Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/06

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Subject: Re: Good Tele M Lens--M-Rokkor variants
From: Tom Kline <>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 14:44:40 -0800

Some very interesting comments from Stephen and Hans, but here is some=
 serial # weirdness...
I have an M-Rokkor 90 that, except for the rubber shade, looks just like the=
 Elmar-C pictured in the Pocket Book and has a serial # of 2.7 million which=
 consistent with Leica #s of the time of Elmar-Cs manufacture, '73-77=
 (Pocket Book). The CLE Rokkor pictured in the July '81 issue of Mod. Photo.=
 (The CLE test there) is cosmetically different in the aperture ring,=
 grabbing ring (for want of a better term) and the focusing scale. My Rokkor=
 and the Elmar-C have two infinity symbols and feet is written out, have=
 narrow aperture rings and cylindrical grabbing rings. The lens pictured in=
 Mod (CLE lens) has only one infinity symbol and feet abbreviated as ft. The=
 aperture ring knurled part of the CLE lens is wider. The grabbing ring of=
 the CLE lens is tapered from being wide at the camera to being flush with=
 the focusing scale - to save a few grams in weight??? Also Hans' serial #s,=
 the one in Mod as well as Pop Photo's tests are 2.0 million, inconsistent=
 with Leica numbers of that time!! It is thus possible that earlier Rokkors=
 have higher serials #s than the latter. BTW, my Rokkor lens does not have=
 the beveled focusing cam.

I agree that this is a good field lens and have it with me at work since it=
 was in my rucksack which I carry around on a daily basis (and with an M=
 inside!) since it is quite lightweight. I, however, have not made the=
 performance comparisons like you have and so am further intrigued.

>Simon Ogilvie wrote:
>> Stephen,
>> I was interested in your comments about the 90/4 Rokkor lens.
>> I've just bought an old 90/4 Elmar screw-mount lens with a
>> screw-to-M adaptor.  I assume that the Rokkor is considered
>> optically superior to this Elmar?
>The 90/4 Elmar screw mount design dates from the 30's, although it did
>gain coating after the war.  There are TWO 90/4 Rokkors.  The first was
>for the CL and is the same optically as the 90/4 Elmar for the CL.  The
>later CLE 90/4 Rokkor has a slightly different optical design and has
>standard Leica parallel RF coupling, and UNLIKE the earlier version, is
>multicoated.  I find it to be a great lens, although I have not compared
>it to the current 90/2.8 which many people rate very highly.  Because so
>many people confuse the CLE 90/4  with the earlier version for the CL,
>it sells cheaply, usually for the same price as the CL lens($300-400).
>Thus its usually an underpriced bargain.
>I believe the CLE 90/4 Rokkor is a better performer than the 90/4 for
>the CL, the older 90/4 Elmar screw mount, the 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, the
>older version of the 90/2.8 Elmarit, and even slightly better than the
>90/2 Summicron.   Exactly how it compares to the current 90/2.8 Elmarit
>I am not sure, but I would expect that the performance of the two lenses
>to be very close.

=46rom: "Hans Pahlen" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Good Tele M Lens
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 22:26:59 +0100

The M-Rokkor 90/4,0 is a good lens, but I think Stephen, that you are going
a bit too far stating that it is a better performer than many of the older
Leica 90 mm lenses.
I am using this CLE-lens together with an old 90/2,8 Elmarit (1960), and I
would rather rate the Leica lens as a bit sharper. I have compared the two
lenses side by side using Velvia at f/4,0, and I think that the Leica lens
resolves the finest details a little bit better. I also noticed that the
Leica lens has more contrast.
I have only tried one sample (my M-Rokkor is No. 2006053).

I bought the M-Rokkor at a bargain price, and it was my only 90 mm lens
during May-August. However, after seeing the practical results from 35 rolls
during my vacation, I felt that something was missing as I saw the 90 mm
pictures together with those made by my Leica lenses. This experience made
me decide to get another old Elmarit 90/2,8, as I regard this lens to be one
of the best 90 mm lenses, often at a bargain price too. My simple test was
just a way to confirm my feelings into facts.
Yes, the M-Rokkor is very compact and pocketable, but is it really that good
compared to the Leica lenses?
I would say no. Well, at least not mine...

Regards, Hans
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