Leitz Announces Elsie Primes

Set to begin shipping in early 2022, the new lens line will be available in LPL mount only.

Ernst Leitz Wetzlar has announced Leitz Elsie primes, a new line of cinema lenses.

Made in Germany, Leitz Elsie lenses are designed for full-frame performance at a size, speed and price point to serve a broad range of productions. The set features a consistent aperture of T2.1 across all 13 lenses (15mm to 150mm). Lenses are 6.3" long and average 4.4 pounds. 

Leitz Elsie lenses will only be available in LPL mount and will list for about €19,000 ($22,042) per lens. The first five focal lengths are set to be delivered in early 2022.

“We chose to anchor our design to the LPL mount specification to create smaller and faster optics while still maintaining the Leitz standard in both image quality and mechanics,” says Rainer Hercher, the company’s managing director. “We believe that cameras with shallow flange depths and interchangeable mounts are the future of cinematography. Lens designs have always followed camera formats, and we expect other lens companies will follow our lead.”

The new lens line was named for Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, daughter of Ernst Leitz II. A lifelong humanitarian, she helped Jewish employees of her father’s company and their families escape Germany during World War II. She also secretly provided food and aid to forced laborers installed by the Nazis at the Leitz factory before she was  caught and imprisoned by the Gestapo. After the war, she became active with charitable groups in Africa and Europe. 

In honor of her work, Leitz will donate a portion of the proceeds from the new line of lenses to the non-profit charity Ingenieure ohne Grenzen (“Engineers Without Borders”), which works with communities in need across the globe to provide technical assistance and secure basic supplies.

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