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LEICA VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 24–70mm f/2.8 ASPH


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I was interested to watch this as I find their reviews very good.

Lots of nervousness early on and forty minutes in before they mentioned the S word .

Understandable , but they then clearly explained what the differences were between the products sufficiently enough I felt for a customer to make an informed decision .

A must watch if you are in the market for this type of lens  .

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Sigma is second largest sellers of optics. After Canon and before Nikon.  Sigma is also producing everything in house : toolings, glasses, magnesium, DC motors.  So they cut down every middle men possible and have a huge economy of scale by supporting most lens mounts.  And everything is made in Japan at 90%.  They are also producing ODM lenses for everybody. Some are clones for a specific brand : Leica with the 24-70mm and Olympus with the 100-400mm.  Some are exclusive design : Lu

Agree! I'm done with spending the fortunes that I've spent on Leica lenses in the past. Lens design & technology has evolved dramatically over the past few years, manufacturers like Sigma & Voigtlander are producing outstanding lenses.   Over the past 18 months I've amassed a small arsenal of Sigma L mount lenses which I use on the SL2, so far not one has disappointed me. IQ & build quality are excellent. I'm also always banging on about the fact that many of these lenses have a

The collective effort to imagine/will a difference into existence here is commendable.:) A much easier route would be to wait for test comparisons.

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2 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

Wow, an official Leica dealer says that the Leica lens is better than the same lens with different barrel at half the price.

Who would have thought? 

Did they ?

That  wasn`t my  conclusion.

I thought that they were very even handed in explaining the differences between the two lenses .

The most significant to my mind was the more rigorous QA to which the Leica lens was subjected .

That comes as no surprise because Leica was famous for its QA back in the `30`s which prompted visits to the factory from other manufacturers .

Of course you can`t "see" this but in these days of increasing automation its becoming more important .

The other aspect which is not readily observed is the consequence of lackluster QA  ... sample variation.

There is evidence on the web that Sigma is prone to such variations.

Instead of asking why Leica is so expensive I always wonder how manufacturer XYZ can produce things so cheaply .  

 

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11 minutes ago, Michael Markey said:

The most significant to my mind was the more rigorous QA to which the Leica lens was subjected .

That comes as no surprise because Leica was famous for its QA back in the `30`s which prompted visits to the factory from other manufacturers .

Of course you can`t "see" this but in these days of increasing automation its becoming more important .

The other aspect which is not readily observed is the consequence of lackluster QA  ... sample variation.

There is evidence on the web that Sigma is prone to such variations.

Instead of asking why Leica is so expensive I always wonder how manufacturer XYZ can produce things so cheaply .  

Leica leader of QA? Are we talking about the same company that has the worst mobile app in town with constant connection issues, GPS not working etc?

The "Not enough power" issue on the SL2?

And the newly introduced disappearing profiles? How come the fabled Leica QA didn't catch these very obvious issues?

 

On top of that, my brand new M10 had a dead pixel row, fixed with a firmware patch sent by Leica technicians, and the only camera I EVER had to send back was a Leica Q2 that had a big chunk of dust in the EVF, straight out of the box, which apparently it's a somewhat common issue. I never had an issue with any other camera (Canon and Sony, can't talk about the rest), but 2 Leica out of 3 needed to be serviced.

So, sorry but I don't buy this Leica QA superiority. This was probably true 50 years ago. Nowadays? I doesn't look like it is.

As for sample variation, it takes 10 minutes to test a lens and eventually send it back to have it replaced. 1500€ saved.

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1 hour ago, Simone_DF said:

I never had an issue with any other camera

Completely anecdotal, but I feel the same way about Mamiya!

By the way, if we agree that the lens is probably made in the same factory as the Sigma equivalent, "higher QA" would mean a higher pass/fail threshold, meaning that you are less likely to have to send a lens back. Not totally unlikely, of course; it's a long way from a loading dock in Fukushima Prefecture to your front door.

 

I also thought they were fair. They stated the facts: the lenses are mostly similar, but you get all-metal construction and one more expensive element with the Leica. Some photographers will pay for that, some won't. The price difference isn't that high, especially when you look at similar lenses from Panasonic, Nikon, and Sony. In fact, the anomaly is the Sigma, which is half the price of its nearest rival. Some of that comes from thinner margins, but surely some of it also comes from design choices.

It really is more about the photographer's personality than it is about the product. Will it bother you that you "could have paid less," or will it bother you more that there's a slightly better version of your lens out there?

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I actually thought that as usual, their presentation was fair and appropriate. Yes they are Leica Dealers and are going to be biased but I find them incredibly dedicated and providing a unique service to the Leica community that I bet most never buy from them. 

My only concern with the presentation was it wasn't a real apples to apple comparison. For example, the ONLY real apples to apples between the 24-90 and 24-70 was at 24 where the test occurred for both at F2.8 and as they said, the Sigma/Leica may have been a little sharper. At the other focal lengths the "wide open" 24-90 was actually at if I remember correctly 3.2 or higher for the longer focal lengths in the comparison where the 24-90 was sharper. Was this finding really because the lens is better or because wide open the 24-90 is a smaller aperture than the 24-70 which is F2.8 "wide open". 

