Jump to content

Vario Elmar 75-200


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I bought one of these yesterday for the price of a UV filter. Its been well used but the optics are fine. I have searched for images/comments on it but can't find any?


I'm aware that its a Minolta based lens and won't be as good as the latest offerings etc., but I will be testing it against my current Tamron SP zoom. I couldn't let it go at the price :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, James! It will be interesting to see some images from it.


Erwin Puts, in his book, does not say a lot about these early zoom lenses. He's part dismissive, part grudgingly accepting of their being quite good. Jonathan Eastland, in the 'Leica R compendium', is very positive, though his assessments tend to be impressionistic where Puts's are clinical. If I recall correctly, various contributors to this forum have said good things about these lenses -- such as 'under-rated'.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks John,


I rarely use my Tamron but the results when I do are very good, so I will be surprised if this particular Leica lens is any better.........we shall see!


I found a link to an article where they say that Minolta made the lenses then shipped them to Wetzlar where the Leica technicians checked and rebuilt them, apparently rejecting over 80% of them! If it's true then the Leica versions must be pretty good - an Minolta didn't exactly make shoddy gear to start with.


I generally prefer primes but for the times I do shoot sport/action etc., the zoom is more convenient.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to have this one until a couple of years ago. Actually it is much better than its rumour, I have some pictures taken with it, but they are all analog so I have to scan them first. My main concern was that it is not very fast, 4.5 at minimum zoom and only 5.6 at 200mm, but used in sunshine it was not to bad. I'll see if I can get the pictures scanned!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a 75-200 f/4.5 when I was experimenting with a Leicaflex SL. (The 75-200 fits the SL, the earlier 80-200 would not).


While it is based on a Minolta design, its color rendition matched very well with the contemporary c.1980 Leica lenses, so I suspect Leica tweaked the glass specs a little to get that cyan-y Leica color. Same refraction indices as the Minolta glass, but slightly different color? Or maybe Minolta intentionally aimed for Leica-like rendition at the time, seeing as they were partners.


Much different from, e.g. the Kyocera/Zeiss-built 80-200 of recent memory.


The entire outer lens tube turns for focusing, which made it kind of a pain to get on and off the camera (nothing solid to grip unless you zoomed it out first) - I eventually got a 180 f/2.8 to replace it. But the images were generally pretty good.


One of the great Leica bargain lenses, along with the Tele-Elmar 135 for the M.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...