This is a record of using the LEICA R mount VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R 70-180 /F2.8 with a digital camera.
Table of contents
VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R 2.8/70-180 Photo example (ESO1DsMKIII)
Leica’s original zoom lenses, in keeping with the trend of the times, were released with the same aperture at all focal lengths.
In the R-type Leica lenses, the VARIO-ELMAR 21-35/ VARIO-ELMARIT 28-90 at the end of the product life changed f-numbers.
In the mirrorless era, it was clearly stated that it was natural for zoom lenses to have variable f-numbers depending on the focal length (that is, if the focal length changes for the same aperture, the f-number changes), and the SL series included three VARIO-ELMAR / VARIO-ELMARIT series (16-35 / 24-90 / 90-280 ) and three zoom lenses were released for the TL series.
Later, Sigma OEM added a zoom lens (24-70) with f/2.8 in all focal lengths to its product line, and the company seems to understand that there is a need for zoom lenses with a full f-stop range.
Zoom lenses with the same aperture at all focal lengths are a specialty of Japanese manufacturers, and while zoom lenses with similar specifications are priced at around 200,000 yen at most when made in Japan, the used price of this lens is double to triple that amount (since there are only a few of these lenses in circulation in Japan, used prices at stores are always considered bullish). At the time of writing this article, the price is starting at about 300,000 yen on eBay, giving the impression that prices are falling worldwide.
Zoom lenses with a constant aperture over the entire focal length range are a specialty of Japanese manufacturers, and while a zoom lens with similar specifications made in Japan would cost 200,000 yen at most, the used price of this lens is double to triple that amount (since the number of units in circulation in Japan is small, used prices at stores are always considered bullish). ). At the time of writing this article, prices are starting at around 300,000 yen on eBay, giving the impression that prices are falling worldwide.
It is unfortunate that the minimum focusing distance of this lens is 1.7m throughout the entire range, which is tied to the 180mm specifications. Relatively new Japanese manufacturers have released f/2.8 zoom lenses with a minimum focusing distance of about 1.2m, so the specifications are not as good as they could be.
In the case of a rotatable zoom lens, there are two rings on the lens, a focusing ring to adjust the focus position and a zoom ring to adjust the focal length, and in this lens, the zoom ring is in the front and the focusing ring is in the front. I find the ring arrangement of this lens reasonable.
The hood is only longer than the lens without a hood, but backlight resistance is not a problem, so I think this level of hood is acceptable.
If you don’t mind the weight, you can use the ELMARIT 90mm/135mm/180mm with just one lens, which is very convenient.
The lens I own is one of 500 made in 1997 with ROM specifications and serial number 378xxxx, and was purchased at a reasonably high price.
It is a medium telephoto lens and can be used with the EOS-1DsMKIII without error because the rear lens unit does not protrude.
The VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R 70-180mm was one of the last of the R-type lenses to be released, with 2,250 units made between 1995 and 2000.
The focal length is changed inside the lens barrel, but the lens length changes when the focal length is changed.
The lens length is shortest at infinite focal length, and when the focal length is set closer to infinity, the lens barrel moves forward and the lens length becomes longer.
The hood is a built-in type and extends approximately 30 mm from the front edge of the lens when retracted.
|Lens configuration||10groups 13elements|
|Lens length(mm)||189.5||Distance form mount frange|
|Lens max diameter(mm)||89|
|Release date||Year 1995||Product end y2000|
VARIO-APO-ELMARIT-R 2.8/70-180 Leica wiki