The Fisheye-Elmarit-R 16mm f/2.8 is of the full frame type (covering the full 24x36mm). It has eleven elements in eight groups. It was designed and built for Leitz by Minolta in Japan. It has "Leitz Wetzlar" inscripted on the barrel and is sold by Leica from existing stock.
The lens covers 180°. Straight lines passing through the lens axis (like the horizon) are reproduced straight while the sides of the images exhibit barrel distortion. It is an ideal lens for landscapes, city and experimental architectural photography.
This is clearly a specialty lens for the serious and creative amateur photographer. It takes a while to master in order to produce interesting and lasting images. With care for subject and camera position it is even possible to take pictures without revealing that they were taken with a Fisheye.
The lens has a large depth of field. As with other super wideangle lenses, emphasis is being put on the object in the foreground. One has to be careful no to include feet while taking pictures! Also, since its angle is 180°, light metering may require special attention (bright skies, strong light sources like the sun).
The Fisheye-Elmarit-R 16mm f/2.8 displays good contrast and definition wide-open which will be enhanced by stopping down to f/5.6. Vignetting is non-existent.
Weight: 460 gr, length from bayonet flange: 60mm, built-in lens hood. Built-in turret with 4 filters (UVa, yellow, orange and blue conversion filter 80 B).
Its Leica catalog number is 11222 or 11327 (with ROM).
First introduced in 1974, discontinued in 2001.