The Leica M system offers users a wide selection of primes and zooms, but how do things stand in the much newer Leica T system?
Last year we witnessed Leica launch its first-ever compact system camera in the form of the Leica T. With a modern design, stylish looks and a robust chassis that’s painstakingly machined out of a single block of aluminium, it’s a CSC like no other with regard to its fit and finish. At the time of its launch, the all-new Leica T System was supported by just two lenses: an 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph lens (equivalent to 28-85mm) and a fixed 23mm f/2 Asph lens (equivalent to 35mm).
A year down the line and we’ve seen two additional lenses added to the range, bringing the sum total of available optics up to four. The two latest additions to the Leica T range are the Leica APO-Vario-Elmar-T 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH (equivalent to 82.5-202.5mm) and the wider Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 Asph (equivalent to 16.5mm-34.5mm).
Just like any camera system in its infancy, there are a limited number of lenses available from the manufacturer, let alone from third-party manufacturers. As yet, there are no third-party lenses for the Leica T system, but that’s not to say Zeiss and Voigtländer won’t look at producing them in the future, much like they have done for the Leica M system.
Leica has carefully considered that some users of the Leica T system may already own lenses from the manufacturer’s M system. The M-Adapter-T allows those with M-system lenses to attach and use them with the Leica T. The good news is that the adapter fully supports functions such as exposure metering, aperture priority mode and manual settings, but as adapters go, the M-to-T lens-mount adapter certainly isn’t cheap and comes with an asking price of around £300.
Leica offers no long telephotos beyond 200mm and what the system is really lacking
is a selection of faster primes. Given the choice of what we’d like to see next, a 35mm f/1.4 prime lens that’s equivalent to 50mm would be high on our list. The system is also lacking a wideangle prime or zoom for those who regularly shoot landscapes or architectural subjects.
Top Leica T lenses
Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph – £1,250
The only standard zoom for the Leica T system
Leica Summicron-T 23mm f/2 Asph – £1,350
Equivalent to 35mm, it’s the only prime currently available for the camera
Leica APO-Vario-Elmar-T 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 Asph – £1,350
The longest zoom option for Leica T users
Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 Asph – £1,350
A 16-35mm equivalent wideangle zoom for street and landscape photography