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Navigating the choppy waters of 90mm options


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I recently picked up an M10-P and a 35mm Summilux FLE.

Looking for a good 90mm to pair with the setup. Shooting a little of everything, mostly street. Very little in the way of traditional portraiture, very little landscape.

Option 1a — For roughly $1500 you can get a modern Elmarit
Option 1b — For roughly $1500 you can get a pre-ASPH Summicron
Option 2 — For a third of that, you can get a Tele Elmarit
Option 3 — For a little less than double you step up to the APO Summicron

Is it worth it to bite the bullet and go all in on option 3?
Is option 2 good enough for most situations?
Is option 1 the best of both worlds — and within that, A, or B?

Little help please! Thanks.

 

 

 

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Here's my take - having spent most of the Covid year (re)experimenting with a raft of Leica 90s, and most importantly, on an M10 specifically. Most of them flare on the M10, if/when there is bright light (sun or spotlight or big window) just outside the picture area. With or without appropriate lens hood. I suspect reflections from the inside of the M10, where the "shutter chamber" has been squeezed in all around the shutter opening much more tightly (compared to film Ms), to allow the

Again, thanks so much everybody. I am relatively new to the forum, and this is by far the most active discussion I've started! I've decided to do what one of the posters earlier suggested and see the differences for myself. Picked up a good, cheap-ish 2.8 which will be here Monday — and I'll pop over to the Leica store in SOHO here where they have the Macro Elmar (it's the new one, but it will illustrate the point). I can do a side-by-side with both and make a more informed decision from th

If your hesitation and F/4 is fine, one of the lightest yet fabulous Leica M lens is the choice, Macro-Elmar-M 4/90mm I use one type 1, for different situations since 2007 and never have a complain in the results from f/4 to 22... Quite most of the time NOT collapsed, even if the collapsing doesn't hurt anything (nothing protruding at rear ! ). Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder a

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As usual,

 

👇

...take one, use it then make decision 😉

Each has their own flaws/advantages/size/weight/flare prone/etc.

I always have 'at hand' in 90mm Elmar, Elmarit, Tele-Elmarit,  ... Jupiter 9 (2/85 ! ) for different use.

I've had Summicron ( sold after some years of happy use, for different reasons ) and looking now for Summarit-M 2.5/90 (as the last Summarit-M line completing  35/50/75)

 

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IMHO it really depends on what you plan to do with your images-large prints, web scans, etc. I've used a number of 90s and for my purposes settled on a much older Elmar 90/4.

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vor 35 Minuten schrieb spydrxx:

... settled on a much older Elmar 90/4.

Same with me. I bought a used Elmar 90/4 for the (for me) best compromise of image quality, size and weight and am happy with it.

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The T-E can give you unexpected flare when you don't want it in a street environment, but it's small, light and relatively inexpensive.

The APO may be overkill for your intended use. Great lens, but big, heavy and expensive. And you'll likely stop it down in the street, if only to make sure you nail focus.

The Summicron pre-ASPH is also big and heavy. And if you are going to stop it down, there's very little (if any) real-life difference with the APO. And it's cheaper.

The Elmarit-M is the best all-rounder in my experience, although it isn't particularly small or light either. And unless the market has changed while I was sleeping. I think you are a bit on the high side in terms of price expectations for 1a (and 1b). That might change your perspective.

Why didn't you consider the Summarit (either f/2.4 or f/2.5)? It should also pair nicely with your FLE in terms of rendering (I only have experience with the 75/2.5, but the 90 should be close).

Edited by Ecar
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I own the tele-elmarit thin and i would not swap it for any other leica m mount 90mm lens.

For portraits it gives lovely results and although it can be prone to flair i have taken some beautiful  back light images of my grand children with this lens.

Its also very small just as leica lenses are supposed to be.

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Thanks everybody.

It seems like the APO Summicron may be overkill for what I need.

I'm not interested in the Summarit, as I've read that the build quality is lacking.

I don't actually need anything super fast, so I'm between these two (with confirmed prices):

_ Modern Elmarit $1300
_ Macro Elmar $2300

Is the tiny size and macro capability of the Elmar worth twice the Elmarit? From what it sounds like above, the Elmarit is an excellent lens.

