Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/09/14

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Subject: Re: [Leica] R lens 35-70 Vario- Elmarit Asph.
From: "David W. Almy" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 07:13:42 -0400
References: <> <>


Erwin's report on the 35-70/2.8 is entitled "Beating the fixed focal
length lenses" and would seem to contradict your assessment. It is
online at
but contains a substantive typo in the next to last sentence.

David W. Almy

- -------------------------------

Axel Schwieker wrote:
> wrote:
> >
> > Is it he equal of the 35 and 50 mm principal lenses at their
> > respective focal lengths? Is it too heavy and/or bulky to be the first choice
> > for an R system? Other observations from actual usage?
> I have no personal experience with the Vario-Elmarit but I would suggest
> to buy a Summilux 35 and a Summicron 50 instead ('cron or 'lux doesn't
> really matter, but one 'lux would be nice for low light situations). If
> you want to save some money buy one or both of them used. The 'crons are
> easier to find on the used market.
> Standard zooms always are a serious compromise in their optical
> performance. To cover the short end (<50mm, usually down to 28 or 35mm)
> they require a retrofocus group at the front of the lens. This group is
> of no use from 50m to the longer end (75mm) but obviouslay stays in the
> lens if you zoom to 75mm. So the other lenses have to reverse the effect
> of the front elements. All this leads to a very heavy lens with many
> elements. Besides from the weight a lens with many elements tends to
> exhibit flare a lot faster. Another disadvantage of standard zooms is
> that they _always_ show distortion at the short end (here: 35mm). I find
> this particularly annoying as the shorter length is the focal length you
> usually shoot buildings with, a subject where distortion shows up
> clearly and quickly.
> These disadvantages can be lowered if the lens designer has done a good
> job, a thing you would expect from Leica. But they can never be
> completely eliminated. This is in the physics. Telezooms however are a
> different game. They are usually of a higher quality than standard zooms
> because they don't suffer from the retrofocus problem.
> Regards, Axel

In reply to: Message from ([Leica] R lens 35-70 Vario- Elmarit Asph.)
Message from Axel Schwieker <> (Re: [Leica] R lens 35-70 Vario- Elmarit Asph.)