I already have a 75mm APO Summicron lens that I am quite pleased with. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to own a 90mm APO Summicron as well ($4,200 new). Since a new 90mm APO is out of my budget right now, that doesn’t mean I’m not on the hunt for one at a great deal.
One of the great things about Leica is that there are quite a few older lenses out there that are still remarkable. I was looking online when I found a used 90mm Tele-Elmarit-M f/2.8 at the Leica Store in Bellevue, WA for $500. Side note – this lens is older than I am!
I first read about this lens over at Ken Rockwell’s website. He said this type of lens is excellent. Various other reviews online share similar sentiments. I figured for $500 with a 30 day return policy, I couldn’t go wrong. Bellevue is about an hour or so drive away from me, so I decided to have the store mail it to me instead. Funny (now) thing, UPS lost the package in transit! It was sent from Seattle, down to Texas, then across the US, until if finally got back here. It should have been a one day delivery. Instead, it took a week and a half. Luckily, it got here in one piece.
For being a lens over 40 years old, it is in fantastic shape! The photos below are from the original listing on the Leica Store’s website. This is the actual lens. Upon inspecting the lens, the aperture and focus rings have just the right amount of resistance, and the aperture dial clicks into place (like new). I will definitely be buying used lenses from The Leica Store in the future.
- Focuses well
- Sharp – even at f/2
- Nothing like it for the price.
- Not as contrasty as todays modern lenses.
- Colors aren’t as good as todays lenses with modern coatings.
- Rubber hood and cap aren’t as good as today’s built in lens hoods like on the 75mm APO.
For $500, this lens is a keeper. Even if I get (when I get) a newer 90mm f/2 APO Summicron, I think I’ll still keep this lens for a vintage / more classical look.
The photos below were shot on a Leica M262 and edited using On1 Photo RAW 2018 with the Holga Preset enabled and tweaked. I liked the vintage feel of the preset, and tweaked it slightly.