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Navigating the choppy waters of 90mm options


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The Elmarit M is probably the best of the bunch for IQ. The Summicron are all too big and heavy for me, even though I have an original chrome one. I’ve had several thin Tele-Elmarits over the years and it’s an OK lens, although it can flare.

One lens you haven’t considered is the “fat” Tele-Elmarit. It’s a wonderful lens, nice and small and can be had very reasonably.

The Summarit is a very good lens. I have the 75/2.5, and it has fantastic IQ, better than the 90 Summarit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it’s build quality.

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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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To match your 35/1.4 FLE i would choose a lens with high acutance i.e. a 90/2 apo, a 90/2.4 (no experience with 90/2.5) or a 90/4 macro preferably. The 90/2.8 v2 is an excellent lens built like a tank but it is a bit softer at f/2.8 than its competitors and it was made for film and might need some calibration for digital. So did mine but it works fine since i had it 6-bit coded by Leica. You can go wrong with no Leica lens anyway but i would avoid the 90/2 v3 if CA is an issue for you as well as the otherwise excellent Tele-Elmarit "thin" 90/2.8 if you shoot often into the light as it can flare badly when the sun or other strong light sources are just outside the frame. If you are on a budget i can recommend the Rokkor-M 90/4 v2 for Minolta CLE. Happy snaps :).

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On 7/22/2021 at 7:16 AM, andba said:

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

Looking for a good 90mm to pair with the setup.

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 smaller overall body size, while still fitting in the electronics. Additionally the film Ms have a specific baffle around the lens mount - which shows Leica is well-aware of the potential for internal reflections like this.

For me, it appears to be a "90-only" issue for some reason - various 75s (APO-Summicron, C/V Heliar and Nokton) and my 135 Tele-Elmar are much less flare-prone in the same situations. May have to do with angle of incidence, field of view, distance of the exit pupil from the image plane, or amount of vignetting (which will subdue spill-light "around" the image area, and reduce this kind of flare).

Frankly, under the "wrong" (but often nice) back-lighting, the 90 Summarit f/2.5 is as bad or worse as the always flare-prone Tele-Elmarit-M - on my M10s. The 90 Elmarit-M was barely better. A Summicron pre-APO had the least (most vignetting wide open) - but of course is 450-500g. Unavailable for testing were the 90 Macro, 90 Elmar-C and 90 APO-Summicron.

(This is something Leica is going to have to address in digital Ms eventually - or it may be why they have dropped all their 90 f/2.5-f/2.8 lenses - but that's for another thread.)

.........................

My solution was - if I am going to have to worry about 90mm flare in any case, just get the Tele-Elmarit-M for its extreme compactness and light weight. ;) One turned up on my local shop shelf this week. ;);) And have my 75 Nokton available for flare-prone situations.

To andba I would say - test any individual 90mm M lens you may be considering, for flare on your M10-P, as well as focusing on your camera.

 

Edited by adan
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Interesting Andy, thank you but if it were a camera problem some lenses like the Rokkor 90/4 v2 would produce the same kind of flare on M bodies and the "thin" T-E 90/2.8 would no flare or flare significantly less on Sony or Fuji cameras. It is mainly a lens issue to me but i'm not techie at all so i may be completely wrong. Leica is simply not working hard enough to prevent flare on its lenses contrary to Zeiss as i feel it but i may be wrong again. It is also a matter of how much flare is disturbing actually. In the same circumstances, i.e. with light sources outside the frame, I found that the "thin" T-E 90/2.8 flares significantly more than either Elmarit 90/2.8 v2 or Summarit 90/2.4. BTW 90mm lenses are not alone with this issue as you say. Another Leica M problem is the 134/3.4 apo but other lenses like the Summarit 50/2.5 or the MATE at 50mm can produce some nasty flare in some circumstances for the same or different reasons. It is less of an issue on mirrorless cameras or electronic Visoflex though fortunately.

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:30 PM, andba said:

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

That could be a big mistake! There was an incorrect assumption that price = quality and it is not the case.

