Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/06/06

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] R zoom recommendation
From: (Hans-Peter.Lammerich)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:02:44 +0200

I prefer the first version of the 3.5/35-70 (with E60 filter). This is the one 
designed and made by Minolta Japan. The lens has a retractable hood, is thus 
only marginaly larger than a standard lens, is reasonably fast (in between the 
current 4/35-70 and 2.8/35-70 apo-aspherical) and, very important for owners of 
an SL/SL2, comes with three cams. At its time it certainly was one of the best 
performing zoom lenses and I doubt that since then optical designers spend 
noticeable efford on improving optical performance of standard zoom lenses, 
rather than speed, zoom range and cost (with the exception of the latest Leica 
zooms, of course). The only disadvantage is its poor close focussing capability 

After Minolta discontinued the lens arround 1990, an "optically and 
mechanically" improved version was then made in Solms. I however do not believe 
that Leica actually changed the optical design. So the "improvement" is limited 
to a sort of cage that provides a non-rotating, larger filter thread (E67) which 
makes the use of a polariser more convenient, but at the cost of more bulk and a 
higher second-hand price. 

With respect to the 2.8/35-70's not so exciting zoom range and speed, I have 
great difficulties to justify its hefty price, weight and bulk, even though you 
get impeccable optical performance wide open (what you should not expect from 
Japanese "pro" zooms). I use a zoom for convenience, so weight and bulk is a 
factor! I particular with the srew-in hood, even the 4/35-70 is relatively 
bulky. Installing SL/SL2 cams would cost extra money and eventually may reduce 
its resale value.


Replies: Reply from "Bud Cook" <> (Re: [Leica] R zoom recommendation)