The Leica 14-24 f2.8
Super Vario Elmarit
Jonathan  Slack
January 25th 2024


On October 6th 2023 Leica announced a fast, constant aperture f2.8 super wide angle zoom. The Leica Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL 14-24 f2.8 Asph.

Of course, we have had the peerless 16-35 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL f/3.5-4.5 zoom for several years now. This offers wonderful quality and a slightly longer zoom range, but at the cost of a slower aperture and more weight and with a considerably longer widest zoom.
Ancient Hawthorn
Leica SL2 1/640th @f5 and ISO 100

The new lens is obviously a companion piece to the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70 f2.8 Asph which was released on May 6th 2021 (you can see my article about it here)

Both of these f2.8 zooms are manufactured in Japan to Leica's design and with their stringent quality control, which is one of the reasons that they are cheaper than the lenses manufactured in Germany. In fact the new 14-24 zoom is a little less than half the price of it's big brother (the 16-35), and despite being faster and with a wider focal length it's about 100 gm lighter.
Bosky Morning
Leica SL2 1/30th @f8 and ISO 100

Leica have had successful collaborations for many of their products over the years, lens projects with Konica, Minolta, Kyocera, Zeiss, Schneider and Sigma have all resulted in fine lenses over the years, often at more comfortable prices than Leica originals.

This lens certainly looks rather like the Sigma 14-24 F2.8 ART lens (which I have owned for a couple of years). But the Leica build quality is definitely a step up (the Leica lens is nearly 100 gm heavier). Of course we cannot know how much of the design is a collaboration or whether the QA or manufacturing standards change.
High Summer
Leica SL2 1/320th @f8 and ISO 100

I had a copy of the Leica lens from August to October 2023, but in reality most of the work was done in August and early September, after which I was concentrating on the M11-P.
Leica SL2 1/2500th @f2.8 and ISO 100


The 14-24 is has an all metal aluminium housing and it is dust and splash-resistant (as are all the SL lenses).
The lens hood is integrated into the body with a push on lens cap, and there is a mount for sheet filters on the bayonet mount.

Optical construction features 18 lenses in 13 groups. There are 3 Aspherical elements helping to improve image quality.  
Leica Super Vario Elmarit SL design

As you can see from the design, and in common with equivalent lenses from other manufacturers, the front element protrudes quite a long way, and the built in lens hood is great protection for this.

The MTF curves are very good, and the lens is technically excellent right from f2.8, being especially good at 14mm and 24mm.
Leica Super Vario Elmarit MTF

Close Focus ability

The 14-24 focuses down to 280mm (about 11') which produces a magnification of 1:11.4 at 14mm and 1:7.4 at 24mm. This is great for shooting wide angle shots with clear details in the foreground.
Leica SL2 1/1000th @f5.6 and ISO 100

Image Quality

I haven't done formal tests with the lens, but every impression is that it's really excellent. I didn't get much chance to do any architectural or street photography with it (being a paid up country bumpkin). But I did manage to do quite a lot of Landscape photography and a fair amount of close up work.

Wide open for close up work the bokeh is really excellent - not something you can often say about super wide angle lenses. It's sparklingly sharp at the centre, and the edges and corners are more than satisfactory.
Leica SL2 1/3200th @f8 and ISO 100

For landscape work I would normally  be stopping down a bit, and here the lens is really good - sharp to the corners and with very little distortion or  vignetting, (whether by software of optical correction isn't really very relevant). I can imagine that this excellence would also transfer to architectural photography.
Leica SL2 1/640th @f8 and ISO 100

Flare is very well controlled - even with the sun on the edge of the frame or just inside it.

Chromatic aberration is also really well controlled and I saw none in my images.
Leica SL2 1/4000th @f6.3 and ISO 100

Emma & Matty
Leica SL2 1/260th @f8 and ISO 100
The Last Rite (Covehithe)
Leica SL2 1/400th @f8 and ISO 100


Whilst with the

Super-Vario-Elmar-SL 16-35 f/3.5-4.5 ASPH, the
Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90 f/2.8-4 ASPH. and the
APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280 f/2.8-4

Leica have produced a full range of peerless zoom lenses (I think they are technically the best zoom lenses I've ever used), they are quite big, heavy and expensive, added to which many photographers prefer to have a fixed aperture.
close to the edge
Leica SL2 1/160th @f8 and ISO 100

However, with the

Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL 14-24 f/2.8 ASPH. and the
Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70 f/2.8 ASPH

Leica have now produced 2 of the triumvirate of f2.8 zooms. they are smaller, lighter and much more affordable than the original zooms, and they have a fixed aperture as well, and whilst they are perhaps not quite up to the stunning technical standard of the original zooms they are very very good.

I'm really hoping that they complete the set sometime soon with the f2.8 70-200.
Leica SL2 1/320th @f8 and ISO 100

I think It's really hard to criticise this lens; it handles beautifully, looks great and produces wonderful images at all apertures, focal lengths and distances. It's weather sealed and feels really well made. Flare, Chromatic Aberrations and Vignetting are all extremely well controlled. Not only that, but for a Leica lens it's a real bargain.
Matty at Covehithe
Leica SL2 1/640th @f8 and ISO 100

Bins and Hydrangea
Leica SL2 1/4000th @f8 and ISO 100

Austin Champ
Leica SL2 1/60th @f6.3 and ISO 100