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Canon Leica-R Compatibility Database

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LEICA LENSES THAT FIT CANON DSLR’S

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THE FF, 5D, 1.3x AND 1.6x COLUMN HEADINGS

The Leica-R / Canon database is a quick reference to see which Leica-R lenses can be mounted on Canon dSLRs via third party adapters. Most lenses work without issue; however, some lenses extend too far into the chamber and the Canon mirror will not clear the rear element or some other portion of the lens assembly. Scrolling to the right provides more information about the lenses.

  • FF  refers to Canon’s professional full-frame dSLRs such as the Canon 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II, 1Ds Mark III and 1Dx.
  • 5D  refers to the Canon 5D, Mark II, Mark III and Canon 6D. The Canon 5D / 6D series have their own column because the 5D’s mirror clearance is different than the Canon 1-Series.
  • 1.3x  refers to the Canon APS-H bodies with a 1.25x or 1.3x crop factor. This includes the Canon 1D family which consists of the 1D, 1D Mark II, 1D Mark IIn, 1D Mark III and 1D Mark VI.
  • 1.6x  refers to the APS-C bodies, including the EF mount dSLRs (D30, D60 and 10D) and EF-S bodies (20D, 20Da, 30D, 40D, 50D, 70D, 7D, 300D, 350D / XT, 400D / XTi, 450D / XSi, 500D / T1i and 550D / T2i).

Y, N, I, M, R, S AND ? DEFINITIONS

  • Y  means “YES”. “Yes” means the Leica or Leitz lens will work on the respective Canon dSLR and most people have not experienced any issues.
  • N  means “NO”. In some case the lens or camera can be modified to accommodate some of the marginal lenses. For lens-camera combinations marked “N”, there is not a realistic solution.
  • I  means “Iffy”. A lens earns an “Iffy” rating if some people say a given lens and Canon combination work while other people say the combination did not work. Since there is no clear consensus, “Iffy” was added.
  • M  means “Mirror Shave”. In other words the lens in question will work if the Canon mirror is shaved. Use Google for more info; with so many mirrorless camera options now, shaving a mirror is a needless risk in my opinion.
  • S  means “Shroud”. Some Leica lens have a protective shroud covering portions of the rear mount. The lens in question will fit if the rear plastic shroud is removed. Scroll down for more info on lens shrouds.
  • R  means “O-Ring”. Currently this only refers to the Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux-R (E60). There is rubber ring protecting the rear element - similar to a rubber band. It is very easy to remove and re-install.
  • ?  means no data available.

WHY IS THE CANON 5D LISTED IN ITS OWN COLUMN?

Canon 5D and 5D Mark II owners have reported various adapter and lens combinations catching on the mirror. If a lens mounts and performs correctly on the Canon 1-Series family, unfortunately that does not guarantee the lens-adapter combination will operate correctly on the Canon 5D family. Complicating matters, there are variances amongst Canon 5D’s. For Contax lenses the Canon 5D’s variances in the mirror box have proven troublesome. Fortunately, this does not seem to be as much of a problem for the Leica-R lenses. Probably because the flange thickness on a Canon / Leica R is about 3mm versus ~1.425mm for Canon / Contax adapter.

WHAT ABOUT EF-S MOUNT CAMERAS SUCH AS THE CANON 7D AND 70D?

Canon dSLRs with the EF-S mount such as the Canon Digital Rebels, 20D, 20Da, 30D, 40D, 50D, 60D and 7D work fine. The EF-s cameras have smaller mirrors, so just about any lens will work them.

WHAT ABOUT THE CANON 1 SERIES FAMILY?

Initial reports indicate it is best to consider the 1D family (Mark I, II, III and IV) as having the same clearance as the 1Ds family.

THE DATABASE SHOWS “YES”, BUT I KNOW THE LENS DOESN’T FIT!!!

Deciding whether a lens deserves a “YES” or not can be tricky because one reader may report “Yes” and another person says it will not work. Most likely the problem is not the lens or the camera body, but the adapter. To address these conflicting reports the “I” category was added, meaning “iffy” - as in the lens may or may not work.

DOES ROM OR CAM MATTER?

When fitting a Leica lens on a Canon EF mount the CAM vs ROM option does not matter since the Leica ROM contacts do not work with a Canon body. With most lenses being purchased in the secondhand market, the biggest upside of a ROM lens is that it is most likely newer and maybe in better condition than an older lens.

