Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/04/13

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Subject: [Leica] R 90mm Elmarits sweet spot?
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Tue Apr 13 23:53:13 2004

On 4/13/04 9:30 PM, "Mike Quinn" <> wrote:

> I think it's too much coffee...
> Try it in good light at 1/500 (without the strobe) and see if it still
> looks soft.
> On Apr 13, 2004, at 3:06 AM, eric wrote:
>> Images always seems a bit too soft (well, yes compared to the razor
>> sharp
>> 60mm), but I like deadly sharp focus.
>> (snip)
>> Any suggestions? - I try to shoot the 90mm at 5.6. I am usually using
>> strobes, so shutter speed is 1/100.
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

It's just a tricky question because not only are we comparing the 90
Summicron APO ASPH M against the 90 Elmarit M but we've got the 100 macro R
thrown in as a curve ball to skew any argument to pieces.
I've extensively shoot the  90 Summicron APO ASPH M with the 90 Elmarit M
with Balcar studio strobes and I'd not dream of shooting them at anything
close to f 5.6. Or I just never have. I'm usually at f11 where it is plenty
sharp and I've less a chance of missing my focus.
I have a hard time telling the difference between the two 90's; I use them
both on two bodies at the same time at these middle f stops.
At f 2.8 the Summicron would win out over the Elmarit but you'd not be using
strobes very likely at f 2.8. If you wanted to see the difference you'd be
using a solid tripod and slower films.
The 90 APO Asph is of the most modern line of Leica lens design technology.
The other lenses represent slightly older generational technologies of Leica
lens design. Not an issue with normal handheld photography or shooting at
f11 with studio strobes though.
The 100 is a macro lens optimized for close in and flat field as a macro is
supposed to be. It might be harder to focus at middle distances with the
short throw. And it is used with a groundglass and mirror for better or
I think the 60 is a different focal length from a 90 or 100 and therefore a
direct comparison is not possible to be made. I'd kill for one because of
the focal length among other things but not because I'd think it would
clearly win out over the 90 or 100's in the clarity of the pictures it would
produce in middle f stops or else ware. I severely doubt it would.
A 90 or 100 is a lens with some throw. Some grabbing power.
A 60mm is cropped normal (50mm). A formalized hyper corrected normal in this
case and in this case optimized for macro. Perfect for me.

I just shot a few hundred captures or whatever you want to call it of a red
headed model in my "studio" on the white backdrop. I used the 60 macro
Nikkor the whole time. But at 1.5 it becomes a 90.

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon


Replies: Reply from leica_korenman at (eric) ([Leica] R 90mm Elmarits sweet spot?)
In reply to: Message from mlquinn.mail at (Mike Quinn) ([Leica] R 90mm Elmarit's sweet spot?)