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90mm alternatives to the Summicron - either M or LTM
Old 01-27-2020   #1
CharlesDAMorgan
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90mm alternatives to the Summicron - either M or LTM

I like the 90mm focal length a lot, but my 1st edition one is somewhat large, prone to flare and lacking a bit of punch (if Zeiss did 90mm M mount fast lenses that don't have issues). In colour, which I don't shoot much, I think the Summicron is a joy.

Any recommendations worth considering in M Mount or LTM with a bit more contrast and somewhat lighter - I doubt I would ever use anything slower than f2.8 (so bye bye tele tessar). Cheaper than more modern Leica is also good.
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Old 01-27-2020   #2
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I've used a number of 90mm Leica lenses, and haven't found one I like as much as my Nikkor-P.C. 8.5cm f2.0 LTM. It's probably not any lighter than the Leicas or much smaller, but I really like the way it renders.

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Old 01-27-2020   #3
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Voigtländer apo lanthar 90mm but f3?5..its small though and looks nice in silver
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Old 01-27-2020   #4
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I had that first-gen 90/2 Summicron (the one with the built-in tripod socket) and I found it super disappointing. I was much happier with the LTM version of the 105/2.5 Nikkor (big and heavy) and happier yet with the 100mm f/2 Canon, which I still own. One potential gotcha is that nobody except Nikon made a camera with a 105 frameline, and nobody but Canon made one with a 100 frameline.
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Old 01-27-2020   #5
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Four that had not occurred to me! 85 is fine with framelines, not so sure about the others, but a slightly tighter crop is not the end of the world. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2020   #6
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The newer Leica Elmarit-M is amazing in my opinion and can be had for about $850 depending on condition. Additionally the older Leica "fat" tele-elmarit 90mm f2.8 can be had for about $650 or so, and again, a great option. Nice and compact but a little bit heavy. Finally, the Konica Hexanon-M 90mm f2.8 is even cheaper, resembles the Elmarit-M (latest) and has pretty good reviews from what I've seen. I've not owned this lens, but always wanted to try it, especially given the price, maybe $400 (not sure on this one). In any event, you have a lot of good options out there.
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Old 01-27-2020   #7
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I use the Leitz Macro Elmar M 90mm f4.
Fantastic and tiny.
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Old 01-27-2020   #8
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Elmarit -M? Quite compact, very very sharp. Nice bokeh.
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Old 01-27-2020   #9
DominikDUK
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Leica Summarit-M 2.5/90mm can be found for the same price as later Summicrons and is very very sharp
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Old 01-27-2020   #10
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90/2.8 Tele Elmarit, nice and light, actually pretty much the same size as the 90/4 Elmar.

If weight isn't an issue, 85/2 Nikkor.
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Old 01-27-2020   #11
CharlesDAMorgan
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Even more!

I fear Huss that the Macro Elmar M is just too rich for my blood, alas. I shall use the excuse of the f4.
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Old 01-27-2020   #12
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I'll put a word in for the humble 90mm LTM elmar, my copy of which at least is sharp and pretty contrasty, and surprisingly flare-free for its era (although I tend to use a lens hood). They're also fairly small and light, and have good ergonomics.

However at f4 it might be a bit slow for you--but they're cheap!

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Old 01-27-2020   #13
CharlesDAMorgan
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I had the LTM Elmar 90 Darren, I found it a bit inclined to flare, so while it's a nice old beastie I'll pass (but it's certainly cheap!)
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Old 01-27-2020   #14
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The Voigtlander 90mm f3.5 APO-Lanthar LTM lens. It might not be fast but it's good!