So I think there is more to the comparison between 24-90 and leica/sigma 24-70 than was presented last night. 

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5 hours ago, BernardC said:

I also thought they were fair. They stated the facts: the lenses are mostly similar, but you get all-metal construction and one more expensive element with the Leica. Some photographers will pay for that, some won't. The price difference isn't that high, especially when you look at similar lenses from Panasonic, Nikon, and Sony. In fact, the anomaly is the Sigma, which is half the price of its nearest rival. Some of that comes from thinner margins, but surely some of it also comes from design choices.

It really is more about the photographer's personality than it is about the product. Will it bother you that you "could have paid less," or will it bother you more that there's a slightly better version of your lens out there?

No no wait, if somebody likes an all metal construction and it's willing to pay for that, fair enough. After all, there are people that spend much more than 1500€ to customize their car or motorbike or buy clothes (I put myself in this list).

Sigma prices I think in part are justified by its big numbers. They are the only ones that produce lenses for all camera mounts. Canon, Nikon, Sony, L-Mount. Allegedly they'll start releasing even Fuji X mount lenses soon. They spread the cost among 4 different mounts.

But I'll wait for the obligatory Sean Reid comparison. I do trust his methodology much more than brand sponsorships.

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I’d like to see a comparison by Roger Cicala (lensrentals), including optical testing as well as one of his famous teardowns (for weather sealing, parts quality, assembly, etc).  He’s the only one I know who routinely checks multiple copies for sample variation, and his new testing equipment is top shelf.  Plus he cuts through any bs.

Jeff

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Any reason why folks look for corner sharpness while shooting open wide? In fact, I would be upset if my corners were sharp shooting at f2.8.. Anyway, 24-90 is definitely a far better lens and I don't honestly see anyone replacing theirs with the new 24-70.. it may be an additional lens for those who can afford it AND want it but that's it.. I would rather spend it on a 21mm when it comes out... 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jeff S said:

I’d like to see a comparison by Roger Cicala (lensrentals), including optical testing as well as one of his famous teardowns (for weather sealing, parts quality, assembly, etc).  He’s the only one I know who routinely checks multiple copies for sample variation, and his new testing equipment is top shelf.  Plus he cuts through any bs.

I'd love that, but Roger Cicala doesn't test Leica lenses :(

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29 minutes ago, Simone_DF said:

I'd love that, but Roger Cicala doesn't test Leica lenses :(

He does or at least did. He did a tear down on the 24-90 a few years ago. 

Wilson

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3 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

I'd love that, but Roger Cicala doesn't test Leica lenses :(

He does, but not so easily using rangefinders...

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/comparing-rangefinder-and-slr-50mm-lenses-version-0-7/

As noted, he also looked inside the SL 24-90...

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/02/a-peak-inside-the-leica-vario-elmarit-sl-24-90mm-f2-8-4-asph/

He’s also written extensively about zooms; no reason he couldn’t add some SL versions in future tests.  The S system is the main Leica line that he doesn’t stock for rental or testing.

Jeff
 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Priaptor said:

For example, the ONLY real apples to apples between the 24-90 and 24-70 was at 24 where the test occurred for both at F2.8 and as they said, the Sigma/Leica may have been a little sharper. At the other focal lengths the "wide open" 24-90 was actually at if I remember correctly 3.2 or higher for the longer focal lengths in the comparison where the 24-90 was sharper. Was this finding really because the lens is better or because wide open the 24-90 is a smaller aperture than the 24-70 which is F2.8 "wide open". 

There is a section near the end where they compare the 24-90 wide-open (that's around 1:3.8 at 70mm) to the new lens at f:4. The 24-90 still comes-out ahead.

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1 hour ago, Jeff S said:

He does, but not so easily using rangefinders...

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/comparing-rangefinder-and-slr-50mm-lenses-version-0-7/

As noted, he also looked inside the SL 24-90...

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/02/a-peak-inside-the-leica-vario-elmarit-sl-24-90mm-f2-8-4-asph/

He’s also written extensively about zooms; no reason he couldn’t add some SL versions in future tests.  The S system is the main Leica line that he doesn’t stock for rental or testing.

Yes, I've seen the rangefinder 50mm comparison, but that was 6 years ago. Many things happened in the last 6 years in the 50mm world.

And for the 24-90 he disassembled it. No test. I remember he commented on some other article that the zoom is very good from his initial tests, but that he has never published it because he didn't have 10 copies to test.

He should really start a paid subscription service a la Sean Reid if that could help him to test more lenses. I know I'd pay for it.

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3 hours ago, BernardC said:

If I recall, the issue was getting an L-Mount for their lens testing machinery, which is a substantial cost. Blog posts don't pay for that, rentals do.

First paragraph...

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/comparing-rangefinder-and-slr-50mm-lenses-version-0-7/
 

Din’t know if their new and improved testing setup (which was VERY expensive) has made this any easier (or harder).

https://wordpress.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/05/introducing-the-optical-bench/

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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