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90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit Lens


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I came across what appears to be a superb 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lens which was listed as M- condition. The Serial Number 34404** indicated it's year of manufacture to be 1987. It also states it was "Made in Germany"

 

Great I thought this will go well with my recent acquisition of an M6 body, until yesterday afternoon when I had time to look through the lens. Well what I saw gave me cause for concern for I could see what looked like a very light deposit on the rear element. It wasn't noticeable until I looked at the glass on an angle with the very bright sunlight coming throgh the front element.

 

At the moment I am in rather a quandary as to what to do for the best, yep its a very well kept lens but optically it has an apparent problem which could be very costly to correct.

 

Any advice would be appreciated from anyone who has had similar problems

 

Regards

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Guest Bernd Banken

Mike,

 

no worries.

A dealer gave me a mint Tele-Elmarit with the same haze inside the inner lenssurface nearly for free......

A normal camera repairshop in Dusseldorf cleaned and lubricated the lens - it's now like new.

 

When you search at google you may find some threads about this lens which has this effect more than other Leica lenses. It could be the oil ot the aperture blades which cause this effect.

Just ask a repair shop. Good luck!

 

Cheers

Bernd

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Mike,

 

no worries.

A dealer gave me a mint Tele-Elmarit with the same haze inside the inner lens surface nearly for free......

A normal camera repairshop in Dusseldorf cleaned and lubricated the lens - it's now like new.

 

When you search at google you may find some threads about this lens which has this effect more than other Leica lenses. It could be the oil ot the aperture blades which cause this effect.

Just ask a repair shop. Good luck!

 

Cheers

Bernd

 

Following the above posting I did a little more research into this matter and came across this information at this link http://cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm It makes interesting reading. If this is the problem with the lens I'm interested in I'll do as Andy Barton suggests and return it as not as described, cos I've no use for another paperweight. I've added a copy of the entry relating to this particular model.

90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit 1974-1989 "thin" version This smaller Tele-Elmarit version has the honor of being the smallest and lightest 90/2.8 ever made for the M Leica. Amazingly, despite being one stop faster, it is virtually the same size as the 90/4 Elmar made for the Leica CL. It is an outstanding choice as a travel lens. While some have complained about its sharpness, others have praised it. Modern Photography rated it sharper than the 90/2 Summicron--something of a surprise to many photogs.

 

This version has a chronic problem to look out for which shows up in my experience about 5% of the time. For reasons unknown, it can develop a severe etching of the rear element. The problem can be stopped in the early stages by a professional cleaning of the lens elements. If it has proceeded too far, however, cleaning will do no good and the damage is permanent. Unfortunately this turns the Tele into a nice paperweight, since the rear elements of this particular lens are a sealed unit -- making it too expensive to replace even if you could find the elements.

 

I long believed the problem was the result of animal based lubrication attacking the glass. I had my Tele relubed to alleviate the problem -- and it hasn't shown up. Mr. Horst Braun, the Manager of the Leica repair department, firmly believes this is not true, since the same lubricant used in Tele-Elmarit is used in other Leica lenses. He suggest the problem may be a lens fungus...but why it should attack this particular lens design more than others is unexplained. Leica is looking into the problem.

 

* The rarest and most expensive thin Tele-Elmarit is the chrome version, produced in very limited quantities before being discontinued in favor of black only.

* The great majority were produced in Canada, "Made in Germany" engravings are rare

* Common black version, made in Canada without "90" on barrel

* 1983 engraved "Leica 1913-1983" to match the 70th Anniversary M4-P

* The very late version with "90" on lens barrel

* All of the above are cosmetic variations, with the same optical formula

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

Edited by mikebidwell
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  • 2 months later...

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Hi there

 

Well in the end I decided that I would arrange to send the Lens to Malcolm Taylor to look at and give me his considered opinion as to it's condition with the agreement that if he felt it was not worth servicing it the guy would take it back and that would be an end to it. Well Malcolm looked at it and said all it needed was a good service so thats what he's doing for me now. I look forward with interest to getting it back and trying it

.

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hi there

 

Well in the end I decided that I would arrange to send the Lens to Malcolm Taylor to look at and give me his considered opinion as to it's condition with the agreement that if he felt it was not worth servicing it the guy would take it back and that would be an end to it. Well Malcolm looked at it and said all it needed was a good service so thats what he's doing for me now. I look forward with interest to getting it back and trying it

.

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

 

I've just had the 90 mm Tele-Elmarit back from Malcolm Taylor and I've attached two images which I took yesterday taken with the lens. The second image is full frame and the first is cropped to enlarged to give an 8" x 6" print.

