Putting the words “Leica” and “Cheap” in the same headline is usually an oxymoron, but the company has just announced that it will be selling “Made in Portugal” versions of nine popular M-mount lenses in order to bypass a controversial US tariff established last year, making these lenses more affordable for US buyers.
As mentioned above, the reason behind this move is a punitive 25% tariff that the US imposed on the EU after it was discovered that airplane manufacturer Airbus had received some illegal subsidies that gave it an edge against US-based Boeing. One of the items affected by the tariff was lenses, and so Leica “made a large investment to establish a second production line,” in Portugal, allowing US-based photographers to purchase these ‘Made in Portugal’ lenses at a discount compared to their German counterparts.
Leica will release 9 of its most popular M-mount lenses as a Made in Portugal variant, with the MiP “discount” ranging from $300 to $500 depending on the lens:
- Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH, Black – MiP Price: $4,395, German Price: $4,895
- Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH, Black – MiP Price: $2,295, German Price: $2,595
- Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6, Silver – MiP Price: $2,595, German Price: $2,895
- Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, Black – MiP Price: $3,295, German Price: $3,695
- Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, Silver – MiP Price: $3,495, German Price: $3,895
- Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH, Black – MiP Price: $3,995, German Price: $4,395
- Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH, Silver – MiP Price: $4,195, German Price: $4,695
- Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH, Black-Chrome – MiP Price: $4,595, German Price: $5,095
- Summicron-M 50mm f/2, Black – MiP Price: $2,395, German Price: $2,695
Speaking with us over email, Leica USA confirmed the reason for this announcement and shared the following statement, promising “pristine quality” from these Made in Portugal lenses:
We are committed to excellence and craftsmanship. As a result of the US Tariffs on Made in Germany products, we are offering select lenses made in our Portugal facility, delivering the pristine quality and service our customers expect from Leica.
These lenses are only available to US buyers as a way to avoid that aforementioned tariff, and they will be released in three stages. The three 50mm f/1.4 lenses will be available this month, followed by the two 35mm f/2 lenses and the 28mm f/5.6 in September, and ending with the final three lenses in December.
All are currently available to pre-order online from various retailers.
(via Red Dot Forum)