Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8


The Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 is a fast, compact super wide-angle lens with a built-in filter turret. It has twelve elements in ten components. Special performance features of this lens are its brilliant contrast and a practically flat field. Stopping down easily copes with a slight loss of performance in the corners at full aperture. Vignetting, a phenomenon inherent in any optical system, becomes apparent only in critical exposure conditions and when the photograph contains large bright areas such as the wall of a building or blue sky. This artificial vignetting is inherent in the lens design but is easy to overcome by stopping down to f/11 or f/16. However, stopping down cannot eliminate natural vignetting, the loss of light at the extreme corners of the image.

The overall length of the lens remains identical throughout the focusing range; during focusing, only the rear element of the optical system moves in close-up work. This internal focusing system allows the outstandingly high performance characteristics of this lens to be fully exploited. the lens focuses down to 0.30m. At this setting it covers a field of 396x264mm and provides an image scale of 1:11. This also makes the Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 ideal for realistic photographs of scale models and for pictures with the kind of dramatic perspective effect that advertising often demands.

For a super wide-angle lens, the Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 has only a slight tendency to aperture spots and ghost images, but only in extreme exposure conditions, for example in contre-jour photography. When they occur, you can see them in the viewfinder and easily take remedial action. As a rule, all you need to do is simply to turn or move the camera slightly to left or right, up or down.

Despite its 96° image angle, distortion is slight. However, it may still occur close to the edge in photographs of geometrical structures, for example in architectural photography of buildings with strong verticals and horizontals.

This is the best 19-20mm lens ever tested by the French photo magazine Chasseur d'Images (4 stars for optical quality). The German photo magazine ColorFoto gave this lens 78.1 points (4 stars).

Weight: 500 gr, length from bayonet flange: 60mm, lockable snap-on lenshood. Built-in turret with 4 filters (NDx1 neutral-density filter, yellow, orange and blue conversion filter KB12).

Its Leica catalog number is 11258 or 11329 (with ROM). Introduced in 1991 when it replaced its predecessor (11225) favorably (more compact, improved contrast and flatness of field due to the new internal focusing by the rear group only design).