Leica 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM) 35mm Zoom

Leica 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM) 35mm Zoom 

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-9 of 9  
[Dec 20, 2012]
Andy Andrews
Professional

Strength:

Superb optic on my daily nature walk-abouts. I bought it on eBay and it is mint and came in original box with all the papers, including the price sticker from a Los Angeles suburb camra store that said $1,995. I pulled out my Leitz price list and found the dealer net in '83 was over $1,100 and I paid a little over $200 for it in like new condition! On the Sony NEX 7, the images are all you could hope - even for a prime lens. I love my Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 but for nature and portraits the Vario-Elmar R gives me the same contrast and resolution at 1/4 the price.

Weakness:

No shake compensation but for critical work I alway carry my 2-lb. SLIK tripod and that produces even better picture sharpness than relying on built-in dampers. F/4.5 prohibits low-level lighting flexibility without pushing ISO to above 800 and beyond.

Glad to see my results backed up by the experiences of other responders. After 72 years behind the camera, I have formed opinions based upon my own empirical uses, not what I read on the net or in mags. Leica and Zeiss are still the paramount lens makers and, yes, you do still get what you pay for.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 04, 2004]
Douglas
Expert

Strength:

Reasonable VfM - for a Leica lens! One of the best buys in the range. (It is made by Kyocera to Leitz design and quality control.) Handles superbly. Smoooooth as silk. Image sharpness and contrast are just outstanding for a zoom, even better than the Canon 70-200'Ls'. This zoom will beat the majority of fixed-focus lenses in this range from other manufacturers. Built-in lenshood - which means that you will actually use it!

Weakness:

Some will find it a tad heavy and longish for convenience, but I personally admire Leitz' determination to specify materials and build quality primarily to guarantee image quality. What's a lens for?

An excellent lens, with outstanding image quality and flare resistance for a zoom. A joy to use, with a real quality feel. When used with the 2x converter shows only marginal image degradation and gives (nearly) 160-400mm - which is more than long enough for most uses.

Customer Service

Never needed

Similar Products Used:

Pentax 75-150K Canon 7-200 f4L Canon 70-200 f2.8L

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 12, 2002]
dr_fan
Expert

Strength:

Suprab optic, solidly built ! Cheap!(compare to other Leica lens)

Weakness:

Heavy!

This is the 2nd sharpest zoom lens of this range in the world.(The first being the 70-180 apo vario)even better than Contax 80-200/f4.

Customer Service

Excellent!

Similar Products Used:

Contax 80-200/f4 Nikon 80-200/f2.8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 17, 2000]
Chanjin Shin
Intermediate

Strength:

Very Smooth Operation
Replace several heavy fixed focal-length lenses

Weakness:

Front part of lens(focus ring) is so easily move without touch when shot is done toward earth.

It's a very good color saturation and resolution capability. Especially blue and green color tone reproduction capability!

Similar Products Used:

Nikon AF 80-200 F/2.8 ED-NEW

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 05, 2000]
Vincent Cheng
Model Reviewed: 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM)

Strength:

Solid built with elegant appearance. Optical performance near prime lense quality.

Weakness:

Perhaps the 60mm filter size and it's price compare to other brand.

If you do not require a super fast lense with A F2.8, this is the lense to go. You could now travel light while still get good photos. Again, no doubt on its optical performance with the price you paid for it.

Customer Service

NA

Similar Products Used:

Canon 80-200mm F2.8L
Canon 70-200mm F2.8L
Contax 80-200mm F4

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 03, 2001]
Christian Nagel
Expert

Strength:

Beautiful colors and sharpness, good and useful zoomrange, perfect quality and finish

Weakness:

Front part of lens can move when pointed downward, the aperture-ring is quite narrow

This is another travellers dream and a great companion for the Vario-Elmar 4/35-70. The optical and mechanical quality is perfect. The two rings move smooth as silk ! Sometimes, it might be a little bit too heavy, but that's the material - brass and aluminum. Sturdy and rock solid ! The camera body has to be well balanced, so if you use a R4-R7, be shure to use the winder or motor for a better counterweight. The R8 is fine, although the use of the winder is advantageous if you have big hands. I'm also using the famous APO-Telyt 180 for handheld and tripod shots. It is much more handy (about 700g), but doesn't sport that useful zoom range from portrait to tele. If you want to use a UV-filter for lens protection (you definetely should use one, it randomly saves up a lens if dropped !), be shure to get a cheaper and used original Leica UVa 60mm instead of a new 60mm. It retains the neutral and natural color balance of the lens. And the centering of the filter is much better than others. B+W Filters of Germany is another alternative for 60mm filters. The original Leica cirular polarizer costs 300 $. Used aprox. 150$. Thats hefty ! If you drop your Leica polarizer - you'll never get over it !

Customer Service

Perfect

Similar Products Used:

Canon EF 80-200/2.8 L, EF 28-70/2.8 L USM, Leica APO-Telyt 3.4/180

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 14, 2001]
Ingo Beyer
Intermediate

Strength:

Perfect build quality. Excellent mechanics. Sharp to the edges, no vignetting. Excellent color and detail repro.

Weakness:

E60 filter size. The B+W circ-pol. MRC cost about $105, and B+W is constructing a 81C(KR3) thin MRC for $105 too. I shot for a month w/o the c-pol, so don't count on finding that size quickly!

After much debate, I finally completed my R kit. This lens gives me the flexibility I need when I travel. I would prefer to shoot everything with Leica primes, but the added sharpness and contrast is always beat by a single zoom lens's range and convenience. Completely worth every pfenning (penny!), but the lens attracts too much attention. I've had to apply 'black tape'(?) over the red Leica point and this allows me to shoot and carry the kit with a bit more security.

Customer Service

Excellent by German standards, but my British friends cannot find a technical english speaker!

Similar Products Used:

Leica 28-70, Nikon F100 w/ Sigma 2,8:0 28-70, 17-35mm Sigma

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 02, 1999]
Li Tao
Expert
Model Reviewed: 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM)

Strength:

Easy to use, very good performance

Weakness:

Two long, The filter size is not popular.

It's a good zoom lens for a amerture.

Similar Products Used:

Leica M

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 30, 1999]
Russ
Expert
Model Reviewed: 80-200mm Vario-Elmar-R f/4 (ROM)

Strength:

Replaces the weight and bulk of several fixed focal length lenses with no quality penality.

Weakness:

Would prefer a common filter to the 60mm size required.

The Pentax lens was much lighter. At about 2 lbs., you begin to feel the weight of the Leitz lens early. Optically, the Leica lens is superior. It doesn't have a "macro" function, but does focus to 1.1m. That's plenty close for most work. If you need to get closer, you should be using a true macro lens anyway. I'm ready to sell some of my fixed focal length lens now.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

70~210mm f/4 Pentax A

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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