Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/06

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Chrome Tele-Elmarit 90/2,8 (fat), and SOOZI
From: Lucien <>
Date: Wed, 06 May 1998 11:05:57 +0200

Gary Todoroff wrote:

>I have heard of the "fat" 90/4 Elmar, but have never heard 
>that term applied to the Tele-Elmarit. 
>Laney, Lager and van Haesbroeck all agree that
>the chrome version was only made from 1965 thru 1966. 

Mine is from 1964. ;-)

>Two years production would have normally been a few thousand copies,
>not a lot, but not rare either. 
>It is hard to imagine the chrome Tele-Elmarit being worth as
>much or even more.
>However, Lucien, I won't mind being proven wrong and
>stumbling into yet another Leica "find".

First of all, I do this for the fun, I don't try to prove anything.
I was thinking like you until I make some research.
I've compiled a kind of listing of all the serial number I found
(in shops, catalogue, books, etc...) and that how I come with
that figure (+/- 1.700 ex., maybe less).
I agree it's rare more like a 21/4 screw mount than like a SOOZI.
One of the reason of that "rarety" may be the fact 
that during that periode, Leitz was offering 5 different 90mm :
90/4, 90/4 collapsible, 90/2,8 Elmarit, 90/2,8 Tele-Elmarit
and 90/2, and also that in some Leitz litterature of the time
the 90/2,8 Elmarit was regarded as THE portrait lens.
You may also consider the fact that contrarily to the 90/2,8 Elmarit,
the head of the Tele-Elmarit was not removable, and then not
usable on the Visoflex.(less versatile)

>To put rarity in perspective, I paid $190 for a used 90mm Summicron 
>in 1969 from Roger Pelham (a Leica grandfather if there ever was one),
>and I hope he comes to Denver LHSA) at Malone's camera in Dayton, OH. 
>It took me over 25 years of use to find out that the bayonet mount 
>was actually an adapter. I was using a screw mount lens version called
>the SOOZI model, with a serial number indicating that it was made in 
>1957, the first year it was made.
>Total production was only about 500.
>That lens deserves to be called rare, yet on the few occasions that 
>one is for sale, the price has averaged around $2500.

Is there a red index mark (plastic or painted) on your SOOZI ?
If there is, it's not a real screw mount lens, and it's
less rare, but more than a fixed bayonet 90/2. ;-)