New Summicron-R 90mm in Spring 2002 + Elmarit-R 24mm : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I have just heard from Leica AG that a new Summicron-R 90mm ROM will be released early next year. The old 3-CAM design could not be retrofitted with the ROM contacts as there was not enough room on the R mount. I was told that the lens design will be new but did not get the chance to find out whether it would have APO lenses as in the 90mm Summicron-M.

For those like me fretting over whether to buy the 24mm Elmarit-R on account of its possible Minolta "re-badging", Leica has said that that lens was always made AND designed by Leica. The front lens element is however made by Kyocera but everything else is by Leica (but isn't the front lens element the most critical lens?!) The new ROM version features a built-in lens hood. There is no plan to introduce an aspherical version of the Elmarit-R 24mm. And despite trawling through the web in search of detractors of the Elmarit-R 24mm, I believe only Erwin Puts has said that the Elmarit-M 24mm Asph.'s performance is a quantum leap ahead of the Elmarit-R 24mm. Everybody else who owns it seems happy enough though none has made a direct comparison between the 2 24mm lenses. For what's it's worth, the highly regarded Chasseur d'Image apparently rated this 4 ****/** though when I ordered the full Leica R lens test folio from them, I could not find a test report on the Elmarit-R 24mm. If any Elmarit-R 24mm users out there think I should not get this lens please STOP me! Thanks!

-- David Yeo (, October 10, 2001


I cannot say how Leica is making the 24/2.8R now but it was a Minolta optical design. Perhaps Leica has subsequently modified it but only slightly as the posted optical schematics have not changed. Minolta also used to (still?) produce and supply most of the optical elements. Leica always made the mount and did the assembly. (sources: Lager, Sartorius, Putts and Laney)

I have heard good and fair reports on the lens. Why not buy a used one first to try. If you love it you can sell the used one and buy a ROM version. At least you should have no problem selling the used one and getting your money back (unfortunately not true of new R stuff).


-- John Collier (, October 10, 2001.

David, I used a 24R lens for about 5 years and although it was used a fair amount I can say with some confidence that it was definately not one of Leica's best, ok at around f4-5.6 but lacking in clarity of fine detail and contrast compared to the 'M' wide's. In it's defence though the clip on hood was superb and the build quality outstanding, but if the new version has the same style of built in hood as the new 28R then I would avoid it as I consider it rubbish by comparison.

-- Gary Yeowell (,uk), October 10, 2001.

The 24 R is an OK lens but not a patch on the M version. I fully concur with Erwin on this issue.

-- rob (, October 10, 2001.

Apologies if I gave anyone the impression that there will be a new Elmarit-R 24mm. There will be a new Summicron-R 90mm but not a new Elmarit-R 24mm. By the way, has anyone compared an older Elamarit-R 24mm with a more recent version? Is there a difference? Thanks again.

-- David Yeo (, October 10, 2001.

I hope the new Leica Summicron-R 90mm lens will be an APO. Currently using an older 90mm Summi-R as my "normal" lens on R8. Would like to have a new super-sharp version since I shoot most of my pictures with this lens. LB

-- Luther Berry (, October 11, 2001.

A new APO 90mm is a good thing - of course the price will be terrible. They had better make it APO though otherwise I am not sure there is a point to it, as the old one is a lovely portrait lens at a very reasonable price. Of course it will make the 100mm APO less useful to the general user. I rather wish they had gone for a 135mm f/2 APO as this would be a wholly new lens and something that is not in the M line.

As to the 24mm - I have never used one, but the current 28mm-R is a truly excellent lens and it is better than the older 28mm, which was not at all bad, so I suspect that performance-wise the current 28mm is a better lens than the 24mm-R. I guess they could do with a redesigned 24mm, but I can't get worked up about it. The current 19mm and 28mm seem to fit the w/a scene for me for the R.

-- Robin Smith (, October 16, 2001.

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