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Thread: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

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    Let's talk 75 and 90mm. Which FL and lens do you like best?

    So far I like what I am getting with my M8. I suspect my itch will worsen until it is relieved by an M9, thus I want to consider lenses that I would likely keep if I take the aforementioned cure.

    I am thinking about a portrait lens, thus 75 or 90mm. I am leaning towards 90mm as I think it will be usable on the 8, and more to my liking on a 9.

    My thought at this point is to go for a 90mm Elmarit. I doubt I'd be interested in the cron as I don't believe the price to speed advantage is good, plus a bit deeper DOF will not be unappreciated. And I have seen comments preferring the Elmarit over the Summarit.

    I know this is a bit ambiguous, since it implies 2 questions: which focal length/lens do you prefer? and which focal length/lens is best for me? Advise as you prefer on these questions.

    And a last question: is there any advantage to a 6-bit coded lens at these focal lengths?

    Share your preferences with me.
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 15th January 2010 at 20:32.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    The 75mm does not frame too well with the M8, and improved with the M8.2. If you can correct for the not so precise framelines, I would recommend highly the 75 Lux or the 75 ASPH. The 90 AA shines from 15-20 ft onwards, does not fare too well close up.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    The best place to see the results for these lens would at Reid reports. He has tests of the 75 s and the 90s and includes some of the zeiss (ZM) and CV lenses. Across the board 75 and 90 lenses are strong performers. You can make almost any decision work on either the m8 or the m9 .

    The important criteria relate to the type of photography you intend to do(for example if you need speed for available light work then f2.8 might be an issue?).





    The sequence I use in picking a lens is as follows:

    1. Field of View(FOV)....I like around 90/100 for street work. Long enough to pick up activity on the other side of the street and helpful around bridges,water etc where you can t easily get closer. My preference is for the 75 on the m8 and 90 on the m9. The framelines on the m8 are inaccurate (at distance) and so close to the lines for the 50 as to be distracting. On the M8.2 or if you ungraded the framelines, the 75 works great.

    2. Speed ....this is quite important to me in street shooting because I enjoy the early morning and evening light .....the M9 is better than the M8 but ISO 1000 is still the upper limit (at least for color) .

    3. Size and handling...its both. I find I get used to the size of the lens pretty quickly and although the 75cron is beautiful to work with I could use the much larger and heavier summilux . Handling however should be considered ..the summilux has a long throw (more turns to focus)..the summicron a short throw (quick to focus) . With practice I could shoot sports with the 75 (tennis) .

    4. Rendering....each lens has a character . This is one of the joys of shooting with a M system. You can range from bold color,high contrast,razor sharpness to softer color,natural contrast and creamy bokeh.

    5. Price ...the most over discussed part of the decision. M systems are really expensive and you need enough glass to really use them (2-3 lenses) otherwise the camera you have does work for the opportunity you see. (This can be debated endlessly). I have never been sorry with any M glass purchase ...with that said if you have a budget ..you have a budget and buying the 75 summilux may seem crazy.

    So if I have to pick just one for the long term........its the 90 summicron....this lens creates a beautiful rendering(IMHO) , handles well with excellent balance on the M and is fast enough for available light. It avoids the frame issue on the M8 and is a good all around solution for the M9.

    While I like the 75 summilux better for portraits and the 75 summicron or 90 elmarit better for travel or in excellent light......you can build around the 90 summicron as an all around lens.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Tom -

    Consider the rest of your lens set while making this choice. Will this end up being your longest lens, or will you also add a 135 on the long end?

    If this is going to be your longest lens, and you already have a 50, then I would suggest a 90. It will provide better spacing, and a better "longest lens" solution than the 75.

    If you are going to eventually add a 135, then I'd consider the 75, as it's a slightly more versatile focal length than the 90.

    As for me, after going back and forth, I opted for the 90, and it's my longest lens. Not an easy choice, though.

    Mike
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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Roger Said the Following: >>> " 4. Rendering....each lens has a character . This is one of the joys of shooting with a M system. You can range from bold color,high contrast,razor sharpness to softer color,natural contrast and creamy bokeh.

