Picking a 90mm?
Old 09-25-2014   #1
sjauch
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Picking a 90mm?

I'd like to get a 90mm and I know there are a few for under $1k and even in the $600 range. However, how do I pick I one? It seems like there are quite a few options.

Summicron f2 - looks like 3 versions from the 60's-80's
Tele-elmarit f2.8
Elmarit f2.8 - with or without built in hood
Summarit f2.5

Are there any to avoid?

Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2014   #2
mfogiel
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Identify yourself please - how and for what output you will use this lens.
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Old 09-25-2014   #3
ramosa
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All are good, but, as the previous poster points out, it depends on what you'll use the lens for, how much you want to spend, whether size and speed matter, etc.
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Old 09-25-2014   #4
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I bought the Elmar-C f/4 because it was $250, and I knew I'd use it very rarely. I've made exactly two exposures with it in two years. Fine little lens, though.
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Old 09-25-2014   #5
sjauch
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I'm using an M6 and scanning/printing at home. I'm going to use it for whenever I feel I need a 90mm. Having the extra stop of an f2 might be nice but if I'm scraping for light I can imagine my shutter speeds will probably be too slow to insure a sharp photo.

I'm guessing I can't go wrong with any of the above but was just wondering if there is anything odd or undesirable about a particular model.

The one I'm leaning towards is the Elmarit 2.8 with built in hood. Seems like it's a decent lens and fairly compact which is also what I'd like. As for a budget, anything under or about a grand would be nice. If I have to pay more that's fine too.
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Old 09-25-2014   #6
WJJ3
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Im enjoying the M-ROKKOR 90/4. I have the CLE version which is nice because of the more standard 40.5mm filter size (I have it stepped down to 39mm), and standard focus cam slope compared to CL versions.

The new SUMMARIT 90/2.4 is a very appealing lens...
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Old 09-25-2014   #7
kxl
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Like others said, depends on a few things. I have a CV 90/3.5 - it's a good value for a focal length that I only use occasionally. If I used the 90mm FL more extensively, I would take a long, hard look at the new Summarit 2.4.
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Old 09-25-2014   #8
MarcG
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I am looking for a 90mm for my M6 too. So I sat down one evening and looked through the Leica glasses and chooses two:

Elmarit-M 90/2.8 #11807
and
Summicron-M 90/2 #11136

Both cost nearly the same, an old version of the Elmarit is a little bit cheaper. But I don't know which to choose. I sell two cameras on eBay and I think it depends how much I will get.

I forgot, I will take portraits with it. 50mm is sometimes to short for me.

Marc
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Old 09-25-2014   #9
Clark.EE
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Get a pre war Elmar.
」40 if you are lucky.
Uncoated.
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Old 09-25-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
Im enjoying the M-ROKKOR 90/4. I have the CLE version which is nice because of the more standard 40.5mm filter size (I have it stepped down to 39mm), and standard focus cam slope compared to CL versions.

The new SUMMARIT 90/2.4 is a very appealing lens...
The Elmar-C and early production M-Rokkor 90 lenses are identical, built on the same production line by Leitz, except for the bezel and filter thread. They're marked "Made in Germany".

The CLE version of the M-Rokkor 90 was produced by Minolta after Leitz discontinued the CL. They say "Made in Japan".

Performance is identical, far as I was able to tell. The Minolta produced lenses feel a little lighter weight but that's about it. I use the Leitz made version of the M-Rokkor 90 and the CLE version of the M-Rokkor 40. Two excellent lenses ... Both together cost me a little under $1000.

G
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Old 09-25-2014   #11
JMQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjauch View Post
I'm using an M6 and scanning/printing at home. I'm going to use it for whenever I feel I need a 90mm. Having the extra stop of an f2 might be nice but if I'm scraping for light I can imagine my shutter speeds will probably be too slow to insure a sharp photo.

I'm guessing I can't go wrong with any of the above but was just wondering if there is anything odd or undesirable about a particular model.

The one I'm leaning towards is the Elmarit 2.8 with built in hood. Seems like it's a decent lens and fairly compact which is also what I'd like. As for a budget, anything under or about a grand would be nice. If I have to pay more that's fine too.
Summicron 90/2: Heavy, and not the sharpest (that is why it is sold as a "portrait lens")

Tele-elmarit 90/2.8: Thin and fat versions are both very compact -- barely longer than a 50 mm
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Old 09-25-2014   #12
hausen
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I have had 3 90mms, 90/2, 90/2.8 Elmarit M and currently the 90/4 Rokkor. I wish I had never sold the Elmarit M. That was the best of the bunch for me.
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Old 09-25-2014   #13
mfogiel
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As a general rule, the 90mm lenses are all sharp enough. If you want a lens for B&W you might look at older Elmarit, or even at the thin Elmar. For a more modern look there are Tele Elmarit, or last Elmarit, plus the Summarits, or the Elmar C which is a bargain.APO Summicron and Macro Elmar are lenses better left for shaving, at f 2.0 the best choice would be the latest Summicron pre ASPH - the previous version is just plain huge.
As a bet I would say, this lens will not be used much, so I'd get one of the f4.0 versions. Interesting alternatives are Hexanon 2.8, APO Lanthar 3.5, Tele Tessar 85/4.0 and some ltm lenses with great bokeh like the Nikkor or Sonnar 85/2 (Nikkor is a copy of the Sonnar).
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Old 09-25-2014   #14
Mark C
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I'm a fan of the original 90 Elmarit. They don't have all that big a following so can sometimes be had at very reasonable prices. They have a reputation as large lenses, but they are really tiny compared to most slr 85/90.

I don't use mine much, but am always pleasantly surprised by the image quality.
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Old 09-25-2014   #15
nikon_junkie
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I recently picked up a modern 90mm Elmarit and it focuses like a dream. It's smaller and much more manageable than the 90mm 'cron.

