciting to you. For those not familiar, APO is short for ‘apochromatic’, or ‘apochromat’, and the calling card of an APO is the lack of chromatic and spherical aberration. Originally developed for microscopy, APO lenses aimed to bring the red, green, and blue light waves together on a single plane, and the result of that is the aforementioned lack of aberration.

APO lenses aren’t all the same, however, and some bestow the designation upon lenses that don’t necessarily deserve it, but Leica’s APO lenses are held to stricter criteria and their APOs are historically brilliant, and the benefits are available across most of the image circle. What this means in practical terms is that Leica’s APO lenses deliver incredibly sharp and clear images with a level of detail you really won’t find elsewhere, in addition to that ‘pop’ Leica lenses are known for.

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It’s generally considered more difficult to make APO lenses at longer focal lengths which makes the two announced today a very interesting decision, and the new lenses are both identical in dimensions at 4 inches long and just about 1.5lbs. . The new lenses are made for the Leica SL system but with that mount can be used natively on both the Leica TL2 and Leica CL announced within the last 6 months. Given the APS-C sensors on those cameras it makes these lenses nice options for a telephoto field of view.

The new APO-Summicron-SL lenses will begin shipping in February and the 75mm model will retail for $4,750 and the 90mm for $5,150.

See official Press Release below:

Leica Camera Unveils New Prime Lenses for the Leica SL-System

The new APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH lenses embody superior performance and the finest engineering in compact designs

January 15, 2018 – Today, Leica Camera announces the first two editions of a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL-System; the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. that will be available in February for photographers across the country. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s lightning-fast autofocus and, as with all SL-Lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany with exceptional materials for a long work life, even withstanding the rigors of professional use while always providing superior image quality.

The focal lengths of these two SL-Lenses are ideal for all types of photography, and truly shine when used for portraiture. While the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH., for example, captures exceptional natural portraits, the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. is a classic telephoto focal length for portraits with the often sought-after compression between the subject and background, ultimately creating the ideal aesthetic for exquisite pictures of people. Another great feature of these new lenses is their fast and silent autofocusing, meaning the photographer does not have to wait to take the perfect shot to quickly capture their subject’s best look, even for a moment.

Both the construction and design of the new, cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the continuing innovation in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. State-of-the-art, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies were developed specifically for the production of these lenses. The results of these developments are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, allowing for greater portability, but also in their excellent imaging performance. As the Leica SL-System continues to evolve with new capabilities and lens options, the addition of these two primes further round out the Leica SL native lens selection, which now encompasses two zoom lenses and three prime lenses. Current Leica SL customers continue to receive new lens options at their disposal that can bolster their current capabilities, and new users have more selection than ever before.

Additionally, these lenses feature a new, faster autofocus system, as well as a considerably shorter close focusing limit for tight portraits of their subjects. The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). Thanks to this advanced focusing drive, the entire focusing range can be fully travelled in only around 250 milliseconds, providing photographers the confidence that they will always be able to instantaneously capture their subjects in crystal-clear sharp focus.

As both Summicron-SL primes deliver extremely high imaging performance at their largest f/2 aperture, the lenses are also ideal for photography in low-light or difficult lighting conditions. The Leica promise of ‘maximum aperture is a usable aperture’ also applies to the new SL-Lenses. Users can rest assured that their lens is capable of creating a tack-sharp photograph in any situation. Meticulous attention was paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections in the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses. Together with optimizing the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coatings to each lens surface reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. Thus, photographers get a lens that always creates images with beautifully strong contrast, where other lenses may suffer from distracting flares and ghosting effects that detract from the photo.

All glass elements in any optical imaging system, including camera lenses, can sometimes refract certain colors of light at different lengths. Thus, not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are always focused at the same point – the result of this imperfection is chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing. In order to reduce chromatic aberration to a hardly perceptible minimum, both new Summicron-SL lenses are Apochromatic, or in short, APO, corrected, allowing photographers to capture photos in high contrast situations without a distracting purple or green outline along backlit subjects. Further supporting this optical achievement, most of the eleven elements of the optical system, one of which is aspherical, feature anomalous partial dispersion and are manufactured from sensitive and specially formulated, high-quality glass. Without all of these state-of-the-art lens corrections, images could suffer from fringing, flares, ghosting or distortion. These incredibly well-corrected glass optics are what make a Leica lens special and so crystal clear.

The APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February. Both can be purchased at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers. In the second half of 2018, the SL-System will even further increase its prime lens arsenal with the launch of a Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

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