    So if I have to pick just one for the long term........its the 90 summicron"<<<

    I am assuming Roger was referring to the 90mm AA?

    In either case Roger and most everyone expressed valid and excellent reasons on which possible lens to select. For myself it was a difficult choice as rendering is what makes the Leica M system really stand out as well as sharpness. Considering just the 75mm and 90mm focal lengths (and just leica lenses for the moment and putting aside frameline accuracy)...we have the the 75mm Summarait and Summicrons for when ultimate sharpness used wide open is a prime consideration and the 75mm Summilux f1.4 for when somewhat softer rendering (contrast, sharpness etc.) is desired, especially for portraits and certain trypes of atmospheric types of images. The same sort of logic can be applied for the Elmarit-M 90mm f2.8 (last one produced), 90mm f2.5 Summarait and 90mm f2.0 cron AA....all close to being equally sharp wide open vs the 90mm Cron f2.0 pre AA (especially the last one produced) which is equal in size and handling as the 90 AA) but which has a somewhat softer rendering at f2 and f2.8 than the other three lenses but keeps up with them in sharpness when stopped down.

    In the 90mm catagory, especially when speed is a concern, you'll find just as many suggesting the 90mm AA as you will the 90mm pre ASPH. I could go back and forth all day which one, as it all depends on the specific use and character I'm looking for. Although I have the 75mm Lux for speed and softer rendering and initially went for the 90mm AA as a balance to it (spfter rendering vs. ultimate sharpness)...I kept gravitation to the 90mm Pre ASPH (sold the 90mm AA)....and yet, there are times I would have wanted to reach for the 90mm ASPH for its sharpness wide open...but not always. It told me (for myself specifically)...that the slightly softer rendering came into play more often than not, although I shoot subjects in lower light, where great sharpness and rendering of detail is important. YOu can make one work in pl;ace of the other..but not always.

    I think first you should determine which focal length works best for you. As mentioned, if you have a M8 (with it's orginal framelines) and a 50mm, then the 90mm would be my next choice. From that point I would determine if you need the extra stop of speed of an f2 vs. a f2.8. If f2.0, then rendering is your next important criteria and will determine which 90mm f2.0 lens...the AA or Pre ASPH lens. If f2.5 and f2.8, slightly slower and smaller handling lenses are fine..and great sharpness wide open works for most all types of situations, then these two should be considered and like everyone has said...the f2.8 is a top choice for its all around performance, value, handling etc.

    Lastly Mike also had a interesting suggestion that if you were to contemplate a 135mm at some point, then the 75mm might be your next choice as 90mm and 135mm might be too close and it provides better spacing. This is absolutely true, yet for myself, I view the 135mm in a catagoy all its own if using a M8 or M8.2, as it brings a efective field of view of approx 180mm...which will generally only be used for quite specific applications. The 90mm will have an effective field of view of 120mm, which still keeps it in longer portrait territory or "longer street work" type of photography..and so, for myself, I would for the moment, keep the 135mm and its future purchase and use out of the equation and decide on the 75mm and 90mm focal length question ny itself......but thats just my personal way fo things based on my own experieces.

    So much great and helpful advice here and as costly as it may become at times...trying out and seeing what works best for you both in focal length, cost and most important the rendering of these optics...will ultimtely help you end up finding exactly what right for your style of photography (as well as budget).

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Hatam View Post
    If this is going to be your longest lens, and you already have a 50, then I would suggest a 90. It will provide better spacing, and a better "longest lens" solution than the 75.
    This would be my longest lens.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Tom – Once again I thank you for voicing a question I’ve had and attempted to answer. I decided that I’ll be getting two lenses when I order my M9 one of which will be a 50mm. The other lens is either going to be a 75 or 90 and I attempted to answer that question based on what I had be subconsciously been using when shooting my 24-105. While I tended to stay near the 75mm length there were times that the 90 range was used. Based on my “real world” landscape experience I found myself leaning towards 75mm.

    All this was of course until I read this thread and the excellent advice and reasons were given. I now see the wiser choice (at least for me) is the 90.

    I eventually will pick a third lens which will either be a 28 or 35.

    A question I have is, is there any problems/concerns with any of these lenses with a sunshade attached, will the sunshade block the viewfinder?