You might find this helpful 

 

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I was recently looking for a 90mm and bought an Elmarit-M.  

Highly recommended.  The IQ is fantastic, convenient size and weight and as many others have said it's built like a tank - all very smooth and the pull out hood is really lush. Makes for a really tidy lens. 

I went for it because the one-liners consistently praising it were hard to ignore. (A lot of the other options seemed to often have a negative mentioned in the same breath as praise  ..."but flares a lot", ..."but is big and heavy").  

You are pairing with very different lenses to mine as my 35mm and 50mm are both quite classic choices 60s / 70s designs however the Elmarit-M is very noticeably more modern rendering IMO compared to my other so it may work for you. 

 

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Based on the original requirements of "mainly street", I'm assuming the OP would prefer something small enough to be able to carry both lenses and still be without having a bag flapping around. So one lens on the camera and one in a pocket.

I'd suggest either the FAT Tele-Elmarit or, if he has more funds, the Macro-Elmar.

Not saying that the others are not good and some are probably better but I know that I wouldn't want to carry my APO Summicron all day for street photography (if I did that type, which I don't)

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49 minutes ago, ianman said:

Macro-Elmar.

If affordable (last version) this has to be best option for you, especially for 'street' where you do not need (or will be able to use) a wide aperture. The IQ matches any of the others and it is small and discrete.

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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 there.

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Andba,

Your plan is perfect.

Beware trying the macro Elmar as it is fantastic for street work. So light and compact yet so sharp and well built. I carry it in my pocket collapsed. On the camera it looks so vintage that no one pays attention. Yes it is more expensive, but I have found I am willing to bring it along so much more often. The expensive  lens you use versus the cheaper lens you leave at home means per shot, the Macro-Elmar was a better buy for me.

please let us know your conclusion.

Jack

 

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I see the 'plan' is already in action.  Still, my 2¢ is that the thin Tele-Elmarit-M (11,800) is the best balanced of the 90's.

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On 7/24/2021 at 4:02 PM, adan said:

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.

 

On 7/24/2021 at 2:04 PM, lct said:

The 90/2.8 v2 is an excellent lens built like a tank but it is a bit softer at f/2.8 than its competitors

I was a bit surprised to see these reports because they don't match my experience. So I went out today with my M10 and paired it with the Elmarit-M 90mm to provoke some flare and to have a closer look at its performance at f/2.8. I shot about 40 photos (handheld) at this aperture and ISO 100 with extended lens hood. Below is an example, which I exported from LR without any prior editing (yes, a boring photo, but that's not the point here).

Not sure whether this would be a case where Adan would have expected flare. I can't see any flare problems in this photo or any other of my photos shot today (or at any other time, but I only have had my M10 for a couple of months now). The details at 1:1 also don't look soft to me on my monitor (don't judge on this forum) but I have no other 90mm lens to compare this lens to. Just my experience, of course. Maybe I am just lucky or the environment was not challenging enough to provoke flare issues as those shown by Adan.

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The Elmarit you're referring to is v2 i guess. You may wish to remove the clouds ;), put the sun just outside the frame and do it again. You should see a bit of flare then, but less so than with the Tele-Elmarit "thin" 90/2.8.

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41 minutes ago, lct said:

The Elmarit you're referring to is v2 i guess.

No need to guess: "Elmarit-M 90mm" uniquely identifies the lens I was using, there is no v2.

41 minutes ago, lct said:

You may wish to remove the clouds ;), put the sun just outside the frame and do it again. You should see a bit of flare then

I certainly will try again.

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Some optical wonders, inside 🙂

 

All from Wiki ...

Edited by a.noctilux
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On 7/22/2021 at 11:48 PM, Gobert said:

I’m very pleased with a recent Macro-Elmar-M 4.0/90. The perfect combination of size and quality, unless you really need a faster lens of course.

I really like this lens. I have the APO 90 too, and for me it really is a bit heavy.

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