POLL: Would you buy a Leica M mount 90 f/2 Lens for $250?

POLL!

OK, quick poll. SLR Magic is thinking about releasing a Leica M mount 90 f/2 lens in the $250 range. They have made a prototype and are wondering if it is something they should release. I’m just not sure how popular the 90mm focal length is these days. So the question is…if there was a 90mm f/2 Leica M mount lens available with decent build and a little bit smaller than the 90 Summicron, AND it had very good quality…would you buy one for $250 or less?

The company is SLR Magic, the same guys that brought us the Toy lens for micro 4/3 and the 35 1.7 for NEX mount. The 90 would be an all new lens, not a toy lens. Here is the sample I was sent from their prototype which they say is 70% of the final quality.

So, what do you think?

[polldaddy poll=4383235]

54 Comments

  1. It’s good to have competition and more options at different price points, so I hope this will happen. As an M8 user, I’m more interested in a 75, though. I already have a 90/2 (well, an 85/1.9 actually) that I don’t use too often.

  2. I NEVER use 90mm on an M, thats why I voted yes! If i could get a cheapass 90/2 to play with, that will give, if nothing else, unique results, it could be very well worth it. So why not.

  3. Hell, Yeah! I would buy one – BUT only if it is capable of sharp prints at least 30x20cm

    There is defenetly a market for it – how many people (including myself) have at least at first spend 7-8K $ on M9 and then kept using “shitty” lenses at the first stage….

    P.S. By sharp i mean at least having some part of the image that doesn’t look to blured….

  4. If that image is representative of the lens (what does “70 % of the quality” mean, actually?!?), I wouldn’t take it if they gave it away for free.

  5. Why not but it would need to perform better than their 35mm and rangefinder coupling also better be accurate @ 90mm f/2!

    • Yeah, and getting the coupling to be spot on @ f/2 on a 90mm won’t be an easy task for them I wager. Still, it will be most interesting to see how well they do with this lens and I personally wish them all the best with it and hope for them it works out well. πŸ™‚

  6. Your poll is missing an option! Yes, I’d be interested … in an LTM version. If it’s M-mount only, I’ll pass.

  7. I paid $ 500 for a mint 90mm f/2,8 Elmarit-M and if had the choice between that one and a toy one for $250 I would buy the Elmarit.

  8. I’ve been using Leicas for over 40 years (Ms, Rs, IIIs) – but always with Leica lenses. Until the last year when I bought a couple of the Cosina-Voigtlander lenses, and even use them on my M9. I’ve been very pleased with them, and the general quality is impressive for the cost.
    I’d be willing to try a $250 lens, but I’d be skeptical. I do use 90 a lot, both on my Ms and R, as 90 works so well on a reflex, but also nice on the RF. I use a “fat” tele-Elmarit from 69 on my M9, and it’s a great combination – small size and easy to handle. On the M9 the 2.8 is fast enough, and on a 90 still gives shallow DOF. The Summicron-R is great on the reflex, where the size balances well.
    So at $250 I’d think a smaller, slower lens would be a good option.

  9. If it is truly an f2 lens and really sells for $250 I think that they would sell like crazy. Even many of those who buy ‘only’ Leica glass would buy the lens just for the fun of it! If they can produce an acceptable f2 lens for that price I wonder if they could do an f1 at some ridiculously low price?

    • What is the demand for a 50 f1 and what is ridiculously low price?

      There is already the Noctilux 50 f1 and f0.95 and there is already a Nokton f1.1

      • Well, the Leica market is a niche market to begin with but within that market I see a pretty high demand for the big aperture lenses. The f0.95 is $10,000 + while the Nokton f1.1 is about a $1,000. So, just guessing, I think that a sub $500 f1 would sell pretty well. Playing with the knife edge depth of field that one would get with such a lens would be a lot of fun!

  10. Full frame 90mm F2 gives very shallow depth of field but the 70% quality appears to be on the right hand side as the bottles are pretty much equip-distant from the sensor.
    The sample looks de-centered unfortunately.
    If the production versions are much less so the lens could be fun for sure.
    I enjoyed the 35mm f1.7.

    • We cant expect $3500 Summicron performance from a $250 lens. For this being a prototype, and a final version coming in at $250 or less..seems impressive to me but it’s not a replacement for a top drawer lens like the 90 cron.

  11. Even though this is a prototype, it is already exhibiting the odd focus plane effects of their 35mm f1.7. I’d be afraid that, like the 35/1.7, SLR Magic’s 90 f2 would be reserved for special effect.

  12. Love my 90 Cron pre-Asph, but it rarely gets used, because it’s so big and heavy. Almost anti-Leica. Moreover, like someone said above, the frame lines area is tiny even in a 0.85 VF, which makes focusing a little bit more difficult. If I need length in the M, I typically use the CV 75/2.5, which is light, relatively smaller (about the same size as 50 Lux), and sharp wide open.