    Thanks in advance

    Don
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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I'd go for the 90, since 75 is relatively close to 50. I don't know that I'd bother with a 135 at all on an RF. Now granted, the 1,4/75 Summilux is a sweet lens. The 2/75 Summicron doesn't seem too shabby either. But... A 90mm is different enough from 50mm and still reasonably easy enough to frame, focus and work with.

    I might suggest the 2,8/90 Elmarit-M. Optically it's a fantastic lens. Wide open it's quite sharp - but stop it down to f/5.6 - it doesn't get much better. The size and weight is surprisingly small and compact given the speed. It's also a real bargain as far as Leica glass goes! The 2/90 Summicron is fatter at the end, heavier and somewhat more expensive. I don't know if the speed is worth it to you.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    A question I have is, is there any problems/concerns with any of these lenses with a sunshade attached, will the sunshade block the viewfinder?
    Don, I have just found a huge amount of detailed info on the Leica lenses at Ken Rockwell's site. In addition to his own opinions on the lenses, he provides lots comments on blocked viewfinders and such.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I own the 75 Summarit, 90 Elmarit and 75 lux (which I might sell).
    On both M8 and M9 I have used the 75 Summarit most. Easy to focus and I really like the images even wide open.
    The 90 Elmarit I like too, however the 75Sumarit is my favorite.
    On the M9 I use 75 and sometimes 135.
    The 75lux is nice too but harder to focus (longer thread) plus very slight focus shift and wide open I ama not fully convinced.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Tom

    I would be careful using Ken Rockwell s reviews . His perspective is quite different than my experience although if you are coming from a DSLR background it maybe helpful. Sean Reid is the reviewer I find best at evaluating rangefinder lenses. I feel SR reviews are sufficiently detailed that the can get all the facts necessary.

    I rarely find blocking of the viewfinder to be an issue in actual use. It does depend on how you set up your lenses but for the wide angles . wider than 28mm I would be using a external finder for framing. Yes the Noctilux cuts off a lot and maybe the 75 lux but I haven t noticed much. I know this bothers some people and if it does then its important..but my experience has been OK on this issue.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I really try not saying ill of anyone however I just can’t stand Ken Rockwell’s unique perspective. I’ve tried however I find nothing on his site that I respect nor like thus I haven’t visited nor responded to anything concerning his site in some time. There are much better respected experienced reviewers; Sean Reid, Michael Reichmann, and of course Jack & Guy.

    I really appreciate the feedback here on GetDpi. This feedback of experience is just a small example of what makes this site so great.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Don, I am well aware of the "controversy" that Ken triggers with his opinions. I was trying to be careful in my statement; I should have said "in addition to his own opinions, which may or may not have value, he provides lots comments on blocked viewfinders and such.

    It is nice to have one place with so much data on the lenses.

    At any rate, my thought at this point is to go with a 90 elmarit. I see that there is an older tele-elmarit that is even smaller and less expensive than the current elmarit. Other that Ken Rockwell, has anyone else had expreince with the tele version?

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Tom

    The best stuff on the older leica M lens was written by E. Puts (hope I spelled it correctly). He authored the leica lens compendium and used to have a PDF version available on his website. He does a good job of reviewing the evolution of the leica glass. There were several versions of the tele elmarit with different formula.

    I had one of these back in the K64/M6 days and it was a good performer. Generally the newer versions have better performance (microcontrast) wide open when compared to the previous generation. The asph/apo versions add another level of correction and generally resolution,contrast and saturation.

    The older versions are sometimes sought out because of the creative uses of the glow,bokeh etc which differ by lens. These are normally the fast lenses .

    If cost is a factor I would look for the current 90:2.8 Elmarit used and without coding. I did this last month and passed on 3-4 that were between $600-850 before I went with an almost new one with 6 bit . They are being snapped up but you can find one ..get it coded by DAG for $100 and have a lens you can use or resell (probably for a profit).

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Roger, is coding a real benefit at 90mm?

