Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM) 35mm Zoom

Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM) 35mm Zoom 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Aug 15, 2013]
David Spero
Expert

Strength:

Super light weight, images are always super sharp, lovely rich color, creamy contrast, and let's not forget the macro feature!!! Optically this lens carries on the character of the sharpest R Rom lenses at an affordable price!!!

Weakness:

A built in hood would have made my day :)

Hey Folks! I own the Leica Summicron 50mm F2 (early 90's version) and was so impressed by Leica's optical character, that I set out to find an affordable, light weight solution to have 3 Leica primes (or something comparable). I researched this lens for weeks. I found that it was designed by Leica and produced in Japan by Kyocera. I learned one lens element is aspherical, yet Leica chose not to advertise this? No matter...This lens kicks some serious ass!
After some serious shooting - I found the character of this lens was exactly like my 90's Summicron prime.. The rich colors, sharpness, detail... Amazing.
IMHO - Optically this lens carries the character of the sharpest R Rom lenses at an affordable price!!!
I use this lens on a Canon Eos 5d Mk2 w/ adapter.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 24, 2011]
jph
Intermediate

Strength:

Sharpness corner to corner from wide open to where diffraction sets in... AND throughout the zoom range. Very low CA, good flare control, great contrast and color.

Weakness:

E60 filter size.

I had borrowed this lens way back (film days) when I had a Leica R4. At that time, I only used it for one day, but it left a good impression. So when I was looking for a compact high quality zoom for my 5DII, I thought of this lens and the Contax 35-70. I liked the fact that the Leica was not a push pull type of zoom, but I could not find any professional reviews on the internet. The Contax had quite a following over on Fredmiranda.com, so as far as image quality, the risk was low. I ended up buying the Leica for my solution for a light weight, high quality, mid zoom, for mostly landscape.
I’m using the Conrus adapter and it can focus to infinity. When I slapped it on my camera, and took a few quick test shots, I was amazed how sharp it was. After using it for a few months, I am happy to say, that it was the right choice. There is one issue. The (e60) filter size. I wanted to use a neutral density filter, and needed to get a step up ring. The problem with a step up ring is when zooming, the lens moves in then out past the front of the barrel. The step up ring does not clear this. So you kind of have to know in advance if you are shooting wide or tele. You also have to remove the lens shade. Kind of a hassle.
So why would I put up with this? High image quality in a compact package. Fantastic contrast, sharpness, color, flare control and very low CA ( I have never corrected an image yet with this lens).
So I just keep the ND filter on the step up ring. Set the lens in the range (wide-tele) I will be using it. Screw off the lens shade and replace it with the step up ring with the filter already on it.
For landscape it’s perfect. In most systems, you have to get a fast, expensive zoom to approach this kind of quality. They tend to be very large. I don’t need the speed, or the AF or the added weight. So this is a good solution for me.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

Canon 24-70L, Canon 24-105L, Nikon 28-70, 2.8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 24, 2011]
Jim
Intermediate

Strength:

Great contrast, micro contrast, sharpness, color all through the zoom and f stop range. This may be the only mid range zoom I ever had that exhibits these qualities.
Very low CA.

Weakness:

Front filter thread.

What I was looking for was a mid range zoom, that wasn't too large and heavy, that would be used primarily for landscape photography. I was planning on a Contax 35-70, but was concerned about the push pull zoom. So I looked at the Leica. There's not a lot to find on the web as far as testing for this lens. I was a little surprised at just how good the lens was. It seemed every bit as sharp as my old 35 Sumicron that I used to have. Also, it seems to be just a little sharper at the extremes than in the middle, which is rare for a zoom. It also seems to be sharp (corner to corner) right from f/4 up to where diffraction sets in at around f/11. The build quality is fantastic also. One other note, I have not had to correct for CA in any images taken with this lens--even with images as large as 17x25".
Now the bad. E60 filter thread. The main filter I would be using for this lens is a ND filter. I did find an adapter that allows me to go from E60 to 62mm filter size. The problem is I have to remove the shade, decide which end of the zoom I'm going to use (wide or tele), then put it on. The step up filter ring doesn't clear the front of the barrel when zooming from wide to tele or vise versa. The front element retracts then extends when zooming.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

Canon 24-70L, Canon 24-105L, Nikon 28-70 f2.8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 25, 2003]
Nopawach Gajajiva
Expert

Strength:

very well design...built like a tank.overall sharpness is good.Macro is very usfull from time to time.