WHAT DOES “R-CAM” MEAN?

Some lenses are R-CAM only, R-CAM means the lens will only work on R-bodies, not the older Leicaflex bodies. Karen Nakamura has a nice write-up on CAM vs ROM vs R-CAM. If you are using the data table to ID lenses, then I highly suggest Google’ing the Leica lens model number in question to make sure the data in the table is 100% correct. Many CAM lenses could be upgraded to ROM by Leica, so just because a lens has a Leica ROM, do not assume it is the newer model.

LEICA-R LENSES THAT MAY NOT FIT FULL-FRAME CANON DSLRS

The flange thickness on a Canon / Leica-R adapter is ~3mm. 3mm is two times thicker than a Canon / Contax adapter, so the Canon / Leica combination tends to be more forgiving than the Canon / Contax pairings. Thus, most Leica R lenses fit on a Canon EF or EF-s dSLR camera without any problems (via adapter of course). However, there are some exceptions - most listed below. While these were problems from around 2004 thru 2013, in a post Sony A7rII world, just get a Sony A7rII these problems go away. And Leica has a more elegant solution with their Leica SL Typ 601. Before modifying on a Leica R lens in any non-reversible fashion (and diminishing its market value), please consider using the lens on a mirrorless camera instead.

  • Leica 21-35mm F3.5 ASPH Vario-Elmarit-R

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

The Leica 21-35mm ASPH is a simple solution. The plastic shroud at the rear of the lens interferes with the Canon mirror. Three small jewelers screws hold the plastic shroud in place - unscrew them, remove the shroud, put the screws back in place for safe keeping. The entire process takes less than a minute with the proper screw driver and is 100% reversible. The shroud is a cosmetic piece and removing it has no effect on the lens’ operation or performance. I owned the 21-35mm ASPH and it worked with the Canon 1Ds and 1Ds Mark II. The Canon 5D may still have issues in the 21 to 24mm range, so its value is “I” (iffy).

  • Leica 28-90mm F2.8-4.5 ASPH Vario-Elmarit-R

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

The 28-90mm has a similar looking shroud as the 21-35mm; however, there is a small spring held in place by the shroud. Removing the shroud releases the spring which can lead to problems. We have received conflicting reports with one person successfully removing the shroud without losing the spring. Another person said he removed the shroud and the spring popped out and the lens had to go to Leica for repair. Before 2012 the 28-90mm was pretty much a non-starter, but now Leitax offers a conversion kit - see the Leitax site for more info.

  • Leica 16mm F2.8 Fisheye

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

Unfortunately a mirror shave is required if infinity focus is required. However, if willing to use the lens focused at closer distances such as 5 feet, it can be usable. The 16mm fisheye’s rating is “I”; my suggestion is the Contax 16mm Fisheye - it is an excellent lens.

  • Leica 19mm F2.8 Elmarit-R

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

The second version Leica 19mm F2.8 Elmarit-R requires extreme “surgery”. In terms of optical performance, the second version is the one you want - and it costs much more than the original 19mm. The original 19mm is probably a good lens for the 19mm look, but if seeking sharp corners, the second version is a better choice. Some owners modified the 19mm Elmarit’s (second version) rear housing by grinding it down approximately 2mm. Not the entire rear housing has to be ground, just lower half which catches the mirror as the mirror swings up. The earlier 19mm F2.8 Elmarit fits the Canon bodies without modification.

In the case of the Leica 19mm Elmarit - the safe route is buy one which has already been modified. Let somebody else take the risk - and you enjoy the benefit. Also, Zeiss released the Zeiss 18mm F3.5 Distagon ZE. The Zeiss lens costs less than a used Leica 19mm Elmarit-R, so I would buy a new ZE avoid all the hassle. One last possible option is a Nikon dSLR or Sony dSLR with the Leitax adapter kits.

  • Leica 24mm Elmarit-R

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

The Leica 24mm Elmarit-R does not clear the mirror and a lens modification is not possible. If you are willing to shave the mirror on your 1Ds or 5D, then maybe. Some options include the Canon 7D or other Canon EF-s dSLR. The EF-s bodies have smaller mirrors, so there are no clearance problems. An alternative to the 24mm Elmarit-R is the 28mm F2.8 Elmarit-R which receives very favorable reviews.

