Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/02/04

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To: "Charles E. Albertson" <>
Subject: Re: Comments on 90mm Elmarit-M
From: Tom Hodge <>
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 22:22:22 -0500 (EST)

Hey, Chuck,  how's it going?

I can't tell whether mine is a "new" one or and "old" one but it's quite
nice.  It's Canadian, s/n 27940xx and was purchased slightly used from
Colonial Camera in La Grange, IL.  Great Leica dealers if anyone's 
visiting the near western suburbs of Chicago!

Wide open, right down at the 1 meter close focusing distance, it might be
judged a tad soft but I don't know whether or not it's the open aperture
or the extreme shift of elements inside that create the situation. 
Otherwise. it's a killer.  I really like the small size and the ease of
use.  Of course, shooting extreme facials at this distance or just beyond, 
the slight softness is absolutely perfect.  Have not noticed one iota of 
vignetting at any aperture.

I shot into some weird lights and noticed no coma on the edges of 
transparencies, only very slight flare...if you could even call it that.  
I'd expect reflex lenses to exhibit a little more due to the internal 
design being a little more complicated.

My big gripe is it's quite stiff to focus, even at room temperature. 
Outside, in cooler use, I need Charles Atlas and a pair of Channel-Locks
to turn the focusing ring.  The aperture ring right up front makes setting
the stops easier than easy.  My older Wetzlar 50 Summicron focuses smooth
as silk by rolling a finger on the ring.  This thing needs a pipe wrench
put to it.  Doesn't grind or hang up or anything, just stiff! 

I don't know if this thing is better or worse picture-wise than a Wetzlar 
but if it's worse, I'd love to see one of THOSE puppies!

Oh...and a slight bit of excess (?) of what looks like oil or some sort of
lubricant on the front aperture blades bugs me but I don't know why.  
Should it?  The rear blades look quite clean by comparison.  Glass is 
dead-solid perfect...and it shows!  Anyone know if this is common or a 
problem to worry about?

Resolution and saturation look incredible.  Appears to be a slightly warm
rendition of "neutral" whites but I just shot several rolls of KPR64 and
the slight underexposure tends to shift whites that way.  Same shots with
a "new mount" Canon 100mm f/2.0 FD-SSC are almost identical except for the 
color.  Shots with an older 90mm f/2.5 Vivitar Series 1 macro are cold by 
comparison but sharpness looks in the ballpark.

Anyone have a list of date vs. serial numbers on M series lenses and
cameras?  Like a hammer; it's just a tool...the age thing is a curiosity 
point, not a necessity.

And....don't lose either the lens hood (s/n 11251) or the snap-on lens cap
(s/n 11252):  You'll be out about 60 bucks to replace both!  There's a
separate s/n, 11250, on the actual collapsible rubber hood itself
indicating it might be able to be separate(d) from the 39mm threaded part
but I'm not that curious.  It (the rubber part) does take a beating! 


Tom Hodge
Replied:  9 Feb 96 13:04

In reply to: Message from (Charles E. Albertson) (Comments on 90mm Elmarit-M)