Summicron-m 90 versions

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sumo_kun, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. I've searched for a while on the variations of the summicron-m 90 but I only came up with the following versions/variations:
    1. Early long chrome version
    2. Version 2, long with telescopic hood
    3. E49? Canada hood covers aperture ring
    4. E55, Canada same as above but reworked so hood doesn't cover aperture ring?
    5. Canada Midland version...?
    Now I have seen pictures of all these lenses but there is the below picture of a lens which looks like the Version 2 above except it has both rings knurled where in all the pictures I have seen anyway, the focus ring is scalloped like the bottom picture. Are these the same lens but just with a minor variation?
  2. According to the Sartorius book, there are three versions before the APO. The first, a short-lived series, without a built-in
    hood, from the mid-fifties. Then, the second (and longest produced one) version with the telescopic hood and a a 48mm
    filter size thread. This one was in production for about 20 years, from 1958 or 1960, to 1979 or 1980, when the third,
    slightly smaller, shorter and with a one-piece telescopic hood and a 55mm filter size, was introuduced. This latter one was
    followed by the APO, which, I believe, started in 2000...

    So, it's only three versions. Apparently, the first and second were made in Canada, but the third and fourth are from
  4. The one on the picture is the second version in black, made sometime in the late sixties or during the seventies, with a built-in two piece telescopic hood. Nothing unusual about it. There never was a 2/90 where the hood covered the aperture ring. The one on the pic was followed by a thinner and lighter non-apo 2/90, which was followed by the apo 2/90, which is the latest design.
  5. to add to the fun, i have something like the second version, only it has a two-ring preset diaphragm. i've never seen it (in the long mount) on any leica pr0n page... hmmm... could it be "rare"? :)
  6. The commonly known versions, as listed on the site above are what I described as 1, 2, and 4. 3 was a very early 4 and was only produced for 1 year. There is one for sale on KEH right now. In my picture, the top one seems to be an ordinary version 2. But the bottom picture looks like a version 1 but with an aperture ring that is not scalloped. Is this a later version?
    Oh and there was of course the preset model :) I think Ron Mowrey (sp?) has one. I came across a few of his posts a few times in my search of the archives.
  7. I had a second version Summicron 90mm whose base (remember, these lenses had detachable fronts so they could be used with Visoflex accesories) had DOF markings for f22. The lens won't close beyond f16.

    I asked Don Goldberg about it... and he said that in the Leica plant, workers sometimes used whatever was there at hand. Now, what Leica long lens closes all the way to f22? I have no clue... but then, my lens wasn't "rare" but rather "special." Yours, with a non-scalloped aperture ring, is probably a case like mine... which, BTW, looked A LOT like the one in your photograph.
  8. I'm quite familiar all the black versions in question as I've owned them all at different times. Here's the scoop, the large black version of the 2nd optical configuration from the early 1960's to late 1970's were optically unchanged as a modified double Gauss design but the cosmetics improve during that period. Initially both rings were scalloped (v2.1), later the aperture ring was milled but the aperture ring remained scalloped (v2.2) and at the end of run, both rings were milled (v2.3). More importantly, the aperture ring on v2.3 was improved by making it's direction & sequence consistent with their other lenses and apertures engraved were on the rotating aperture ring. Earlier versions v2.1 and v2.2 had fixed apertures on the barrel with f/22 at the left and f/2 on the right but it was the index dot on the aperture ring that moved when turned to indicate the correct setting. Interestingly this arrangement works out exactly the same as current lenses with regards to rotation of the ring to the right opening up the aperture. V2.1 and v2.2 also had dual threaded tripod mounts while v2.3 only had the standard 1/4"x20 threaded mount. It was the last with the detachable lens head for Viso use. Version 3 was optically improved as a more compact Ernostar design, had two cosmetically different versions though it's run and a minimum aperture of f/16. The v3.1 had a short run of a year or so and was the smallest and lightest of the 90 Summicrons weighing in at only 410 grams. This had an E49 filter thread and the sliding hood covered the aperture ring when retracted making it very compact and handy. Later V3.2 came out and this was the version that remained for most of the run. It's filter thread was E55 and was heavier by about 50 grams with a hood that didn't cover the aperture ring when retracted down. The extra weight and mechanics made feel and handling a little more robust. All versions prior to the ASPH were made in Canada, designed by Walter Mandler and were excellent performers even by todays standards.

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