  • Leica 28mm F2.8 Elmarit R - Model 11259 and Model 11333

Applies to the Canon 5D Family

These two lenses are marked “I” (iffy) because of conflicting reports with the Canon 5D Mark II. Optically the lenses are identical, model #11333 is simply the ROM version. There have been mixed results with #11333 on the Canon 5D (and Mark II), so it was already coded as “I”. Subsequently, another person reported their 28mm Elmarit (#11259) fit fine on the Canon 5D Mark II. Even though he had success, I still coded the lens as an “I” because it is the same mount, etc. as model 11333. So, the 28mm Elmarit may work on a Canon 5D / 5D Mark II; however, some people may encounter clearance issues due to adapter thickness and/or production variances the mirror box.

  • Leica 35mm Summilux

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

The 35mm Summilux-R will not clear the mirror on Canon full-frame bodies. If you are willing to shave the mirror on your 1Ds or 5D, then maybe. Some options include the Canon 7D or other Canon EF-s dSLR. The EF-s bodies have smaller mirrors, so there are no clearance problems. The simple solutions are to use a Sony A7rII or with Zeiss 35mm F1.4 Distagon ZE.

  • Leica 35-70mm F2.8 F2.8 ASPH Vario-Elmar R

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

Like the Leica 21-35mm F2.8 ASPH Vario-Elmar R, the plastic shroud at the rear of the lens may interfere with the Canon 1Ds (Mark I, Mark II and Mark III) mirror. Three small jewelers screws hold the plastic shroud in place - unscrew them, remove the shroud, put the screws back in place for safe keeping. The entire process takes less than a minute with the proper screw driver and is 100% reversible. The shroud is a cosmetic piece, removing it has no effect on the lens’ operation or performance. This solution may work for the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II; however, there have been no user reports to verify whether or not this solution will work.

  • Leica 50mm Summilux-R E60 (Last / Current Version)

Applies to the Canon 1Ds Family, Canon 1D Family and 5D Family

With a minor modification the last version of the 50mm Summilux-R (Model #11344, E60 filter and sliding hood) will work on Canon FF dSLRs. There is a rubber ring protecting the rear element. This ring needs to be removed (it is similar to a fancy rubber band) and the mirror will clear.

LEICA-R / CANON EF ADAPTERS

Ebay and other similar marketplaces have 100's of cheap adapters offered for sale. The quality of these adapters is often sketchy at best - such as improper thickness, even even thickness, plating that flakes away, poor fit (wiggle / wobble), etc. My preferred adapter is Leitax because they are actually screwed to the Leica R lens, providing a very secure connection with no play or wobble. For more info on Leitax adapters, check out my reviews. Novoflex also makes very good adapters; however, you will have to provide (and install) your own focus confirmation chip if wanting to capture EXIF data, etc. My recommendation is opting for a Leitax adapter and buying the adapter with focus confirmation adapter pre-installed.

A WORD OF CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING USED LENSES

A common discussion on user forums is how to adjust infinity focus. Generally, this can be done by rolling back the rubber grip on the focus ring (if there is any) which reveals the screws holding the focus ring in place. Loosening the screws allows the focus ring to be repositioned. This adjustment can be disastrous on a floating element lens design. These lenses were designed for the exit pupil to be an exact distance from the film plane. If that distance is compromised, lens performance will suffer.

Such adjustments may negatively impact lens without floating element designs too. Since the first person “optimized” lens for infinity focus with their adapter, it is likely the next person will have trouble finding an adapter that works properly. In effect this adjustment creates the “good copy / bad copy” syndrome. When buying a used lens - ask the seller if they have made any such adjustments. Ask if the lens has been sent to Leica to ensure proper calibration.

DISCLAIMERS

I try to make sure everything is correct; however, there are no guarantees. Be safe and do your own homework too. If you decide to mount a non-Canon lens to a Canon camera, you are doing so at your own risk. If something feels wrong --- stop and examine the adapter, the lens, etc. Using an Canon EOS / Leica-R adapter is usually trouble-free; however, there are exceptions. Until you know for sure a given lens and adapter combination works correctly with your camera, go slow and pay close attention.

As of 2011 the database is no longer updated or maintained.

end of review flourish