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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

Leica Camera AG logo. Click to visit Leica's US website! PRESS RELEASE: Compact High-Performance Leica Super-Elmar-M 18 mm F/ 3.8 Asph. Lens And Leica Bright Line Finder M For 18 mm Lenses

With the LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH., Leica Camera AG, Solms, expands their range of short focal-length lenses for the Leica M System, adding another compact wide-angle lens. This newly developed lens is characterized by its outstanding image quality and compact size. Another addition to the Leica rangefinder system accessories range is a new finder, the LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER M 18 mm.

The LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH. is ideal for a wide range of applications – from expansive reportage images to landscapes and architectural photography. When used on digital Leica M models, the LEICA M8 and LEICA M8.2, the slightly smaller format of the sensor increases the effective focal length to the 35 mm format equivalent of 24 mm. This means that the new lens is also a particularly practical and useful wide-angle lens for digital M photography. In addition, the lens can also be used on all analog Leica M camera models, and it’s extremely short focal length of 18 mm opens up numerous new opportunities for composition and creative expression.

The fundamental parameters of vignetting and distortion traditionally encountered in super-wide-angle lenses have been effectively corrected in the case of the LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH., so that they play no role at all in practice. This results in extremely sharp, crystal-clear and uniformly exposed images from corner to corner. Due to the outstanding contrast and reproduction of details, the initial aperture of 3.8 can be used without any limitations. Even wide open, the depth of field extends from infinity to 3.93 feet. Stopping down is only necessary as a means to further increase the depth of field.

The LEICA ELMAR-M 1:3.8/18 mm ASPH. is constructed with eight lenses in seven groups. Due to the use of one aspherical element, aberrations were reduced to a minimum.

The LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH. also features a patented, screw-on rectangular lens hood that contributes to its compact size. The lens will be available at authorized Leica dealers in March 2009.

A matching LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER M 18 mm is also available for the new LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm f/ 3.8 ASPH. lens. Used in conjunction with the new lens, it highlights the precise framing of the field of view and is distinguished by its vibrant, high-contrast image. Due to a concave mirror in the optics (hence the term ‘mirror viewfinder’), part of the incoming light is used to brightly illuminate the frame for the field of view – in the same way as in the viewfinder of Leica M cameras. The finder has parallax compensation markings for close-up distances below 6.6 feet, yet also has markings for the slightly smaller image field of LEICA M8 models. It is, therefore, equally suitable for use with film (24 x 36 mm) and for digital photography (18 x 27 mm).

The entire optical system of the finder has a high-quality multi-layer coating to guarantee optimal viewing under all conditions. Its high-quality metal body is finished in the classic look of its predecessors of the fifties and sixties, but are milled from solid brass with the latest technology, and then finished in silver-chrome or black paint to match the cameras. The eyepiece is rubberized to reliably protect eyeglasses against scratching.

The LEICA BRIGHT LINE FINDER M 18 mm will also be available at authorized Leica dealers in March 2009.

Technical data LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 18 mm/f 3.8 ASPH.
Lens type: Particularly compact wide-angle lens for analogue and digital Leica M cameras with two aspherical surfaces for outstanding image quality
Angle of view: For 35 mm format (24 x 36 mm): 100°, 90°, 67°, (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) for Leica M8 models (18 x 27 mm): 84°, 74°, 53°, equivalent to approx. 24 mm for 35 mm format
Optical Design
Number of lenses / groups: 8 / 7
Aspherical surfaces: 2
Position of entrance pupil: 19.8 mm (to the apex of the first lens surface)
Distance setting
Working range: 2.3 ft [0.7 m] to ∞
Scales: Combined meter/feet graduation
Smallest object field / Largest reproduction ratio: For 35 mm format, approx.: 827 x 1,241 mm /1:34.6,
for Leica M8 models, approx.: 620 x 931 mm /1:34.6
Aperture Setting / function: with click-stops, half-values may be set
Smallest aperture: 16
Bayonet: Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar-coding for digital Leica M models
Filter mount / Lens hood: Male thread, non-rotating, with stop for filter holder
or lens hood, screw-on removable lens hood
(included), filter holder for E77 filters available as an optional accessory
Finish: Black anodized
Dimensions and weight
Length to bayonet flange: approx. 1.92/2.27 in [48.8/57.7 mm] (with/without lens hood)
Largest diameter: approx. 61 mm
Weight: approx. 10.9 oz

(First posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 at 15:00 EST)

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