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2001 new ASPH R super-wides

In October 2001 Leica announced two new R superwide lenses, a 21-35mm ƒ3.5-4 vario zoom and more interestingly, a compact 15mm Elmarit-R ASPH ƒ2.8 to replace the older ƒ3.5 Zeiss-derived monster. You can see photos and brief discussion about the lenses at the following URL:

<leicapages.com/novelties.html>

In Oct 2001, a US Leica dealer had this to say about the new 15mm:

According to Leica USA this morning, the price for the new 15mm ƒ2.8 ASPH is going to be $4,895 (list is $5395.) The lens will be available in November 2001.
 
Here is what else they had to say about it:
 
The lens improves on the 15mm ƒ3.5 Super Elmar in the following ways,
 
* Highest optical performance thanks to aspherical lens elements
* 1/2 stop faster compared to the earlier SUPER-ELMAR-R 15mm ƒ3.5
* More compact and more lightweight (25oz.)
* Constant length of the lens thanks to internal focusing
* built-in four filter turret. (NDx1, neutral density filter, KB 12 color conversion, yellow green filter, orange filter)
* very low distortion
* very low vignetting for a extreme wide angle lens
* low curvature of field
 
As a result of the extremely large angle of view and the characteristic perspective rendition, the new Leica Super Elmarit R is particularly well suited for landscape and architectural photography, as well as for reproducing any wide angle close focusing situation. The very short close focusing distances of only 7.1 inches also provides for realistic portrayal of small models.

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