    I've read stuff by Putz. The most complete and technical I've seen.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Tom, have you considered that the 90AA is big and heavy compared to the 75AA? I never had any good results with the M8 using the 135mm APO, but with the M9, the lens is a beauty. I have owned and used many lenses in this focal range (Rollei 80mm, 75AA, 90AA, 75 Lux, Hexanon 90mm, Fujinon 10cm etc) and I have decided that it ultimately depends on what you shoot. For portraiture, the lens that give immense satisfaction is the Nikkor 8.5cm f/2.

    Ken Rockwell, that is another story for another day. My experience is starkly different from his.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Umm, maybe if I just insult your mothers, you guys will forget that I ever mentioned KR. . .


    I lean toward the 90/2.8 as it seems to be a fine lens, and I don't think it will be worth the big premium to move up to the AA plus I want a smaller lens.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Hi Tom,

    I love the 90 Elmarit 2.8. Here is a senior portrait I took this fall of a family friend. I was pleasantly pleased with the IQ of the lens and the focal length on my M8 as a portrait lense. I might consider a 135 lens if and when my M9 arrives.

    Best wishes.

    Gary P

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Gary, this is a lovely portrait. BTW, the light is so even; did you use additional lighting?

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    There are so many good 90mm options, it's really impossible to make a bad choice. I'm partial to the 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, very small and pocketable.

    Rockwell's site has quite a bit of good comparison data in his lens charts, regardless of whether his writing style is appreciated...or not.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Thanks Tom! Just a diffusion screen for the sun light, close in to the subject. No other light source.

    Gary

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Roger, is coding a real benefit at 90mm?

    I've read stuff by Putz. The most complete and technical I've seen.
    Tom

    I use my M s extensively (15k images per year) and I find having the lens information in the EXIF useful . The firmware corrections at 90mm aren t important. I have coded almost every lens (including the zeiss zm s) .

    But if you treat your M glass like a "portfolio" ,getting 6 bit adds more value than it costs(especially at $100) . Priced appropriately a coded, good condition M lens will sell with 48 hours. I was looking at the M lenses set to appreciate and the 90 2.8 elmarit-M is a sleeper. Too late for the used 35/50 etc. they are already way up. The 90 s are being snapped up by the dealers .

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    There are so many good 90mm options, it's really impossible to make a bad choice. I'm partial to the 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, very small and pocketable.

    Rockwell's site has quite a bit of good comparison data in his lens charts, regardless of whether his writing style is appreciated...or not.
    Robert

    My issue with KR tests are not with his writing style and I try to read most of his reports. My issue is he is not a dedicated M user ( like Sean Reid or Michael R) so his frame of reference doesn t compare with my experience or align with that of many on this and the LUF. I have the same issue with Diglloyd s evaluations of the M9 and I think his stuff overall is first rate.

    I am not interested in KR comparing a CRF to a D90 or an M3 with slide film and I think this bias comes through in his opinions. You can certainly learn things from his reviews but its his conclusions(opinions) that I question.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Timely thread as I just purchased my second 90 APO. On the M8, I didn't favor the 90mm FL. I have a 90 elmarit, new version, and it is an excellent lens and very easy to handle in the field both size/weight and fast focus. Actually my 90 elmarit was leant to Sean when he did his 90 review. I added a 90 APO but never used it enough to get a sense of it, and sold it to raise funds for the M9. With the full frame M9, I wish to shoot 90mm more regularly, and while the elmarit is great, the extra stop is very important to me in my usage. I found a good deal on a used 90 APO, so I'll give it a careful look and see if I want two 90s, one, and which one. As for 75mm, I am a 75 lux lover, it's my favorite portrait lens, on film, and now on the M9. For a light fast focusing 75 I have a CV color skopar, and it's tack sharp and well, well worth having around at the price of $300 or so. So to the original 75 or 90 question, you can see how I answer it. Both, and maybe 2 samples of each, a fast, larger, heavier, slower focusing one and a light, fast focusing, slower one. I'm bad, I know.....Peter

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    At f/2.8 and above, is the 90 AA still superior to the current version of the 90 elmarit?