Weakness:

hard to find E60 and the screw in hood

This is one of those amazing thing in photographic equipment(from my point of view)you can really feel it right out of it's leather case it came with.put it on my r8 and never take it off.the zoom and the focusing ring is so smooth....lets say very smooth....much better than my old 28-70 AFS....i love the contrast of this lens....comes with a little blueish in the coloration....very well buil .... i just love the lens

Customer Service

no need

Similar Products Used:

28-70 AFS. 35-70 2.8. 28-85 3.5-4.5. 24-85 3.5-4.5

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 07, 2002]
young_bobo
Casual

Strength:

great contrast. I don't really feel the strenth in shapness, but it is sharp. the contrast is very good.

Weakness:

the lens hood. It is strange. I like the lens hood, but it makes exchange filters difficult.

It is a great lens, well built. optic quality is excellent, excellent contrast. The narrow lens hood and rotate front elements make it hard to use a polarizer, but the lens gives nice blue sky. Do not bother by the lens hood issue or it is made in Japan if you plan to own it. It is a nice lens to have it.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

Nikon 35-70 F2.8 AF Nikon 28-70 F2.8 AFS Contax 28-70 F3.5-4.5 MM

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 08, 2002]
jaguardave
Expert

Strength:

Excellent results at all openings, easy to use, as far as Leica lenses go, affordable.

Weakness:

Could use a retractable lens shade rather than the screw on it comes with.

When I can only carry one lens, this is the one I select. It is so versatile and easy to handle, though as mentioned in earlier reviews, polarizing filters are tough to operate with the lens hood attached. A retractable lens hood would make this lens perfect. The close focus capability is a wonderful addition as well. Because of the quality of the images this lens produces I have not invested in a standard lens for my Leica system. This was the first Leica lens I bought when I first started building out a Leica system and I have never regretted the decision.

Customer Service

Not used yet.

Similar Products Used:

My first zoom.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 31, 2001]
David Walters
Expert

Strength:

Reasonably light, dead sharp, rock solid.

Weakness:

The screw on lense hood has to be removed to change filter...a small but annoying design compramise.

This is my first and only zoom. It took some getting used to at first, but now I never go anywhere without it. Very esy to focus (plenty of light) and incomprably sharp, especially in the mid F stops. I agree with the previous comment that coupled with the 3.4 180mm (best lense I''ve ever owned) it covers a great focal range. Add to it the F4 100mm macro, or the 2.8 if you can afford it, and you are set for just about any situation.

Customer Service

Not needed yet...but great service from Leo''s...shop in Vancouver were I buy my gear.

Similar Products Used:

None...first and only zoom...it took me 20 years to break down!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 23, 2000]
Dan States
Expert

Strength:

Resolution and contrast are superb. The construction quality is amazing. I have stopped using my Summicron 50m for all but low light occasion.

Weakness:

Rotating front filter mount. F4.0 is slow for the price.

This is the lens that changed my mind about zooms...It is good at full aperture and superb from 4.5-11. The macro range has been a nice bonus and is remarkably sharp and contrasty for a zoom.

Customer Service

na

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[May 01, 2001]
Christian Nagel
Expert

Strength:

Very solid built, a joy to use, the focusing and zoom ring move oily ! Great sharpness and contrast, good macro position

Weakness:

no weeknesses discovered

This is the perfect zoom for traveling, it incorporates an aspherical lens element which is responsible for the excellent sharpness and contrast in the macro and close range. The two ring zoom is very solid and shock resistant, not too heavy and has a continuous aperture of 4. Optically it is much better than the Vario-Elmar 3.5-4.5/28-70. Coupled with the Vario-Elmar 4/80-200 or the Apo-Telyt 3.4/180, it is a superb and lightweight combo for the optical power you get from 35-200. 5 Stars ! The customer service here in Germany is excellent : fast and friendly, they check your gear for free as often as you need it. You only have to pay for if anything they found is broken. And the possibility to break something is quite low ! I haven't seen any lenses (all of lLeicas lenses) that are built more solid than Leica lenses. It's a quality system for life !

Customer Service

Excellent

Similar Products Used:

Canon EF 2.8/28-70 L USM and Sigma EX 28-70/2.8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 30, 1999]
Russ
Expert
Model Reviewed: 35-70 mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM)

Strength:

It's convient and very sharp. I especially like it when you're traveling light.

Weakness:

The rotating front element makes using a polarizer difficuly. You have to remove the hood to rotate the filter. Would rather have a standard size filter rather than the rare (and expensive) 60mm.

Superb optics. Great close focus capabilities. You'll like it better if you don't use a polarizer or other filters requiring orientation.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

First Leica zoom purchase. Previously owned a Pentax 35~70mm f/2.8-f//3.5. This lens is vastly better.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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