Leica Elmarit-R 90mm f/2.8
Leica Elmarit-R 90mm f/2.8 is short tele and about focal length I tend to use most often.
However after purchasing Canon EF85mm f/1.2 L USM mk2 and
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 I have very little use for
this lens. For travelling it's option for it's small size, but since I like Zeiss images
better I tend to take either Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 2.8/85 C/Y
or Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 3.5/100 C/Y with me instead. Sometimes
when Leica colors and Leica bokeh is preferred I use this lens.
On close-ups the performance is not as good as with
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100, not exactly surprise...
On medium and long focus distances the performance is very good.
Bokeh is very Leica-like, quite smooth and natural. I have never seen CA in bokeh
(which is most biggest problem with Canon 85L and to smaller extend problem with Zeiss
100mm Makro-Planar. Bokeh highlights are round and pretty smooth. Compared to the Zeiss
100mm Makro-Planar there is less bokeh meaning that the depth of fields is larger in Leica
at similar apertures.
Colors are very good as generally with Leicas, if you prefer Leica colors.
Build quality and basics
Lens body is made of metal and there is no wobbling or anything else strange. Build quality
cannot get any better.
Lens is very compact size: Length 81mm (with Leica-R adapter and EOS lens back cap and lens
front cap), diameter 65mm and distance from EOS mount with adapter to front of the lens is
60mm. Weight with Leica-R adapter and both caps is 499g.
Lenses minimum focusing distance is 0.70m, resulting about (calculated) magnification of
0.13x (1:7.8) meaning minimum area captured by fullframe camera is 28cm x 18.7cm.
Lens minimum aperture is f/22. Lens has 6 aperture blades, and aperture is hexaconal at f/5.6
and smaller aperture sizes.
Lens has integrated hood, which can be pulled from the lens. It extends about 15mm when focused
to 0.70m. Hood is pretty efficient considering that front element is about 1cm deeper that the
top of filter ring. The integrated hood extends about 21mm when extended.
Manual focus feeling is very good, there is just about correct amount of resistance. Focusing
from minimum distance to maximum distance takes about 270 degrees.
Lens also has proper depth of field scale. However on digital cameras I would
recommend 2-3 stop larger aperture scale since the circle of confusion is smaller
these days when digital SLRs enable much larger print sizes than film cameras, making
the depth of field therefore narrower.
+ Smooth bokeh even on distracting backgrounds (of course bad bokeh is possible with any lens
+ Compact size
+ Excellent build quality
- "only" f/2.8, well it's not this lens fault, there are Summicron and APO versions...
- Not very sharp at close-ups
See photos in my picturebank taken with this lens.
Pictures of lens
Lens has integrated hood, which can be pulled from the lens. It extends about 11mm. Hood is pretty efficient considering that front element is quite deep inside the lens.
Integrated lens hood at infinity and minimum focus distance
Integrated lens hood effectiveness when extended
Elmarit 90mm came with original Leica lens cap.