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Puts will normally have the information on this comparison. A good rule of thumb (if you are basing IQ on MTF ) is that the newer optics will have a one to two stop advantage over the "classics..preasph" . So the 90/2 would perform as well at f2 as the 90/2.8 does at f2.8 and this difference would hold until the optimum f5.6 is reached ..here both will be so good that it doesn t matter. Once you reach f4 I doubt you would see material differences in MTF performance . But at f2 and f2.8 the 90AA would outperform the 90 E enough to notice.

    The other side of this argument is that it can be useful to allow some softness etc at full aperture for portraits . The complaint on the 90AA is that it might be too well corrected to have the Leica glow. So some would like the softness/glow at f2.8 and the ability to dial in the level of contrast etc as you stop down.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Roger Wrote>>> "The other side of this argument is that it can be useful to allow some softness etc at full aperture for portraits . The complaint on the 90AA is that it might be too well corrected to have the Leica glow. So some would like the softness/glow at f2.8 and the ability to dial in the level of contrast etc as you stop down."<<<

    ....and that's exactly where the Summicron 90mm f2.0 pre ASPH come in (especially the last version right before the 90mm AA), in my opinion. After having used all three lenses (the 90mm AA, the last version of 90mm f2.8 Elmarit-M and the last version of the 90mm f2.0 Pre Asph, the 90mm f2.0 Pre ASPH has the best of both worlds if some Leica glow but also good sharpness, retention of detail and "contrast dialed down" a bit for portraits is desired. It virtually reaches sharpness levels equal to the other two lenses when stopped down a bit. The exceptional performing 90mm f2.8 Elmarit-M (last version) I felt was closer in performance f-stop for f-stop when compared to the 90mm AA..maybe just a smigen behind, but didn't quite have the softeness/leica glow that the 90mm f2.0 AA had. All superb lenses that's for sure and a case can be made for each regarding their use and performance levels.

    One last thing....personaly both for handling purposes and I also believe for the best combination of character/glow & ultimate sharpness in a 90mm Pre Asph...the version I would go with (if the 90mm Pre ASPH was going to be your choice)....is with is the last version, that looks, feels and handles almost exactly like the current 90nmm AA.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 17th January 2010 at 10:18.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Hi Tom
    I haven't used all these lenses, but I'm still allergic to using great big lenses on my M cameras, however good they are.

    The first M lens I ever bought was a 90 elmarit (together with a 50 'cron), to use on a film M6. I loved it. Then I bought an M8, and my 75 'cron Asph became the longer lens of choice. The only reason the 90 elmarit wasn't sold was that they weren't really fetching much money.

    In the 6 months i've had the M9, the 90 elmarit has been one of the most used lenses, it's fairly small, fairly light, very sharp, has a lovely bokeh together with a built in lens hood. It's just a great lens, possibly the most reliably good lens I have for the M9.

    If I didn't have one, then I'd be tempted by the 90 summarit, but I do have one, and it's great!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I haven't used all these lenses, but I'm still allergic to using great big lenses on my M cameras, however good they are.
    Yes, I agree that small is one of the great appeals of the M.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Yes, small is good. I guess I put in enough hours lugging a 300/2.8 and 200-400 during my sports shooting years, that a 90AA, 74/1.4, etc. ARE small! best...Peter

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I'll throw my words in for the 90 Elmarit. Fantastic lens, and out of the three 90's it's my fave on the M9. I am also finding the 50 summicron to be pretty special on the M9 BTW. I snagged a new old stock 90 Elmarit a couple of weeks back and was shooting it side by side with a 75 cron today. Oddly, I liked the 90 better even though the 75 is also fantastic.
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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    There is one problem with the 90 Elmarits: the rising price! It's as if someone just realized how wonderful they are and suddenly the price has jumped and the number for sale has disappeared ;>)

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Quote Originally Posted by victoriapio View Post
    There is one problem with the 90 Elmarits: the rising price! It's as if someone just realized how wonderful they are and suddenly the price has jumped and the number for sale has disappeared ;>)
    All the new M9 users that have previously dumped their 90mm lenses now want them back...

    Of course, if you shot film with your 90 - you wouldn't be in this situation!

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I'm a fan of the 90 Elmarit pre AA Tom, maybe because it's the one I own.

