Review and Photo example of SUPER ELMAR R 15mm F3.5.

Table of contents


Photo example used with Leica M


The Super Elmar 15mm is the widest-angle Leica R lens released in 1979.
The number of lenses produced is around 3,000, which is not that high, but as mentioned earlier, there are versions with other mounts, so it is not a rare lens.
It has a built-in four-color filter, but I think it has little use in the digital age.
Super Elmer’s mounts have been released as 3-CAM (order number: 11213) and with ROM terminal (order number: 11325). I’ve never seen the ROM version on the Japanese used market, but it does come up for sale on eBay from time to time. It is unknown whether R-only CAM exists.

Regarding photography, if you place the sun directly in front of you, there will be no mysterious light, but if you place the sun at an angle, a flashy ghost may appear, so be careful about the position of the sun. When the aperture is wide open, the corners may seem soft (I think the edges may look blurry because they are out of focus), but this is an old ultra-wide-angle lens, so I feel it’s within an acceptable range. .

Since it’s an ultra-wide-angle lens, it’s hard to see where it’s in focus, so when shooting distant scenes, setting it to about F5.6 almost always works as a pan focus, and when shooting close-ups, I often stop down and manually adjust the focus, but with a mirrorless EVF, Now that I can magnify and check the focus position, I have become more precise in focusing.
Also, the focus ring of the lens I owned in the past was light and sparse, so it was stressful to operate, but the lens I got in 2023 with a scratch on the front element had a moderate amount of stickiness on the focus ring, which made it difficult to operate. It is thought that the lens had fallen off and the specimen was completely empty.
The minimum shooting distance is 16cm and the lens length is about 9cm, so the distance between the subject and the front lens is about 7cm. Be careful as you may touch the subject.

It’s a fairly large lens, and I used it with my LEICA-M (Typ240)/Leica-SL (Typ601), but the camera and lens weighed about 1.5kg, which gave me the impression that it was heavy. The lens I owned was a 3-CAM lens, so I sold it when I bought another lens, but in 2023 I bought back the 3-CAM lens with scratches.

This lens has many siblings such as Nikon and PENTAX. You can also find discussions about this on the web. The Super Elmar R 15mm is a Zeiss lens, and its successor, the Super Elmarito R 15mm, is a Schneider lens.


focal length(mm)1515
Maximum aperture3.52.8
Minimum aperture2222
Lens configuration12groups 13elements10groups 13elements
Leaf blade56
Minimum distance(m)0.160.18
Lens length(mm)92.585.3
Lens max diameter(mm)83.583.5
Filter diameter(mm)
Filters cannot be attached to the front frame.
The lens has four built-in filters.
Release dateYear 1979Year 2001
Production number2980420

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.02.18
  • 2022.06.11

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