Opinions on the Leica 24mm f2.8 Elmarit-R

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by prince_alfie, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Any opinions on the Leica 24mm f2.8 Elmarit-R. I know that this is a
    Minolta design but believe that the performance is supposedly fairly
    impressive. Anything else?
  2. Alfie, the 24mm focal length is one I personally like (the perfect complement to a 35mm), and currently have the 24 ASPH M. I previously owned the 24R, and finished up trading it for a current 28R, a focal length I don't particually like.

    The performance of the 24R is not up to the standard of the current 28R, and nowhere near the 24M. The 24M is in a class all by itself.

    The 24R is as good as the 24 2.8 Nikkor, that most people think highly of. The differences in my experience, the 24R has better imaging in the center of the frame, with the Nikkor being better in the outer areas of the frame.

    My sense is that the floating element design causes compromises that are more noticable in the 24R than the Nikkor, the Nikkor being more even edge to edge.
  3. It was a Minolta design, originally. Not now. It has been redesigned by Leica several times, to incorporate newer optical glasses. The current version is German in design and manufacture. Erwin says it's about equivalent to the 24/2.8 Nikkor. That's good, since the latter is a fine lens.

    I bought the Leica version from Lutz recently. I haven't explored it fully, I'm still in the process--so I don't really have enough in-depth personal experience with it yet. Stay tuned . . .
  4. Sounds nice. How can you differentiate between the Minolta and Leica versions of this lens?
  5. "It has been redesigned by Leica several times, to incorporate newer optical glasses."

    Have you any official documentation from Leica attesting to this? I have never read anything from Leica claiming the 24R has optically changed other than making use of whatever their current method is for the deposition of the coating.
  6. Mine was old and one of two Leica glsses I consider close to junk.
    The off axis image that should have been easily within the debth of field was not even close, although the center was fine. I understand that is one of the downsides to a floating element design. Others have reported this to be a problem also.

    Nice focal length to match a 35, but be sure you get the redesigned one if it exists. I never heard of an optical redesign, just cosmetic with the builtin shade.
  7. I went back to a 28/21 combo with the additional weight.
  8. Alfie: The only clue I can think of would be the filter size. Mine takes either a series 8, in the hood, or a 60mm directly on the lens. Brian Bower and the Hove 6th edition Pocket Book both show the Minolta version taking only a series 8.

    I can cite some references for the change-over from Minolta to Leica, but I'll have to dig. One is Erwin's writeup of the lens in the 7th edition Pocket Book Leica Collector's Guide. The rest is in LFI or The Viewfinder, I forget which.

    I'll dig it out later. Right now, now that I've walked the dog and done the Leica Forum, I ought to get my butt down to the office and do a little billing. Later!
  9. The 24R is a fine lens, but not to the standard of current designs such as the 28R. If you can get one at a good price then I imagine you would not be dissapointed. I've regularly used one for Double Page Spreads in magazines, the quality is fine. It's definitely not a "junk" lens.

  10. Here we are. Here's a brief quote from Erwin Puts, in his article, "Leica Knowledge How to purchase R lenses, part 1: From 15 to 800mm." In LFI, no. 2, 2005: "Since its introduction in 1974, the Elmarit-R 24mm f/2.8 has experienced scores of modifications. The lens is based on a Minolta design, and the original glass types were selected by Minolta. After Leica's adaptation, it occasionally happened that certain types of glass were no longer available and analogous changes had to be made. This explains the various versions of the lens." (pp. 27-28)
    And in the Leica Pocket Book, 7th Edition (Hove Collectors Books, 2002), Puts states, "The Elmarit 2.8/24mm is a Minolta design that has been adopted and adapted (with different glass) by Leica. In the beginning Minolta supplied the glass elements and Leitz did the assembly. Later, when Minolta stopped production, Leica continued to produce the lens. Purists may debate whether this is a true Leica lens. The fact that Leica has adapted the design and continues to produce it is a sign that it qualifies as a Leica lens." (p.190)
    Sorry to base so much on one author; but in the Leica Lens Compendium (Hove Books, 2001) Puts wrote: "At middle apertures the R-24 is better than the Angulon 4/21or the first R-28mm." (p.141)
    Conclusion: It's not Leica's best, but it's nothing to avoid, either. I need it because I like the 24mm focal length. Now let's all go out and take pictures!
  11. For Leica R, there is only one other option: the VARIO-ELMAR-R 21-35 mm. If you compare the MTF graphs you may find that the difference is not that big. If you don't mind the f4 and min. focusing distance at 0.5 m, maybe that is your best choice. For what I am shooting, my only option is a totally different system. I stopped worrying about the less than perfect reviews of this lens.
  12. I cannot agree to the theory that the R24 could be compared to the Nikon 24/2.8.
    I use both lenses frequently since it is one of my fav. focal lenghts. The R24 has a pretty sharp image in the center, but loses sharpness in the corners. However, the detail rendering is good and there is no reason not to use this lens. From my point of view it is better than the old R28. The only thing which could be noticed is that with color slides it shows a slightly different coloring than other Leica lenses.

    When compared with the Nikon 28/2.8 the qualities of the lens become evident: the Nikon has a much unsharper image at the corners, shows really big distortion and is critical when flare resistance is a topic. By this comparison one could notice how good the R24's flare control is.

    BR Marc
  13. In a few years, now tha Minolta is stored in the Glorious Past Companies, it will be praise. Until then, it seems to be a handicap!

    I'm sure it is a part of the snobish attitute....

    The current summicron is a derived grom the Triplet of Cook so is the current R24 a derived formula from an original design!

    This lens is really a fine lens. But as it captures a large area of the scenery, you need a very precise film, grainless!

    For a long time, I used a Tamron 24mm and I can say the colors from the Leica R24 are really wonderful!

    Not to mention the quality of illumination, no fall off in the corners. For a wide angle, it is to be mentionned.

    And the mechanical quality is really "Leica"!

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