Home L-Mount Kipon, Sigma: L-Mount arrivals accelerate

Kipon, Sigma: L-Mount arrivals accelerate

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The arrival of Sigma and Kipon lenses has created new opportunities for owners of the Leica SL and Panasonic S1/R cameras. This hefty 35mm prime with its fast f/1.2 is a bargain compared with Leica's SL range of lenses. It's had positive reviews and is almost an impulse buy for SL owners

The L-Mount Alliance got off to a roaring start last September with news of the cooperation between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma. Now, after nine months, buyer are almost spoiled for choice.

Since last year we’ve had the announcement and successful launch of the Panasonic S1 and S1R, together with three new lenses — two of which bear the valuable Leica imprimatur. Then, last month, Sigma jumped in with a new and very interesting “pocket” camera, the Sigma fp, and the launch of three new lenses using the L-Mount, the 45mm f/2.8 DG DN, the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN and the 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN.

Sigma launched the unusual video-centric "pocket camera", the fp, using the L-Mount
Sigma launched the oddball video-centric “pocket camera”, the fp, featuring the L-Mount

Kipon, LMA or not?

I was surprised, though, to read this week that Kipon, known primarily for mount adapters, has announced a slew of lenses using the L-Mount. I had to check the L-Mount Alliance website to see if Kipon is now involved. But it seems not and I am a little perplexed as to how an outside company could use the mount without being a licensee. Perhaps the company has joined the Alliance but details haven’t been updated. Still, we shouldn’t complain, because these new lenses impressively broaden the appeal of the mount.

The arrival of Sigma and Kipon lenses has created new opportunities for owners of the Leica SL and Panasonic S1/R cameras. This hefty 35mm prime with its fast f/1.2 is a bargain compared with Leica's SL range of lenses. It's had positive reviews and is almost an impulse buy for SL owners
The arrival of Sigma and Kipon lenses has created new opportunities for owners of the Leica SL and Panasonic S1/R cameras. This hefty 35mm prime with its fast f/1.2 is a bargain compared with Leica’s SL range of lenses. It’s had positive reviews and is almost an impulse buy for SL owners

The five new Kipon Iberit primes are primarily intended for video use, featuring clickless aperture rings. They are available in 24, 35, 50, 75 and 90mm focal lengths and all will have a fast f/2.4 maximum aperture.

Unusually, as I see from Amazon USA, the quintuplet comes as a bundle at a price of $2,662, Individually, the lenses range from $569 to $659. Buying all five would cost $3,024, so the bundle represents a saving of $362. All these prices are exclusive of local taxes, by the way. Based on the experience of similar conversions, I would imagine the prices in sterling, including VAT, to be very similar numbers.

Optimism

So far it’s so good with the L-Mount Alliance. It has certainly given Leica’s own APS-C and full-frame cameras and lenses a more certain future and ensured that anyone buying even Leica’s SL (at the new reduced price) can get a good start with some relatively inexpensive lenses. Previously, the system had an entry point of around £7,500, which isn’t petty cash.

Owners of Leica and Panasonic full-frame cameras, not to mention TL and CL fans, are now almost spoiled for choice. It will be interesting to see how things work out for the L-Mount Alliance over the next twelve months.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Great news!

    Sadly, for Leica T and CL owners still no access to the Sigma MC-21. I understood the argument that the battery life might shorten significantly, this should be up to the user to decide. It prevents users access to some useful long lens that are currently lacking in the range.

  2. The L mount alliance is great for Leica and and Panasonic with all the glass fast coming and various body options. I very recently received the Panasonic S1R and the Panasonic S Pro 50/1.4. I plan to use the S1R as my M-mount camera which is good news for Leica. The image files have wonderful colour and tonality. The S1R pairs nicely with his little but mighty brother the G9.

  3. Leica has a history of not pursuing infringements of its copyrights going back to the very beginning. I have an article about Leica fakes and copies coming up soon in the Leica Society magazine which addresses this issue. The only way this L mount alliance business will work for Leica is if Leica can license other manufacturers who enter the alliance and get fees for such licenses. If others can produce L mount lenses without having such a license then the whole plan will fall apart. As for the L mount lenses themselves themselves, I have no comment to make as no L mount camera has aroused my interest, so far.

    William

    • We don’t yet know the situation with Kipon. It could be that they do have a licence. Just a bit odd we haven’t heard anything until the announcement of the lenses.

  4. Kipon sounds like a Chinese company if so I doubt if they care a fig about IP and licensing arrangements. If there is a licensing infrigement I wish Leica of luck in taking legal action against them. Just don’t send anyone to China to discuss it. They might not come home for a few years.

    • Kipon has been around for a long time, principally, as I remember, as manufacturers of very respectable mount adapters. I’ve bought adapters years ago and the quality was good. It is a Chinese company as far as I know.

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