Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/17

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Subject: Re: [Leica] 90 Summicron/Elmarit
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 08:32:35 +0200

B. D. Colen wrote:
> ...<CUT>...
> When ever I used the 90 2.8 to photograph my wife or any of her friends
> they'd hate what I'd get because they could see every charcter line or flaw
> on their faces. With the 90 f2 they complain, but not as much. (;o{ )#x

B.D. (sorry, cannot figure out your first name),

I use the 90 2.8 mainly fo that application (casual portraits), an it
works great, especially on kids and young women (example on ). It is
true it brings the character out of a face and does not allow any
cheating. But I do love the bokeh of that lens, which is an important
factor for portraits, and I find the 'roundness" of the backgrounds
counterbalances the 'sharpness' of the focused point. For some
situations (new born with mum), I mellow it down just a little with a
Nikon Soft nr 1. The effect is very subtle. And is repeatable (which
might not be the case with crushed cellophane). 

I can see no need for the new 90mm asph-apo f2 for my usage: it seems to
me it implies the HM body for reliable focusing wide open at portrait
distances, and I would finally only gain 1 stop at very great financial
cost. Better of with a s/h 85mm f1.4 from virtually any SLR maker for
those low light situations or even with a Summilux. I have not seen any
independent benchmarks for that new lens, but I would be very surprised
if it did better than the Elmarit from f2.8 on.

Friendly regards