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Thoughts on latest 90mm f2


Well-Known Member
Dear all,

I love the 35mm f2 I just got but would like a cheap-ish portrait lens. I have never used the 90mm f2 but its the only tele I can afford. Is it any good? Does anyone have any experience with it? Is it heavy? I normally use a Zeiss 85mm f1.4 and love it, I am looking for something similar to this for my M6TTL.

Many thanks,



Dear Vishal,

The original silver mount version, being brass, is heavy. The black/aluminium mount introduced in the mid 60s is not as heavy as your Zeiss 85mm.

Optically both types are the same and superb. One of the three "greats".

Best wishes.



Dear Vishal..

"cheap-ish" teles for portraits.....

do Voigtlanders qualify ?

howzabout the Heliar 75/2.5 or the 90/?



Active Member
Dear Vishal,
I can add a very cheap alternative: I just bought a 90 Elmarit (2,8) of the 60's in very good shape for just 220 euros on Ebay.
The first roll of Velvia made with this lens really surprised me for the sharpness and the great (natural) color rendition, easily comparable with my Nikkors primes(85 f1,4/105 f2,5 and 135 f2,0)
Basically if you don't need the extra stop and want a fairly light lens this tiny could be worth a look.
Best Regards


Active Member
Dear Vishal,
I agree with Paolo.
I had a pre-ASPH 90mm Summicron F2 and traded it in for the current version 90mm Elmarit F2.8.
In my opinion, I don't need the wheight of the F2, the Elmarit gives better color rendition, and for low light I use the 35mm Lux ASPH. Sharpness wise and over-all I also prefer the Elmarit to the old cron. I'm sure the newer ASPH model is probably better in some areas but I am happy with the Elmarit and would not see the added expense, wheight, and filter size worth the trouble.
Best Wishes,


Active Member

If, like Lee said, Voigtländer lenses are an option, I own the 75/2.5 and I'm very satisfied with its performance, specially for portraits. Wide open the corners are a bit soft but at 5.6 it's sharp fron corner to corner. Handling is superb because of its ultra-compact profile and its light weight. The price couldn't be better.


Well-Known Member
hey guys,

many thanks for the replies. i like Leica lenses rather than Voiglander.

I do like the extra stop of light and think that the 90mm f2 pre-ASPH is probably going to be the one for me. Any idea on what they cost new?


Hi Vishal,
Congrats on getting the 35mm Summicron!
I used to have a pre-ASPH 90mm Summicron, and didn't like it at all. It was very heavy, and the images it produced just didn't do it for me. Like the other folks, I too would recommend you take a look at the 90mm Elmarit. I think you will be more pleased with the results. One other thing to take into account is that shooting at f2 on the 90mm, there is a much higher risk of not getting the focusing spot on - when I had mine the magnifier wasn't available, so I have no idea how much help it is!



Well-Known Member
@ Vishal
@ Edmond
Good to do some portaiture pictures. Wich lens is better? 90mm? 75mm? wich one is better 1.4 2.0 2.8 or more (because we can think to use the 135mm 2.8 or more).?.
I think that it is all details that each one of us have to feel and try, and decide.
I use my 75mm with 1.4 and I think that for portraiture it is very nice to isolate, to detach, to separate the only one person that the eyes have to follow.
You are right that we can lose some pictures, because not on focus. But when it is not lost, it is the best one. How to decide? only to be objective, and to know what we need. If we don't want to lose one picture, we can close the diaphragm stop. But if we want to open it, and we only have a 2.8, how to do? we only have to accept, and it is a compromise, and not the ideal, it is not the best.
You have to decide, but for this you have to know waht is the best, and if it is for you, and you have to know the worst, and you only can to accept, and you can't discuss.
Have a good compromise.!.


Well-Known Member
Edmond, I am shocked that Leica would put their name to a lens that doesn't live up to the reputation of other Leica lens. Are users here just being picky or is it really not a good lens? I have heard the same said about the f1.4 35mm and f1 50mm. I am delighted with my 35mm f2, it will be used well tomorrow for the London Marathon!
Hi Vishal,
All lenses have characteristics. Just as a Nikkor 35mm f2 differs from a 35mm f1.4, so do Leica's optics. The 35mm and 50mm Summicron are fabulous as are the 90mm and 21mm Elmarits.
I just really disliked my 90mm Summicron, and have heard from others that they too have preferred the 90mm Elmarit.
I've had both the normal 35mm f1.4 and the 35mm f1.4 ASPH, and neither were anywhere near as good as my pre ASPH 35mm Summicron. However, when the light was really low, that 1.4 ASPH did come in handy!!
Although I have never used a 50mm f1, I have heard that it is terrible in bright light - its designed for low light use, and again, it comes into its own here.
To answer your question about being picky...well, yes, but up to a point. It just so happens that there is a cheaper and better 90mm lens! Laurent makes some good points, but if I were you, I'd buy the Elmarit.
Hope you enjoyed the Marathon. I was covering the celebrity start! Very, very dull!



Active Member
I've been using my old, big 90/f2 for 7 years. I like taking portrait a lot. It's heavy, especially you carry a 3-lens outfit to travel around. Its quality pay off. Skin-tone is really great and natural. The extra stop give advantage over 90/f2.8, and out-of-focus soft effect is pleased in portrait.

I admit, as per Edmond said, that focusing spot-on is not easy some time but do not happen very often. You need to make sure both yr lens and camera is in 100% correct functioning, and clear eye-sight, then you'll get great shot.

If you want I can show you some pictures.