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=168121

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Old 01-27-2020   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
90/2.8 Tele Elmarit, nice and light, actually pretty much the same size as the 90/4 Elmar.
And as a matter of fact, it's only a tad longer and heavier than the 75mm CV Color-Heliar. I will throw it in the bag when I want a small light 90 along. I'm thinking of the thin Tele-Elmarit when I say this.
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Old 01-27-2020   #16
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Originally Posted by slantface View Post
The newer Leica Elmarit-M is amazing in my opinion and can be had for about $850 depending on condition.
I still have my original chrome 90 Elmarit. I've always thought of it as being about as sharp as a lens could be. A tripod is definitely required to fully appreciate how good it is. But I have wondered how much better the Elmarit-M might be--not that I need a better lens. Maybe someone who has tried both could comment or show examples.
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Old 01-27-2020   #17
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Another vote for the thin tele elmarit. I have, and use a Summicron, but when I want light and sharp, I turn to the tele elmarit. Small, sharp, portable and easy to hand hold. I use it in preference to the elmarit M
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Old 01-27-2020   #18
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As a Summicron alternative, I second the Canon 100mm f2. I have had mine for a couple months and so far I am really impressed with it's performance. It is not a small lens, but for what it is the size weight and handling are great.

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Old 01-27-2020   #19
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I like the 90 Macro the most of my 3 90’s. The Konica Hexanon M is okay. Relatively affordable and small, not the sharpest lens I own. The pre-ASPH Summicron is a nice lens which you can get around $1k. Big, slow to focus, but nice and sharp stopped down and a bit soft wide open. Nice lens.

I’ve had the Macro twice. Once some years ago. I really enjoyed it then - perfect for traveling. Bought it again last year and glad I did. I only sold it originally because mine wasn’t 6 bit coded and it would have cost too much to code the lens and the adapter. It was cheaper to sell and buy the whole kit again later.

You can find the lens on KEH or Lensauthority for a decent price. More than a used Summarit or LTM lens sure, but pretty affordable for a Leica lens. I think I like the older version that works with the goggles more; I can use it with my film cameras and it’s cheaper.
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Old 01-27-2020   #20
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Another vote for the Elmarit M. I own the chrome one circa 1960 and like it though its appearance is a little archaic. The later ones are even better performance wise. I also own a fat and a skinny Tele Elmarit. (Obsessive, agreed). The only real criticism is that both tend to flare if the sun is anywhere near the field of view though a deep hood helps. So I tend to discount this if I were you given would be swapping it for another lens which flares.
You can see from this that I too like the 90mm focal length.
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Old 01-27-2020   #21
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You might look at the Canon 100/3.5, which is much smaller than the Canon 100/2 pictured above. Actually, it's tiny for a tele lens, but it's very good if you get a good sample.

My copy is quite sharp...

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Old 01-27-2020   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
As a Summicron alternative, I second the Canon 100mm f2. I have had mine for a couple months and so far I am really impressed with it's performance. It is not a small lens, but for what it is the size weight and handling are great.

This is probably the lens I would like most right now.
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Old 01-27-2020   #23
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I have the Konica Hexanon 90mm and find it wonderful. Small and inexpensive too.



It is very sharp but you have to nail the focus to see that.



Full Size image here.

I tweaked the focus cam slightly in mine.

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Old 01-27-2020   #24
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90mm f4 M-Rokkor. Light, small and tack sharp.
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Old 01-27-2020   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I have the Konica Hexanon 90mm and find it wonderful. Small and inexpensive too.



It is very sharp but you have to nail the focus to see that.



Full Size image here.

I tweaked the focus cam slightly in mine.

Shawn
Making the Hexonon 90mm look very nice there. Agree about nailing focus, that is key at this FL.

I see a few people here recommending the TELE-ELMARIT. I was interested in that lens, either version; older fat version, or newer 4 element thin version, but couldn't find any examples of it being sharp at f2.8. Can anyone show some sharp photos taken with the TELE-ELMARIT wide open?
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Old 01-27-2020   #26
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This is probably the lens I would like most right now.
Peter, this is a fun lens. I am still getting the hang of how to use it because it takes more care with focus and higher shutter speeds than i'm used to with my rangefinders...
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Old 01-27-2020   #27
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Four that had not occurred to me! 85 is fine with framelines, not so sure about the others, but a slightly tighter crop is not the end of the world. Thanks!
A tighter crop when using the 85 in place of the 90? The finder will be tighter than the image on film or sensor, if that's what you mean; but conversely you will get a bit more in the picture.