    Bought it about 9 years ago when it was current. It's the skinny one with integral slide out hood (Prod. No. 11807), 6-bit coded by DAG. Though coding is, IMO, not necessary for this FL, I did it so I would have all my M lenses coded and not have to change the setting on my M8.2

    The pic below was done in bright sun, but the bougainvillea was blowing mightily in a strong wind necessitating a high shutter speed. ISO 1250 was the result, so the noise moved in, but it's not too bad.

    Roger
    Leica M6, M8.2 & assorted Leica glass

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I apear to be the only one with the 75 Summicron. For street shooting, travel and portraits - I love the perspective - and of course the color rendition and sharpness are fabulous. I don't mind being the lone wolf on this one. A big howl for the 75.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Update on my 90 decision. I went out shooting with my elmarit and it really does sing on the M9, (it did on the M8 as well). I considered getting the 90 AA and seeing which I preferred, but there's no way I'd let the elmarit go. And...a 21 lux I've been dreaming about came my way so all the lens funds are long gone.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I also have the 75 cron and find it to be an excellent choice. I got it as my 2nd lens for the M8 and like it even more on my M9.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    A big vote for the 90/2.8 ... fantastic on both M8 and M9 .... perhaps the most unsung lens in the M line-up. Sharp. but retains that beautiful Leica character that seemed missing from the 90AA that I once had and sold. I also tried a 90/2.5 and sent it back as I still preferred the 90/2.8.

    Personally, over 50mm I prefer Old School non-ASPH ... so I now use a 75/1.4 and 90/2.8. Why both? It depends on which combo of 3 lenses based on the shooting conditions and subject: 28, 50, 90 or 24, 35, 75 are my most frequently used kits.

    -Marc

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I also have the 75 'cron. I think it was my favorite lens on the M8, less so on the M9 until I found it was front focusing quite badly. Right now it's in Germany being 'matched' to my M9 body - hopefully it'll be back by the end of the week.

    Apart from being a great lens, I really like the close focusing ability (second only in magnification to the 90 elmar macro), it's startlingly sharp, but still manages a nice bokeh.

    However, as others said, the slim 90 elmarit real sings on the M9 - mine was lying at the back of the cupboard until the M9 appeared. It's really a lovely lens. Grab one now before everyone else realises!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

  40. #40
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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Just some info, in case anyone is interested since we're on the topic of 90mm's, especially the extremely fine 90mm f2.8 (last version). I'm sure others who have used or tested the three lenses mentioned below, have experienced similar virtues and probably nothing that hasn't been mentioned or shown previously.

    Yesterday I did another semi formal test (major f-stops and three different distances) between the 90mm f2.8 Elmarit (e-46) and the last 90mm f2.0 Pre Asph since I've long suspected these two lenses were extremely close, both optically and in character...and thats why Leica had to distinguish more between these two and updated the 90mm Pre Asph to the 90mm AA (which I had on hand too and included in these tests). I've often felt that the last of the 90mm f2.0 (both pre Apsh and AA) weren't significantly different in size or handling from the 90mm f2.8 (unlike the Lux 75mm is from other 75's)...in what was I gaining or loosing..so decision was based on optical characteristics.

    Optically and in terms of sharpness, the 90mm Pre Asph and 90mm f2.8 were extremely close in almost all performance characteristics f-stop for f-stop...a bit more modern looking image and contrast would go to the 90mm f2.8 and a bit more "roundness" to the 90mm pre ASPH when both shot at f2.8 and f4 . Beyond those f-stops, not a lot to distinguish the two. These results could be seen at all subject to camera distances. Of course the 90mm pre ASPH gains a 1 stop advantage and the 90mm f2.8 gains a bit in compactness....both have built in sliding hoods.

    The 90mm AA was a different beast altogether...and had more contrast than the other two in most lighting circumstances throughout most of it's f-stop range. In terms of sharpness, it achieved a measurable advantage over the other two as the camera to subject distance increased...but this advantage in sharpness over the other non ASPH lenses decreased as all lenses were shot beyond approx. f4.5. The 90AA was also a bit more brutal in sharpness than the other two lenses in close-up range from f2 to f4.5... so this lens may not be ideal for certain portrait work. It had the highest contrast of all three almost extending out to f8.

