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Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120mm F/5.6 ASPH.

Shift lens • Digital era

Abbreviations

TS Perspective Control lens.
ASPH. The lens incorporates aspherical elements.

Features highlight

45x30
Shift -12..0..+12 mm
Tilt -8..0..+8°
T/S rotation
APO
1 ASPH
Preset
MF
DP/WR
FC

Specification

Production details
Announced:September 2012
Production status: In production
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:11079 - black anodized
Original name:LEICA TS-APO-ELMAR-S 1:5.6/120 ASPH.
System: Leica S (2008)
Optical design
Focal length:120mm
Speed:F/5.6
Maximum format:Medium format 45x30
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica S [53mm]
Lens construction:6 elements - 4 groups
1 ASPH
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Preset
Number of blades:<No information>
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.95m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:5.3 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Tilt and Shift mechanism
Shift range:-12..0..+12mm
Tilt range:-8..0..+8°
Lens rotation:-
Tilt/Shift rotation:Yes
Physical characteristics
Weight:1110g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀108×144mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
AquaDura coating:Front and rear elements
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 95mm
Lens hood:Not required
Lens caps:16027 (front)
16020 (rear)
Teleconverters:Not available

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

Manufacturer description #1

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) – Leica Camera presents the Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH., the first fully-adjustable tilt/shift lens for the Leica S medium format system. This apochromatically corrected lens provides options for parallel shifting and tilting according to Scheimpflug and offers photographers the full range of adjustment options traditionally found in field cameras. Additionally, the new lens guarantees the greatest possible imaging quality, easy handling and universal applicability of the Leica S-System.

The Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. is ideal for product and object photography where perfect perspectives and maximum depth of field are required. Consisting of six individual lens elements, the lens’ optical system allows parallel shifts (shift) of up to 12 mm in all directions as well as tilting of the plane of focus (tilt) by up to 8°. Its apochromatically corrected lenses ensure that the familiar superior quality delivered by the S-System is maintained, even when fully exploiting the limits of creative freedom.

Tilting the plane of focus allows photographers to place it at any chosen point within the image. As such, the optimum depth of field can be achieved without stopping down sharply and without having to accept the qualitative disadvantages of a closed aperture. The Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. also allows photographers to adjust the location of the plane of sharpest focus.

Parallel shifting enables precise correction of converging or diverging verticals without the loss of resolution generally encountered when applying corrections with post-processing software. This simultaneously ensures that the performance and capabilities of the S-System are preserved and that photographers have complete control over all lines within the image frame. As a result of its large image circle, the Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. allows the combination of tilting and shifting for maximum artistic flexibility.

As a result of its special construction and external form, the Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. differs to some extent from the remainder of the S-System lens portfolio. For instance, it features an integrated lens hood specially optimized for its optical system. Shifting and tilting movements are controlled by a total of four rings and two additional rings manually control the aperture and distance settings.

As with the entire Leica S-System, the Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. is distinguished by ruggedly enduring design and construction that guarantees years of dependability, even with frequent use. Including the new Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH., the current S-System range offers a total of eight lenses (five of which will also be available in CS versions with a central shutter), guaranteeing uncompromising imaging quality for all areas of photography.

The lens is supplied complete with a tripod mounting plate with 1/4″ and 3/8″ bushes that allows the lens to be fixed securely in any position.

Manufacturer description #2

Thanks to a wide range of adjustment options similar to those of a field camera, the S-System now has a tilt-and-shift lens that offers fascinating creative potential – the TS-APO-Elmar-S 120mm f/5.6 ASPH. By tilting the lens away from its optical axis, the plane of sharpest focus moves in accordance with the Scheimpflug principle, which allows the sharp resolution of distant objects despite a large aperture and permits intentional reduction of depth of focus. Shifting the optical axis off centre allows correction of perspectives, for instance to correct or emphasise converging or diverging verticals. On the one hand, these capabilities open up very attractive options for exploring unusual visual effects, while on the other hand they allow complete correction of perspective distortion at the time of exposure.

As a consequence of its construction, the TS-Apo-Elmar-S 120mm f/5.6 ASPH. must be manually focused and has one mechanical aperture ring for presetting the aperture and a further ring for stopping down for the actual exposure. The considerably enlarged image circle of the lens permits a maximum shift of 12mm and a maximum tilt of 8° in each direction. The direction and degree of both tilt and shift can be set precisely by means of two separate rings.

The optical design comprises six elements in four groups, and one aspherical surface ensures consistently excellent imaging performance even when the extremes of tilt and shift capabilities are exploited to the full. Its moderate telephoto characteristic – the focal length corresponds to 100mm in 35mm format – and a close-focusing limit of only 84cm make the TS-Apo-Elmar-S 120mm f/5.6 ASPH. an excellent lens for use in studio settings and for outdoor photography.

Manufacturer description #3

In the same way as with a field camera, the adjustments possible with the TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 f/5.6 ASPH. (96 mm in 35 mm format) allow full control over perspectives and the location of the plane of sharpest focus. The lens delivers an image circle with a diameter increased by 24 mm to allow parallel shifts of up to 12 mm in relation to the optical axis in all directions. This effectively relocates the viewing standpoint and correspondingly alters the perspective – this, for example, allows product photography without undesired converging or diverging verticals.

Independent of this shift function, the lens can also be tilted by up to 8° in all directions to tilt the plane of sharpest focus according to the Scheimpflug principle. Using this technique, you can shoot a subject from an oblique angle at maximum definition.

  • Full control over perspectives and the position of the focus angle 
  • Creative Tilt & Shift photography
  • Best image quality right to the edges due to aspherical optics
  • Weather- and dust-sealed lens

Due to its special construction as a tilt/shift lens, the external form of the TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 f/5.6 ASPH. differs from the other S-System lenses. Along with a focusing ring for setting the correct distance, a preset ring and a setting ring are provided for adjusting the aperture.

The lens has a total of four rings for controlling tilt and shift. One turn/push ring each for setting the tilt and shift direction and one each for setting the degree of tilt or shift. The lens is also fitted with a tripod plate with 1/4" and 3/8" bushes that, thanks to a rotatable clamping ring and a fixing screw, allow the lens to be fixed in any chosen position.

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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 shift lenses

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.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

16027

Replacement lens cap for Leica S E95 lenses.

16020

Replacement rear cover for Leica S lenses.

Shift lenses

Shift lenses are high-quality lenses, usually wide-angle, that provide a parallel shift facility like the sliding lens panel of professional large-format cameras for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating the perspective especially for use in architectural and product photography.

Whereas normal lenses designed for 35mm full-frame cameras have an image circle diameter of 43.27mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle, shift lenses provide much larger image circle (60mm or even more). Decentration of the lens is possible within this area.

Vertical shift is the most popular: upward when photographing high buildings, and downward for product shots, so that the camera does not have to be tilted. When the camera is tilted either upward or downward, perpendicular lines are not imaged as perpendicular, but rather converge upward or downward, which is very pronounced in wide-angle shots and can be very irritating.

Lens rotation

By using rotation, the direction of the entire lens can be switched.

Tilt/Shift rotation

By using Tilt/Shift rotation, the relationship of the tilt and shift operation directions can be switched from right angle to parallel.

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.

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.