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Fast f/1.4 50mm Summilux is first prime lens for full-frame mirrorless Leica SL

Create: 09/24/2016 - 10:01
Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • First prime lens for Leica SL system
  • Four more lenses planned for next 12 months
  • Battery grip now available

Leica has released the next lens for its full-frame mirrorless SL system and laid out a roadmap for future L-mount optics.

The Leica Summilux-SL 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. becomes the first prime lens for the SL. The M-mount Summilux has been highly regarded as being the best “normal” lens for film and digital photographers, and Leica has set a similar goal for this lens.

This Summilux uses 11 elements in nine groups and includes two aspherical elements and four made from glasses with anomalous partial dispersion. Leica says the optical design nearly eliminates all perceptible chromatic and monochromatic aberrations.

This is an autofocus lens. It uses internal focusing so that the length of the barrel never changes, nor does it rotate. The photographer can always manually focus the lens.

At the moment, there isn’t any information about the Summilux in terms of size and weight.

It is expected to be available in January 2017 and cost US$5,295.

FUTURE LENSES

At the same time, Leica also unveiled its expected release schedule for the next four SL-system lenses:

  • Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. (summer 2017)
  • Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. (autumn 2017)
  • Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35 mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH. (winter 2017)
  • Leica Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. (spring 2018)

As their names indicate, all of the lenses will use aspherical elements. Leica says the upcoming lenses will be smaller and weigh less than those that have been released to date.

Leica added that the lenses will have shorter close-focus distances, which should benefit photographers who like to get closer to their subject.

In addition to the SL lenses, the camera also can use the TL (T system) lenses without modifications. The camera automatically switches to the cropped APS-C size.

Adapters are available to mount lenses from other Leica digital and film systems: digital medium-format S, and film R and M cameras.

NEW BATTERY GRIP

Leica also has developed a new grip for the SL that holds a second BP-SCL4 lithium-ion battery, allowing for extended shooting.

The Leical HG-SCL4 SL grip provides an almost identical shooting platform when the camera is rotated for portraits. The shutter release button and command dial are in nearly the identical position and angle, as can be seen in the photo, and the size of the hand grip appears to be identical to the SL’s normal grip.

It is available now and costs US$850.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.