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Lucio L.

Leica Elmarit-R 24/2.8

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Hi there!
I took my first step into the Leica world about one year ago, when guided by your suggestions I bought a 35/2.8 and found it very good. I then expanded my lineup with the Elmarit 60mm and the Summicron 50mm II. So far so good. Finally some lenses that could couple a good optical quality with an outstanding build quality, which was exactly what I was looking for, since I didn't want to invest a fortune on cinema lenses. So I decided to replace my Nikon 24mm and I got the Elmarit, since it's the only option for this focal lenght in R line. Downright awful. Up to 5.6, everything outside the small center of the image is a blurry mess... should I keep looking for a better copy or that's just how this lens performs? The copy I have looks like new and doesn't show any mechanical problem, I also tested it on an optical chart and it looks properly aligned, so I'm afraid I won't have better luck with another copy.
I know the R 28mm II is a great lens, but it has a too short focus throw, while the I version is too small for a video rig. And I would still need a 24mm...
The M line is not an option for me, due to the short flange distance of that system.
As usual, thank you very much for your help!
 

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On the SL (and presumably SL2) the M 24mm lenses work brilliantly.  I have the "cheaper" Elmar-M 24mm f3.8 and it is corner to corner sharp, even at f4.

That said, your copy of the Elmarit-R 24mm sounds dodgy.  Although it was never in the 19mm V2 or 28mm V2 league, it wasn't as bad as you describe.

What sounds like happened was your lens was taken apart, cleaned, and then reassembled - with no attention paid to ensure the elements were properly aligned.  Apparently it happens often now that these lenses are in demand again by cinematographers.  It happened to my copy of the Summilux-R 35mm and I had to send it off to DAG to be recalibrated/ adjusted.

Up to you if it's worth doing it for your lens, or send it back for a refund if you can.

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I'm sending the lens back tomorrow morning, I can't be sure that it could be fixed and I don't won't to take the chance to loose time and money.
I'll look for another copy and see how it goes, then.
Thank you very much for your help!

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The Elmarit R 24 is a Minolta-design (with some Leitzspec) and then produced and branded by Minolta. I had this lens before and even though it could not compete with Elmarit 19 I did not find it as bad as you describe. May I ask which camera you are using? Is your purpose mainly filming or also still photography?

Maybe the Vario-Elmar 21-35 could be an option for you or the Elmarit 19?

From my own experience these R-lenses are "worth it":

Elmarit 19 (second version is clearly better but the first version is also really nice)

Elmarit 28

Summicron 35

Summilux 35 (nice but not worth the price anymore)

Summicron 50

Summillux 50 (E60 version clearly being better but overpriced these days)

Elmarit 60

Elmarit 90

Apo-Macro Elmarit 100

 

The Super-Elmarit 15 is supposed to be fanstatic but prices are through the roof.

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Filming is my only purpose, but I always test my lenses firstly on a 24MP APS-C still camera, because if they manage getting good results on such a dense sensor, they usually work fine on basically any video camera. A 24mm lens with at least a 2.8 maximum aperture is necessary for me, so the Elmarit-R is really my only option in the Leica-R lineup... I hope I'll be able to find a good copy, I'm already looking around. Thank you for your reply!

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Lucio:  I had the Elmarit-R 24mm f/2.8, a 1980 unit by the serial number, and used it quite extensively. Never had any of the issues you described; I compared it against a similar condition R28/2.8 type 1 that I acquired later and found it to actually be a better performer. I can only imagine that the example you were working with was damaged in some way.

Perhaps it had been dismantled for repair or cleaning at some point and inexpertly reassembled. I've seen that before...!

(I went to the R28 because the R24 is not compatible with the Leicaflex SL. The Leicaflex SL2 has a revised mirror mechanism that allows use of the R24.)

G

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In his 'Leica Compendium' Erwin Puts writes:-

The Elmarit-R 1:2.8/24mm is often referred to as a Minolta lens.  The truth background is a bit more complicated. The original design is a Minolta computation with Minolta glass and glass from other manufacturers.  Leitz had adopted the computation. The lens is completely built in Germany.

 

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Same result as most of the others, my R24 was OK, certainly nothing to complain about, except as Godfrey noted, non-compatibility with my Leicaflex SL. On the R6 though, lovely.

Gary

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Okay, thank you all very much, I'll definitely give this lens at least another chance. Optically, there's only one version of the R 24/2.8, right? All copies should perform more or less the same, except for the different coatings used along the years. I'm asking that because I see pricing online going from 400 to 1200 €, which I find to be weird... maybe some versions are extremely rare?

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48 minutes ago, Lucio L. said:

Okay, thank you all very much, I'll definitely give this lens at least another chance. Optically, there's only one version of the R 24/2.8, right? All copies should perform more or less the same, except for the different coatings used along the years. I'm asking that because I see pricing online going from 400 to 1200 €, which I find to be weird... maybe some versions are extremely rare?

As far as I know they are all the same. From 1996 they have ROM-connector for R8 and R9 but this have no impact on IQ whatsoever. Leica Wiki is a good source of information :):

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/24mm_f/2.8_Elmarit-R

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