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The 28mm Elmarit R current version



As this lens is rarely discussed I thought some user inpressions would be usefull to anyone considering a purchase.

I have owned this lens for about a year now, and find it to be an amazing piece of glass. Contrast is extremely high. Distortion is low and it is the most flare resistant lens I have ever used. I have found it virtually impossible to create flare or ghosting with this lens. Even in cases where some flare occurs, it is quite localized, and does not disturb the overall contrast impression of the image.

I also own the Summicron 28M and Contax 28 Biogon G. In comparison, the Elmarit is much better than the Biogon at f2.8. In particular, edge quality is far better on the Leica lens at greater distances. From F4.0 down it is hard to to pick a winner. The Biogon supasses just about any lens in distortion control.

Compared to the amazing Summicron 28m, the Elmarit has slightly lower maximum resolving power. However, the Elmarit has much better evenness of illumination. This advantage holds to f4.5. Flare control is better in the Elmarit.

The biggest optical "flaw" in the Elmarit is pronounced field curvature. At very close distances it is quite dramatic. Leica's own instruction manual warns against using this lens for flat copy work. In practical use this effect is not noticable however.

It is interesting to note that Photodo did not rate the Elmarit R all that highly. Field curvature would definitely effect MTF test results negatively. The fact that this curvature is not noticable in real use is one more reason to read Photodo tests with some skepticism.

Best wishes
Dan States
Marshall WI



I have to agree with you with regard to the photodo tests. I did a comparison test of the Elmarit against the Minolta 28/2.8 AF lens. As far as the Leica is concerned, superior is not the word! At f/2.8 the Leica shows higher resolution than the Minolta at ANY aperture. Yet Photodo rate both lenses the same!

The Elmarit is one of the best lenses in the 'R' line, and as it is one of the cheapest is a bit of a 'bargain' (in Leica terms, anyway!).


Hi Dan, Simon and all.
I have just got this lens and haven't put it through it's paces properly just yet. I put one roll of film through it today with the also newly acquired R5 and it seems to deliver the goods. I have owned both the Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8 for Contax SLR as well as the Biogon 28/2.8 for Contax G. I have yet to try the Leica lens wide open but from what I've seen so far it seems to be a very sweet performer. Distortion seems a bit on the high side compared to the Zeiss lenses. Build quality is very good. Some find the built in shade a bit finicky but I like it.
Best regards, Henke.


Hi all, back again...
Have had more ops to fiddle with the lens and I am very pleased with it - there is nothing to complain about, really. It handles well and produces crisp and sharp photos - wide open as well as stopped down, near and far. It comes easy to recommend!
/ Henke