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Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4

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New telephoto zoom lens for the Leica SL-System:

LEICA APO-VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4 versatile zoom lens designed for a wide range of situations, from close-ups to travel to sports photography

Leica Camera has today announced the latest addition to the Leica SL-System lens portfolio: the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4.


Available from 24 March 2016, this fast telephoto zoom lens offers a range of focal lengths that follows on directly from the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH., which launched with the SL camera at the end of last year. Together, these two lenses cover focal lengths spanning 24 to 280mm, providing the versatility to shoot a multitude of subjects and situations – from close-ups to travel and sports photography.

The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is characterised by its incredibly high speed and offers outstanding optical and mechanical precision. Its integrated optical image stabilisation (OIS) enables exposure times to be increased by up to 3.5 stops, and guarantees shake-free hand-held photography even at telephoto settings.

Furthermore, this exceptional zoom lens features an entirely new design, with dual internal focusing that ensures extremely fast and quiet autofocus, and delivers consistently impressive imaging performance at distances from infinity to its close focusing limit.

With a close focusing distance of 0.6 metres at 90mm and 1.4 metres at 280mm, and a reproduction ratio of 1:4.8 to 1:5, this versatile lens is particularly useful for close-up photography.

As with all Leica lenses, the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 was designed and developed by Leica’s optical specialists in Wetzlar, Germany, combining outstanding optical expertise, cutting-edge technology and premium materials – guaranteeing the consistently high quality that Leica photographers have come to expect. The design of the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 comprises 23 elements (in seven moving groups), seven of which are made from glass with anomalous partial dispersion, ensuring minimal chromatic aberration. The movement of the two focusing elements is provided by newly developed drive technology with linear positioning of the lenses by stepping motors.

This means the overall length of the lens does not change when either focusing or zooming. In addition, the lens hood supplied with the lens suppresses undesirable reflections and stray light, and prevents the risk of flare.

Furthermore, the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is sealed against dust and splash-proof, to protect it from the elements.

The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 features a detachable tripod plate to connect the lens to a tripod for easier handling. Its ergonomic design makes the lens easier to carry by hand and also allows the attachment of a lens belt. A lockable rotating tripod collar ensures the lens can be fixed at any angle, and features detents every 90 degrees for rapid switching from landscape to portrait format.

The current Leica SL-System portfolio will be extended later this year with the addition of the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. prime lens (available in Q4 2016). Furthermore, the extensive compatibility of the Leica SL-System gives photographers access to the majority of Leica lenses ever produced. For example, all Leica T lenses can be mounted on the Leica SL without an adapter, while the M-Adapter T enables the use of almost all Leica M-Lenses constructed since 1954. In addition, Leica S-Lenses can be mounted with the S-Adapter L (available in May 2016), and the forthcoming R-Adapter (available Q3 2016) will allow Leica R-System lenses to be used with the SL camera.

Availability and pricing

The APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4 is scheduled to be available in the UK from authorised Leica stockists from 24 March 2016, at a suggested retail price of £4,650 including VAT.

Additional information can be found at uk.leica-camera.com


LEICA APO-VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 90–280mm f/2.8-4 – Technical Information

Compatible cameras:

Leica SL, Leica T (Typ 701)1

Angles of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) at 90/280mm:

For Leica SL (Typ 601): approx. 26°, 22°, 15° / 9°, 7.5°, 5°

For Leica T (type 701): approx. 17°, 15°, 10°* / 6°, 5°, 3°** (corresponding to approx. 135*/420** focal length in 35mm format)2

Optical design

Number of lenses/ groups


Position of the entrance pupil (at infinity)

90/280mm: 130.2/-21.1mm (in the direction of light incidence in front of/behind bayonet fitting contact area)

Image stabilisation3

Multiple axis system, stabilisation performance 3.5 shutter speed stages in accordance with CIPA testing conditions

Distance setting

Either automatic (Autofocus)4 or manual, modes are set on the camera

Focusing range (at 90/280mm)

0.6/1.4 m

Smallest object field/ Largest scale (at 90/280mm)

For Leica SL (Typ 601): approx. 114 x 171mm/1:4.8/ 120 x 180 mm/1:5

For Leica T (Typ 701): approx. 76 x 114mm /1:4.8 / 80 x 120 mm/1:5


Setting / Function

Electronically controlled aperture, setting via turn/push wheel on camera, half values can also be set

Lowest value


Bayonet fitting

Leica L bayonet fitting with contact strip

Filter mount/lens hood

External bayonet fitting for lens hood (included), internal thread for E82 filters, filter mount does not rotate


Black anodised

Dimensions and weight

Length of the bayonet fitting contact surface

Approx. 238/310 mm (without/with lens hood)

Largest diameter/height with tripod shoe

Approx. 88/123 mm (lens hood: W x H 116 x 96mm)


Approx. 1,850/1,950 g (without/with tripod shoe)

1 Never hold the combination of a T camera and this lens just by the camera housing; always support the lens as well. This relieves pressure on the camera bayonet fitting.

2 The nominal focal lengths of the Leica SL lenses are based on 35mm format, i.e. on a film format of

24 x 36mm. In comparison, at 23.6 x 15.7mm, the sensor in the Leica T (Typ 701) is somewhat smaller, by a factor of approximately 0.66. Therefore, when used on the Leica T (Typ 701), these lenses have angles of view corresponding to lenses with focal lengths that are longer by a factor of approximately 1.52 (1.52 = reciprocal of 0.66).

3 Function is not available when used on the Leica T (Typ 701).

4 Function is slower when used on the Leica T (Typ 701).


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