Are the ROM versions of Leica R lenses worth the premium over the 3-Cam versions?

Started Aug 16, 2017 | Discussions thread
OP teezy319 Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Are the ROM versions of Leica R lenses worth the premium over the 3-Cam versions?

Godfrey wrote:

teezy319 wrote:

So I know the ROM versions are a little newer than the Leica R lenses with 3-Cam mounts, but I've found on ebay that generally means it's several hundred dollars more expensive.

I was told that ROM lenses are generally easier to adapt? Is that true? If only plan on using Leica R lenses on an R8 and not adapting to digital cameras, will the 3-cam lenses serve me fine?

ROM versions of R lenses are the newest series of Rs, sometimes with upgraded optical designs, and on that basis will almost always be the more expensive lenses.

There's no difference in adapting ROM lenses to anything other than the Leica SL between the ROM and three-cam versions of the lenses. The Leica SL when fitted with the R Adapter L will automatically recognize and set the lens profile for ROM equipped R lenses. For use on an R8, ROM lenses inform the body about the lens and can influence the cameras exposure behavior when using Program mode or flash.

Finally, should I always buy the lens with the highest serial number?

That depends on what you're after. Generally speaking, more recent lenses might have improved optical performance and/or be in better condition. But some of the older lenses have their own unique imaging signatures that are valued despite later ones being technically "better".

I bought my R system lenses and bodies between 2012 and 2015, after the R system had been discontinued. I concentrated on buying nearly all 3-cam lenses for maximum compatibility between my long-favorite Leicaflex SL body and the Leica R8 body. (Even some 3-cam lenses are not compatible with the Leicaflex SL, like the Elmarit-R 24mm f/2.8 and Super-Elmar-R 15mm f/4, but these are few and far between.)

I used them on a Sony A7 for a while but was ultimately disappointed with the Sony's imaging behavior (never mind its haptics and other issues). I then used them on the Leica M-P typ 240 with the R Adapter M and was delighted with their imaging performance on that body. I now use them exclusively on the Leica SL and am similarly delighted with their imaging performance, and the ergonomics are just as good as using them on the Leicaflex SL. The lens profiles provided by Leica with both M or SL bodies and the Leica adapters help ensure that they image and perform as they did on film with the original R bodies they were designed for.


Awesome! Thanks for the response!

I already own the 35mm f/1.4 and I'm currently doing a lot of research on my Leica R lens wish list to round out the kit. I think I've boiled down to:

- 19mm f/2.8 V2: for ultra wide angles.

- 50mm Summicron f/2.0 latest version:  I've heard wonderful things about the Summicron 50mm and don't necessarily need the extra speed from the Summilux.

- 60mm f/2.8 Macro: Also heard awesome things about this lens and how it has great macro capabilities and can be a walk around normal lens.

- 80mm Summilux f/1.4: The go-to portrait lens from what I've read.

- 35-70mm f/4 with Macro: Gotta have at least one zoom lens, and this is supposed to be much better over the f/3.5 version.

After these 5 lenses, my research has pointed me in various directions

- 90mm Summicron f/2.0 APO : I've heard incredible things about this lens, but it seems rather unnecessary if I have the 80mm f/1.4. I haven't been able to find any side by side comparisons with the 80mm

- 100mm f/2.8 Macro APO: This might be the longest tele I need for the R system to round out all the focal lengths and I've heard great things.

- 180mm: There are multiple versions of this lens, and they all seem to be great. Can't decided between f/3.4 or f/2.8.

It'll take awhile for me to build up the funds to get everything, but I've definitely caught the Leica bug haha.

 teezy319's gear list:teezy319's gear list
Panasonic GH5 Sony 85mm F1.4 ZA Carl Zeiss Planar T* Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM +1 more
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