Leica announces Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F5-6.3 lens for SL-System


posted Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT


Leica has announced its longest SL-System lens yet, the Vario-Elmar SL 100-400mm F5-6.3. The lens also sports the greatest zoom range of any SL-System lens at 4x, eclipsing the 3.75x zoom range of the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm F2.8-4 ASPH. The new zoom lens is the longest SL lens by 120mm, besting the APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm F2.8-4.

By Leica standards, the new full-frame L-mount lens is relatively affordable, priced at $2,195. It's competitively priced relative to similar full-frame 100-400mm zoom lenses, including the Nikon Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S ($2,696.95) and the Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS ($2,498). Granted, the new Leica lens is slightly slower with its F5-6.3 aperture range.


Leica's new zoom lens includes 22 elements across 16 groups. The lens weighs about 1,530 grams (3.37 pounds), and its minimum length is 198mm (7.8 inches). The lens includes an 82mm filter thread. The lens includes AquaDura coating and is resistant to water and dust.


The lens includes a rotatable, detachable tripod foot. The foot is Arca-Swiss compatible, a nice convenience that frankly all tripod feet should include. The lens features optical image stabilization that promises up to four stops of shake correction.

The minimum focus distance is 1.1 meters (3.6 feet) at 100mm and 1.59m (5.2 ft.) at 400mm. The maximum magnification ratio is 1:9.3 at 100mm and 1:4.1 at 400mm.


Alongside the new SL 100-400mm lens, Leica has announced a new Extender L 1.4x. The new teleconverter extends the lens to 140-560mm in exchange for a stop less light-gathering capability. Leica tells PetaPixel that the teleconverter is compatible only with the new 100-400mm lens. The extender includes seven lens elements and adds just over 180 grams (0.4 pounds) of total weight. The 1.4x teleconverter costs $875.

Both the new Vario-Elmar SL 100-400mm F5-6.3 and teleconverter are available today. For full specifications, visit Leica.