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Posted (edited)

If your hesitation and F/4 is fine, one of the lightest yet fabulous Leica M lens is the choice, Macro-Elmar-M 4/90mm

I use one type 1, for different situations since 2007 and never have a complain in the results from f/4 to 22...

Quite most of the time NOT collapsed, even if the collapsing doesn't hurt anything (nothing protruding at rear ! ).

 

 

Edited by a.noctilux
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45 minutes ago, andba said:

I don't actually need anything super fast, so I'm between these two (with confirmed prices):

_ Modern Elmarit $1300
_ Macro Elmar $2300

Is the tiny size and macro capability of the Elmar worth twice the Elmarit? From what it sounds like above, the Elmarit is an excellent lens.

That would be my short list as well. Some more considerations, which may or may not be important for you:

  • The Elmarit-M 90mm shares the 46mm thread of your Summilux-M 35mm.
  • Without accessories, the Macro-Elmar-M can achieve a minimum object size of 161x241mm (1:6.7), the Elmarit-M only achieves 220x330mm (1:9). This difference is relatively small given that one of these lenses bears the "Macro" designation.
  • With the (very expensive) Macro-Adapter-M, the Macro-Elmar-M reaches 1:3. The Elmarit-M can reach 1:3 as well with the help of a (cheap) high-quality Olympus MCON-P02 achromat lens, which has a 46mm filter thread. However, you lose intermediate magnifications like 1:4.
  • Among all my lenses, the Elmarit-M subjectively is the one with the highest mechanical quality.

 

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Thanks again everybody. We're getting close here!

As for the Macro Elmar. Is version 2 light years better than version 1 in terms of ergonomics/locking it out? Is version 1 tolerable in that regard?

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1 hour ago, andba said:

Thanks again everybody. We're getting close here!

As for the Macro Elmar. Is version 2 light years better than version 1 in terms of ergonomics/locking it out? Is version 1 tolerable in that regard?

I've had both and the build quality feels the same.  Optically they are identical as well. The 2 big differences are:
1) Version I allows the hood to be attached in reverse for transportation 
2) Version I is less convenient when used with the newer macro adapter (might want to do some researching if you plan to use the macro adapter)

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I purchased a 90mm Elmarit-M as I wanted the extra stop of light for low light street shots and because I found a decent priced used one, but the Macro Elmar is a beautiful lens. I played with a copy in a store and one day I think that will become my main 90mm. The sharpness is fantastic, and I have always enjoyed macro photography on other systems.

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I have the ‘version 1’ but don’t have the ‘goggles’ and it is a very fine and useful lens, and it is very light and small. Should I ever want to do macro work, the new macro adapter will work with it. I am now also considering buying an SL2 or S to go with my M lenses and benefit from the IBIS. 
 

As it happens, my Leica dealer in Montréal, Canada, has a version 1 complete with the goggles for under $4000 Canadian. Just google Leica boutique Montreal  or camtec photo Montreal and see their used or demo link.

Jean-Michel

 

Edited by Jean-Michel
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Andba,

the best 90 is the one which best fits your rangefinder. 

All Leica 90 are very good or great if perfectly focused.

A perfect match between camera and lens is by far more relevant than the type of lens. 

The perfect match is mainly a matter of luck and astrology. Try several different lenses and buy the one best matching your rangefinder.

 

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21 hours ago, Narsuitus said:

I purchased a Canadian made 90mm f/2 Summicron  to use with my 35mm f/1.4. I use the pair for shooting street and documentary. The 90 does the job for me and cost less than $1000.

I sold it. It is too big and heavy in my view. Almost a SLR lens.

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:30 PM, andba said:

Thanks everybody.

It seems like the APO Summicron may be overkill for what I need.

I'm not interested in the Summarit, as I've read that the build quality is lacking.

I don't actually need anything super fast, so I'm between these two (with confirmed prices):

_ Modern Elmarit $1300
_ Macro Elmar $2300

Is the tiny size and macro capability of the Elmar worth twice the Elmarit? From what it sounds like above, the Elmarit is an excellent lens.

You are correct. The 90 Elmarit is a superb lens. Small, light, razor sharp and a beautiful bokeh when used wide open with the subject close. If for some reason you get it and don't like it, you should be able to easily sell it and move to the macro elmar. 

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