Primes are here!
Its been over a year and a half since the Leica SL lens road map was announced at Photokina, but we are finally seeing the first products of that road map with the official Leica announcement of the 75mm and the 90mm Summicron Prime Lenses. To me, this is exciting as I have been waiting for the new primes to be released since moving to the SL system. The Vario lenses and the 50 Summilux to date have been lenses that I tend to shy away from due to size and weight. Those of you who follow my profile know that I like to be mobile and travel with one lens so primes are my go-to options. To this date, I have been shooting with M mount lenses on my SL as I wait for the release of the 35mm prime.
Optical Quality Expectations
Optical quality has been continously mentioned when referred to the new Summicron lenses and I really cant wait to see how these new lenses perform. Having a 2.0 depth of field and sharpness but rendering a 3-D looking image that compares to a Summilux (1.4) is something I will need to see as I look to get a hold of the new prime lenses. As with all Leica's, optical quality is always at the top of the company's goals of lens design and creation, so I really have no doubt that this will perform with stunning image quality. The weight of these lenses is no lightweight for sure, but still a pleasant downsize from the current SL lenses. At approximately 700g (1.5 lbs), its not comparable to M lenses, but again these are auto-focus lenses. TL, Q and SL lenses have also been built by Leica to 60 lines of resolution, so it would likely be a similar expectation for the new SL lenses. What this means is that you are able to resolve more lines per inch / megapixel with the L lenses than traditional lenses. Once I have some hands on time with these new lenses by stopping by my local Leica rep is when I can truly start to do a full review of how these new primes perform so stay tuned. This is just an exciting time for me personally to see an official announcement as I know the 35mm is just around the corner.
50mm Summicron APO revealed
Another new announcement was the addition of a new 50mm Summicron prime to the upcoming releases. The 50mm APO Summicron is another nice addition to the lineup, and will now give SL users a true Summicron lineup of traditional focal lengths. A peculiar touch to the new Summicron's is that the all seem to have the same barrel size to create uniformity. Not sure if I like this idea, given that I would have expected differences in size based on the focal length. So far not much news here aside from the announcement and a release date of the 2nd half of 2018, I am hoping that this date holds up...
Update Roadmap Release Schedule
Here is the new release schedule for Leica SL Lenses:
- Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH (Second half of 2018)
- Leica APO-Summicron-SL 50mm f/2 ASPH (Second half of 2018)
- Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH (Available for pre-order)
- Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH (Available for pre-order)
- Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH (Available)
- Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH (April 2018)
- Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH (Available)
- Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4 (Available)
For technical details of the new 75 and 90, I would refer back to the Leica Rumors post which has a nice detailed information in terms of specifications and MTF charts. Click here to read more...
In Summary, this is really just a reaction to the Leica announcement as I feel like this is the first step to what I really want to use and test with my Leica SL. I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in the new lenses and reviewing and letting you all know the pros and cons of the primes as they become available. Stay tuned for more info...