View Full Version : Advise on getting a Leitz Elmar 90mm/f4
I am having some thoughts about getting such a lens to try on my 1946 Leica IIIc. I already have a Elmar 50mm/f3.5.
I read about the variations at
And some questions come to mind:
1) should I get the uncoated pre-war versions or the post-war coated ones? I am not sure if I will like the flare from the uncoated ones. Have not seen much examples for comparison.
2) how about the latter ones with more universal aperture numbers?
3) how much will it cost for a usuable one?
Any advise apreciated.
I have a pre-war uncoated one and utterly love it. Yes, it will flare more often but the look is something very special, I think. OTOH, I like the lower contrast look that uncoated tessar type lenses give. That's the real question about coated vs. uncoated lenses - do _you_ like that very distinctive look?
As for cost, they can be had for silly cheap with a bit of looking. While I can't remember where, I saw one recently for ~$70 USD. I got mine in a trade for a Moskva 5, which means it was closer to $100 USD for me, but I consider it well worth the price. But any of the Elmars are bargains compared to what the 90/2.8 or 90/2 lenses go for.
Good luck! No matter what you get, it's going to be a capable lens. The key is to use its strengths as opposed to its weaknesses...
I would match the 50 3.5 I had either coated or not. If you buy a different design, coated or not, the pictures will not match. Either can be nice in it`s own right. See some of the Summar pics posted here. 99% of them are uncoated. Flare is not the major difference in performance. It is color saturation and contrast and the ability to cleanly reproduce detail in shadows and highlights.
You need the shade for the lens either way. The 50/90/135 does the best job.
Personally I like single coated lenses best.
They can cost between $100 and $200 depending for a nice coated one.
As mentioned by Ronald M, you'll need a shade like the adjustable Fikus [50/90/135], which can be found from $25-50. Even the post war coated versions can flare because the front element is not recessed at all. They usually have some hazing or fog but servicing is easy, search pnet for Huw Finney's posting on how to do it. Otherwise it's a very nice compact lens and affordable!
I have two 90/4 Elmar lenses and they look very old. However, they seem to be coated. When holding them in front of a light source and tilting them, I see a blue tint. I have one in chrome and ine in black. They have different aperture settings. The lenses can produce very nice looking images. This is one of the best buys anywhere.
If you buy a different design, coated or not, the pictures will not match. Or, to put it another way, you will get a different look -- which may well be desirable.
I paid around $100 for my silver one, coated, dating to 1960 or so. Great lens.
Thanks for all the valuable input. Really appreciate it.
I think I may like to give the uncoated version a try. And see if I like the b/w results with this lens.
Good thing this lens from Leica is quite affordable. :)
I see some for sale on eBay already.
I think you'll like the uncoated. Mine seems to be quite capable. I've used it only sparingly since I got it (I've been working on other things), but the few samples I've taken only lack in composition, :rolleyes: not quality. Like others above, I like the unique look it gives to pictures. I haven't had flare troubles yet, but probably will sometime. No biggie to me. It happens sometime with many lenses. If you hate it, it probably won't be hard to sell/trade for something else, but IMHO, it's certainly worth a look.
I've a 1933 uncoated model. Haven't used B+W but I like it with colour neg film. Use hood and uv filter. Couple of samples attached. Never regretted buying mine.
I've posted quite a few shots taken with my 9cm/90mm uncoated Elmars. They are, IMO, vastly underrated because people believe, in general, that coated lenses are immeasureably superior. No doubt they are better in some ways but not THAT much better and the old uncoated Elmars with clean glass are surprisingly good. They can even surprise when used against the light as the attached picture was.
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.