Leica today announces the much-heralded 35mm Apo-Summicron lens for the SL system. Back in October when we were with the LHSA group at Wetzlar, designer Peter Karbe was clearly very enthusiastic about the future product and felt that it could be one of the finest optics ever produced by Leica.
It fills a gap in the SL lens line-up but comes at a time when the L-Mount Alliance is broadening the appeal of the standard. From the outset, the 35mm App-Summicron will complement not just Leica’s own SL but also the two new Panasonics, the S1 and S1R.
The 35mm App-Summicron-SL will be in showrooms in April and will cost £3,900, including VAT, in the UK.
We shall be bringing you an in-depth review of this exciting new lens within the next few days. In the meantime, here is Leica’s press release.
Leica expands SL-System with a new prime lens ideal for reportage photography
Wetzlar, 28th February 2019. With the launch of the brand new APO-Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. lens, Leica Camera diversifies its portfolio of high-performance lenses for the Leica SL, Leica’s most versatile camera system. High performance, compact design and ingenious engineering make the latest lens in the Summicron-SL series the new benchmark for reportage focal lengths. Designed with the SL-System in mind, the new lens’s optical and sensor design, paired with its imaging process, produces the highest quality photography. Due to the L-Mount, the lens is also fully compatible with cameras manufactured by other partners of the L-Mount Alliance.
The new Summicron-SL prime lens delivers extremely high image performance at its largest aperture and is ideal for shooting in difficult lighting conditions. Inside the lens, thirteen extremely complex lens elements are used to ensure the very highest level of image quality.
Leica Summicron-SL-Lenses are renowned for achieving an exceedingly detailed contrast close to the diffraction limit – which makes them ideal for the creative use of planes of sharpness and unsharpness. Thanks to their shallow depth of field and exceptional image performance, every lens in the SL-System portfolio guarantees the distinctive look for which Leica photography is renowned.
The robust build and design of the cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the next step forward in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System (new, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technology have been developed entirely for the production of this range of lenses). The results of this are reflected not only in their more compact dimensions and considerably reduced weight, but also in their exceptional image performance.
In the construction of the Summicron-SL lenses, particular attention has been given to the prevention of stray light and reflections. Another new area of innovation that went into the production of the APO-Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. specifically, focused on minimising distortion caused by chromatic aberration (the resulting effect of refracted rays of light from a multi-coloured subject not focusing at a single imaging point). To achieve this, the majority of the thirteen lens elements used in the construction of the lens – five of which have aspherical surfaces – are made from specially formulated, high-quality glass types with irregular, partial dispersion. The design and creation of which pushes even the innovative manufacturing methods of the Leica Factory to the limits of the technically-possible.
The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™) to focus from infinity to the closest focusing distance with incredible speed. Thanks to this, the entire focusing throw can be travelled completely in only around 250 milliseconds.
With this range of lenses, Leica shows its innovation not only in the case of autofocus technology, but manual focus too: Summicron-SL lenses feature a totally new concept for manual focus utilising a ring magnet, with alternating north-south magnetisation, embedded into the focus ring. The magnetic field changes its polarity when the ring is turned, and a sensor monitors the status of the magnetic field and sends the data to the main processor. The drive then shifts the lens to the corresponding focus position on the basis of the angle of rotation and the rotational speed, enabling even faster and more precise manual focusing.
Together with optimised optical and mechanical design, the application of a high-quality coating on the lens surfaces reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. And thanks to effective sealing against dust, moisture and water spray, and an Aquadura coating of the exposed lens surfaces, the lenses can be used in almost any weather conditions without a second thought.
The APO-Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. will be on sale from April 2019 at an RRP of £3,900 including V.A.T.