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Leicaflex / Leica R lenses

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Leica's series of lenses for single lens reflex cameras are designated R-series lenses, and are generally identified by the addition of the letter "R" after the lens name. The Leica R-mount is a three lug bayonet mount with a 47mm flange focal distance. Although the R-lens bayonet has remained substantially unchanged since its introduction in 1964, the R-lenses can be divided into 4 general categories: one-cam lenses, being the lenses manufactured concurrently with and intended for use on the original Leicaflex body; two-cam lenses, being the lenses manufactured concurrently with and intended for use on the Leicaflex SL and SL2 models, as well as the original Leicaflex; three-cam lenses, being the lenses manufactured concurrently with and intended for use on the Leica R3 and later models, as well as the Leicaflex models, third-cam only lenses, being lenses manufactured concurrently with and intended for use on the Leica R3 and later models only; and ROM lenses, the current version of the R-lenses intended for use with the R3 and later models only.

One-cam lenses Edit

The Leica reflex lenses were first introduced in 1964 with the original Leicaflex body. The very first lenses are called one-cam lenses, as they feature one cam on the rear of the lens mount to communicate aperture opening information to the coupled external light meter of the original Leicaflex camera.

The following lenses were introduced in the single cam configuration during the production of the original Leicaflex:

  • 21/3.4 Super-Angulon, a special lens that mounts only with the mirror up, and is used with an external viewfinder. It is only compatible with the original Leicaflex body.
  • 35/2.8 Elmarit-R, the very first ones were in chrome finish
  • 50/2 Summicron-R, the very first ones were in chrome finish
  • 90/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 135/2.8 Elmarit-R

Two-cam lenses Edit

The R lens mount was first modified in 1968 with the addition of a second cam to transmit information from the lens to the body, to operate the new TTL exposure meter of the Leicaflex SL. The lenses are now called two-cams.

Here is a list of the two-cam lenses, from the time of the Leicaflex SL and SL2. They can mount on an original Leicaflex with full operation unless noted.

  • 16/2.8 Elmarit-R fisheye, can only mount on the Leicaflex SL2 and later, interferes with the mirror movement on the earlier bodies
  • 19/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 21/4 Super-Angulon, replaces the older 21/3.4, operates normally, retrofocus type
  • 24/2.8 Elmarit-R, same remark as 16/2.8
  • 28/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 35/2 Summicron-R
  • 35/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 35/4 PA Curtagon shift lens made by Schneider, no diaphragm coupling at all
  • 50/1.4 Summilux-R
  • 50/2 Summicron-R, there was a dummy (Attrappe) version with no serial number
  • 60/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R
  • 90/2 Summicron-R
  • 90/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 100/4 Macro-Elmar-R, for bellows only, no diaphragm coupling at all
  • 135/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 180/2.8 Elmarit-R
  • 250/4 Telyt-R
  • 45-90/2.8 Zoom lens made by Angénieux
  • 80-200/4.5 Vario-Elmar, same remark as 16/2.8 and 24/2.8

Three-cam lenses Edit

The introduction of the automated exposure on the Leica R3 forced a new change in the lens cams. The new lenses are the three-cam ones.

Here is a list of three-cam lenses, in the first style without the focal length engraved on the barrel:

Here is a list of three-can lenses, in the later style with the focal length engraved on the barrel:

ROM lenses Edit

The electric data transmission between body and lens introduced with the Leica R8 meant that the new lenses were released with ROM contacts, and are now incompatible with the Leicaflex bodies.

Elcan lenses Edit

Ernst Leitz Canada made special military lenses at the time of the Leicaflex SL, called ELCAN:

  • Elcan-R 75mm f/2
  • Elcan-R 180mm f/3.4
  • Elcan-R 450mm f/5.6

See this informative post at a Leica forum.

Lens accessories Edit

  • Adapter to mount the lenses for the Visoflex III:
    • 14127, for the original Leicaflex
    • 14127*, for the original Leicaflex and the later bodies
    • 14167, for the later bodies
  • Fast focusing grip Televit-R, for the 400/5.6 and 560/5.6 Telyt heads
  • Set of extension rings, for close-ups until 1:1 with the Summicron-R 50/2
  • Close-up lenses Elpro (first called Macrotar)
  • Bellows
  • 2x Extender, separate models for Leicaflex and for R bodies
  • 2x APO Extender for R bodies, non-ROM models may be modified to fit Leicaflex SL2
  • 1.4x APO Extender for R bodies, may be modified to fit all Leicaflexes

Links Edit

In English:

In Japanese (with some English):

In French :

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