Leica launching a budget line… starting with a rebadged Sigma 24-70mm?

Leica will reportedly release an "economy line" of lenses, starting with a rebranded Sigma 24-70mm… but it's still $3,000.

Leica is set to launch a new "economy line" of lenses, starting with the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–70mm f/2.8 ASPH – which, according to a new report, is actually a rebranded Sigma optic.

The words "Leica" and "economy" aren't typically uttered in the same sentence, but the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–70mm f/2.8 ASPH could be set to be the first budget optic in the Leica lens lineup.

The new lens would provide a constant aperture alternative to the existing Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. However, it will apparently be a rebodied version of the brilliant Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 AF DG DN optics

Leica Rumors, which broke the news, was initially skeptical. "The optics of the new lens will be based on the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens," wrote the website. "This is hard for me to believe – Leica will take a Sigma lens and put a red dot on top of it?"

As it posted later, though, we have seen this from Leica before. "A reader reminded me that this is not the first time Leica is rebranding Sigma lenses. Back in the 90s Leica offered the Vario-Elmar 28-70/3,5-4,5 as a kit lens for the R7 – this was a Sigma lens, but the body and mechanics were totally different from the original Sigma lens that had plastic-like housing."

And of course, Leica has a tradition of rebadging Panasonic products, including the Leica D-Lux 7 (Panasonic LX100 II) and Leica SL2 (Panasonic S1R).

Whether or not it's a repackaged product from another manufacturer, according to Leica Rumors this is what we can expect from the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–70mm f/2.8 ASPH

The Leica VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH lens will be a part of a new “economy line” from Leica (not sure for the exact name of the new product line)

The official announcement should be in May

The lens will be priced just slightly higher than the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for L-mount (still under €3,000/$3,000?)

The lens will not have an all-metal body like other Leica SL lenses

The design and construction will be very similar to the current Panasonic Lumix S PRO 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for L-mount.

James Artaius