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90mm f28 LeicaElmaritM lens



This is a bargain lens, with exceptional optical performance.

Lenses with focal lengths longer than 50mm, commonly referred to as telephoto lenses, are mostly used for portraiture, for isolating elements of a landscape, for capturing architectural detail, for theater photography and generally whenever subjects have to be photographed from a distance. Telephoto lenses for Leica M rangefinder cameras are available at focal lengths of 75mm, 90mm and 135mm.

All the lenses in Leica’s current range in these focal lengths are excellent performers. However, Leica’s sole 75mm lens is the f/1.4 Summilux, which is a superb lens but is also bulky and expensive. Leica also has only one 135mm lens, the APO-Telyt f/3.4, which is a great performer but expensive and, unfortunately, viewfinder framelines for 135mm on M cameras are very small and many people find composition difficult.

For these reasons, the 90mm focal length has become the favorite telephoto lens for the majority of Leica M camera users. Leica offers two 90mm lenses in its current range, namely, the 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH and the 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M. Of these, the Elmarit is both smaller and less expensive.

Despite the 90 Elmarit’s relatively low cost and simple optical formulation of 4 elements in 4 groups, its performance is outstanding at all apertures. It gives high contrast, excellent resolution from the center to the edges, neutral rendering of colors and high resistance to flare. There is no noticeable distortion or vignetting with this lens. It is quite compact, has a built-in sliding lens shade and its portability makes it an ideal travel lens. The black version weighs only 410 grams but the chrome version is quite a lot heavier at 560 grams. Filter diameter is 46mm.

Whilst the resolution of the 90 Elmarit is excellent it is, nevertheless, not quite as sharp as its more modern 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron ASPH sibling. Many users consider the Elmarit to be the better lens for portrait work, especially for women and children, because it is not quite so brutally sharp. The 90mm Elmarit is the lens to buy, in my opinion, if you don't need the extra stop of the Summicron.

This lens has been rated very highly in a number of published lens tests, justifiably so in my opinion, and its price is reasonable (for a Leica lens). It can be bought for much less, of course, on the used market and seems not to be in short supply.
i have had my 90 2.8 for about 4 years and it gets a lot of use from me. i have had some 8x10s printed that i would swear had been shot with my hasselblad if i didnt know better. its amazing lens at a great price.
I actually sold my 90 'cron ASPH and got one of these, secondhand but mint.

I have a thing about size with my M gear - extra size really does have to justify itself, or one of the principal advantages of the system is lost. For my purposes the extra stop and marginally better performance of the f2 was unnecessary.
I was looking to get this lens for a long time...
I saw one used (very good condition), but it was made in canada. Does this lens also perform like the one made in germany.

I love the size of this lens. I had the oppurtunity to borrow(the german make) one from a friend of mine.The portraits I took from this lens are amazing..
The 2.8/90 is going to be my next lens, for sure.

I long ago got all the data on the differences between the 2.8/90 and the 2/90AA. The 2/90AA is 50% more expensive than the 2.8/90. I then rented them both for two days and found out (IMO) that the 2/90AA is not only bigger and heavier, it was (for me) too hard/firm to focus. The 2/90AA being of course an Apo-ASPH makes it stunningly sharp, sometimes way too sharp. A good friend used to say that of these two 90s, the 2/90AA may be more perfect for getting a fine portrait of a brick wall, but please don't use if for my face!
I still love my 90mm Elmarit, the original long chrome model with removeable lens head. It's relatively light and takes the same 39mm filters as most of my other lenses. A great portrait lens!
Users beware that the lens discussed is the Elmarit M, from 1989, not the Tele-elmarit. Unfortunately the Tele-Elmarit has a reputation for mediocre performance and mechanical problems.

Regarding the Elmarit: I love mine. I had purchased a Voigtlander 90 3.5 in hopes of saving some money. It's full aperture performance stunk, so I went to the Elmarit. It is superb, even at f 2.8. In sharpness it is equal to the Contax G 90, but with superior contrast.

Finally, I found the mechanical quality of the Elmarit to be amazing. Focus and aperture control are fluid and smooth. Much better than some other M lenses I have owned (in particular the current Elmar M). The built in hood works much better than those on my R lenses.

Best wishes
Dan States
Marshall WI
Any user opinions on the older Elmarit 2.8 90mm (the one from the 1960s with the vulcanite on the barrel)? They seem to be reasonably priced and I haven't heard the criticisms of it like I have of the tele-elmarit.
Love my old Elmarit. It's a bit longer than the newer versions, but just as sharp. Throw that metal hood(IUFOO) on the front and people will run the other way.

I am new to the forum! I am interested in purchasing a 90mm 2.8 for my M6. It has the .72 mag. What is your experience using this mag. and really seeing the image. Is it better to work with the .85? Do you find the .72 best for 50mm and below?