    I think the 90mm f2.8, due to it's somewhat higher contrast (and apparent micro-contrast) than the 90mm Pre Asph at f2.8 and f4.. has it fitting optically in between the other two lenses (the 90mm Pre ASPH and 90mm AA)....so all three have enough to distinguish themselves to be put into slightly different categories, depending on desired use and application and also need for speed. I think the 90mm f2.8 currently is "all the rage" and for very good reason, but I wouldn't underestimate the last 90mm f2.0 Pre ASPH...as it may come as a surprise for those that haven't used it and the size difference (or disadvantage) is slight in my opinion...but then again I'm used to shooting with large or heavy lenses.

    To sum up...and in my opinion..

    1) The 90AA in some ways reminds me of current 75mm cron..when ultimate sharpness and contrast (and speed) is desired above all else and definitely a measure of superiority in both these attributes as when compared to the other two lenses.

    2) The last 90mm f2.0 Pre Asph..a good choice with a slightly to slightly moderate lower contrast when compared to the other two lenses. Great for portraits, higher contrast lighting situations, speed and some reportage type situations and good all rounder with a stop advantage over the 90mm f2.8.

    3) The last 90mm f2.8 when one of the best all around general use 90mm's is desired..good contrast (bit higher than the 90mm pre ASPH) smaller lighter weight package, excellent sharpness (a match for the 90mm pre Asph with a slight bump in contrast giving it a slight look of increased sharpness over the 90mm pre ASPH)..with a sacrifice of an f-stop compared to the other two in some low light situations.

    Please keep mind that many of the individual differences between these three lenses decrease or are almost eliminated when the lenses are stopped down to f4.5, f5.6 and beyond.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 28th January 2010 at 08:28.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Dave, the Tele-Elmarit does not have a built-in hood and is much smaller than the 90 crons. I believe you did not mean "tele" but rather the last model E46 Elmarit 2.8. Here is a refernce page for all the Leica 90's.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your message. Not sure why I wrote "Tele"...as I'm familiar with most all versions of these lenses..but thanks for pointing out my nomenclature error. I certainly don't want to confuse anyone as to which lenses I was referring to and comparing in my tests. I was able to correct part of it in my original txt (above). I took out the erroneous "Tele" but was "timed out" from putting back in the "M"....but most will know what lens I meant since I inserted..."e-46" . I've previously read KR's take on all these lenses and do not completely agree with his all his assessments although much of what he says about the 90's are fairly accurate. He misses though quite a bit of their performance nuisances and this is what seperates them in actual use. Thanks again.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 28th January 2010 at 08:53.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I like Ken's site for his database, including serial numbers for each year. Two weeks ago I knew nothing about 90's or 75's; but since starting this thread I've had a crash education.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Dave (D&A) wrote:

    "2) The last 90mm f2.0 Pre Asph..a good choice with a slightly to slightly moderate lower contrast when compared to the other two lenses. Great for portraits, higher contrast lighting situations, speed and some reportage type situations and good all rounder with a stop advantage over the 90mm f2.8.

    3) The last 90mm f2.8 when one of the best all around general use 90mm's is desired..good contrast (bit higher than the 90mm pre ASPH) smaller lighter weight package, excellent sharpness (a match for the 90mm pre Asph with a slight bump in contrast giving it a slight look of increased sharpness over the 90mm pre ASPH)..with a sacrifice of an f-stop compared to the other two in some low light situations.

    Please keep mind that many of the individual differences between these three lenses decrease or are almost eliminated when the lenses are stopped down to f4.5, f5.6 and beyond.

    Dave (D&A) "

    I have both of these 90s in hand right now and IMO, you have hit the nail right on the head. The only thing I will add is that I see the 90 2.8 having a bit more "bokeh" than the 90 2.0. In fact I think given the right distance and subject, if the 35mm cron IV is the bokeh king, the 90 2.8 just might be the bokeh queen. Not that the 90 2.0 is a slouch in this category of course.

