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Olympus now join the wide range travel zoom club - Time for Leica to wake up and smell the coffee

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I see that Olympus have now joined the wide range travel zoom lens club with a 12-200mm lens (24-400 EFOV on a MFT camera). Sony and Nikon already offer similar range lenses (maybe Canon as well for mirrored and/or mirrorless cameras but I am not familiar with their ranges). These wide range lenses are extremely useful for travel purposes and I really think that it is high time, over four years after the introduction of APS-C L mount cameras, that Leica woke up, smelt the coffee and came out with such an APS-C/crop sensor lens. OIS would be an essential for such a lens, and given that Leica already know how to do this very effectively on the 24-90 and 90-280 SL lenses, they don't need to re-invent the wheel.

I would think a lot of us TL and CL owners, use them for travel like I do. Whereas the 18-56 is a good lens and the 11-23 excellent, they are quite narrow zoom range. I think the 55-135 is now out of date with no OIS, which is really very valuable for these longer lenses. I am soldiering on with the 80-200/4 Vario-Elmar R on my CL in the hope that either a wide range travel zoom comes out or a far wider range and stabilised tele zoom L APS-C lens replacement for the 55-135.  

Some people might feel such a lens would be too large or too slow. My argument is that even if it is a bit larger than the 18-56, the convenience of such a lens would more than compensate and of course, you don't have to carry around two more lenses with you. If you see how compact Sony have made their 18-250 lens and it is full frame, this shows it can be done. 

Wilson

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I would never buy or use a lens like that. Big, heavy and minor image quality, very slow and no bokeh...

Is not, for what I am on my way as a photographer. As everyone here knows: Some of the greatest photographers had one lens only, and that wasn't a zoom...

Bought my CL for easy and light use and got three lenses now: 18-56, 11-23 and 1,4 35. Take it all over the world if needed and it's more than enough...

May be that's different for a wildlife-photographer for example...

Edited by maron

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I can see the attractions of developing wider range and stabilised tele lenses for the CL, but I fear they would suppress the genuine attractiveness of a well-designed, lightweight  and compact body design which is the CL. If weight and bulk are not restraining considerations,  the SL system probably provides a better basis for such development. 

Secondly, developing stabilised longer tele-lenses would be a specialised and costly niche solution. Quite a gamble for Leica, perhaps less so for other members of the L-Alliance.

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The quality of such lenses is doubtful - they have been around for full frame for quite a while, but never took hold for serious photography. I prefer just a long zoom to complement the CL lens lineup.

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Too big and too slow for my tastes. Perhaps i would think differently if i had not the primes i need already. I doubt it though since long range zooms did not interest me in my youth either. 

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I don't like zoom lenses. 

Don't we all sound like a bunch of spoil sports? :D

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1 hour ago, ramarren said:

I don't like zoom lenses. 

Don't we all sound like a bunch of spoil sports? :D

I think we like honest opinions that are not snarky. As the original poster said, Nikon and others have had them for some time. As one who has both Leica and Nikon gear, the idea of these mega zooms has never appealed to me. If you want a zoom range like that, you might as well get a super zoom point and shoot.

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The three zoom lenses I have used are a 90-180 f 4.5 classic Vivitar, was never impressed with the image quality.

An 80 -200 f4 Nikon, old design, from 80-135 it is a very nice lens over 135 a little soft but OK.

A 11-16 f2.8 Tokina, can't say enough good things about this lens very crisp and the 2.8 across the field is nice. My only problem with this lens is a nurse I worked with was on the edge of a group shot, she never forgave me.

Long range zooms are as well describes here either too heavy or too slow. 

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Knowing Leica and their TL philosophy, it will going to be a f3.5-6.3/24-105 and still relatively large to not impair the quality.

The Olympus zoom probably has proper quality. I just cannot see the relevance for me. Whether or not the Market picks it up - I am not so sure. The one application where I can see usage is in an environment where one needs advanced camera functions, like in the EM1.2, in conjunction with small relative size and inability to swap lenses. I hope they have done their research and know better than me.

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Hopefully we will never see such Leica lens. 

Only desirable by beginners, but too compromised, too large, too heavy, too slow and poor IQ most of its focal range. Really not Leica. 

Leica prime lenses first, zooms second. 

