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90 2.5 Summarit vs. 90 2.8 Elmarit ?

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Hi,

 

I am in the market for a used 90mm M. What are your experiences with those two lenses - which one would you recommend and why?

Used price are somewhat similar...

 

And what about 75mm 2.5 Summarit. I read about some people saying 75 Summarit is brilliant, but at the same time they didn't like 90mm 2.5 Summarit that much.

 

Any help is welcome.

 

Thanks / Alex

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The Summarit-M is the better lens, technically. Still, the Elmarit-M might be considered the nicer lens ... possibly, not necessarily—depending on the beholder's taste and preferences.

 

The new Summarit-M 90/2.4's shorter close-focus limit of 0.9 m (as opposed to 1 m) might be a tie-breaker.

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The Summarit 75 new and old is a six element design, and the Summarit 90 new and old is a five element design. The Summarit 75/2.5 has a slightly MTF than the Summarit 90.

 

I've not used a Summarit 90 so can't say much about it. I have the Summarit 75 and find it excellent.

 

I have used also an old 90/4 Elmar-C and have now a Summicron 90 pre-Asph that seems good so far. Not had much time to use it.

 

In essence I think it's impossible to go wrong among the modern 75mm and 90mm lenses from Leica. Choose the focal length you prefer and look at rendering characteristcs and of course price.

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As stated, it comes down to which lens you get a better deal.

 

Personally I dislike the rubber and screw in hood on the Summarit.

I mostly use these lenses without hood but appreciate the slide hood of the Elmarit and Summicron, as you can flick them out easy enough if you want to opposed to fiddle with another item in your camera bag.

 

For the same money spent, I would also consider the latest E55 pre ASPH 90mm Summicron in the bunch.

It seems that you can get this lens from time to time for similar money.

 

It is not that heavier and that bigger than the 90 Elmarit-M, performs very, very similar from f2.8 on but offers f2 if you want to.

Only downside is it's E55 filter size if that matters to you.

 

When buying either Elmarit-M or pre ASPH Summicron, buy hands on from a dealer or a person you know or figure in the cost for calibration/ coding depending on your needs.

 

I have seen many of these lenses not perform as they could on digital bodies and have had seen my E55 Summicron completely transformed into a great performing lens through calibration while before it ever so slightly mis-focussed.

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I had the latest Elmarit-M and while it was a great lens, I found that the pre-ASPH Summicron (final e55 filter version) was not much bigger or heavier, performed with near equality from f/2.8 down (except in the very near range when f/4-5.6 was needed for optimal sharpness across the entire field), and gave me a very pleasant rendering @ f/2 for portraiture.

 

I also have both fat and thin T-E's, of which the latter is my prefered for traveling.

 

If I were looking for the best bang for the buck in a 90 I would consider the CV f/3.5 APO-Lanthar ahead of a Summarit. Half a stop slower but a third or so of the cost. I had one, it was a fantastic lens.

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I haven't direct experience with Summarit 90, but have the 75 and the last Elmarit M 90 :

- Both are superb modern lenses of very high sharpness even wide open, with the Summarit a bit more contrasty on colors

- The Elmarit is HEAVY (I have the chrome, btw), the Summarit is pocketable (even with the hood mounted reversed, which by the other side is a bit annoying in usage)

- I had a mech problem with the Summarit... after 2 years, the front part became loose... affecting focusing... fixed easily by a lab, at little cost.. the Elmarit is definitely a more solid built.

- The top in size is still my old Tele Elmarit "dwarf"...

delicious lens which still renders very well from f4 on.

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The small size and minimum focus distance of the 90/2.4 are tempting indeed but the latest Elmarit has a superb IQ and is built as a tank so i will keep the latter as long as the Summarit will keep its current rubber ring and screw in hood.

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I have the 75mm f/2.5 Summarit and a late 90mm Elmarit-M. Both are superb; the 75mm gets more use. I keep the hood attached and capped. When travelling light, I will reverse the lens hood on the 75mm, again capped for more compact stowage. My recommendation is to handle both if possible. Most good Leica dealers should be able to help you decide.

