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90mm choices for the M8


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I've been using the same early 90 Cron for 10 years or more (Canadian asterisk numbered / telescopic lens shade / tripod mount / non-fluted focus ring) . On the M8 it's not the lens I use most of the time, but it's invaluable when I need it (:D). The one thing I don't like about the lens is bulk and weight.

 

I've noticed a couple of used 90 asph crons around and am wondering if this might be an answer (and my accountant tells me this is the time of my financial year to consider buying kit). Does anyone have experience of making the move from an earlier 90 to this latest model? I know that Puts rates it very highly (alongside the 50 lux asph) so imagewise it won't be a problem. I'm more interested in weight / usability experience if anyone has this so share.

 

Thanks

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I have one, and it is not a svelte and light lens. If you want utmost compactness with excellent quality the Macro 90 might be a good choice, if it is fast enough for you.It would have the advantage of near-macro too. Of course the 90/2.8 is very light and compact, and not all that far behind the 90 AA in image quality. But it might be too cheap if your accountant has ordered you to spend money;)

Edited by jaapv
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Jaap - thanks for the thought on the 2.8. Is that the Elmarit? Hadn't really considered it. But this would be used, wouldn't it + I'd likely want to get it coded which adds to cost. I suppose 2.5 Summarit is to be considered too ... issue here is that it's £1,049.00 new in the UK and I can get the 90 AA for almost the same amount. I'll need to investigate. But you're right about my accountant... :)

Edited by chris_tribble
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If your accountant has suggested that you spend and you don't actually NEED another 90mm, buy a lens which you would like, and which will hold its value or even potentially increase in value (tricky but the faster designs rarely seem to drop!). This way you can get a lens which might be useful, which you wouldn't normally buy and which, depending on the economy, might be useful to sell and get good money back for later on - although I accept this might not be good from an accountancy point of view it may make good practical sense.

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Chris, I know some of your works, and I see that quite often I had to shoot in the same conditions (theatre/gigs for example).

I had the 90AA and the 90Elmarit-m (telescopic hood). The 90AA is simply superb but I used it quite exclusively wide open, I found it somehow "harsh" when stoppin down from F4 and on.

BTW the focus ring of the 90AA is (IMHO) the biggest issue, the thread is way too long, and even with my eagle eye:rolleyes:, and 1,25x magnifier, I lost too many pictures because of its focus "speed".

The 90 elmarit-M is another superb lens, but under this respect, it suffers of the same long thread focus issue.

For these reasons, and adding the weight issue as well, I consider the 90summarit to be the best of the group.

It's just 1/2 stop slower than the 90cron, but the focus ring is extremely fast and effective.

It's really small, light, and it's bokeh and "way of drawing" pictures reminds of the glorious Leica lenses, while being extremely corrected for what that concerns flare and CA.

Think about it. :)

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I've been using the same early 90 Cron for 10 years or more (Canadian asterisk numbered / telescopic lens shade / tripod mount / non-fluted focus ring) . On the M8 it's not the lens I use most of the time, but it's invaluable when I need it (:D). The one thing I don't like about the lens is bulk and weight.

 

I've noticed a couple of used 90 asph crons around and am wondering if this might be an answer (and my accountant tells me this is the time of my financial year to consider buying kit). Does anyone have experience of making the move from an earlier 90 to this latest model? I know that Puts rates it very highly (alongside the 50 lux asph) so imagewise it won't be a problem. I'm more interested in weight / usability experience if anyone has this so share.

 

Thanks

Hi Chris and Hi all,

I have both optics : the last M Cron 90mm Asph and the M 90mm macro as said Jaap and Maurizio, you can see some pictures in these links:

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/nature-wildlife/84767-last-tulip-summicron-90mm.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/nature-wildlife/82859-daisy-spring.html

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/nature-wildlife/82710-red-yellow-tulips-spring.html

According to me the 90mm Cron is heavier but it has more luminosity and is better for portrait ( like the R 90 mm with my R8 ).

It's true that the 90mm macro is lighter.

Regards

Henry

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I used to use the pre-AA version (the one you have), liked it a lot for portraits and upgraded to the AA - thinking it must be even better. It is sharper but other than that I find it only a small change from the pre-AA. In fact, sometimes the added sharpness gets in my way.

 

In terms of weight and size they are very very close I believe, so no saving there.

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Aaargh - decisions, decisions. I've got my name on a 90AA for around £1300 and there's also a very nice Elmarit 90 2.8 for around 700. Torn now. Maurizio - your comments are pushing me towards to the slower lens, but I then get pulled by PGK's comments on the faster lens both as an asset with better long term trade in AND my own experience of really liking to work with fast leica lenses wide open.

 

As I'm still able to focus the 135 without problems, and I'm used to the long rotation on the older 90 cron, focusing doesn't worry me so much - but keeping the overall weight of the bag is something I do consider... Is anyone able to post some examples of low light portraiture from either of the lenses - it would be really helpful to get a better idea of how they both draw fully open.

 

Many thanks for help so far!

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Another option is the last version pre-asph, the version just before the AA which is the lightest one (just below 500grams). You will gain about 200gr versus your version and it goes for 500-600 euros on ebay with some patience.

I own it and it is a two in one lens : - softer wide-open for portraits, sharp and contrasty from 2.8 up. Now if you are after clinical sharpness from F2, the AA is probably a better bet though at 3 times the price.

