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Anyone else find the 90m summicron APO annoying?

A miller

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This is a great lens. I mean, really great. But I find the focus band too narrow and too close to the aperture band. Consequently, my fingers tend to slip onto the aperture band when focusing and I end up taking shots with an unintended aperture. My 50+ year-old 135 tele-elmar, on the other hand, is a breeze to use as the focus band is nice and wide and has a good grip; it's also very far from the aperture band.


Anyone have similar frustrations?


It would seem to help to have a focus ring on the 90m like there is on my 50m lux and 35m lux. That way, I'd at least have something to hook my finger onto. Does anyone know if such a focus ring can be installed on the 90 cron APO?



For fun, I'm sharing a cute and silly shot I took of my son at his class play yesterday with the 90m.



Thanks for your thoughts.

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Edited by A miller
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We all have different hand sizes, but I must say as with all lenses it just takes time with the lens to get familiar with it's idiosyncrasies.


Of all my M teles, that is the one I have had the best luck with and when walking closer to a subject is no longer possible, I pull that one out first. Also when I want to compress an image I also reach for that one first.


You might find that the 90/2.8 Elmarit-M suits your style and technique better.

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The Elmarit-M and the 90 APO have very similar focus rings size-wise; if anything, the "pattern" on the Elmarit-M's ring is narrower than the 90 APO's.


However, the aperture ring of the 90 APO sticks out from the axis of the lens whereas the Elmarit-M's aperture ring does not. So could it be that your finger touches the aperture ring because it sticks out like this? If so, you could try to develop a habit of moving your finger from close to the mount outwards until you feel the focus ring. Not sure if it would help but just an idea.


If you do want a Summicron you could try the previous Summicron which has focus and aperture rings that are more like the Elmarit-M's.


By "focus ring" that is similar to your 50 and 35 Summiluxes, do you mean focus tab? If so you could try the Leica Goodies "Steer". I've never used one myself but it'd certainly make the focus ring very prominent.

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Many thanks Algrove and Philipus for responding. The answer to your key question is yes, I have shamefully large hands. However, this has not int he slightest interfered with my ability to focus w/o slipping on the aperture band on my 135 tele-elmar, 35 lux or 50 lux.


I will try to improve the way I grip the lens; but I wish I didn't have to re-train my intuitions.


And yes, my reference to "focus ring" was to the "focus tab"; I just forgot the technical term.


Thanks a million for the suggestion of using the steer. At $20, I'm compelled to purchase one and try it out!


Thanks again for your comments. This is truly an exception an exceptional lens, so much so that I have given a fleeting thought to chopping off the top third of my fingers to avoid my handling issue! :D

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I was a little diffident when I bought my AA 90. I had sold my AA 75 in favour of a Summilux 75, largely because while I loved the size of the AA 75 Summicron, I couldn't reliably focus it. I was then offered a new 75 Summicron at a good price and was sorely tempted. I went for the AA 90 due to its reputation and I preferred the idea of adding another focal length, rather than duplicating the 75.


When the lens arrived, I remained sceptical; until I took some pictures with it and looked at the results. Granted, using a 1.4x magnifier, this lens is a breeze to focus and the results are excellent. I am currently lugging around the AA 90/2, Noctilux 0.95 and 35 FLE, and not regretting it for an instant. Each has a different character and appeal.


On finding the focusing ring, only one of these lenses (35 FLE) has a focussing tab. The Noct has a nice wide ring, and I agree with you that the AA 90 has a narrow ring, but I guess I've gotten used to it. I am reasonably clumsy, so I do check the aperture before I take a picture - it's the most important setting for me, so I look.




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Thanks, John. I've meant to pickup a 1.4x. I think this actually may help as it sounds like it will allow me to lock in focus quicker and cut down on fidgeting back and forth with the focus ring, which theoretically should minimize slips ont he aperture ring. Let's see how my theory holds up!

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This little gimmick, although not pretty, is the ideal solution for this problem.


To tab or not to tab...?


Yep, thanks to the responses on this thread I found my way to this site yesterday and placed an order. I also popped by B&H last night on picked up a 1.4x magnifier, which I think is great not only for my m9 but also my m3 for the 90 and 135.


Thanks for your post

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