Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/07/06

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Subject: [Leica] Elmarit vs. Anything Cheaper, or is this a good buy?
From: pklein at (Peter Klein)
Date: Tue Jul 6 20:14:05 2004

Jeff:  By all accounts, the current 90 Elmarit is a great lens.  However, 
it is heavy (about 400 gm). There are lighter and less pricey 
alternatives.  The wider open you shoot, the more you need the more 
expensive lenses.  Any of the alternatives will do you fine at f/8.

The C/V 90/3.5 APO Lanthar is a great travel lens, small, light, and very 
close in performance to the Elmarit.  You can use it wide-open with the 
same performance as stopped down!  I got one used for $235 recently, and I 
love it.  You'll need an LTM-M adapter.

A non-asph 90 Summicron from the 1982-3 and later is of similar weight and 
performance to the Elmarit, and has an extra stop when you need it.  $600 - 

The classic 1960s 90/2.8 Elmarit is long and skinny, and a little soft wide 
open, but it makes a great portrait lens at f/4 and is beautiful for any 
purpose at f/5.6 and smaller.  Erwin says it is better than either of the 
tele-Elmarit versions.  And it is an underated lens, therefore relatively 
inexpensive.  Mid $300s.  The tele-Elmarit versions are supposed to have 
more flare and less contrast, but are smaller.  I'd take the C/V Lanthar 
over the tele versions optically.

If you already have one, you can try the J-9. But beware that many do not 
focus correctly on Leicas--they are off either at infinity or closer than 
about 8 feet.  If you can borrow an adapter, try it and make a few test 
shots.  If you don't already have the lens in LTM, I wouldn't recommend 
going there.

Hope this is helpful!

At 11:12 AM 7/6/04 -0700, Jeff Sumner <> wrote:

>I?ve the opportunity to buy a nearly unused late model (last couple of
>years) 90mm Elmarit for about $950. The lens is in nearly new shape.
>Here?s the rub. I?m used to the focal length by way of the J-9 on a Contax.
>I?ve only a 50mm and 35mm for my M-6, and I?d like to get a longer lens
>before I go on vacation.
>If the lens is in the almost completely unused condition, would many on the
>group pay $950 for a black Elmarit based on the extraordinary optical
>performance? To be honest, I?m a bit strapped for the purchase of the M-6. I
>don?t mind getting older lenses if they?ll perform reasonably for the money
>(and am considering just going to a Hektor for the tight shots for the
>I?m not going to monkey with a J-9 LTM lens, I?ve heard too many nightmares
>with focusing and other issues.

Replies: Reply from feli at (Feli di Giorgio) ([Leica] Elmarit vs. Anything Cheaper, or is this a good buy?)