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1:4 90mm Elmar-C - whats its purpose?
Old 03-30-2011   #1
panerai
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1:4 90mm Elmar-C - whats its purpose?

I picked one up at a good price as someone told me it was a good portrait lens.

90mm frame lines are tighter than the 40mm, but nothing a bit of cropping won't achieve with a picture taken with a 40mm.

I thought it was a small telephoto type lens, but not

Couldn't really find much info on the lens other than some images or posts asking about the quality.

Thanks

DON
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Old 03-30-2011   #2
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Hi!
I use it quite often and i can say IMHO that's a good lens even at f4.
Here's a sample shot taken last week (CLE and Summicron 90 f4)
I apologize for the quality, I should invest more in film scanner...
I hope this could be of help...
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File Type: jpg 27032011-ML.jpg (35.8 KB, 456 views)
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Old 03-30-2011   #3
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Following the cropping logic you could shot everything with a 15 and crop to taste. But, doing that you lose both quality as grain/noise is icnreased and resolution falls. Also the depth of field of a 90mm lens is less than that of a cropped 40 etc.

The Elmar 90/4 is, iirc, the same as the M-Rokkor 90/4. I had one and it's a very sweet and sharp little lens. It makes a very good carry round short tele and portrait lens as it is both high quality from wide open and smal and light.

Put it on and only use it for a couple of weeks and you'll get it

Mike
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Old 03-30-2011   #4
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Will try it out. Little nephew is coming over tomorrow and if I can get him to sit for more than a few seconds. Might get a picture, but most likely a blur

Thanks

DON
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Old 03-30-2011   #5
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Quote:
Also the depth of field of a 90mm lens is less than that of a cropped 40 etc.
At f/4 it's about the same as cropped 40 at f/2.
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Old 03-30-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panerai View Post
I picked one up at a good price as someone told me it was a good portrait lens.

90mm frame lines are tighter than the 40mm, but nothing a bit of cropping won't achieve with a picture taken with a 40mm.

I thought it was a small telephoto type lens, but not

Couldn't really find much info on the lens other than some images or posts asking about the quality.

Thanks

DON
It was designed and made by Leitz in Germany for use on the Leitz/Minolta CL. It is a "long focus" lens, not a telephoto; but such lenses are often informally described as "telephoto." It is certainly a good portrait lens, but it's good for much more than that. Use it also for landscapes, travel, and wherever a small and light 90 is wanted.
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Old 03-30-2011   #7
kbg32
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I own one. It's my only 90. Small, sharp, with wonderful color.
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Old 03-30-2011   #8
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It's for getting some really nice, sharp, landscapes (for me anyway):


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Last edited by mathomas : 03-30-2011 at 18:57.
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What is the 90mm Elmar-C good for? Portraits!
Old 03-31-2011   #9
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What is the 90mm Elmar-C good for? Portraits!

PORTRAITS! I use this wide open or at f/5.6. I don't use it often enough, but when I do, I vow that I would never sell it. It could be faster, and in fact, I wish I had an SLR lens that looks like this, but this is a great lens if you get a good sample. This lens renders wonderful head and shoulders portraits, and street telephoto shots as well.




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Old 03-31-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cagliostro73 View Post
Hi!
I use it quite often and i can say IMHO that's a good lens even at f4.
Here's a sample shot taken last week (CLE and Summicron 90 f4)
I apologize for the quality, I should invest more in film scanner...
I hope this could be of help...

Sorry... I clearly misread the thread... :P
Best of light.
D.
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Old 11-22-2011   #11
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Its nice to see the samples and they are nice shots. Thanks for posting them.
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Old 11-22-2011   #12
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I love this lens, not only for portraits.



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Old 11-22-2011   #13
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"...I thought it was a small telephoto type lens, but not"
Yes it is a moderate telephoto.
Does anyone have focusing problems using it on an Leica-M camera? I heard the focusing on a CL is different than the M3 etc...
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Old 11-22-2011   #14
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The focusing cam on the CL 90/4 (and the companion 40/2 Summicron-C) is steeper and straighter than on other Leica M-mount lenses, so changes are a bit more abrupt. That's all. Still compatible. The CL has a shorter rangefinder baselength than an M so it requires a little more attention in critical situations.
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Old 11-23-2011   #15
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Hi,

As you said "... someone told me it was a good portrait lens..."

They were telling the truth and it's very nice for picking out details in anything when 50mm is too wide.

