Patent shows the $5,500 Leica SL 16-35mm was actually designed by Konica Minolta

Jun 12, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Patent shows the $5,500 Leica SL 16-35mm was actually designed by Konica Minolta

Jun 12, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Remember when Huawei released the P9 and everybody got excited over its cameras because they had Leica written on them? And then there was the whole controversy over exactly how much involvement Leica had with their development? Well, it seems here we have another item bearing the Leica name with questionable origins. According to a patent recently filed by Konica Minolta, the $5,500 Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH lens is actually their design. Not Leicas.

The patent was spotted by the folks at Mirrorless Rumors and the optical design is strikingly similar (practically identical) to that shown by Leica on their website.

Pretty close, huh? Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is that the lens performance justifies the purchase price. But it’s still quite interesting that Leica seems to be selling at least one lens that they didn’t actually design.

You can check out the complete patent here.

[via Mirrorless Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Patent shows the $5,500 Leica SL 16-35mm was actually designed by Konica Minolta”

  1. bokesan Avatar
    bokesan

    Minolta and Leica have been cooperating since 1972 and Minolta produced many items that were sold with a Leica badge. See the Minolta entry on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta

  2. Thomas Mantei Avatar
    Thomas Mantei

    lens design and the quality of the glass matter