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Leica Super-Elmarit-R 15mm F/2.8

Ultra-wide angle prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Model history

Leica Super-Elmarit-R 15mm F/2.8A13 - 100.18m-- 2001 
Leitz Wetzlar Super-Elmar-R 15mm F/3.5A13 - 120.16m-- 1980 

Features highlight

Extreme AoV
Fast
1 ASPH
4 AD
6 HR
Auto
MF
CFD 0.18m
IF
Built-in filters
Built-in hood

Specification

Production details
Announced:November 2001
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:11326
Original name:LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R 1:2.8/15 ASPH.
System: Leica R (1964)
Optical design
Focal length:15mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica R [47mm] (ROM)
Diagonal angle of view:110.5° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction:13 elements - 10 groups
1 ASPH, 4 AD, 6 HR
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Number of blades:6
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.18m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:5.3 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Internal focusing (IF)
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:710g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀83.5×85.3mm
Weather sealing:-
AquaDura coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Removable front filters are not accepted
Built-in NDx1, YG, OR, KB12 (part of the lens optical system)
Lens hood:Built-in petal-shaped
Lens caps:14162 (rear)
Teleconverters:Not compatible

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

Manufacturer description #1

03 - 11/2001 - Ultra wide angle lens LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R f/2.8/15 mm ASPH.

The new LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R f/2.8/15mm ASPH. recently launched by Leica Camera AG, Solms for the Leica R single-lens reflex system features significant improvements on the predecessor model (the LEICA SUPER ELMAR-R f/3.5/15mm). Besides a considerably enhanced imaging performance, the new ultra wide angle lens is more compact and its speed has been increased by 2/3 stop.

Even at full aperture, the LEICA SUPER ELMARIT-R f/2.8/15mm ASPH. delivers an outstanding imaging performance. Contrast and definition are excellent, diminishing only slightly at the edge of the picture. The lens resolves even fine details in the corners. The vignetting which is inevitable with very short focal length wide angle lenses is only 1.3 stop values in the corners of the image from f/8 onwards. The drop in brightness at the edges of the image is only visible with bright and homogeneous backgrounds. The extremely slight barrel-shaped distortion has been reduced to 2%, which is only half that of the predecessor model.

The high performance of the LEICA SUPER ELMARIT–R f/2.8/15mm ASPH. is based on a design with internal focusing of 13 lens elements in 10 component groups. One of these lens elements has an aspherical coating, four feature anomalous partial dispersion while six others are made of highly refractive glass. Stray light is minimized and reflections are extremely slight for an ultra wide angle lens.

Due to its extremely large angle of view and intensified rendering of perspectives, the new lens in the Leica R system is particularly useful for landscape and architectural photography. Thanks to the extremely short close focus limit of 18 cm, it is also possible to produce realistic pictures of miniature models - for example in the planning of construction work. The focal length allows interesting variations in image composition, giving professional and hobby photographers the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity.

Manufacturer description #2

The optical design, with internal focusing, has 13 lens elements in 10 groups, one with an aspherical surface. This super-wideangle lens has virtually no flare, it is not sensitive to reflections and delivers first-class images at full aperture. Contrast and sharpness are extremely high, so that the finest details are resolved into the very corners of the image. The Super-Elmarit-R has a built-in filter revolver with a neutral density filter, a KB12 artificial light conversion filter, a yellow-green filter and an orange filter. Its very wide angle of view and its impressive rendition of perspectives are superbly suitable for landscape and architectural photography, as well as for covering the full scene in confined interior quarters. Dynamic perspectives with dominant foregrounds are made possible by the large angle of view and the short near focusing distance of only 18 cm (7 in).

Manufacturer description #3

The launch of the LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R 15mm f/2.8 ASPH. continues the consistent development of the Leica R-system. This high-performance lens is the successor to the proven SUPER-ELMAR-R 15mm f/3.5 and sets new standards for super wide-angle lenses.

Compared to its predecessor, the LEICA SUPER- ELMARIT-R 15mm f/2.8 ASPH. is notable for its significantly improved optical performance, with a 2/3 stop higher lens speed combined with reduced dimensions. The higher lens speed not only noticeably simplifies the precise focusing that is often critical for low focal length lenses, it also allows a slightly shallower depth of field, a feature often demanded for picture composition reasons.

This is especially relevant as this super wide-angle lens achieves outstanding results even with an open aperture. Both contrast and sharpness are very high and only slightly reduced at the edges, which means that fine details can be seen even in the corners of the picture. Stopping down results in only a slight increase. It is only at very close range – up to 18cm – that any remaining image aberration such as coma or curvature of field should be eliminated by stopping down by 1 to 2 stops. On top of this, the lens shows very little flare and, for a super wide-angle lens, is insensitive to reflexes.

From f/8, the unavoidable vignetting with very short wide-angle lenses is only 1.3 stops in the corners of the picture, an amount that only becomes visible with uniform bright backgrounds. Compared to the predecessor model, the barrel distortion has been reduced by half, to only 2%. Other than for subjects where this figure is critical, e.g. architecture, this is negligible in practical photographic terms.

The capabilities of the LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R 15mm f/2.8 ASPH. are based on an optical design – with internal focusing – made up of 13 elements, of which one has an aspherical surface, four have anomalous partial dispersion and six are made of highly refractive glass.

As a result of its extremely large angle of view and the characteristic perspective rendition, the LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R 15mm f/2.8 ASPH. is particularly well suited for landscape and architectural photography, as well as for reproducing restricted parts of a building as completely as possible. The very short close focusing limit also allows the realistic portrayal of small models.

Summary:

The new LEICA SUPER-ELMARIT-R 15mm f/2.8 ASPH. combines a noticeably higher speed with the highest possible reproduction quality in every regard and is still more compact than the previous lens. Overall, this makes it an attractive extension of the photographic options offered by the Leica R system for super wide-angle applications.

From the editor

A Schneider design in which Leica had much more influence on the performance criteria than they did with the Super-Elmar-R 15/3.5 made by Carl Zeiss, which it replaced.

The replacement front lens cap was obtainable on enquiry from the Leica Camera AG Customer Service Center or local LEICA agency.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, travel

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35mm full frame

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

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Note

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

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One of the best ultra-wide angle prime lenses

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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.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

14162

Replacement rear cover for Leica R-mount lenses except 21mm.

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.

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".

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:

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

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.