Leica has announced its most affordable full-frame L-mount lens to date. The Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8/24–70 Asph is designed for use with its SL-series cameras and will cost £2,300. It will also be sold in kits with the firm’s SL2 and SL2-S full-frame mirrorless bodies.

Leica’s new 24-70mm f/2.8 on the SL2

Optically the lens comprises 19 elements in 15 groups, including three aspherical elements and nine with anomalous partial dispersion to minimise chromatic aberration. A single internal element is used for rapid autofocus, driven by a quiet stepper motor. The minimum focus distances ranges from 18cm at the 24mm position, to 38cm at telephoto.

Leica’s latest optics bears a marked resemblance to its Sigma counterpart, in terms of both specification and physical design

The lens features a dust- and splash-proof construction, employs an 11-blade aperture and accepts 82mm filters. At 123mm in length and 88mm in diameter, and weighing in at 856g, it’s rather smaller and lighter than the firm’s existing 24-90mm f/2.8-4 optic, and little over half the price. However, it still costs more than twice as much as Sigma’s 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art, which is also available in L-mount. What’s more, a detailed comparison reveals that the Sigma is practically identical in terms of specifications and has the same optical design, which suggests the two lenses are very closely related.