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35mm Elmarit R Second Version



Compared to the first version of this lens, the later redesigned 35mm Elmarit R with 55mm filter mount is a dramatic step forward.

Full aperture performance is outstanding, with great clarity and resolution. Distortion is non-existant, and flare control is good, though not up to the newest R lenses. When pointed toward the sun you can induce plenty of blue flare.

The lens can focus to a very short distance, with superb performance. The plane of focus is much flatter than with the older Elmarit, and this really shows at closer distances and at full aperture.

The price of the later version is somewhat high for it's modest specs. They are commonly found in mint condition for about 450.00 USD. That said, the performance is truly worth the price.

Incomparison with other 35mm lenses I have owned, the Elmarit R is far better than the current Zeiss Planar G F2.0, the last non ASPH Summicron M, and has less vignetting than the 35mm Sonnar on the T3.

It's close focusing makes it a really handy all purpose lens that you can use wide open without reservation.

Best wishes
Dan States
Grand Forks ND


I bought a 35/2.8 R as a low cost and low weight companion to the 35-70/2.8. The zoom lens is clearly superior especially in the field, but among the fixed 35 mm lenses, the 2.8 is the best one I have tried. It is perhaps a surprise that most people seem to be willing to pay much more for the 2.0, which in my experience is not as good.


Active Member
I agree. You find the similar situation in M: Summaron is sharper and more exquisite than Summicron at the same aperature. And Summaron is cheaper too. The 8 element Summicron has achieved an icon status, I think, partly due to its limited production number. I will go for Summaron instead, whose built quality as as the same as Summicron.