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There are obvious attractions in a one-lens-to-do-it-all approach, especially if it seems to be reasonably light and compact, like this one. The test will be whether it has adequate IQ across the frame and across the focal length range, which has to be doubtful. Add image stabilisation and size it up for the CL or SL and it may not be so compact. But what do I know?

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45 minutes ago, nicci78 said:

Hopefully we will never see such Leica lens. 

Only desirable by beginners, but too compromised, too large, too heavy, too slow and poor IQ most of its focal range. Really not Leica. 

Leica prime lenses first, zooms second. 

Err.. If Leica should build one and you don't like it, don't buy it. Why put photographers who would like one down?

Rather condescending IMO.

Only Leica can decide whether  such a lens would be of sufficient quality and commercial interest. As for zoom vs. prime, again personal preference. Leica zoom lenses are of the same quality level as their prime lenses. Have been for decades.

 

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One of the main advantages for me would be not having to change lenses, when I am doing classic car rallies where a lot of the roads are not tarmac but gravel/mud. Dust is a huge problem and as the CL does not have the quite effective ultrasonic sensor cleaning or the sealing of the SL. From the weight POV I would prefer to take the CL rather than my SL but the SL it is. I don't really regard the APS-C CL as a tool for "serious" photography, as I have my M and SL cameras for that purpose. The CL I think of as far more a tool for casual or travel photography and as such, a long range zoom lens would be very useful. I think many of the folk above who decry such a lens, would be very surprised if they saw the results from such modern optics. Everyone I know who uses a Sony A7 camera, has one of these lenses, either the 18-200 or 18-250. I see little to grumble about on their photos. 

I think there is still a lot of snobbishness around about the use of zoom lenses - "Oh I only use primes because my standard of photography demands it". Given the optical abilities of modern zooms, really starting with the Leica 28-90/2.8 Vario-Elmarit R and the Zeiss 28-85/3.3 Vario-Sonnar of the 1990's, for most photographs, the results from these lenses were to all intents and purposes, as good as primes, as stated by both manufacturers at their release. It is coming to be the only advantages of primes are size and wide apertures, which I don't argue can be significant and I often use primes myself, particularly for film photography, where lens speed is more of an issue. 

Do remember that there would be no obligation to buy a long range travel zoom but don't deny it to those who would like it. I am suggesting it in addition to primes, not instead of. 

Wilson

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Totally condescending, I agree and assumed it. Because I think that it is a bad idea, wide to very long range lenses are not good. 

Sadly, one lens developed by Leica, means another will not see the light of day. Leica has limited ressources. I prefer that they roll out a complete set of compact fast TL primes. Instead of any non sense zoom lens. 

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I happen to think that the concept of the CL calls for compact zoom lenses in many cases. The primes are there and can be supplemented by any (M) lens you like.

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I genuinely think that the APO-TL 55-135mm is the largest and heaviest lens that the CL + handgrip + thumb rest can handle. Anything larger will be thrown out of balance. 

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5 minutes ago, jaapv said:

I happen to think that the concept of the CL calls for compact zoom lenses in many cases. The primes are there and can be supplemented by any (M) lens you like.

Of course, sadly due to 1.5x crop factor, CL needs wide angle primes, which does not exist in M world. Just give me a Summilux-TL 14mm, and I will be happy. 

You are right, compact zooms or compact TL or M primes are best suited for CL.

Summilux-TL 35mm and APO 55-135mm are really the absolute maximum bearable. APO-Summicron-SL is quite silly on the CL already. Noctilux-Ms are impractical. 

Edited by nicci78

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Interesting - the combo GX9-Vario Elmar 100-400 handles perfectly. And that is a more compact body than the CL.

Leica only needs to add O.I.S to longer zooms.

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A slow aperture ultra-zoom would not fit in with my travel ethos :

I do parr my kit down to a minimum, but the goal is for as compact as possible and fast enough to use indoors.

So that calls fo the 23/2 or M series 28 and offen TL2 over CL as I can drop the CL charger and go with USB charging.

Ideal roadmap scenario would be for a 18 and 35 summicron pair and TL3 with integated EVF.

Many years of Leica M use have biased my vision so, but I agree that an ultra-zoom would be a good thing for many and would open up CL sales to new customers. 

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