I like using the 85mm AF-Nikkor on my Nikons. I find it to be a good focal length, just like the 90 is a good focal length. So I could see using an 85 on the Leica. It's a tiny bit wider, and not infrequently, a tiny bit more useful! Perhaps Zeiss and Nikon are on the right track, offering an 85!
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Old 01-27-2020   #28
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There are so many opinions here, and your question is quite broad. I would say, I would choose the Leitz Tele-Elmarit (Fat) version, the black Tele-Elmarit from the 80's, and that's it. The reason is, these are more affordable. If you go to Nikon or Canon designs, you will probably venture into Sonnar designs, which are a different rendering. More contrast, depth of field curvature is different - pleasing. The first Elmarit has medium contrast, but lower contrast wide open, so no. The latest Tele Elmarit is too expensive. High contrast, but expensive.

I like the Type 2 Summicron. It is great wide open for portraits. It's not a Sonnar type. Contrast is fine anything past 2.8. It's fine. Just heavy - and I get that.
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Old 01-27-2020   #29
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Quote:
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A tighter crop when using the 85 in place of the 90? The finder will be tighter than the image on film or sensor, if that's what you mean; but conversely you will get a bit more in the picture.
Brain fade on my part, but thank you for getting what I meant to say!
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Old 01-27-2020   #30
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I have to say I didn't think it was as broad as it's turned out to be!

I love Sonnar designs, but maybe a much younger lens with good coatings will suit my purposes better.

I need the speed with film - especially as I regularly pull 400 to 250. So however good the f4 lenses are, it's one stop too slow.

Much to think about!
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Old 01-27-2020   #31
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These two were shot with the (fat) Tele Elmarit (as far as my memory goes - and not very good records). One with a Leica M8 and one with a micro four thirds. In terms of bokeh, sharpness etc I find it perfectly adequate if not perfect as there is no such thing. BTW the second shot was taken on a Leica M8 presumably without an IR cut filter judging by the serious purples in the lady's coat.



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Old 01-28-2020   #32
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I use the Macro Elmar a lot as collapsible and very sharp. But I love the Elmarit M and used it recently. The pictures from it have a 'bite'.
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Old 01-28-2020   #33
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This was shot with Elmarit-M on expired film and at slow speed. Flick does its tricks to resolution, but the original is very sharp in focusing point:

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Old 01-28-2020   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
I have to say I didn't think it was as broad as it's turned out to be!

I love Sonnar designs, but maybe a much younger lens with good coatings will suit my purposes better.

I need the speed with film - especially as I regularly pull 400 to 250. So however good the f4 lenses are, it's one stop too slow.

Much to think about!
The Konica is a Sonnar design.

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Old 01-28-2020   #35
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Anybody got any black and white film images from the Elmarit M or Konica or Summarit? The Konica is cheaper meaningfully but the other two have their appeal too.
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Old 01-28-2020   #36
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Anybody got any black and white film images from the Elmarit M or Konica or Summarit? The Konica is cheaper meaningfully but the other two have their appeal too.




I guess it's a bit too small (for any kind of judgment) if attached like this... Elmarit-M on tri-x
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Old 01-28-2020   #37
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Thanks Valdas - a bit small!

No Canons, Nikkors or Apo Lanthars to be found in the UK.

Prices - all upwards from here, rapidly in the case of the macro M!

Hexanon from £390 - 300g
Tele Elmarits £350 340g
Elmarit Ms £700 - 490g
Summarits £650 - 340g
Macro Elmar £1300 - 223g

Now to value my Summicron 90mm (600g) and make up my mind!

Or I could get an adapter for my 80mm Summilux R (700g) and spend my life with the camera pointing at the ground...
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Old 01-28-2020   #38
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I have a few Konica images here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgray1...hexanon90mmf28
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Old 01-28-2020   #39
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Thanks Tim - looks good to me!
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Old 01-28-2020   #40
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Just for reference, here’s some Macro Elmar film shots:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgray1...roelmar90mmf40
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