Leica has announced the Leica M Edition 100 limited edition kit to celebrate its 100th anniversary, as well as two new lenses.
The Leica M Edition 100 kit will be limited to just 101 sets worldwide, and consists of the Leica M-A, a mechanical rangefinder camera for film photography, and a Leica M Monochrom digital camera, along with three summilux lenses, a 28mm, 35mm and 50mm focal length. The 28mm f/1.4 ASPH is a new lens, and no further information has been released as yet.
The visible metallic elements of the cameras are made for the first time out of stainless steel, a material that Leica say is extremely difficult to work with.
Leica say the sets will be available from Leica stores and boutiques from June 2014, and none of the items contained in the sets will be available as separate items. The first set will be auctioned today in Wetzlar, Germany, with a starting price of 22,000 Euros.
Also announced was the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4 lens , along with the Leica Macro Adapter M. This collapsible macro lens has exceptionally good imaging performance at close focusing distances, as well as being a good universal telephoto lens.
For more information, take a look at the Leica website.
With the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4, Leica Camera AG presents a new, collapsible macro lens for the Leica M-System. As in the case of the previous generation of this lens, its performance has been optimised to cover the entire working range, from infinity to the closest macro focusing distance. This makes the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 ideal not only as a moderate, universal telephoto lens, but also as a macro lens with exceptional imaging performance at close focusing distances. For example, in combination with the new Leica Macro- Adapter-M, specially designed and constructed for use with the Live View function of the Leica M, it allows photographers to capture spectacular close-up exposures at a reproduction ratio of up to 1:2.
The Leica Macro-Adapter-M is designed to be mounted between the camera and the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4. Its integrated helical screw system allows a variable extension of the lens of between 18 and 30 mm and thus enables the variation of the reproduction ratio. When mounted on the adapter, the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 can also be used in its collapsed position for exposures up to infinity. Thanks to a new locking function, this allows photographers to set any distance from 41 cm (reproduction ratio 1:2) to infinity without having to dismount the adapter.
As the Macro-Adapter-M is also compatible with other M lenses, it offers Leica M photographers an even wider range of opportunities for creative composition and additional variety in reportage portfolios. With Leica lenses from 50 mm and greater, it enables macro exposures up to a reproduction ratio of 1:2 and, with wide-angle lenses, even larger ratios. The lens-to-subject distance decreases with decreasing focal lengths. The use of the adapter with 28, 35 or 50 mm lenses creates fascinating effects. The short distance from the subject creates extremely distorted perspectives and highly selective sharpness. Because, in contrast to a macro lens design, the imaging performance of these lenses is not optimised for such close focusing distances, it is advisable to stop them down by one or two aperture values. The use of the Macro-Adapter-M with lenses with focal lengths of less than 28 mm is not recommended, as the lens-to-subject distance must be extremely short to allow correct focusing.
Without the adapter, the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 is an extremely versatile telephoto lens – for example, for portraits with shallow depth of field and in travel photography for capturing details in landscapes. For reportage photography, the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 allows photographers to capture discreet shots at a greater distance from their subjects. In comparison, the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 is a compact and lightweight alternative to existing Leica M-Lenses of this focal length. When not in use, the lens can be collapsed to save valuable space in the camera bag.
The optical design of the new Leica-Macro Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 comprises four lens elements in four groups. Its imaging performance is very good across the entire image field. Even wide open, at f/4, the lens delivers near optimum performance. This high imaging performance is preserved almost completely in its closest focusing range. The only significant effect of stopping the lens down is an increase in the depth of focus.
The Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 and the Leica Macro-Adapter-M will be available from June 2014. The lens is set to be priced at 2850 Euros, while the adapter will cost 550 Euros.