The Summilux-R 80 mm f/1.4 was introduced almost simultaneously with the Summilux-M 75 mm f/1.4. It was one of many occasions on which Leica released similar lenses for the M and R series at the same time. Especially in the case of standard and medium focal length lenses, parallel production offered many advantages. For this reason, Leica lenses with focal lengths of 50 mm, 75/80 mm, 90 mm and 135 mm often shared very similar optics.
The years from 1970 to 1990 saw fierce competition between the market leaders Canon, Nikon, Zeiss and Leitz, with particular prestige being placed on fast lenses with focal lengths between 35 and 90 mm. The Summilux-R 80 mm f/1.4 offered the perfect balance between wide initial aperture and good handleability. It was certainly extremely rare to come across an initial aperture of 1.4 in the tele range. With its 30 degree angle of view, the 80 mm lens was already a long way from the standard focal length, offering an interesting change of perspective in the form of an extremely high-speed lens.