View Full Version : Digital Lenses Leica Vario Elmarit 14-50 f2.8-3.5

01-01-2007, 04:01 PM
official press release here (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=79321&postcount=4)
Full spec's sheet here (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=79320&postcount=3)
DPreview here (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07083010leica1450.asp)
This lens is very very well constructed.
It is larger in diameter than the 14-54 Olympus lens.
I believe it is just a tad sharper, possibly due to the Mega OIS.

It has a manually adjusted Aperature Ring, that when attached to an Olympus camera will not function. To adjust aperature on Olympus cameras the Control Wheel is used instead of the external ring.

The lens operates extremely smooth when using Zoom or Autofocus.

The lens fit and finish are superb.

Cameralabs Review (http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Leica1450mm/)
Added: On the Leica Digilux this lens is big and bright in the viewfinder.

04-02-2007, 05:55 PM
I have had this lens for the last few weeks. It overall, has be a pleasure to shot with. The lens is sharp, enough for me, its close to the sharpness of the 14-54mm. The release price of this lens alone, is around $1,000, so its about 2x the price of the Zuiko 14-54mm. Really though for OIS alone it would be hard to purchase this lens. However, when using it on the L1. I must say that I am very happy. It is a great combo. It reminds me of my film days. Having a aperture ring built into the lens is very nice. I prefer this over spinning the knob on the camera.
The lens is built very well, the same quality as the zuiko lens. What I would expect from Leica. It is slightly bigger in diameter than the zuiko 14-54mm (72mm vs 67mm). It doesn't use focus by wire, which I also prefer. However for looks and feel $500 is a hard price to pay.
I spent a couple days shooting test targets and comparing the readouts with imatest.
Sharpness at 14mm:
Sharpness at 50mm:
Chromatic Abberations 14mm:
Chromatic Abberations 50mm:

Raw image data here:
From light bleed I am guessing that CA is a bit higher than normal. But I am not going to reshoot 2 days work.
The biggest thing is to compare each shot between the 2 lenses was done at the same time, under identical situations.

The 14-50mm is about the same sharpness as the 14-54mm
The 14-50mm has OIS. (It improves my low light shots about 35%)
The 14-50 is a pleasure to use. (Subjective)

No claim to water resistance.

If Olympus could use the aperture ring, I would highly recommend this lens, however, that does not appear to be in the future.

Also I am always spinning the zoom the wrong direction (It rotates in the opposite direction as the Zuiko lenses).

The bokeh of the Leica 14-50 seems to be slightly better than that of the Zuiko 14-54mm.
(Some examples to come later)

04-10-2007, 12:21 PM
Here are a couple pictures to show where in my opinion that the Leica out performs the Zuiko lens.
On Easter morning I took out Cody to get his easter eggs. In the morning the neighbor placed 3 in the front yard before church. For that shot I used the Zuiko 14-5mm. In the afternoon (where Cody is in his Easter outfit) I used the Leica 14-50mm. Both shots are similar distance from the background, and both are shot wide open.
http://tspore.smugmug.com/photos/142675933-L.jpg (http://tspore.smugmug.com/gallery/2684446#142675933)
focal 27mm
http://tspore.smugmug.com/photos/142455382-L.jpg (http://tspore.smugmug.com/gallery/2684446#142455382)
focal 50mm

(Click on either picture to see the Easter gallery)
Really I prefer the Leica lens over the Zuiko because of the bokeh but I don't think that its worth $500 more than the Zuiko.

09-11-2007, 09:02 PM
pros: quick focus, effective image stabilization, sharp, contrasty images through entire range, fast, beautiful bokeh, very little light falloff - this lens has me dropping out of the megapixel race! Stunning portraits and landscape photos.

cons: Aperture ring and auto-focus wasted on any newer Olympus camera body.

paid: not enough haha