Here it is, Leica have just announced the new Vario-Elmarit SL 24-70 f2.8 ASPH for L mount cameras. It’s smaller and almost 300gm lighter than the 24-90, has a constant f2.8 aperture and is only a little bit more than half the price of it’s bigger sibling. Even cheaper if you buy it as a kit with the SL2 or SL2S.
Conventional wisdom would have made such a lens both bigger and more expensive than the 24-90, so what’s the story? A careful examination of the lens body gives a clue: “Made in Japan” (all the other SL lenses are “Made in Germany”).
Leica has had successful collaborations for many of their products over the years, more recently with the D-Lux and V-Lux cameras. Lens collaborations with Konica, Minolta, Kyocera, Zeiss, Schneider, and Sigma have all resulted in fine lenses over the years, sometimes at more ‘sensible’ prices than Leica originals.
In this article I’m going to look at the new lens with relation to the existing 24-90 zoom in the hope that it will help photographers make a reasoned decision about which they should buy, or whether they might need both.
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