Recommendations for affordable 90mm Leica M lens

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Rollei fan, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    Hi folks. Last year I invested some hard earned money and finally got myself a Leica. It's a M2 of 1966 vintage. I have 4 lenses for it now, a Summaron 35mm, Summicron 50mm f2 and a three-element Elmar 90mm of 1966 vintage, and also a Voigtländer 25mm snap-shot Skopar. :smile:

    I have been really pleased with the other lenses, but the three-element Elmar 90mm is not so good for color work (I rarely shoot B&W), as I don't really get the sharpness I want. Also the colors are somewhat subdued.

    Thus I am considering getting a sharp but affordable second hand 90mm lens with good multicoating and would like to hear some recommendations. I am not willing to invest more than 400-500 $ for a lens that I use least of my lenses (Summaron is #1 for me followed by Skopar).

    A Minolta CL 90mm has been in my mind, but what would you say?
     
  2. GM Bennett

    GM Bennett Member

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    Hi, RF - I have a 90mm f4 Elmar that I use with both my CL and M6. It is very compact and sharp, and you should be able to find one without breaking the bank, well within your budget. You might also have look at the Voigtlander 75 and 90mm lenses (LTM mounts that need M adapters) which are a little faster. I have the 75mm and also find it to be compact and sharp, although I expect some will they don't render OOF areas as well as the more expensive Leica glass. I'd love a 75mm Leica lens, but can't justify the high price.
     
  3. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Pick up a 90mm Rokkor made for the Minolta CLE -- great lens.
     
  4. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    Agreed on the Rokkor—all around, a great lens.
     
  5. GM Bennett

    GM Bennett Member

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    I think the Rokkor made for the CLE is essentially the same lens as the f4 Elmar C made for the Leitz/Minolta CL, although perhaps multicoated. Bud Green has a few nice real-world examples of some B&W photos made with this lens that you can find on Flickr if you want to see some sample images. Graham
     
  6. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    Check out the Cosina Voigtlander 90/3.5 APO Lanthar. It's an excellent lens and very reasonable.

    http://cameraquest.com

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  7. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    Irwin Puts best 90mm in descending order:
    3480000- Current Elmarit-M
    1645300-2730000 First Version Elmarit-M
    2585001-3500000 Second Version Tele-Elmarit-M
    2000000-2545000 First Version Tele-Elmarit-M

    I have a second version tele-elmarit. It is not as sharp as a summicron, but do you want your portraits brutally sharp? I am happy with mine.
     
  8. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    Maybe look at the 90mm f/2 E-42 Canada lens that is fast for available light work.
     
  9. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    I have not used a 3-element 90 mm Elmar, only the 4-element which immediately preceded it. When the 3-element came out, Leitz said that new design techniques had made it possible to get results with this as good as with 4 elements previously. I have a Summaron 35mm and Summicron 50mm f2 of the same vintage as your M2 and the results match those from the 90 Elmar absolutely in terms of contrast and as far as I can tell in sharpness, too (of course a Summicron always has superior flatness of field). I also use the head from the 90 Elmar with a Visoflex reflex attachment.

    If your 3-element Elmar is performing badly, I would suspect it is not in great shape. Is it free of haze (when checked by shining a torch through it)? It could have been dropped at some time and become slightly misaligned without suffering visible external damage.
     
  10. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    90mm 1:2.8 M-Hexanon...

    ...or the mid-60s 90mm 1:2.8 Elmarit. A very under appreciated lens.
     
  11. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Affordable? 90mm? M-mount? Good performance? - CV 90 Apo Lanthar!
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I have the 90/2.8 (fat) ele Elmarit. It's great for B&W with is lower contrast and good resolution fingerprint. For color and low cost, I suggest the Minolta M Rokkor. They were priced around $250 several years ago. The Leica (thin) Tele-Elmarit may be a choice but the lens is in the $350 - $450 range.
     
  13. Rollei fan

    Rollei fan Member

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    Gentlemen, thank you for comments!

    Have anyone of you tried 25mm Snap-shot Skopar? I like it, but sharpness could be better. For the price it is good, though.
     
  14. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Another vote here for the CV 90/3.5.

    Here's one of my favourite shots made with this lens:

    [​IMG]