CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

24mm f28 ElmaritR lens



Leica makes only one prime R lens with 24mm focal length and this is it - the 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R. There is no 21mm any more in Leica's current R lens line-up and the next widest lens is 19mm - a big difference. So, the 24mm focal length can be a very useful one, especially if you already own a 35mm lens and feel that 28mm is too close, as I did.

Optical performance of the 24mm Elmarit-R is quite respectable and certainly above average as 24mm lenses go. It's really a Minolta lens, made to Leica design and QA standards. It's an old design and it shows! Performance isn't bad by industry standards - it just isn't brilliant.

I found that the 24 Elmarit-R doesn't quite give the resolution, contrast and brilliance of color that one normally associates with Leica optics. Colors are faithfully rendered, however, with the usual Leica neutral character. It would be typical of a lens of this type to give some barrel distortion; I daresay it does but, if so, it's slight and I've never noticed it. There again, I've never used it with a subject where barrel distortion would be obvious, such as a brick wall or with a vertical pillar at the edge of the frame.

At full aperture, the rendition of detail is noticeably softer at the edges than at the center, there is quite a bit of vignetting and contrast falls off noticeably at the edges. Performance can be improved significantly, however, by stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8. This is unusual for Leica lenses; most are almost at optimum performance wide open and this is an important property that distinguishes them from other manufacturers' lenses.

The optical formulation consists of 9 elements in 7 groups. This includes floating elements, which help to maintain the optical performance at close range. Closest focus is 30cm and smallest f-stop is f/22.

The 24 Elmarit-R is relatively compact, with length of 48.5mm, width 67mm and weight 400gm. To avoid flare with side lighting, it really needs to be used with the separately sold rectangular shade. I've always used the shade and never encountered flare. However, I never took a shot that was likely to induce flare, such as with a bright light source in the field of view.

The shade includes a knob that can be turned to rotate a polarizer if fitted. Filter size is 'series 8', which means that the filter doesn't have a screw thread but is sandwiched between the shade and the end of the lens barrel.

For more flexibility (and possibly as good or better optical performance), Leica now has a 21mm-35mm f/3.5 Vario-Elmar-R zoom lens. Retail price of this zoom lens is about the same as the 24mm Elmarit-R. I haven't tried it but it seems like a good bargain (for Leica!) and may just be a better buy than the 24mm Elmarit-R for many R users.


I have a friend that has this lens. It is made in Wetzlar. Does that mean that it was built by Minolta and assembled in Germany?


The 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R was introduced in 1974 at the same time as the SL-2 camera. It was one of three lenses, made by Minolta for Leica. The other two are the 16mm f/2.8 Fish-Eye Elmarit-R and the 80-200mm f/4.5 Vario-Elmar-R. Personally, I own both the 16mm & the 80-200mm zoom. The Leica quality control went into the lens. The average rejection rate was 85%. Leica totally rebuilt the lenses to their specs. They did so much work on the 24mm, that under international law, they could say the lens was made in Germany.
Happy Snaps,


I have this lens and made a few shots on the edge with it. Barrel distortion is absolutely minimal. But I got some flare in a night shot. Ok, the light was very bright, but it is a bit disappointing the see it in a lens with Leica on it. For the time being it is here

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

I would be easy to clone it out btw