Regards, David
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Old 12-02-2011   #16
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It is not in fact a telephoto; just a lens with longer focal length than standard.
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Old 10-24-2012   #17
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sorry to bring up this thread again but I think it's better than just creating a new one.

I dont own a CL but I am thinking about this particular lens, since other leica options would cost at least 3 times as much.

i'd use the lens for portrait and landscape and in case it's lowlight I can use 3200 ASA film anyway...

I've read very little about the performance but since the other CL lens is superb I asked myself whether that lens performs up to its brand name too.

I want a 90 which is small, lightweight to complement my other 2 lenses. I'm fine with f/4

other choices would be 90 summarit and 90 tele elmarit, thing version. but these would set me back at least 800€ compared to 269€ of the elmar-c (can send it back if it doesnt work but said to be in mint condition)
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Old 10-24-2012   #18
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I've read many people who liked the lens, so this might have been my individual bad copy, but I personally thought it not all that good. It lacked contrast, focus felt soft, and it showed too much color fringing when shot wide open. Sold mine.
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Old 10-24-2012   #19
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I only use mine for black and white, I've found it a lovely lens, nice contrast but not over-contrasty, crisp, the perfect complemet to the Summicron C. I only ever use mine at f/5.6 and it give a beautiful, gentle fall-off.
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Old 10-24-2012   #20
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'whats it good for?'--as compared to what? you seem to be complaining about its FL, and specifically about its FL vs a cropped 40mm lens. and if thats the case, one can ask the same question about any 90mm lens, so its unclear why you limit your question to this particular lens?

if youre questioning this lens's IQ, then you either dont have enough of a sample or you have a bad copy as its perhaps the finest 90 of its size.
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Old 10-24-2012   #21
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This lens is good for everything IMO, but you have to make it work if you understand what I am saying

Here are some photos I quickly sourced out I have taken with mine, sorry for the poor scan. I am not talking about quality, just examples of for how many things you can use it.











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Old 11-07-2012   #22
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I bought this lens around a couple of months ago, and I quite like it on my both CL and NEX 5N. Just few samples below - the first one with CL, and the second one with NEX 5N



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Old 11-07-2012   #23
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a chronically undervalued lens. I have 2: in LTM and M-mount.
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Old 11-28-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
"...I thought it was a small telephoto type lens, but not"
Yes it is a moderate telephoto.
Does anyone have focusing problems using it on an Leica-M camera? I heard the focusing on a CL is different than the M3 etc...
Have no problems focusing it on a Minolta CLE, which has a rangefinder base midway between a Leica M and a CL.

[IMG] wall eye by grahamline, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 11-29-2012   #25
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Hi,

I've had one for longer than I can remember and have no complaints.

A small point, the optics unscrew from the mount and so must be checked before testing. Although once checked and tightened mine stayed put.

I think both the Leica and Minolta ones are made by the same company in Germany, although I have heard/read rumours that Leica sub-contacted them and rumours that Leica made both versions.

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Old 12-02-2012   #26
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At least, my Elmar C is working quite good on the M9 to, despite the fact, that the rangefinder travel is different from the M's.


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Old 12-08-2012   #27
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This thread got me going on this lens, so I bought one and I've been hard at work learning how to shoot with a long lens. Great fun! I like the closeup performance, the look of the oof areas, over-all sharpness, and the ergonomics. My example has a bit of looseness in the aperture ring. Is that normal, or should I have it fixed? Is there a DIY fix?
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Old 12-21-2012   #28
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Here's one from my new-to-me Elmar-C...


McDonald house Elmar-C 90mm by Victor Ross, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-2012   #29
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Here's one up close...

Mabelton Elmar-C 90mm by Victor Ross, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotomeow View Post
a chronically undervalued lens. I have 2: in LTM and M-mount.
I don't know how you can have an Elmar-C 90mm f/4 in LTM mount. It was only made in M-mount ... ?
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Old 12-22-2012   #31
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Portraits, landscape, still life, air shows, whatever. The 90/4 is a wonderful lens, small and light, with beautiful imaging qualities. I've used it extensively with GXR-M, M9, CL and M4-2 bodies.

This set of four still life images was taken with the M9 ...








Mine is the M-Rokkor 90mm f/4 variant. Identical to the Elmar-C, designed and made on the same production line, the only difference is the name on the bezel and the fact that it takes standard JIIS 40.5mm filters rather than the Exx German filter sizings. it's an excellent performer.

Enjoy!

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Old 12-22-2012   #32
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Beautiful still-life shots, Godfrey! As soon as the rain stops bucketing down on Sonoma County, I'm going out for some Elmar-C magic!
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