Leica Camera AG, Panasonic and Sigma announced a strategic partnership during the Photokina 2018. . The ‘L-Mount Alliance’ is a previously unparalleled form of collaboration that will particularly benefit the customers of all three partners. The collaboration enables Panasonic and Sigma to make use of the L-Mount standard developed by Leica for their own products and to offer both cameras and lenses utilising this lens mount. As a joint effort of all three partners, this alliance will increase the importance of the L-Mount technology to the world of photography even further.
Due to their numerous interchangeable components, system cameras are extremely versatile and can be individually configured for a wide range of photographic needs. Here, the bayonet is the most important interface, because the lens makes a decisive contribution to imaging performance and, in turn, to the quality of the final results. With this partnership, the customers will be able to choose from a much wider selection of cameras and lenses without having to limit themselves to a particular brand, as all three brands will share the same proprietary bayonet mount.
The L-Mount was developed by Leica Camera with the aim of providing customers with a future-proof, flexible, robust and precise bayonet mount that would fulfil even the most demanding photographic needs. Since its initial appearance in 2014 within the Leica T, development of the L-Mount was continued by Leica as well as by its strategic partners, which led to significant improvements and therefore an effectively new and more polished L- Mount technology.
To ensure maximum product diversity, the diameter of 51.6 millimetres was chosen to make the L-Mount suitable for use not only with full-frame cameras, but also on cameras with APS- C sensors. The short register of only 20 millimetres enables a short distance between the lens and the sensor, which in turn enables considerably more compact construction – which is particularly helpful for developments in the wide-angle lens segment. To ensure resistance to even the most extreme stresses, and to guarantee customers maximum reliability in many years in intensive use, the camera bayonets are manufactured from wear-resistant stainless steel and with four flange segments that prevent canting and ensure particularly secure and precisely positioned lens attachment. The standardised L-Mount contact strip ensures trouble-free communication between the electronic components of the lens and the camera – including the possibility of installing future firmware updates for lenses to react to technological advances and exploit the full performance potentials of the lens.
The lens mount is currently used in the Leica SL full-frame camera system and the Leica CL, TL2 and TL APS-C camera models. All lenses made for the various different systems can be used on all cameras without adapters and without any functional limitations – this illustrates only one of the numerous benefits the common bayonet brings for customers. In the near future, not only Leica Camera AG, but also Panasonic and Sigma will be announcing further products that use the common standard.