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Chris,

 

When I ordered the M8, I also sold my trusty 135mm Tele-Elmar and replaced it with a clean, used 90mm Tele-Elmarit ("thin" version.) Now I regret selling the 135 T-E only because we've learned that it is usable on the M8 after all, but that's another story...

 

The 90 T-E has never failed to please when I need the extra reach over what my 75mm Summicron can provide. And if you want small and light in a tele, there is none smaller than the 90 T-E.

 

And, although I have not handled the lens, the new 90 Summarit surely looks attractive too. It all depends how much you use a 90mm lens. I mostly rely on my 75 Summicron as my standard tele and don't often use my 90.

 

-g

Edited by grober
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I also use my 90 Elmarit on the M8 with excellent results. As far as coding, I don't think there's any reason to do that. It's pretty easy to find 90 Elmarits used in very good to excellent condition and I wouldn't expect that lens to lose any value beyond what has already occurred, as long as the condition is maintained. I got rid of my 90/2 long ago because of the size and weight. Frankly, I'm much happier with the 90/2.8.

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Chris, I have the cron apsh, the telescopic last elmarit and the macro. The cron focus throw

is something I dislike. the macro is slow for my usage, the 2.8 m is a sweet lens and lighter

compared to the cron, but its speed might be slow for gigs etc.

 

image wise the cron has no peer with the 2.8 very close stopped down.

 

I intend to try the summarit as weight and handling is important to me.

 

Regards.

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I tend to think that if you renounce to f2... one day or another you'll regret to have no more that aperture :(... so I would go for the AA; but if you like to have a light-compact 90 and your accountant pushes for spending... find also an old Elmar f4 3 elements: it's a delicious pocketable lens still capable of excellent performances.

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i purchased a 90 APO recently, used 6-bit coded.

i have found that when shooting stationary subjects (which i don't often do) it performs quite well.

 

however when shooting stage work, which i know you do as well, i find the throw too short compared to the 75 lux and noctilux. i am not sure if f2 @ 90mm is more shallow than 1.4 @ 75 mm, or if the 60mm 75 lux thros is just more suited to stage work.

 

either way my results are as such, i barely ever get a good shot off with the 90 on stage work.

 

when it is spot on focus wise it's stellar! (wide open of course) i'm debating whether to send my lens to leica to have it calibrated...but i think it works fine.

 

quite the perdicament.

 

cheers

 

jesse

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I'm a Zeiss ZM guy, but my one Leica lens is the 2,8/90 Elmarit-M. I've been very happy with it - optically it's excellent and the price is very reasonable (you might even call it a steal). I'd have gone for the new 85mm from Zeiss, but it's too dark at f/4, roughly the same size/weight as the Leica and I believe, more expensive.

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Thanks again to all for comments - it looks like a growing consenus in favour of the 2.8. The good news is that I'm going to get the best of both worlds and the excellent Ivor at Red Dot in London is holding a used cron AA and a used Elmarit for me until tomorrow. I'll go down with the M8.2, try them both, make a decision and get one or the other.

 

The 90 is a funny focal length on the M8 in some ways - but for gigs and the like it's sometimes the only way to get the framing right when I'm shooting from a fixed position. This was brought home to me last week when I was doing a jazz gig (sitting in a very cramped space at the front of a small club) and I was so glad I had the 90 with me.

 

For documentary work the 75 cron or 50 lux are my default longer lengths - and a lot of the time the only lenses I use for most of the day are 28 + 75 working with 2 bodies - but a 90 really feels like a necessary part of the line-up.

 

I'll post some results once I've got the new one...

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I'd forget the Elmarit if you are shooting indoors - the extra stop of the Summicron will prove too useful on too many occasions.

 

Check the focus carefully. I've considered buying a 90/F2 ASPH but found that a couple of examples I tried demonstrated noticeable backfocus at F2 (using multiple M8 bodies).

 

Unless your accountant is crooked or is helping you undertake a very unusual tax avoidance wheeze, be wary about falling into this commonly held idea that writing off capital investments against business income makes them 'free' in some way. Even assuming 100% capital write-down and 40% tax, the new lens will still end up costing you 60% of the sticker price.

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I'd forget the Elmarit if you are shooting indoors - the extra stop of the Summicron will prove too useful on too many occasions.

 

Check the focus carefully. I've considered buying a 90/F2 ASPH but found that a couple of examples I tried demonstrated noticeable backfocus at F2 (using multiple M8 bodies).

 

Ian - very much my thinking which is why I'm still leaning towards the Cron... Also I'm already used to working with my old and trusted and like the way it draws ... I'm still in two minds as I'm not sure I'll be getting something that's significantly more compact or lighter with the 90/F2 ASPH... but at least I'll be able to do a side-by-side tomorrow...

 

Unless your accountant is crooked or is helping you undertake a very unusual tax avoidance wheeze, be wary about falling into this commonly held idea that writing off capital investments against business income makes them 'free' in some way. Even assuming 100% capital write-down and 40% tax, the new lens will still end up costing you 60% of the sticker price.

 

Worry not on that score! My accountant is straight as a die + I actually believe in being a good citizen and paying my taxes! It's more the case that I've earned more this year that I'd expected and it's a good idea to take on an expense I'd been planning to make anyway at this point in my year (which runs June to July - this relates to when I set up my business.

 

Still really grateful for all the insights I've been getting from people.

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