Walter Mandler became very frustrated when the first generation Summicron 90mm lens did not gain popularity due to its large size. In response, he designed the second generation Summicron 90mm f/2, which was a great success. The optical design remained unchanged from 1980 to 1998, highlighting the historical significance of the E55 version lens. Despite advancements in technology, later 90mm lenses using ASPH and APO technology were unable to reduce size and weight, making the E55 version a popular choice.
Considering its usage, I believe the second generation Summicron 90mm f/2 E55 or E49 version is the most suitable option. These lenses are not too old and can be found in good condition, making them both economical and affordable. The E55 version boasts an attractive design and is almost the same size as the 90AA but lighter. It produces sharp portraits when wide open and sharp landscapes when stopped down one stop. In essence, the E55 version offers the same quality as the more expensive 90AA, making it an excellent choice.
Weight of the 90mm lens
While the big Summicron 90mm lens initially met my image quality standards, its large size became a hindrance and I ultimately sold it. As a Leica M user, I understand the importance of lens size. However, after investing some additional funds, I acquired the second generation E55 and it completely changed my perspective on the 90mm lens. This version is much more practical to carry around, and the F2 aperture is nothing short of impressive.
90mm is a peak
When it comes to photography, there is often a gap between what we envision and what we can actually capture. This gap is often represented by a mountain made up of cameras and lenses, which can be difficult to overcome. Some photographers have successfully navigated this mountain, while others have become lost in the valleys below.
In the world of Leica photography, it’s common for users to own several 50mm and 35mm lenses, as well as a single 21mm or 28mm wide-angle lens. However, only a select few have ventured to the peak of the 90mm lens. This suggests that the 90mm lens holds a special significance within the world of Leica lenses. If it were truly unnecessary, why would it have been retained from the M3 to the MP?
With the advent of high pixel count cameras, the importance of the 90mm lens may seem to have diminished. After all, the field of view of a 90mm lens can be replicated by cropping an image taken with a 50mm lens. However, by viewing the world through a 90mm lens, one can discover a whole new perspective. The 90mm lens has a more focused field of view than the 50mm lens, allowing it to extract subjects from their surroundings. This makes it an ideal lens for portraits and close-up shots. However, as exemplified by the work of Saul Leiter, a 90mm lens can also be used for street photography, where it can capture the elegant interplay of light and shadow in a way that sparks the imagination.
So despite the challenges that may come with climbing the peak of the 90mm lens, the rewards are worth it. The unique perspective offered by this lens can reveal a whole new world of possibilities in photography.
90mm lens focusing
As the focal length increases, rangefinder focusing accuracy decreases in a linear fashion, while SLR focusing accuracy increases linearly. At the point where the two lines intersect, a significant fork is formed, with the 90mm point being the intersection’s midpoint. Beyond the 90mm point, the rangefinder’s focusing accuracy does not surpass that of an SLR. For this reason, I usually avoid 135mm lenses and leave them to the adapter party.
The focusing range of a 90mm lens is still quite extensive, and it can be challenging to master without proper techniques. By the time you have achieved precise focus, the ideal shooting moment may have already passed. Therefore, I have compiled some useful focusing techniques for using a 90mm lens:
- To shorten your focusing time, set your focus to 5 meters and estimate the distance between your subject and yourself in advance. Typically, you should estimate around 10 meters for distant subjects and 2 meters for close ones.
- Using an M3 body can be beneficial since it has a magnification of 0.91 and a super-large focusing screen. Additionally, consider equipping a viewfinder magnifier to further improve your focusing accuracy.
- Pre-focusing can also be useful. Wait for your subject to move to the desired position and then press the shutter. However, it’s best to avoid blind shooting, as the depth of field for a 90mm lens is often too shallow, resulting in wasted shots.
Code: SOOZI(screw mount, removable le lens head) SEOOF 11123(screw mount, built-in lens hood), S0OZI-M(bayonet), SEOOF-M or SEOOM 11123 (bayonet), ZOOEP 11133: lens head onl Serial#:1,119,001-n/a ly
Total production: n/a
Maximum aperture: 1: 2
Focal length(nominal): gomm
Minimum distance: 100cm Weight: 685 grams Filter: E48
Vignetting is 0.9 stops and there is very slight barrel distortion. At maximum aperture overall contrast is medium with good definition of fine detail over the whole picture area There is still some sensitivity to flare.
Maximum aperture: 1: 2 Angle: 270 Minimum distance: 100cm Filter: E48
Leave a Reply