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Just to mention: I am a huge fan of the Leica 90/4 Macro-Elmar-M - it is one stop slower than the Elmarit (1 1/2 stops slower than the Summarit), sells second hand for almost twice the cost of a second hand Elmarit-M, is the smallest and lightest of the bunch and has incredible image quality, punching way above it's weight.

 

This lens and a 90 Summicron are the two 90mm lenses one would ideally have.

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Yes but the superb Macro-Elmar is only f/4. I still miss a modern 90/2.8 the same size (62mm) as the "thin" Tele-Elmarit personally. I don't hold my breath though as the Summarit (66.5mm) is not much taller.

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I had the Elmarit 90 (last version, 11807) but was disappointed by its color rendering. This is discussed in other threads, were other folks have different opinions.

 

Didn't bother trying the Summarit 90/2.5 because I didn't like the build quality.

 

I bought the 90/2 APO and was disappointed at portrait distance (for the money).

 

Then I finally "downgraded" to the 75/2 APO, and never looked back.

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The 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M is an extremely fine lens. I had one, stupidly sold it and have bought another copy. This one is here to stay. Optically it delivers as much as I could wish for. I've used a loaner 75 Summait - another excellent lens and no doubt the 90mm Summarit is too. All I can say is that I can fully recommend the Elmarit-M with no qualms whatsoever.

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I recently bought an Elmarit M and I am not convinced by its rendering. This is on an M9, I should probably try it on film before I move it on but I just feel it's too clean and has no mojo.

 

I also have the thin tele and might just stick with that as 90mm is not a focal length I use very often.

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Yes but the superb Macro-Elmar is only f/4. I still miss a modern 90/2.8 the same size (62mm) as the "thin" Tele-Elmarit personally. I don't hold my breath though as the Summarit (66.5mm) is not much taller.

 

But the diminutive size and weight may well add 1/2 to1 stop in ease of hand-holdability.

for DOF control that may be a different matter but the Bokeh of the 4.0/Macro Elmar at 4.0 is very nice and controllable.

 

4.0/90 Macro Elmar 230gm (320gm chrome)

2.8/90 Elmar-M 410gm black (510gm chrome)

2.4/90 Summarit 346gm

2.5/90 Summarit 360gm

2.0/90 APO-Summicron 660gm

Edited by MarkP

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The "thin" Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 is still the winner (225g).

 

And this was the reason I looked for one before buying the Elmarit-M. But I also had read about the 'fungus' issue with (I think it was) the last element(s) in the thin T-E. That put me off it. After getting a pristine Elmarit-M I read (here maybe) that Leica fixed that problem after serial number <whatever>. I believe Puts says the Elmarit-M is sharper than the T-E but I doubt I'd notice with hand-held Tri-X or Portra. And, while you can put the Elmarit-M in a coat pocket, you will definitely not forget it's there.

 

s-a

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Hi,

 

I am in the market for a used 90mm M. What are your experiences with those two lenses - which one would you recommend and why?

Used price are somewhat similar...

 

And what about 75mm 2.5 Summarit. I read about some people saying 75 Summarit is brilliant, but at the same time they didn't like 90mm 2.5 Summarit that much.

 

The 90mm Elmarit-M is one of the Leica's superb character lenses (another would be the 50mm Summilux ASPH) and it may be they will never make another as good because the digital user seems to require a large amount of contrast before they believe a lens meets their standards. Not that the Elmarit-M is soft or doesn't have contrast. The tonal transition is smoother than almost any other Leica lens whether on film or on a sensor which makes it ideal for portraits etc., but a hard nosed street photographer my find they need to add some edge contrast for the gritty reality they seek.

 

Instead of the 75mm Summarit you could look at the much cheaper CV 75mm f/2.5 Heliar. Explore Sean Reid's test of the two lenses and you may wonder why the Leica is so much more expensive.

 

Steve

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And this was the reason I looked for one before buying the Elmarit-M. But I also had read about the 'fungus' issue with (I think it was) the last element(s) in the thin T-E. [...]

My "thin" T-E has no fungus issue but flares much more than my latest Elmarit. Great little lens though. Was always in my bag since the eighties. I prefer the Macro-Elmar now but i miss the faster aperture of the T-E.

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