    A few weeks ago I received the 90 2.8 back from a "full wash CLA" and a brand new lens mount installed by Sherry K and I think because it is now properly calibrated, the bokeh has IMPROVED! (This lens was on my m8 when it hit the ground, luckily my 1.25 magnifier took the brunt of the fall. The lens would not focus "razor sharp" at infinity after the fall so I sent it to Sherry K, who has tweaked this lens back to perfection and installed a new lens mount.)

    Anyway, I am going to keep only one of the 90s since I have a 75 Summarit which I dearly love. And because I do some on stage photography for my wife and need every bit of light I can get for those "honey do" assignments , I am going to probably sell the 90 2.8. and keep the 90 2.0.

    But I agree with you that the 90 2.0 pre-Asph and the 90 2.8 Elmarit have lot of similarities. I would give the bokeh edge to the Elmarit however. The bottom line is, as you stated very well, these are two great lenses.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Some bokeh samples to illustrate the post above:

    90mm Elmarit on left, 90 cron on right
    Last edited by oc garza; 4th April 2010 at 13:53.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Hi Victoriapio & O.C.,

    You both "too" hit the nail on the head..or maybe I should say brought in the "winning run". The bokeh of the Elmarit (e-46) 90mm f2.8 is the bokeh queen and if anything the 90mm f2.0 Pre Asph (last version) is it's #1 assistant! Both have great bokeh, with the edge as you both pointed out, going to the 90 f2.8. In response to this challange, the 90mm f2.0 pre ASPH, fires back with a slightly lower contrast thats idea for portraits and a one stop f-stop advantage for lower light which really comes in handy. For those that are aware of all the attributes of these two lenses, I suspect 50% will pick one and the rest the other. The upshot is we all win! I enjoyed reading and seeing both your postings...it really adds to the complete the picture of these lenses....for all of us! Many thanks!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 28th January 2010 at 19:46.

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    I ended up with a 75 cron as an experiment and have turned out to really like it.

    That being said I don't have a 50, instead preferring 35mm as my 'base' FL.

    With a 50 I expect that I would prefer the spacing of a 90.
    ---------------
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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    So what is every one's thinking on the Tele-Elmarit 90 mm slim?
    No one is talking about this lens, as I am looking it. What are your thoughts on this 90
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Here's one taken with a 90mm Summicron E55 - M6, Tri-X, F4 or F5.6


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    Re: Let's talk 75 and 90mm

    Over the years I've used (and owned) most 90's and most other Leica lenses. I got the 90AA when it came out, was astounded by the image quality at longer distances wide open, but otherwise never really enjoyed the lens like I did the various variations of the non aspheric Summicrons. If I get another one it would be the last iteration before the 90AA.

    On the other hand, one of the most despised (relative term) lenses in Leica's history, the skinny Tele-Elmarit, happens to be one that I've taken a large number of pictures with that I really enjoy, even though technically it isn't nearly as good as the later Elmarit or certainly the 90AA. So I still have a decent example of the T-E. I also have the last Elmarit, which comes along when I want something that provides a somewhat crisper image wide open.

    My main longer lenses are the 75/2 and 75/1.4, both of which I really like. I don't have either focussing nor framing problems with them on my M8's nor other M cameras, and which one comes along depends on need for speed, weight considerations and especially rendering capabilities. Sometimes I do carry a 135 along for extra reach, but that function, when it's likely to be needed more often, is generally filled by an SLR.

    When travelling I usually take the 75/2 because it's the size of the 90 T-E with a bit more weight, but more speed and optical performance that can't be beat, both near and far. It, as well as the Summilux, also focusses to .7m instead of 1m like the 90's giving the smallest field of view outside of the 90/4 macro (too slow for me, but great performance).

    As far as reviews go, while I find Sean's site interesting reading his predilections are generally not mine (for example, the viewfinder intrusion issue is not something that I pay much attention to) but his site is interesting and at least it's from an RF user's perspective. KR is just laughable, and not just wrt rangefinders.

    In the end it depends of course on your own predilections and which set of lenses you prefer. If I take 3 for general use on the M8, it's the 21/1.4, 35/1.4 and 75 either f/2 or f/1.4. On film it's likely to be the WATE, 28/2, 50/1.4 and 90/2.8 or if it's going to be only outside and it's bright, the WATE, MATE, and 90 T-E.

    Henning

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