This is a record of using the APO ELMARIT 180mm F2.8 (LEICA) with a LEICA SL digital camera.
Table of contents
Photo example by LEICA SL Typ601
There is a very detailed lens report on the reference page, so here is some information I gleaned from there and from the Wiki, and my own impressions of using it.
Compared to the APO-VARIO-ELMARIT 70-180/F2.8, it is a smaller lens, but with a focal length of 180mm, it has a certain size.
I have seen statements that the image rendition exceeds that of the APO-VARIO-ELMARIT 70-180/F2.8, and it is true that this lens seems to have better resolution in the peripheral areas.
There are two types of this lens, an early model and a late model, with different model numbers and specifications.
The early model I owned was 11273, which had aperture blades that produced shuriken-shaped edges when the aperture was stopped down and was not compatible with the 1.4x teleconverter.
The later model number is 11357, which is said to have improved bokeh by changing the aperture blades and to be compatible with the 1.4x teleconverter.
According to the serial number list on the Leica Wiki, 400 of the later model lenses were manufactured, and all lenses after serial number 3953501 should be the later model 11357, but I found an item on eBay with serial number 3953501 or later but with model number 11273 on the silver box. It may be that the serial numbers on the box and the lens do not match, but the model number 11357 may be less than 400. The serial numbers of Leica lenses are very interesting and mysterious.
Also, I am not sure what the x1.4 telecon compatibility means, as the lens configuration is identical between the earlier and later lenses. is it just that the ROM content has been updated to be x1.4 compatible?
I had a x1.4 teleconverter without ROM, but this lens is expensive and its rear element is located close to the film plane, so I did not dare to try it when I attached an x1.4 teleconverter with a protruding front element, considering the damage it could do if it hit the lens.
Examples of the Ninja Star are shown below.
The ninja star seems to show up most clearly at f/4 and becomes almost invisible at f/8 or so.
The newer models are available in small numbers, so the chances of getting one are slim, but I’d like to try one eventually.
I was able to confirm a relatively new one, serial number 3897356, made in Canada after 2000, at Camera Kitamura. The lens number of 3897356 is 11273 in LEICA SL’s lens recognition system, and it seems to be registered in the ROM as an early model number.
It is not clear whether all Canadian-made lenses after 2000 have new aperture blades or not, or whether they are compatible with the 1.4 teleconverter.
It is also unclear if the model number 11357 is recorded in the ROM of the later model.
After all, the 180mm focal length is not something I use very often in my personal usage, and if I had to carry this long and heavy lens out of the house, the APO-VARIO-ELMARIT 70-180 / F2.8 would be more convenient for zooming, so I sold it considering the frequency of its use. As expected of a rare lens, I was able to sell it for the same price as the purchase price.
About 1900 lenses have been made since 2004.
SN Start SN End Product Year Total
- 3798410 3798909 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R /y1997 /500
- 3815125 3815624 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R /y1997 /500
- 3840000 3840499 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R /y1998 /500
- 3896051 3897500*1 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R (ELC*2) /y2000 /1450
*1: This number may be assigned to other lenses.
*2: Ernst Leitz Canada
- 3.953.501 3.953.750 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R /y2002 /250
- 3.986.434 3.986.583 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R /y2005 /150
(The above data is reproduced from Leica Wiki)
|Lens configuration||5groups 7elements|
|Lens length(mm)||132||Distance form mount flange|
|Lens max diameter(mm)||76|
|Release date||Year 2004|