With the use of one lens element with an aspherical surface, contrast and imaging quality of this lens are at least as good as those of lenses with comparable fixed focal lengths. With its excellent gradation in shadow areas and highlights, it is particularly well suited for subjects with strong light contrasts. Thanks to a macro setting, close-up pictures as near as 26 cm (10.5 inches) are possible, which corresponds to a reproduction ratio of 1:2.8. As a universal zoom lens, it covers the classic focal lengths. All these qualities make it an indispensable standard lens in the Leica R system.