Leica expands SL lens range with 50mm f/1.4, releases roadmap for four other future lenses


posted Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 12:30 PM EST


As of now, there are only two lenses in Leica's SL-system lineup. But that is soon to change. The German company announced that a new Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens is available for preorder now and will be released before the end of the year. The first prime lens for the Leica SL range will be followed by three additional primes and an ultra-wide zoom by the beginning of 2018.

The 50mm f/1.4 lens is said to offer photographers not only a fast maximum aperture, but speedy and accurate autofocus performance as well. The full-frame lens includes two aspherical lens elements, four anomalous partial dispersion elements, and an AquaDura coating on outer elements. The autofocus system includes a stepping AF motor and linear positioning, while the lens has an internal-focusing design and a non-rotating filter ring. The durable design incorporates dust and moisture resistance as well. You can preorder the 50mm f/1.4 SL lens for just under US$5,300 now.

Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens

While that is certainly an exciting lens for SL owners, being a staple standard optic in many photographers' bags, the other upcoming lenses are sure to be popular. The additional three prime lenses that are being developed for the Leica SL are the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH., Leica APO-Summicron-SLR 90mm f/2 ASPH. and Leica Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH. The trio of prime optics incorporate the same durable, high-quality design that photographers have come to expect from Leica. While pricing is not available for these lenses, it's safe to expect that with the Leica quality comes the typical Leica price, which is to say that they won't be cheap. The 75mm lens will be available in the beginning of 2017. The 90mm glass will follow in autumn. Finally, the 35mm f/2 will be available from the beginning of 2018.

Leica SL lens roadmap. Seen via Leica Rumors.

The two zoom lenses (24-90mm f/2.8-4 and 90-280mm f/2.8-4) that launched with the SL in the fall of 2015 will be joined in winter 2017 by a wide-angle zoom lens. The Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH. lens will be the widest SL lens available and is designed for a wide range of photography, from landscape and architecture to event and documentary work. It is spray- and dust-sealed as well, allowing it to be used in harsh shooting conditions.

There's more news for Leica SL owners as well, as Leica has also announced the availability of a new Leica SL Handgrip. The handgrip is available for preorder now and will cost US$850.

The new Leica SL handgrip attached to a Leica SL camera body

It is worth noting that the Leica SL and Leica T both utilize the same L-bayonet, meaning that the two systems can mount each other's lenses without the use of an adapter. As of now, there are six TL lenses available: 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. Through the use of adapters, Leica SL owners can utilize a wide variety of Leica lenses, including S, R and M lenses.