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Leica APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm F/2.5 ASPH. [CS]

Macro lens • Digital era

Abbreviations

APO The lens features apochromatic optical design.
MACRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances.
ASPH. The lens incorporates aspherical elements.
CS A lens with built-in leaf shutter.

Features highlight

45x30
Fast
APO
3 AD
F.E.
MFO
DP/WR
FC

Specification

Production details
Announced:September 2010
Production status: In production
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:11070 - black anodized
11052 - black anodized, CS
Original name:LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/120
LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/120 CS
System: Leica S (2008)
Optical design
Focal length:120mm
Speed:F/2.5
Maximum format:Medium format 45x30
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica S [53mm]
Lens construction:9 elements - 7 groups
3 AD
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades:<No information>
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.57m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:2.1 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Front group linear extension
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Unknown type
Focus mode selector:None; focusing mode is set from the camera
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:Yes
Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS)
Built-in OIS:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:1135g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀91×128mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
AquaDura coating:Front and rear elements
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 72mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type 12402 (round)
Lens caps:16018 (front)
16020 (rear)
Teleconverters:Not available

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

**) Some basic information is missing in the specification as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer description #1

The LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120 mm/f2.5 portrait lens, new accessories and a new camera firmware update are now available

Leica Camera AG, Solms, has expanded the LEICA S2 professional camera system. In addition to optional accessories such as the multifunctional grip, the professional charger and a hand strap, a new lens for portraits, beauty, product and macro photography is now also available: the LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120 mm/f2.5. A new camera firmware update that ensures optimum lens use on the S2 is also now available as a download for all registered users in the owners’ area on the Leica website.

Following the introduction of the LEICA SUMMARIT-S 35 mm/f2.5 ASPH. wide-angle lens, the LEICA SUMMARIT-S 70 mm/f2.5 ASPH. standard lens and the LEICA APO-ELMAR-S 180 mm/f3.5 telephoto lens, the LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120mm/f2.5 is now the first fast macro-telephoto lens with superior imaging quality in the Leica S-System line-up. In terms of 35-mm photography, the new lens has an angle of view corresponding to that of a 96-mm lens (multiplication factor 0.8). With a maximum aperture of 1:2.5, it offers a significantly higher speed than other lenses available in the medium-format segment and provides superior imaging qualities and brilliantly pure, natural colour rendition at all apertures from its closest focus setting to infinity. It is also an ideal lens for ‘available light’ photography and the conscious use of selective focus, and it therefore particularly suitable for use in creative photography.

Absolute dedication to superior imaging quality is a key factor in the design and construction of all Leica S lenses. This, for instance, explains why specially formulated glasses are used in their construction. At the same time, extremely narrow tolerances in the manufacturing process guarantee the superior performance of all S-System lenses. Vignetting and aberrations, such as distortion and chromatic aberration, are reduced to a hardly detectable minimum. Of course, this also applies to the LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120mm/f2.5. Thanks to its elaborate construction with nine elements in seven groups, including three elements with anomalous partial dispersion – two of which are highest-quality fluoride lenses for the correction of chromatic aberration – it guarantees the ultimate in optical performance. The LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120mm/f2.5 already reveals its outstanding characteristics at maximum aperture: outstanding contrast in even the finest structures and excellent reproduction of details across the entire image field.

As with all Leica S-System products, the LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 120mm/f2.5 is solidly built and designed to last a lifetime. The lens features a robust bayonet mount and is elaborately dust- and splash-proofed. This ensures absolute reliability even under the harshest conditions.

Manufacturer description #2

The APO Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 plays a true dual role in the Leica S-System: On the one hand, it is a macro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 that renders even the finest details with perfection. On the other hand, its focal length, equivalent to 100 mm in 35 mm format, makes it an ideal moderate telephoto lens for portrait photography, particularly as its unusually large initial aperture allows perfect isolation of portrait subjects from their backgrounds.

Its design and construction is equally elaborate: of the nine lenses arranged in seven groups, three are made of special glass with anomalous partial dispersion. The exceptionally low dispersion (colour scattering) of two of these is instrumental in keeping chromatic aberrations to a minimum. Its front-group focusing design features a floating element, i.e. an independently moving lens group that ensures spectacular imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range, even at the closest of focusing distances. Although the lens does not feature a completely sealed barrel due to the extreme extension of its close-up range, it is very effectively protected against the influences of water droplets, dust and moisture.

The optical design of the lens ensures that aberrations such as vignetting or distortion remain imperceptible. The contrast performance of the APO Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 is already so good at maximum aperture that stopping down to smaller apertures brings only an insignificant increase in contrast rendition, and even then, only in the extreme corners of the image. The combination of a moderate telephoto focal length, full macro-capability and an unusually fast initial aperture of f/2.5, and an alternative version with a central shutter, make this a unique lens in every respect.

Manufacturer description #3

The APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120 f/2.5 (CS) (96 mm in 35 mm format) has a true dual function. Firstly, it is a macro lens for closeup photography up to a reproduction ratio of 1:2, and secondly, it is a fast telephoto lens with an unusually wide maximum aperture of f/2.5.

At the same time, it offers such astounding imaging qualities at maximum aperture throughout its entire focusing range that stopping down really only increases the depth of field but cannot further increase its superior contrast rendition. This brings countless fascinating options for exploring the creative opportunities offered by selective sharpness. The alternative CS version with a central shutter further increases its enormous range of potential uses.

  • From close-ups to tele-photography
  • Real double benefit: On the one hand it is a macro lens for close-up images up to 1:2 scale, on the other hand it is a fast telephoto lens.
  • Innovative central shutter for maximum design freedom when using additional light
  • Excellent imaging performance over the entire range and at all aperture settings 
  • Extremely fast
  • Creative use of sharpness and blurring for the plastic extraction of motif details
  • Best image quality up to the edges due to aspherical optics
  • Weather- and dust-sealed lens

The lens design comprises nine elements in seven groups, and its frontgroup focusing with a floating element guarantees outstanding contrast performance at even the shortest focusing distances of the macro domain. Three elements are made of glasses with anomalous partial dispersion and two of these have extremely low dispersion, which minimizes monochromatic aberrations.

The sophisticated apochromatic correction enables perfect resolution of even high-contrast finedetail structures.

Typical application

portraits, macrophotography and product photography

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best short telephoto macro primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

Apochromatic optical design

All glass elements in an optical system refract light in certain colors to a different extent. This leads to the effect that not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are focused at a single imaging point – the result of this is chromatic aberration.

In this lens, the chromatic aberration is minimized by apochromatic correction.

A need for apochromatic correction arose with the increasing popularity of color film. Now, with high-resolution digital sensors, the need for superior control of chromatic aberrations is even more pertinent than when film changed from monochrome to color.

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Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Unknown type

Sorry, no additional information is available.

16018

Replacement lens cap for Leica S E72 lenses.

16020

Replacement rear cover for Leica S lenses.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.