Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/06/06

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Subject: [Leica] Re:90mm's
From: pklein at (Peter Klein)
Date: Tue Jun 6 21:12:19 2006

Chris, there were some mail burps going on Sunday and Monday.

The Fat 90 TE was my second Leica lens ever.  Bought it in 1970, sold it in 
1976, so I'm relying on memory here.  I shot a lot of Kodachromes with it, 
and some Tri-X as well.  The only quarrel I had with it was that it wasn't 
f/2.  I used it in the mountains of New Hampshire a fair amount, and was 
happy about its size and weight.  A very handy lens.

IIRC, Erwin Puts and Stephen Gandy both mention that the CV 90/3.5 is 
probably a better shooter than any of the old Leica 90/2.8s.  I have the CV 
90, and I can tell you that at f/3.5 and f/4 it is noticeably better than 
my old 1960s 90 Elmarit.  The old Elmarit is very sharp stopped down, but 
can have a little bit of edge "glow" in the highlights. This can be 
wonderful, or you might not like it.

The 1960s Elmarit is supposed to be a little better than either version TE, 
especially close up. That's one problem with all the "tele" 90s--they need 
to be stopped down at 1-2 meters.  I do remember that f/2.8 was an 
"emergencies only" or available light stop, whereas the CV 90 is fully 
usable wide open.

I don't remember the fat TE being particularly flare-prone. I had no 
special hood for it--I just used the same vented hood that I used on the 50 
DR.   But I didn't shoot it into the light much back then.  My DR Summicron 
was a little better at wider stops.  Nothing you wouldn't expect.  The fat 
TE doesn't have the glass-eating rear element fog problem that some thin 
TEs contract.

If I were you, I would try to borrow one and shoot the kind of stuff you 
plan to use it for.  Leica-mount 90s and 85s can become a bit addictive, 
and the Search for the Perfect One can get a bit Ponce de Leon.  I ought to 
know--I've tried seven and owned six over the years.


At 11:54 AM 6/6/2006 -0700, Chris Williams wrote:
>At least I got one good response about a Fat 90. Next time I won't bother