New: 2 f/2 Lenses by Leica
Leica has announced the release of two new lenses. The first one is the APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH and the second is the Leica APO-Summicron – SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. They also announced the launch of a third lens the 50mm f/2 ASPH which would be available sometime in the later part of 2018.
Here we shall be looking at the specs of the two lenses that have been released.
Both these lenses come under what is essentially the short telephoto segment (sub-100mm). As such these lenses are great for shooting portraits and stuff. The 90mm is more suitable than the 75mm in this regard. Leica states, “truly shine when used for portraiture”.
Lens Mount / Compatibility
Both the 75mm and the 90mm are designed for Leica’s full-frame system cameras that come with the L-mount.
However, having said that, these lenses will also work with the crop sensor models as well such as the Leica CL and the Leica TL, both being APS-C models. On crop sensor camera the 75mm and the 90mm lenses will offer an effective focal length of 112.5mm and 135mm respectively.
The 75mm f/2 comes with one aspherical element, plus multi-layer and aquadura coatings. The use of multi-layer coating ensures lens flares and ghosting are suppressed which is common when shooting with a wide open aperture.
The use of Aspherical element ensures that the effects of spherical abberations are suppressed. That also has the effect of increasing the overall sharpness of the images.
Additionally, the lens features what is known as an apochromatic (or achromat) lens design. This design ensures that chromatic abberations is suppressed also producing sharper results.
The 90mm also comes with one aspherical element, multi-layer and aquadura coatings and dual syncro drive stepping AF motor technology. Floating elements inside the lens and an internal focusing mechanism ensures that the lens is able to retain the barrel length when auto-focusing.
Auto-focusing is powered by dual syncro drive stepping AF motor. This drive technology results in faster focusing. Specifications released with the lens say that the entire focusing range of the lens is travelled in just about 250ms. This has some interesting implications. It comes in handy when you have a subject that is not still during a photo-shoot; i.e., a child.
With these two lenses you can switch between various focusing distances in an instant while using auto-focusing. Both these lenses have limited applications in the field of wildlife photography, because of the smaller focal length. Otherwise, this feature would have been suitable for shooting wildlife.
Internal construction includes floating elements system and internal focusing, which ensures that the lens’ barrel length never changes during focusing.
The highlight of these lenses is the bright f/2 aperture. F/2 allows it to utilize a much faster shutter speed and also capture those beautiful background bokeh when shooting portraits, thereby isolating the subject from the background.
Another major advantage being the ability to collect a lot of light when shooting in low light conditions. For example a f/2 lens is capable of capturing twice the amount of light that a f/4 lens is capable of capturing. That invariably means you can use twice the shutter speed that you would normally use with an f/4 lens in a given lighting condition.
None of the above two lenses come with image stabilization. So, you will have to keep in mind never to shoot at a shutter speed of less than 1/75 and 1/90 respectively unless you want to tweak the ISO number.
Finally, about the build quality and the weather sealing of these two lenses. The dust sealing on both these lenses are respectable. Leica states that both the lenses are sealed against dust and moisture. Additionally, all SL lenses are designed and crafted in Germany. They bear testimony to the fantastic workmanship of Leica’s German technicians.