Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280 f/2.8-4

Fast autofocus
black anodized finish
Material number

The zoom range of the fast APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 f/2.8–4 follows on directly from that of the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 f/2.8–4 ASPH. Together, these two lenses cover a full range of focal lengths extending from 24 to 280 mm.

The newly developed dual internal focusing (DSD®) concept enables a fast autofocus. Its optical image stabilisation (OIS) compensates for up to 3.5 stops of camera shake.

From zero to sharp in no time

AF System with Dual Syncro Drive™

The AF system of these lenses is fast, precise, and almost silent. They thank their outstanding AF performance figures to the autofocus drive unit they share. These are limited only by the mass of the lens elements moved when focusing, the travel from infinity to the closest focusing distance and, of course, the amount of space available. In order to preserve the compact dimensions of the lenses, the integration of these components must follow an integral approach.

Specialists from the areas of optical and mechanical engineering and electronics worked together in an interdisciplinary team on the development of a unique lens concept based on double internal focusing. This system, comprising two particularly light focusing lenses, allows the construction of particularly small and compact drive systems. In addition to space limitations, the choice of the drive motors is also determined by the AF principle used for focusing.

Several contrast measurements at various focusing positions must be made before the correct direction of motion for focusing can be determined and followed by precise focusing. In this procedure, the focusing lenses must be moved rapidly backwards and forwards in accordance with the speed specifications of the contrast AF system. This requires a dynamic drive system without any play.

In these lenses, the drive units installed are extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with Dual Syncro Drive™. Thanks to these, the entire focusing throw can be traveled completely in fractions of a second. This means that the lenses achieve values that are among the best in the full-frame system segment in terms of speed, precision, and noise emissions. 


Construction Details

Of the 23 elements in seven moving groups, seven are made from glasses with anomalous partial dispersion for the minimisation of chromatic aberrations. The movement of the two focusing elements is provided by a newly developed drive concept with linear positioning of the lenses by stepping motors. A special feature of this is that the overall length of the lens does not change when either focusing or zooming.

Technical Data Files
APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 f/2.8–4
pdf (1.53 MB)


Order number 11 175
Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) Focal length 90mm: 26.4°/22.1°/14.8°;
Focal length 280mm: 9.1°/7.5°/5.0°
Optical design
Number of elements/groups 23/17
Position of entrance pupil Focal length 90 mm: 130.2 mm
Focal length 280 mm: -21.1 mm
Working range Focal length 90 mm: 0.6 m to infinity
Focal length 280 mm: 1.4 m to infinity
Distance setting
Smallest object field Focal length 90 mm: 114x 171 mm
Focal length 280 mm: 120 x 180 mm
Largest reproduction ratio Focal length 90 mm: 1:4.8
Focal length 280 mm: 1:5.0
Setting/function Electronically controlled iris, setting with the camera clickwheel control, third-stop and half-stop settings
Aperture setting range Focal length 90mm: 2.8-22; Focal length 280mm: 4-22
Smallest value 22
O.I.S. Performance as per CIPA 3.5 stops (at focal length f=280mm with Leica SL (Typ 601) camera)
Bayonet/sensor format L-Mount, full-frame 35mm format
Filter mount E82
Dimensions and weight
Length to bayonet flange 238 mm (without lens hood)
Largest diameter 88 mm
Weight 1.710 g


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The L-Mount marks the start of a new era of lens compatibility without compromise. Never before has one lens mount standard allowed for an almost limitless array of options in combining different interchangeable lenses with cameras featuring different sensor formats.

With the alliance between Leica Camera, Panasonic and Sigma, a combined 250 years of experience in the field of lens and camera construction will be consolidated in one platform. For the photographer, this opens up the chance to compile endless variations of camera-lens combinations from the extensive product portfolios of all three manufacturers, and so continually find the best solution for any photographic situation.

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