When Leica announced its brand new Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH last week, it was interesting to note how similar it is to the 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art released by Sigma last year. Has Sigma built this lens in Japan so that Leica can stick a red dot on it?
The similarities are striking. Both have 19 elements in 15 groups with 11 rounded aperture blades — nothing surprising there. Looking a little closer, the minimum focusing distance is all but identical: 7.1” (18cm) on the Sigma, and 7.09 “ (also 18cm, apparently) on the Leica. The size is also very close: 3.5 x4.8 “ (88 x 123 mm) for the Leica, and 3.46 x 4.84 “ (87.8 x 122.9 mm) for the Sigma. Both have a magnification ratio at 24mm of 1:2.9.
Leica Rumors has been on the hunt, with one of its forum members pointing out the similarities between the optical design of the two lenses. If you lift the diagrams from each website (Sigma, Leica) side by side, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the lenses are identical:
Leica Rumors also spotted a response in the questions section of the product listing on B&H Photo. When asked if the lens is made in Germany, this was the response:
Notably, all other SL lenses are made in Germany, as emphasized on the Leica website:
Which one would you buy? Let us know in the comments below.