Prolific South Korean lens maker Samyang, known for its affordable portrait, landscape and macro lenses, has joined the L mount alliance, which currently consists of Leica Camera, Sigma, Panasonic, DJI, and Ernst Leitz Wetzlar. If your camera is L mount, or you have an L mount adapter, this move will greatly increase your choice of compatible lenses.
Samyang – known as Rokinon in the US – started out by producing great value, manual-focus prime lenses for the big DSLR brands and has progressed to lenses for mirrorless cameras and, more recently, autofocus models and zooms.
‘Samyang’s AF 50mm F1.4 FE II is almost as nice as the Sigma Art alternative, which is astonishingly quick progress,’ notes our Technical Editor, Andy Westlake.
Who is in the L mount alliance?
Members of the L mount alliance develop and market separate compatible cameras and lenses under their own brand names, while also selling lenses in other mounts (Sigma, Leica and Panasonic being the most notable examples). The L mount is now available on 12 cameras and over 60 lenses. ‘[It] unifies photo and video applications in the best possible way and allows for innovative optical designs due to the shallow flange depth,’ said Leica’s Stephan Schulz.
‘With Samyang, we welcome an agile lens maker that has developed within a short period of time an impressive lens portfolio for photography and cinematography,’ he added. Joining the alliance at the same time as Samyang is Astrodesign Inc, a professional video specialist.
From Leica, Wetzlar, 13th July 2023
Following the public announcement of the L-mount standard at Ohotokina in 2018, Astrodesign Inc. and Samyang Optics Co. have been named as the sixth and seventh companies to join the L-Mount Alliance . The alliance consists of founding members Leica Camera AG, Sigma, and Panasonic, as well as Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH and DJI, who joined in 2021.
The goal of the alliance is to utilize the L-mount standard developed by Leica Camera AG for cameras and lenses in future product development. This collaboration enables Astrodesign and Samyang Optics to develop products with the L-Mount which will present great benefits for wide range of photo and video applications.
Stephan Schulz, Head of Product Management Professional Camera Systems: “The L-Mount is an up-to date lens interface, that unifies photo and video applications in the best possible way and allows for innovative optical designs due to the shallow flange depth. With Astrodesign, the L-Mount Alliance gains a member that is undoubtedly an innovator in advanced professional video. This underlines the versatility of the L-Mount Standard and the high-level ambition of the L-Mount Alliance. With SAMYANG we welcome an agile lens maker, that has undoubtedly developed within a short period of time an impressive lens portfolio for photography and cinematography”.
About the L-Mount alliance
The members of the L-Mount Alliance all utilise the L-Mount Standard developed by Leica Camera AG for mirrorless camera systems. Currently, the members of the alliance are Leica Camera AG, SIGMA, Panasonic, Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH, DJI, Astrodesign and Samyang.
The partners in the alliance utilise the L-Mount Standard for cameras and lenses that are offered under their own brand names. They market their respective products as competitors, and each with their own product and marketing strategies. The alliance works together on
advancing the technology of the L-Mount Standard.
About the L-Mount Standard
The L-Mount was developed by Leica Camera AG under the proviso 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 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 APSC 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 conditions, and to guarantee customers maximum reliability for many years of intensive use, the camera bayonets are manufactured from wear-resistant stainless steel and with four flange segments that prevent canting and ensure secure and a 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 to exploit the full performance potentials of the lenses.
Originally introduced by Leica Camera AG in 2014, the L-Mount is now available on 12 cameras and over 60 lenses across the existing alliance partners. All lenses made for the different systems within the L-Mount alliance can be used on all cameras without adapters and without any functional limitations, which illustrates one of the numerous benefits of the common bayonet.