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LEICA THAMBAR-M 1:2.2/90 officially announced

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Leica just officially announced the rumored the LEICA THAMBAR-M 1:2.2/90. Here is the press release plus some images:




A legend reborn: following the Leica Summaron-M 1:5.6/28, Leica Camera AG has further expanded its lens portfolio with the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90, the modern renaissance of another classic lens. Just like its namesake from 1935, the contemporary incarnation of the lens is distinguished by its characteristic soft-focus effect and unmistakeable bokeh. Its focal length of 90 mm is suitable for photography in a multitude of scenarios and is as good as predestined for capturing portraits with a uniquely aesthetic atmosphere that cannot be reproduced in digital postprocessing. The new Thambar-M is thus an exciting addition to the existing Leica M lens portfolio and brings photographers entirely new possibilities for creative composition.

The optical design of its ancestor remains almost unchanged in the new Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. It has therefore also inherited the characteristic properties of its predecessor. The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion. The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.
The soft look of the Thambar is the result of intentionally accepted under-correction of spherical aberration. This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system with the consequence that not only the depth of focus, but also the degree of softening can be precisely controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. The effect is more pronounced as apertures increase, and is continually reduced as the lens is stopped down to smaller apertures.
The design of the original lens has been almost completely preserved in today’s Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. The black paint finish, the proportions of the lens and its aperture engravings in red and white correspond to the appearance of the original. In addition to this, slight modifications have been made that bring the lens into line with the current, minimalist design of modern M-Lenses. These include the knurling, the lettering and scales and the specific use of sharp edges and bevelling that underline the precision of the lens design.
‘The name Thambar has always been preceded by the adjective ‘legendary’ – rightly so. It portrays people with a wonderful aura, in a romantic way – but landscapes too are raised to a higher, incomparably aesthetic plane. The addition of a new incarnation of this classic lens to our selection of vintage lenses was one of our greatest wishes – to my great delight, this wish has now been fulfilled.’ emphasises Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG.
As is the case with all Leica lenses, the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 is also manufactured in strict compliance with the most stringent quality criteria. The use of only the best materials in its construction guarantee the familiar long working life of all Leica lenses. As was the case with the original lens, the lens hood, the ring of the centre-spot filter and both front and rear lens caps are made of metal. Even smallest details, like the felt lining of the lens hood and the front cap, contribute to the exceptional perceived quality of this lens. The design of the rigid lens keeper in ‘Vintage Brown’ leather is identical to that of the original from 80 years ago in almost every respect and, as in the past, the centre-spot filter can be safely and conveniently stowed away in its lid.
The Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 will be on sale from mid-November 2017.
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Just glad Leica introduced an expensive new lens that doesn’t give me GAS. ;-)

Bring back Summilux 75 and stop reincarnation of this collectible dinosaurs

Nice collectible for people collecting non collectible lenses Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!.

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Technical Specifications THAMBAR-M 1:2,2/90 mm

Angles of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical):
approx. 27°, 23°, 15° (for 35 mm: 24x36 mm)

Use with the Leica M8 models is not recommended since the optical properties do not suit for smaller formats than 35 mm (24x36 mm).

Optical design
4 lenses in 3 groups
Position of entrance pupil (at infinity):
49.6 mm (in the direction of light incidence behind the bayonet fitting contact area)

Focusing range: 1 m to ∞
Scale: Meter divisions
Smallest object field / Biggest scale: approx. 215x322 mm/1:9.0 (for 35 mm: 24x36 mm)

No detent positions
2.2 - 2.6 or 9 - 25 (values in white: for use with the associated center spot filter)
2.3 - 6.3 (values in red: for use without the associated center spot filter)

Bayonet fitting
Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6 bit lens identification bar code for digital M models

The 6 bit lens identification bar code (8) situated on the bayonet flange enables the digital Leica M models to identify the attached type of lens. This information is utilized by the camera to optimize exposure and image data.
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"Suggested retail price: 842,400 yen including tax"


= 7500USD [in Japan]

  タンバールM 90mm F2.2

  • 商品ページデジカメWATCH
  • 1935年に製造されたタンバールの復刻版
  • 独特のソフトフォーカス効果とボケ味などの光学設計をそのままに、現代的なデザインにアップデート
  • 球面収差を意図的に残したレンズ設計と、円形のボケを実現する20枚の絞り羽根
  • 1935年に登場したオリジナルレンズと同様に、付属品のレンズフード、フィルターリング、フロントキャップ、リアキャップはすべて金属製
  • 発売予定日:2017年11月
  • 希望小売価格:税込84万2,400円




Any news on whether this is a limited issue? Price?

Edited by frame-it
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I can appreciate Leica bringing this back, cutting edge optics are my preference but I also enjoy lenses from the past such as the 50mm Summilux Ver. 1 for it's wide open softness.  This lens is pricey and I will skip it but can't wait to visit the Leica Store to play with it.  

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I have never used a Thambar. My father had one but it disappeared when my mother moved house, so I never got my hands on it. We used to tease my father than his Summar was so soft, he did not need a Thambar. How do folks feel a Thambar compares with using a B+W - Zeiss Softar filter or a Lee clear centre spot soft filter, obviously at a very different price point. 



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Well maybe it's just me but here I was thinking no one uses a Thambar because it looks terrible.

I'm a polite guy, but I'll say that the images in that gallery do the Thambar no favours at all. Where are the portraits? (which is what the lens was designed and used for originally).

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Terribly high price imho... but undoubtly if there was a lens on which they could try to "shoot high" ,  it's the Thambar... no standard LTM lens (apart real rarities) still brings so high evaluations if really in fine shape. I whish them good sales...

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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My personal preference for a portrait lens is one where you can get a sharp, reasonably contrasty centre but have softer edges, when used wide open. I find my Leica 85mm/f1.5 Summarex is near perfect for this with the most extraordinary swirly bokeh, which looks like a Monet painting. 



Edited by wlaidlaw
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I was interested to hear of the revival of this exotic creature. I wonder if it will appeal to present-day professional portraitists (and rich amateurs, of course), or instead slide into the 'must own as it's expensive' category? In the words of the old Focal Leica guide, 'Considerable experience is required to master its use, but it yields effects almost impossible by other means'. Presumably, take-up in its original form was limited, so will that be the case today too?


It's not something I could ever own myself. Even if I needed such a thoroughbred, I've perforce always been at the Elmar/Summarit end of the 90mm spectrum. I did once get fond of an 85mm Steinheil Culminar on my first screw Leicas back in the late 1960s, but alas I traded it a long time ago. It wasn't so much a soft lens as a low contrast one - very sweet and gentle, as it were.


[Thinks out loud] Would there be a case for reintroducing some other classics in modern dress, perhaps at the everyday end of the M lens family - Summars, Hektors and all, in a nice modern coded mount? All right, all right - it's just me, then.


Incidentally, speaking of legends, does the price of the new Thambar include a geiger counter?



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I'm a polite guy, but I'll say that the images in that gallery do the Thambar no favours at all. Where are the portraits? (which is what the lens was designed and used for originally).

I agree. By chance is the one taken of the lens on the camera taken with a Thambar? If so, I might be interested.

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