Leica adds a third zoom lens to its SL lens lineup, the Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH


posted Monday, April 9, 2018 at 3:00 PM EDT


Leica has expanded its SL system of lenses with an ultra-wide angle zoom lens, the long-rumored Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH. The lens has been designed with a diverse range of uses in mind, including landscape, architecture, wedding, event and concert photography. To help with the latter trio of genres, the lens has been equipped with what Leica calls "supremely quick and quiet autofocus."

With respect to the autofocus, the lens has a specially developed focusing drive, which includes a stepping motor and linear positioning. This system moves a single dedicated glass focusing element, which Leica says is lightweight, helping make the focusing quick.

Optically, the lens has 18 total elements across a dozen groups. There are two aspherical elements with correct for monochromatic aberrations and three elements constructed using anomalous partial dispersion to correct chromatic aberration. To help suppress reflections and stray light within the lens, the SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 has improved mount geometry and high-quality coating.


The SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.7 at 35mm and 1:7.7 at 16mm. The lens weighs just under 35 ounces (990 grams) and is 4.8 inches (123 millimeters) long.

The Leica Vario-Elmar SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is now available for preorder ahead of its release later this month. The lens will retail for just under US$5,500.


Putting the lens into the SL system context, it joins existing zoom lenses including the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH and APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4. The trio of zoom lenses now covers focal lengths from 16mm to 280mm for Leica's mirrorless SL system.