I've owned three 90mm Summicron and each was ponderously slow to focus and a bit on the heavy side. It could be they were older and in need of a CLA.

I really cannot tell much difference in image quality.

If I need faster than f/2.8 then there is my 50 'lux

I really don't miss f/2 that much. Rarely do I give it a second thought.

I love the focal length and use it quite often. The only downside is the smallish .68 and .72 viewfinders and corresponding frame lines. This lens needs magnifier or M3 body.
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Old 09-30-2014   #16
sjauch
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Well, I've narrowed down my search. I'm down to a Summicron 90/2 11136 and the Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 11800. They're within $300 of each other. From reading everyone's input I think I'm going with the Elmarit. The Summicron would be a cool lens to own but it sounds like I might enjoy the more compact and possibly sharper Elmarit.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-30-2014   #17
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I went with the M-Hexanon for its size, good optics and built in lens hood. I was also looking at the Elmarit at the time. I believe that the quality of the optics are comparable, but the built in lens hood made the difference for me and I am still pleased with the results.
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Old 09-30-2014   #18
maitani
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the pre asph 90 cron is fabulous, one of the nicest drawing lenses ever made
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Old 09-30-2014   #19
DominikDUK
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Have you considered the Macro-Elmar-M it's not the fastest at f4 but it is damn sharp and not really cheap
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Old 09-30-2014   #20
taemo
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I also rarely shoot longer than 50mm but I decided to add a 90mm Tele-Elmarit-M on my roster in case I need a longer reach.
It's small, light and works great on my film Ms and the A7, could use a hood though as it flares easily but I don't mind it.

It's actually smaller and lighter than my Nokton 50 1.5 ASPH
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Old 09-30-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DominikDUK View Post
Have you considered the Macro-Elmar-M it's not the fastest at f4 but it is damn sharp and not really cheap
I was lucky to find a boxed non 6-bit chrome 90/4.0 Macro Elmar at B&H for only $1799.00. This lens is mucho sharp, I love the 50's brass barrel heavy build quality, and I love the Tessar signature.

Because the 90 SEM is a simple lens with few elements the contrast is high. It is a lot like a 50 Elmar on steroids, and I think it goes well with my 50 Lux ASPH.

If you close focus it has really nice OOF and bokeh, but also know that I also like using the 90 SEM as a landscape lens.

If you can find a 90 SEM at a great price I suggest buy it. I use a cylindrical hood from a 50 Elmar on my 90 SEM to maintain a small package.

Cal
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Old 09-30-2014   #22
segedi
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A couple of thoughts...

What minimum focusing distance would you like? Each 0.1 of a meter makes a pretty big difference in my book.

F/2 on a 90mm at close distance is really thin DOF. F/4 is probably the widest I will be shooting at, which is also a weight/cost savings if you get something slower.

The Summarit line is very nice indeed and the newer version gains 0.1m min. focus. But they aren't cheap.

I ended up going with a 75mm Summicron. A bit easier to hit focus wide open than the 90mm, closer min focus distance and lighter and shorter than the 90mm. Larger set of framelines too. I actually traded my 90mm for it.
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Old 09-30-2014   #23
Benjamin Marks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjauch View Post
Well, I've narrowed down my search. I'm down to a Summicron 90/2 11136 and the Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 11800. They're within $300 of each other. From reading everyone's input I think I'm going with the Elmarit. The Summicron would be a cool lens to own but it sounds like I might enjoy the more compact and possibly sharper Elmarit.

Thanks for the help.
I have the Tele-Elmarit you mentioned, as well as a 90 Apo Asph. I general you have gotten good advice here. The bottom line is that it used to be harder to compute a well corrected wide angle, lens than a telephoto. These sort of short teles are usually great performers. Both the lenses you list above are capable of great pix. The Tele Elmarit is my travel 90 -- it is quite compact and light, a lot of the qualities for which Leica lenses were originally prized. If you can, see if you can also find the hood for it, and check the rear coatings carefully with a flashlight before you buy. There were some of these that had coating defects early on.

I use mostly available light and so find myself using both lenses wide open often when I use them.
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Old 09-30-2014   #24
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With the Tele-Elmarit, be sure to get the correct hood for it. The correct one is surprisingly deep, but makes a huge difference.
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Old 09-30-2014   #25
Markus B
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I have the Summicron 2/90, 60's version. I use it mostly to photograph music events, plays and such. It is a great but big and heavy lens (with RF standards). The sharpness is good, but newer lenses are of course sharper. If you need f/2 I would recommend it, if you don't need f/2 then get something lighter.

This is at f/2 on film (Kentmere 400). Shutter speed 1/60 or 1/125.
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Old 09-30-2014   #26
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There is also the Zeiss ZM tele-tessar 85/4, a different league but also good build quality, nice colors, almost no distortion.
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Old 09-30-2014   #27
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Hello,

I recently bought the older Summicron for a bit less than $600. The aperture blades were oily and the ring barely turned. I had Youxin Ye clean it and it came back as good as new for $80 plus shipping. I haven't taken many photos with it yet, but first results looked good. The lens is big for someone who's used to a 35mm.. I like it, even though I might not use it often. There is always that situation when you think "darn, I wish I had a 90 right now!"

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Old 10-01-2014   #28
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The only warning I've heard is about the thin Tele-Elmarit is hazing/fungus/something on the lens elements. Whatever the cause, it's almost impossible to clean. I have one of these lenses and it has been my favorite 90 for years. As pointed out earlier, get the original hood and use it.
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Old 10-01-2014   #29
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FWIW I'll offer a vote for the 90mm Hexanon-m, which is similar price to tele-elmarit and better I think..

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