Leica has announced the second lens after the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH for the new SL system, the APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4. It will suit a wide variety of genres including events and sports photography thanks to its versatile zoom and fast aperture range.
The new zoom comprises 23 elements in seven groups, of which seven are made from glass with anomalous partial dispersion to reduce chromatic aberration. Featuring optical stabilisation that provides 3.5 stops of compensation, it will be possible to take shake-free photography and video hand-held.
Thanks to its dual internal focusing, its autofocus system is both silent and fast. It has a minimum focus distance of 60cm at 90mm and 140cm at 280, so you can also get fairly close to your subjects.
The length of the lens does not change even when you change your focus distance or zoom in and out. This is owing to the newly developed drive technology with linear positioning of the lenses by stepping motors.
It comes with both a detachable tripod plate and a lockable rotating tripod collar with detents every 90 degrees for rapid switching between landscape and portrait orientation. A lens hood is also provided to reduce flare and protect the front element.
Given that the Leica SL and T systems have the same mount, the lens will also be compatible with APS-C Leica T cameras. When used on a T camera, you’ll have the equivalent focal range of 135-420mm in 35mm format.
The new lens will be available from March 24th 2016 and will be followed later on this year by the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH prime lens. The price hasn’t yet been announced in the US but the suggested retail price in the UK is £4,650 including VAT. You can check out the official Leica website for full details.