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90mm lense


hi all,
i just signed onto this forum and haven't been
able to find any threads on the differiences between all the leica 90mm lense's-performance wise.
i might have to buy one for the type of shooting i've been doing and money is a concern these days.
so my questions are is the 90/2.8 and the 90/f.4
simular in performance.
and how do they compare to the summicron?
for me size is also a concideration, and as far
as price is concerned ,i have seen summicrons for less money than the 90/2.8 emarit.
one more thing -i know this is alot to ask in one scoop-what about poduction date of these
glass wonders? is newer always better?

any answer in part or full would be highly
apperciated. thnaks jten


If we are talking all new lenses, the lenses are the same at similar stops. The 4.0 is tweeked a little for close focus, but so small you probably will not notice.

Decide on weight and filter size.


Active Member
Hi John,

welcome to the forum! you didn't mention what type of shooting you'll be using it for- documentary, closer-ups, nature, etc.

I recently explored the topic of 90mm lenses and this is what I came up with.

90 Summicron Asph. The bee's knees, the bomb-diggety, in other words a clear and super-sharp lens. The downfall the folks have mentioned is that it is TOO sharp for doing portraits. Solutions have been to use a blurry filter and such.

Summicron pre-Asph, I don't know how the old Canadian ones are, but they look clunky to use. I know the newer ones are completely stable without the 'problem' of being too sharp, like the Aspherical.

Elmarit 2.8 lighter weight than the Summicron, it has a thinner barrel that may be easier/quicker to focus? a totally stable lens and half the cost of the Summicrons, most folks say if you don't need the f2, go for this one.

Tele-Elmarit, there is an old 6 lens version and a newer, skinnier 4 lens version. the older version is supposed to be better. the newer one is totally compact but does suffer flare problems when shooting into light. Perhaps someone can chime in on how the older ones are for flare. They are less expensive than the above lenses.

90 macro-marit. don't know a lot, i'm sure it's a sharp and clear lens. seems like a good solution for occasional macro work without investing in a slr, or having to carry a separate slr body- particularly when hiking.

I actually have a newer tele-elmarit, which is 2.8. I happened to get it for a good price and am happy it came my way as it has been a useful accompanyment when shooting mainly with a 35mm on my M6. I do have flare problems and have to be careful. 2.8 is good for even a lot of low-light, but honestly my next 90mm would probably be the pre-aspherical Summicron. I would be happier with the extra stop and definitely use it. I do more documentary type work. I think it is small enough that the extra weight is worth it.

That's my two cents, hope it's helpful : )



Well, try that Leica CL-Emar 4/90mm, completely underpriced, good for traveling, put it in the pocket ( 230 gr). And compare it with all other lenses from today or the other companies in the growing field of = rf). Good light!


Well, if Justin gives is opinion with the 90ies: The "Oldies" are fine smaller, try it .Seeing this ranking of Leica-glass we should add the M-Summilux 75, which is in this line i.m.o. outstanding or superb (closed at 2,8-4) and equal to 11807 and 11884 and 11633 at 5,6.
Have fun!


thanks all,
but what im looking for is somthing relatively
inexpensive(for leica)and on the fast side
for shooting in doors,such as concerts and shows.
i think i could get by with f/2.8, but i need
somthing on the sharp side to make up for my
unsteady hands.


Dear John,

The 1959> Summicron is a hefty lens, but better than the R variant at f/2. It is my lens of choice for concerts and shows and the weight helps steady the camera. With NPZ I have been very pleased with the results.

The black version of the 1:2/90 Summicon appears regularly on eBay for around US$500.

Have fun.



Dear Garth,

Regarding your question about the Tele-Elmarits, I sold my 'thin' one (bought new) and bought a mint 'fatty' second-hand. It is a beautiful lens with classic Leica out-of-focus blur at f/5.6 and which has not flared as yet in eighteen years. I should add that the old girl is now in semi-retirement as the current 1:2.8/Elmarit is so good, albeit a little longer physically.




> >Probably the best buy in 90mm lenses is a good used Elmar C 90mm f/4, >originally made for the Leica CL. I had one for many years till it was >stolen. It is extremely sharp and has beautiful bokeh. They go for very >good prices in most 2nd hand shops. The only problem is that it may be >difficult to find filters for them. > > > >Louis >


Active Member

Thanks for the word on the 'old fatty 90'; if I get the opportunity, I might just upgrade to the older one as well- though a summicron sounds pretty tantalizing with f2!



ok , so i think i have two options,the elmarit m,or a summicron m, 90.In the used area,
and to save as much money as possible, and not being a pro, who makes a living in photography.
Which way would you go? also is there much difference in a late tele elmarrit and an older
elmarir 2.8...or is the m the way to go?


Judge it by the weight factor and what your full-aparture needs are, is my recommendation.

If you can handle the weight (and expense) and how it offsets the balance of your leica-M, by all means go for the Apo-Summicron-M ASPH 1:2 / 90 since it is the best 90 there is, in my opinion (add a rapidwinder or motor and it is a very stable unit). Be aware, however, of the longer focus throw slowing you down (but also allowing you better control at f/2), compared to using an Elmarit-M 1:2.8 / 90.

I usually end up choosing the Elmarit when I'm on the move for the simple reason of weight and almost comparable performance, especially stopped down to their maximum; f/4 or f/5.6.. So deciding on one universal 90mm lens: I'd go for the Elmarit, unless you do need the maximum aparture and care less about cost and weight. Just my 2 ¢.



Thanks zapman,
Im looking for something for shooting in low light,but i think i could get away with a 2.8 aperture. i do need to be frugel so i think the elmarit m would have to be the best i can do for the my needs.
thanks for your imput.


Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I'm about to buy an Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 and wondered will I need a viewfinder for it on my M6. Thanks.