Review and photo examples of MACRO ELMAR R 100mm F4, a macro lens for Leica R

Table of contents

Sample photos by HASSELBLAD X2D(mirrorless digital camera)

Sample photos by LEICA M typ240

MACRO ELMAR 100mm /F4 is a macro lens, and in its standard condition, the lens barrel has a scale engraved to 1:4, and the helicoid can be extended beyond that, allowing you to get as close as 1:3. Since there is no notation after 1:4, there may be no performance guarantee.
When using the close-up ring, the green magnification display is engraved with a scale up to 1:1.75, and as mentioned above, you can extend it further from there, so you can get close to 1:1.
Leica’s close-up rings include one for MACRO ELMARIT 60mm, one for MACRO ELMAR 100mm, a 3-cam general-purpose ring, and a general-purpose ring with a ROM terminal.
This lens was released with 1/2/3 cam, and is not manufactured with R cam/ROM, and the one with ROM is a modified product from 1/2/3 cam. The lens I own is a 3 cam that has been modified with ROM.

Leica has two 100mm macro lenses: the famous APO MACRO ELMARIT(AME) 100mm and this MACRO ELMAR 100mm. When considering which one to choose, most people will usually choose AME. However, this MACRO ELMAR has the advantage of being compact and having a light empty space. AME is 760g, ME100 is 540g, about 30% lighter. In addition, the MACRO ELMAR 100mm can be used with the APO EXTENDER x1.4 teleconverter, which has a reputation for being compatible with few lenses.
If you use this 1.4x teleconverter, the brightness will be reduced by half a step to F3.5, but the focal length will be 140mm. When using a teleconverter, the shortest shooting distance of the lens remains the same, so you can take photos with a closer view of the subject.
Since the lens does not have APO color correction, false colors may appear around the subject. This may be due to the cloudy lens, but backlight resistance is also not that good, and when the sun shines through, the contrast in the photos decreases.

I previously bought the 3CAM version of MACRO ELMAR 100, used it a little and then sold it, but in 2023 I found a ROM version of the 3CAM modification, so I bought it again.
This lens is rarely used in the second-hand market, and is often found in good condition. Prices for lenses before 3CAM are around 50,000 yen, making them easy to obtain.

Examples of LEICA M typ240 include photos taken using APO EXTENDER x1.4.
When used with HASSELBLAD X2D (same with FUJIFILM GFX series), it can be seen that the image circle of this lens is large. As you can see from the X2D photo examples, there is almost no noticeable vignetting or image disturbance even in photos that include the sky. Unfortunately, I can’t test the APO EXTENDER in combination with the X2D because I sold it along with the APO TELYT 280mm and no longer have it on hand.

Macro ring:3CAM・14256
Macro ring:ROM・14299

The Macro-Elma 100mm is classified as half-macro with a maximum magnification of 1:175 (0.6 m) and requires the use of a close-up ring to obtain an equal magnification (1:1). There are several types of close-up rings, including Macro-elmarit/Elmar-specific, 3CAM general-purpose, and general-purpose with ROM terminal.
This lens is released in 1/2/3CAM, R-CAM/ROM-CAM is not manufactured, and ROM-CAM is a modification of the old cam. The lens owned is a 3CAM converted to a ROM-CAM.

ItemAMEMacro Elmar
focal length(mm)100
Maximum aperture2.84
Minimum aperture22
Leaf blade78
Lens configuration8elements in 6groups4elements in 3groups
Minimum distance(m)0.450.6
Lens length(mm)104.592
Lens max diameter(mm)7367.5
Filter diameter(mm)55
Release date19861968
Production number20,00016,254

Reference links


  • 2024.2.9:Update
  • 2023.3.25:First draft

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