90mm Elmar-4 Collapsible...what to expect?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by xcapekey.com, May 8, 2005.

  1. hey all...just won a supposedly excellent condition collapsible 90mm Elmar in M-
    Mount...it's the old one and not the Macro version...

    i was just wondering what to expect? i got it for what i think is a decent price
    (>$190)...does anyone have experience with this lens? any samples?


  2. make that less than $190...can you tell i wasn't a math major :)
  3. Did you mean, $189.99?
  4. close...came out to $183.50.... :)
  5. Well, I've seen them go for nearly double that, so I think you did fine!
  6. I use an early black uncoated version of this lens (thread mount) with my IIIb and IIIf. Wouldn't be without it now! Have just bought another.

  7. I have one that I am still experimenting with. My first impressions are that it is pretty good. My only observation is that it flares significantly without the lens hood (it takes the same hood as the 135mm tele-elmar), although unfortunately it looks pretty ugly with the black hood on (my wife's first observation).

    There doesn't seem to be a rear lens cap for the unextended lens, since when it is collapsed the lens protrudes out of the lens mount, so I am not sure how this lens is supposed to be carried in the bag.
  8. The protruding rear element (when collapsed)does not appear to be a feature of the new 90 mm macro, which makes it a much more compact lens for travel.
  9. Russ, I bought one two weeks ago and put it on the M2 and put a film through it. I use the 12550 hood for the current 50mm Elmar which seems to work. Below are some shots from that first roll of film. They were scanned by the developers and haven't been altered in PS except for rotation and resizing for PN. It's a great lens and not much bigger than a rigid 'cron when closed up on the M2. Did you buy it from Australia by any chance? David
  10. Another
  11. And a third
  12. 5.6 is a sharp as it gets. It takes the same special rear cap as the 21 3.4. Lots a luck.

    It is as good as any of the more modern 90`s except the apo, asph ones. What is missing compared to the most modern 90 is the ability to resolve small details and separate very close tones. It is not a bad lens, just not up to current standards.

    Keep in mind, many do not like the new glass as it is too sharp.

    Use and enjoy with a lens shade. You will be happy.
  13. ...am awaiting a "rigid" version I bought for $183. I understand it's the same formula, etc.
  14. Hello Russ,

    Congratulations on your purchase. You did very well indeed.

    It's a great lens. Very sharp optics.

    I have mine permanently affixed to my single stroke, butter smooth, Sherry Krauter CLA'd M3. Without doubt the M3 is the best rangefinder for the 90mm. M3's and 90mm are a great combination .

    I agree with Ronald. Stop it down to f5.6 and you will see it is beautifully sharp.

    I think it is sharper than the first version 90/2.8 Elmarit which I also own.

    It is also a beautifully built and magnificently finished lens.

    Good shooting.

  15. SCL


    I used two of these in the 80's & 90's and sold my last one last year. It is a good lens and you should be pleased with the results. The price you paid, if the lens is solid, clean lens etc, was a good deal. I've sold them for several times that amount on the Bay.
  16. I have some experience w/the 90/4 collapsible Elmar (in fact, it was my 1st Leica-compatible telephoto/long lens). It's a good lens, but definitely tends to produce an "old-school" look, like other lenses from the same era (e.g., 50/2 DR & Rigid Summicron), i.e., plenty of resolution, but not as much contrast as modern glass, particularly @ the wider apertures. As Enrique points out, it can be susceptible to flare without a hood (or when shooting into strong light sources, whether you have a hood or not). The collapsible feature is cool, although somewhat offset by the "official" IUFOO/12575 hood, which is kind of big (it does reverse for storage).

    FYI, I had an extra 90/4 which I sold to Richard Sintchak, who occasionally posts on this forum, so you might want to ping him for his opinion.
  17. Great! Thanks for all the responses...the seller was from the US....hoping it should arrive
    in the next few days....i've been looking to fill the tele void after i sold my 85 and i'm
    hoping this will work out...i wish it were a little faster, but i find i shoot a lot of portraits
    with a 50mm so i think i can live with it for now :)
  18. Russ: I think you will be very happy with your 90. I have used mine for years and I love it.
    Yes, you definitely need the lenshood. After f5.6 it is quite sharp, but you can make nice
    portraits wide open. Mechanically, it is exquisite. I would starve to death before I would
    sell mine. Happy shooting!
  19. This was taken at F4 with the Collapsible Elmar.
  20. This should be a super lens. It utilized only the center portion of a low speed Tessar type lens, but I've never thought that it was more than just "adequate."
  21. David Watts Are you an Adelaidian?? - I recognised the photos. I am from Adders but am presently resident in the eastern states. Every time I get back there I love to bring my Leica to do some streetscape shooting.


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