Thursday, July 21, 2016



For many years owners of Leica R cameras and especially the Leica R lenses have felt neglected by Leica.  Even since the Leica R9 had been discontinued, they have asked for a digital alternative to use their lenses with.

The digital back for the R8 and R9 cameras never got any nominal traction, mainly because it was not really able to compete with the digital offerings from Canon and Nikon.

Finally, with the introduction of the Leica M Typ 240, Leica offered a camera that was able to accommodate the R lenses, especially when equipped with the digital Visoflex finder.  But many of the former Leica R users never warmed up to that camera since it was primarily a rangefinder camera.  They felt that using the Leica M with the R lenses was too much of a compromise.

The answer finally came with the introduction of the Leica SL, the first professional mirrorless camera to reach the market.  This camera is capable to use almost all of the Leica R lenses, although with an adapter.  Criticism that the Leica SL doesn’t have an optical viewfinder is unfounded because its electronic viewfinder is the most advanced unit of this type to ever have been put into a camera.  Its resolution is almost twice that of its closest competitor and it functions as well as an optical finder on all levels.

Yet the Leica SL still has not been able to quite fill the needs of Leica R lens owners, the reason being that the Leica – R Adapter L so far has not been available.  But that problem has been solved as well.  As David Farkas from Leica Store Miami reports:

Leica Camera has rolled out its R lens adapter for the SL-System, the R-Adapter L. The adapter has been in the “coming soon” column since the SL launch this past October, so it’s nice to see an official release. And while SL users have been able to stack adapters (M-Adapter T/SL and R-Adapter M) to accomplish the same feat, a single adapter certainly makes using R lenses an easier proposition.

Leica R-Adapter L rdf

As is the case with other mechanical adapters, the camera will not be able to read the aperture setting on the lens. Instead, with the use of an external secondary meter on the SL, the camera will estimate the aperture based on the exposure settings and ambient light reading. Focus assist is accomplished the same way – one touch of the rear thumb joystick brings up 100% view in the EVF.


Note that the adapter is only compatible with R lenses produced after 1976. Mounting an unsupported lens could damage the mount. Sorry Leicaflex fans. Still, Leica should be commended on supporting over 30 years of legacy R glass, with 43 officially supported lenses.

The price for the adapter is $750. To place an order, click here, call 305-921-4433 or email Leica StoreMiami.

Below is a full list of supported lenses:

  • Super-Elmarit-R 15 mm f/2.8ASPH.
  • Super-Elmar-R 15 mm f/3.5
  • Fisheye-Elmarit-R 16 mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-R 19 mm f/2.8
  • Super-Angulon-R 21mmf/4
  • Elmarit-R 24 mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-R 28 mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-R 35 mm f/2.8
  • Summicron-R 35 mm f/2
  • Summilux-R 35 mm f/1.4
  • Summicron-R 50 mm f/2
  • Summilux-R 50 mm f/1.4
  • Macro-Elmarit-R 60 mm f/2.8
  • Summilux-R 80 mm f/1.4
  • Elmarit-R 90 mm f/2.8
  • APO-Summicron-R 90 mm f/2ASPH.
  • Macro-Elmar-R 100 mm f/4
  • APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 100 mm f/2.8
  • Elmarit-R 135 mm f/2.8
  • Elmar-R 180 mm f/4
  • APO-Telyt-R 180 mm f/3.4
  • Elmarit-R 180 mm f/2.8
  • APO-Elmarit-R 180 mm f/2.8
  • APO-Summicron-R 180 mm f/2
  • Telyt-R 250 mm f/4
  • APO-Telyt-R 280 mm f/4
  • Telyt-R 350 mm f/4.8
  • APO-Telyt-R 280 mmf /2.8
  • APO-Telyt-R 400 mm f/2.8
  • APO-Telyt-R 280 mm f/2.8 (Module System)
  • APO-Telyt-R 400 mm f/2.8 (Module System)
  • APO-Telyt-R 400 mm f/4 (Module System)
  • APO-Telyt-R 560 mm f/4 (Module System)
  • APO-Telyt-R 560 mm f/5.6 (Module System)
  • APO-Telyt-R 800 mm f/5.6 (Module System)
  • Vario-Elmar-R 21–35 mm f/3.5–4 ASPH.
  • Vario-Elmar-R 28–70 mm f/3.5–4.5
  • Vario-Elmarit-R 28–90 mm f/2.8–4.5 ASPH.
  • Vario-Elmar-R 35–70 mm f/4
  • Vario-Elmarit-R 35–70 mm f/2.8ASPH.
  • Vario-APO-Elmarit-R 70–180 mm f/2.8
  • Vario-Elmar-R 80–200 mm f /4
  • Vario-Elmar-R 105–280 mm f/4.2


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