APO-Elmar-S 180 f/3.5 CS

Material number

The ultimate in long lens photography

The Leica APO-Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5 (CS) (144 mm in 35 mm format), also available with a central shutter, sets new standards of quality for handheld telephoto photography. As the contrast performance cannot be improved any further by stopping down, wide open is a working aperture, and optical errors are practically unknown to this ultrahighperformance lens. 

Thanks to its high speed, this lens is outstanding for the creative use of selective focus in portraits. In studio work, the greater camera-to-subject distance helps by creating more space for setting up the lighting. At the same time, its closest focusing distance of only 1.5 meters makes it ideal for fascinating close-up studies. 

With the Leica ELPRO-S 180 close-up lens (available separately), it is possible to focus down to 3.6 to 8.9 feet (1.1 to 2.7 meters) and achieve a reproduction ratio of 1:4.5 at the close-focusing limit.

The highlights

For excellent images from near and far

  • Excellent telephoto lens
  • New quality standards in freehand telephotography
  • Innovative central shutter for maximum design freedom when using additional light
  • Excellent imaging performance over the entire range and at all aperture settings
  • Extremely fast
  • Creative use of sharpness and blurring for the plastic extraction of motif details
  • Best image quality up to the edges due to aspherical optics
  • Weather- and dust-sealed lens

Proofs of performance

APO-Elmar-S 180 f/3.5 in Action


Technical details

The design of the apochromatically corrected APO -Elmar-S 180 f/3.5 (CS) consists of nine elements in seven groups. Of the six lenses made from glasses with anomalous partial dispersion, two have particularly low dispersion and are instrumental in the elimination of chromatic aberrations. 

Three lens elements made from glass with a high refractive index almost completely eliminate monochromatic aberrations.


Modulation Transfer Function

The MTF is indicated both at full aperture and at f/5.6 and f/8 at long taking distances (infinity).

Shown is the contrast in percentage for 5, 10, 20 and 40 lp/mm across the height of the 35mm film format, for tangential (dotted line) and sagittal (solid line) structures, in white light. The 5 and 10 lp/mm will give an indication regarding the contrast ratio for large object structures. The 20 and 40 lp/mm records the resolution of finer and finest object structures.


Distortion & vignetting

Distortion is the deviation of the real image height (in the picture) from the ideal image height. The relative distortion is the percentage deviation. The ideal image height results from the object height and the magnification. The image height of 27.04mm is the radial distance between the edge and the middle of the image field for the format 30mm× 45mm.

The graph of the effective distortion illustrates the appearance of straight horizontal and vertical lines in the picture.

Vignetting is a continous decrease of the illumination to the edges of the image field. The graph shows the percentage loss of illumination over the image height. 100 % means no vignetting.

Technical data

Order no. 11071 | CS: 11053
Image angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) approx. 17° / 14° / 10°, corresponds to approx. 144 mm focal length in 35 mm format
Optical design  
Number of lenses / groups 9/7
Entrance pupil infinity: 16.75 mm (behind bayonet in incident light direction)
  close focus limit: 37.43 mm (behind bayonet in incident light direction)
Focusing range 1,5 m to ∞
Distance setting  
Scales Combined meter/feet graduation
Smallest object field 203 mm × 304 mm
Largest reproduction ratio 1 : 6,8
Setting / Function Electronically controlled diaphragm, set using setting/
  selection dial on camera, including half values
Lowest value 32
Bayonet Leica S bayonet
Filter mount / Lens hood External bayonet for lens hood (included), internal thread for
  E72 filter, filter mount does not rotate
Dimensions and weight  
Length to bayonet mount approx. 151 / 232 mm (without / with lens hood)
Largest diameter approx. 88 / 96.6 mm (without / with lens hood)
Weight approx. 1150 / 1300 g (without / with central shutter)
Place your order now:

APO-Elmar-S 180 f/3.5

The fulfillment of photographic dreams is often only a click away: make the decision now, and raise your art of photography to an entirely new level.