Leica Super Vario Elmar SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH Lens

Thanks once again to the team at Lens Rentals, I have some very cool Leica SL lenses to use on my upcoming trip. From my first trip to Iceland I discovered that about 70% of my shots were taken from 18mm down and the other 20-30% were either shot long >200mm or on my Q @ 28mm. So for my trip this coming week, I have rented the amazing 16-35 to pair with my Leica SL. The lens arrived two days ago and the weather here in SW FL has not been conducive to much testing. However I did manage to get out the first night at sunset and capture a couple of images at the beach.


My first reaction was that like all of the SL lenses, this glass is super well built and relatively large. In a perfect world, I would love to see these lenses be somewhat smaller, but on the same hand, I appreciate what Leica has done. Solid build with weather seeing and state of the art optics with AF comes at a price. Having also shot a great deal with both Nikon FF and Sony FF gear, I can say that size wise this lens is on par with their offerings. As for weight, well, the build quality of the Leica gear is definitely on the more robust side. Very reminiscent of the MF Zeiss glass that I used with my D800 series cameras.

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

After an evening shooting a couple of test shots I am definitely very excited to use this lens in Iceland. I think on the beaches, around the water falls and in the ice caves it is going to perform brilliantly. Paired with a B&W ND filter to slow things down in the bright reflective light, I am excited to see what it can do.

As we travel the coast of Iceland I will be updating the blog infrequently and instead focused on building out my Iceland Story over on my exposure site. You can follow along there.

For my long work, I have rented the Leica APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280 which I have to say is quite the beast. I was unable to do any real testing with that lens other than an obligatory selfie in the mirror. More on that lens will be forthcoming.