Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/13

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Subject: [Leica] Photokina news
From: Erwin Puts <>
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 15:20:25 +0200

The date of secrecy is over. For us Leica users we may note a new 2,8/35-70
ASPH, original Solms compututation. It is heavy and big, and uses 11 lens
elements. After a series of introductions of standard zoom lenses  this one
will be able to define the norm for this type of lens
The new 3,4/135 APO is a very elegant looking lens, 460 grams and as its
predecessor will not improve on stopping down. Its wide open performance is
claimed to be much better. It is a five element lens, as is the
predecessor, but a totally different design.
The new 2/90 ASPH and APO is quite short (78mm) and thick (64mm),and again
of pleasing design.It is a five lens element design, again very different
from the 5 element design of its predecessor. Its weight is 500 grams and
close ups go to 1 meter. The performance is claimed to be very high. It is
however too soon to claim a performance superior to the 2,8/100 R sibling
or the normal 2,8/90 Elmarit-M. (it will be much better that the
discontinued Summicron 2/90 at full aperture, but that is no big feat).
It is interesting that the 2/90 is not available in R-mount as is the 135/3,4.
I do assume (no background knowledge implied here) that the R line will
concentrate on vario-optics and the M-line on high class fixed length
optics. Which is a sensible strategy.
The new M6 TTl is a standard M6 with a 2mm higher topcover. The speed dial
has a OFF position (the dial is larger in diameter and now there is space
for a OFF postion), and turns in the direction of the exposure arrows in
the finder. The OFF position shuts of the electrical circuit,a function
that the B position had in the standard M6.
The finder has the familiar silver/white lining in the bottom and the
standard version now has the small 0.72  engraving, that is taken over from
the HM version, which of course has the 0.85 "logo".
Biggest change in front is a second silver/white lining in the top of the
finder window. In fact the height of the finderwindow is a bit larger than
the now discontinued M6. Let speculation begin about the significance of
this 2mm of enlargement of the height of the finderwindow!
Some M lenses will be in chrome (21 and 24) and the 2,8/90 in titanium.
The new 2/90 and 3.4/135 will be available from the beginning of next year.
A new flash unit (SF20) is announced for use with the TTL measurement of
the R8 (where it is automatic) and the M6 TTL (where the fillin flash ratio
has to be set manually). The unit can be put on the camera directly. Other
(non Leica) flash units need an adapter. Again availability in Q1 of 1999.