Leica has announced a new addition to its SL system (L mount) lens lineup. It’s the Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400mm F5-6.3 and it costs a whopping $2,195. Now, as Leica lenses go, this is par for the course, but when you consider that Sigma also has a 100-400mm f/5-6.3 L mount lens for less than half of that, it’s a bit of a stretch. The Leica lens is quite a bit heavier than the Sigma, too, but we’ll save that comparison for a little later on.
The new lens features a removable Arca Swiss mounting plate for easy attaching to compatible tripod heads with clamp locks every 90 degrees for easy switching between landscape and portrait orientations. Leica has also announced a new 1.4x L mount teleconverter. In conjunction with the new lens, this brings it into a focal length range of 140-560mm, albeit with a stop slower aperture.