Leica APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 CS

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Leica APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 CS

Telephoto performance at its best

The extremely high performance offered by the APO Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5 makes it an exceptional lens, even when compared to other Leica S-System lenses. With its distinctive telephoto character and very fast initial aperture, it is an invaluable asset for portrait photography, and is also an ideal lens for close-up work, thanks to its close focusing limit of just 1.5 meters (~5 ft).

Distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberration will not be an issue with this lens, as a result of its elaborate design comprising nine lens elements in seven groups.Six of these nine lenses are manufactured from glasses with anomalous partial dispersion, and two of these also possess particularly low dispersion characteristics. Thanks to the incorporation of these lenses, Leica’s specialists have achieved apochromatic correction with a very well corrected secondary spectrum and almost negligible chromatic aberration. Internal focusing ensures not only that the exceptional imaging performance of this lens remains practically constant throughout its entire focusing range, but also guarantees ideal weight distribution and superior handling of this weather- and dust-sealed lens.

The imaging performance of the APO Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5, and its extremely high, corner-to-corner contrast, sets entirely new standards, and not only in this camera class. At the same time, its performance remains absolutely constant at all apertures and distances – stopping down with this lens is only really necessary for exposure control and creating greater depth of field. As a result, this lens offers an almost countless range of creative opportunities.

This is the CS version of the lens, which has a central shutter, also known as a leaf shutter, built-in. The central shutter allows the S camera to sync with a flash unit at any shutter speed up to and including 1/1000th of a second. This provides the photographer with exceptional control when balancing ambient and strobe lighting.

The essentials:

  • Excellent telephoto lens
  • New quality standards in freehand photography
  • Innovative central lock for maximum design freedom when using additional light
  • Excellent imaging performance over the entire distance range and in all f-stops
  • Best image quality to the edge through aspherical optics
  • Seal against dust and spray water


The LEICA Camera Blog

  • Image angle:
    Approx. 17° / 14° / 10°(diagonal, horizontal, vertical), corresponds to approx. 144 mm focal length in 35 mm format
  • Optical design
  • Number of lenses / groups:
    9 / 7
  • Position of entrance pupil:
    - 87,8 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups:
     12/10, 3 aspherical surfaces
  • Position of entrance pupil:
    83.4 mm / 3.3 inches
  • Focusing range:
    1,5 m to 8
  • Scales:
    Combined meter/feet graduation
  • Smallest object field:
    203 mm × 304 mm
  • Largest reproduction ratio:
    1 : 6,8
  • Aperture
  • Setting / Function:
    Electronically controlled diaphragm, set using setting/ selection dial on camera, including half values
  • Lowest value:
  • Central shutter:
    Built-in shutter mechanism range: 125 secs to 1/1000th of a sec Flash sync at all speeds
  • Bayonet:
    Leica S bayonet
  • Filter mount / Lens hood:
    External bayonet for lens hood (included), internal thread for E72 filter, filter mount does not rotate
  • Length to bayonet mount:
    Approx. 151 / 232 mm (without / with lens hood)
  • Largest diameter:
    Approx. 88 / 96,6 mm (without / with lens hood)
  • Weight:
    Approx. 1150 / 1300 g (without / with central shutter)

Lens, lens cap S E72, lens back cover S, lens bag, lens hood

Limited Warranty:
Leica Camera AG (‘LEICA’) provides a one-year product limited warranty for this LEICA camera valid from the date of purchase from an authorized LEICA dealer, including the accessories contained in the original packaging, which are valid for two years.

Leica S

with Mark Mann