 

Shooting info: Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400. 1/250 sec @ f/8

Best wishes

 

Mike B

Edited by mikebidwell
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I dont know where you made the focusing but for me it seems that the hair of the lady are less sharp then the bricks from the wall in the back, same for the metal gate less sharp then the wood door.

 

Thanks for the comment, not sure about the focusing but I have to admit I don't find it easy to get sharp focusing wearing varifocals, its a bit hit and miss for me. Perhaps I need to think about getting a +3 Dioptre Correction Lens.

 

I was more concerned that the lens was capable of turning out good images considering the bad publicity this lens has for 'contamination' problems on the rear element.

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

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Thanks for the comment, not sure about the focusing but I have to admit I don't find it easy to get sharp focusing wearing varifocals, its a bit hit and miss for me. Perhaps I need to think about getting a +3 Dioptre Correction Lens.

 

I was more concerned that the lens was capable of turning out good images considering the bad publicity this lens has for 'contamination' problems on the rear element.

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

 

 

You could try a cheapo pair of distance glasses from Tesco for focusing.

 

dunk

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Thanks for the comment, not sure about the focusing but I have to admit I don't find it easy to get sharp focusing wearing varifocals, its a bit hit and miss for me. Perhaps I need to think about getting a +3 Dioptre Correction Lens.

 

I would recommend changing over to progressive specs. I have a fairly severe case of presbyopia but has no problem at all focusing with these specs. Correction lenses are far less practical. With progressives you can keep the specs on all the time; I don't even need separate reading glasses, and to judge from those three dioptries, your problem is much like mine!

 

The old man from the Age Before Spectacles (about 40)

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Second the progressive recommendation (although I suspect "varifocals" are the same thing). I use them all the time (my astigmatism makes even prescription-made correction lenses out of the question). They work far better with the rangefinder than they did with reflex finders, but one has to be careful which part of the glass is in front of the eyepiece. Also, the 35 mm frame on the M9 is the absolute limit of what I can see in the finder. I miss the days when I used contacts, but now they´re no alternative either....

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Hi there everybody and thank you for all of your suggestions which I can take onboard. I've just come back from a weekend away down on the South Coast of England. I took the M6 with me togeter with both lenses. I took about 20 images using the 50mm Summicron and the 90mm Tele-Elmarit and this time I took more care with my focusing. One of my other problems is I have used for the past 20+ years SLR's and for the past 2 years a (now don't shout at me) a Nikon D300 + a variety of Nikon A/F lenses so being very lazy I tend to rely on A/F.

 

But as I've said I'm getting fed up with digital photography and want to get back to what I call real photography hence my Leica's. I'm just hoping that one day I'll get it right and get good results.

 

I'll wait ubtil I get my film developed and see what happens.

 

Regards

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I've just had the film which I referred to in my previous post developed and the images burnt onto a disk. Here are a couple of those images taken with the 90mm lens from our visit to the South Coast. I took more care with my focusing and I think the results are better this time but I'll await comments. I'm still can't make my mind up about this lens though, but I've decided to stick with my varifocal specs at the moment.

 

The film was a 'Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 ISO

 

 

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

Edited by mikebidwell
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Look far better this ones, what aperture did you use.

Sorry JC didn't keep a record of it,the speed I think was 1/250 sec and the aperture around f/11. It was a very bright contasty morning.

 

Since it came back from Malcolm Taylor and using the same film as the posted images, I took a series of images of a brick wall at various speeds and apertures at a measured distance of 10 feet. These were looked at by a friend who manages a photographic shop and he say he can't see any problems with the lens.

 

So I think I can now say I'm happy with my purchase all I have to do is get on and enjoy using what appears to be a very nice buy, it goes well with my M6.

 

Thank you so much for your assistance.

 

Best wishes

 

Mike B

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  • 2 years later...
I came across what appears to be a superb 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lens which was listed as M- condition. The Serial Number 34404** indicated it's year of manufacture to be 1987. It also states it was "Made in Germany"

 

Great I thought this will go well with my recent acquisition of an M6 body, until yesterday afternoon when I had time to look through the lens. Well what I saw gave me cause for concern for I could see what looked like a very light deposit on the rear element. It wasn't noticeable until I looked at the glass on an angle with the very bright sunlight coming throgh the front element.

 

At the moment I am in rather a quandary as to what to do for the best, yep its a very well kept lens but optically it has an apparent problem which could be very costly to correct.

 

Any advice would be appreciated from anyone who has had similar problems

 

Regards

 

Minor correction to this post to correct a serial number error made by me. The serial number quoted above should have read 3430489

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