    • Oopst, I guess I should have answered the poll question. Yes, I’d probably get a $250 90/2 if it is light and compact, and provides decent IQ.

  13. I dropped Β£800 on a used 90mm Cron pre-Asph a while back. I wanted it my bag as I’m used to shooting a Canon 85 1.2L and the focal range is similar enough. 50 and 35 mm do me proud. Its me least used lens, so if this lens made it to market I might consider doing the swapperoo but the 90mm pre-Asph is still a nice lens. If this new one was smaller and lighter then who knows. If it had a focusing nub on the barrel that would be a bonus, but unlikely due to the distance the focus ring has to turn on a 90. More info when you get it please Steve!! πŸ˜‰

  14. To my eyes the DOF is going from the right to the left. Anyway it’s behaving is very strange. How did they do that? Or maybe there’s something wrong with my eyes πŸ™‚

  15. Considering you can buy a Leica Elmar C 90mm for under Β£250 in the UK and even cheaper in the US why bother looking elsewhere is my view? I mean, $250 is a great price for an f/2.0 lens but surely most would rather buy Leica glass every time when there’s so little between price even though we are comparing this with an f/4 lens? I wouldn’t want one either way as 50mm is as long as I go with an RF. πŸ™‚

  16. according to the picture it appears to have a tilt feature. those two groups of wine bottles are on not too distant planes. this is weird. but i’d like a 90mm tilt for my m6’s πŸ™‚

    • Well spotted. And did you notice the corks to the right and slightly behind the in-focus bottles are sharpish, but the corks between the two groups of bottles are not, despite appearing to be on the same plane? Is this why the lens may be on offer for just $250?

  17. If they did a 28mm f/2 for €250 I’d be more interested.

    I had a look at the EXIF data on that image and it reads M9 with a Leica Summicron-M 90mm f/2 (II) – what’s that all about then?

    • .
      “..it reads M9 with a Leica Summicron-M 90mm f/2 (II) – what’s that all about then?..”

      Used on an M9, lenses may have either a code made of 6 black and white blobs on their mounts (which is read by photocell on the camera, thus telling the camera the type and model of lens which is attached) OR you can manually choose – from a list displayed on the screen on the back of the camera – which lens to *pretend* you’ve attached (..the nearest equivalent Leica own-brand lens..) so that the EXIF data reminds you which focal length you used for the shot.

      So either [a] (..but this one’s unlikely..) the lens had been ‘coded’ by having the appropriate blobs painted onto its mount, or [b] (..very likely..) the photographer chose “90mm f/2 (II)” as a suitable equivalent from the list offered by the ‘Manual’ setting in the camera’s menus. (Choosing a particular item from the camera’s list also alters the correction which the camera applies to ‘peripheral fall-off’, or lack of light reaching the sensor at the picture corners, and can provide some correction for the colour bias of some lenses.)

      So you can shoot with, say, a 90mm lens, but actually have the correction (and name) set in the camera – and in the EXIF file – for a 50mm lens, or a 24mm or even a 16mm if you want. The camera only sets the EXIF data *automatically* and *accurately* if you choose the option ‘AUTO’ in the camera’s own menus, and the lens actually has the correct black and white blobs painted on it.

  18. No, I would probably not buy one as I already have 6 or 7 lenses in the 85-105mm range. However, the more options the better.

  19. If it’s comparable with the leica in image quality and compact enough then 250$ is worth having it in the camera bag even if it’s being used a few times.

  20. I have a non-asph 90mm Summicron, it is indeed a big lens, but that’s not a drawback to use it for me. What’s more important is that the framed area in the viewfinder is tiny. I would recommend them to include a cheap and cheerfull viewfinder enlarger/loupe so that focussing will become a bit easier (could also be optional of course)..

  21. Probably not terribly useful on my Epson R-D1, but if I had a FF rangefinder I’d be interested. Of course, if I had a $7,000 rangefinder that would probably mean I could afford more expensive lenses.

    • With the R-D1 this would give you a 135 f2. The crop factor gives you a huge advantage with this lens over the M8 and M9’s. In my opinion the best focal length for head shots!

      • Yes, 135mm is a nice focal length for head shots. But with the R-D1’s short rangefinder base length, I doubt I could reliably achieve accurate focus with it.

  22. Sounds like a good deal and lens for the money. I just bought a 90 Summicron PRE-ASPH E55 myself for a little over 3 times the price. At the very least it would be a good novelty lens for those who aren’t sure about the 90mm focal length.

  23. Darn, you beat me to post the news! πŸ™‚ There’s a thread on dpreview Leica Talk forum, showing a sample picture and also naming the company that’s developing the lens. Looks like it could be released very soon.

  24. Not sure about the quality of the lens for $250.

    I am more interested in “a FF M-mount digital rangefinder for $2500” :))

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