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Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [II]

Short telephoto prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Abbreviations

II Second generation.

Model history

Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [IV] [LSM]M3 - 31mE39 1964 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [IV]M3 - 31mE39 1964 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [III]M4 - 31mE39 1954 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [II]M4 - 31mE39 1954 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [II] [LSM]M4 - 31m 1933 
Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [I] [LSM]M4 - 31mA36 1931 

Features highlight

Manual
15 blades
MF
Lightweight

Specification

Production details
Announced:1933
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:ELANG / 11730
ELANG / 11030
Original name:Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Elmar f=9cm 1:4
System: Leica SM (1930)
Optical design
Focal length:90mm
Speed:F/4
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Leica screw mount [28.8mm]
Diagonal angle of view:27° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction:4 elements - 3 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:15
Focusing
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m (coupled focusing)
Maximum magnification ratio:<No information>
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:200g
Maximum diameter x Length:<No information>
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:<No information>
Lens hood:IUFOO / 12575
Lens caps:FIRHU / 35252 / 66835 (rear)
FIRHY / 35252a (rear)
ORYFO / ORYFOCHROM / 14050 (rear)

*) Sources of data: Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 11-34d) (January 1963) ● Interchangeable lenses are giving your LEICA new perspective booklet (PUB. 11-34) (April 1960) ● Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 11-34b) (October 1961) ● Leica lenses booklet (PUB. 1356) (March 1950).

**) Some basic information is missing in the specification as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer description #1

The Elmar 90mm. (3 1/2"), F:4 long-focus lens is one of the most popular Leitz lenses for portrait and landscape work, its light weight being a special advantage when working without a tripod - since a heavier lens may cause camera motion in hand-held exposures.

Manufacturer description #2

Elmar 90mm., f/4 (3 1/2"), angle 27 deg., belongs to the same type of objective as Elmar 50mm., f/3.5. What was stated there with respect to the correction conditions and optimum sharpness applies here. The very slight effect of vignetting in this objective is worth mentioning. It is particularly suited for portrait photography, but can be used very successfully for scenery and for all purposes where a relatively long focal length is needed.

Manufacturer description #3

One of the classic LEICA lenses, the 90mm ELMAR was first introduced more than 30 years ago, and few lenses have ever earned such universal respect as this famous member of the LEICA lens lineup. Though not a high-speed lens, its f/4 aperture provides sufficient speed for many photographers who prize its extreme compactness and light weight. Like the 90mm ELMARIT, the 90mm ELMAR's triplet design makes it especially desirable for extreme close-range applications.

From the editor

"Thin" Elmar (1933). The slimmer, handier lens in gloss black, with at first the focusing scale and rear flange in nickel, and later in bright chrome. Later in the 1930's the focusing scale ring was in matte chrome, but the base ring remained in bright chrome. In 1949 the finish was changed entirely to satin chrome. Coating introduced from No. 592451 in 1946.

"New style" (1951). Satin chrome lens with a vulcanite band around the base. The diaphragm ring turned in the opposite direction to that in earlier versions and was calibrated with the international scale, with minimum aperture of F/32. The front bezel was increased in diameter to accept screw-type 39mm filters. From 1954 the lens was also available in the M mount.

Typical application

portraits, travel

Notes and recommendations

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

3.5 Canon 100mm F/3.5 I [LSM] S.VI 1953 
3.5 Canon 100mm F/3.5 II [LSM] ⌀34 1958 
3.5 Canon 100mm F/3.5 III [LSM] ⌀40 1960 
4.0 Canon Serenar 100mm F/4 I [LSM] S.VI 1948 
4.0 Canon Serenar 100mm F/4 II [LSM] S.VI 1950 
4.0 Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [IV] [LSM] E39 1964 
4.0 Leitz Wetzlar Elmar 90mm F/4 [I] [LSM] A36 1931 
Small-batch production
3.5 Cosina Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 90mm F/3.5 MC [LSM] ⌀39 2001 

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

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Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best slow short telephoto primes

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Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

IUFOO / 12575 (1956)

Introduced for ELMAR 90mm and HEKTOR 135mm. Double trigger fastening. Early version had narrow chrome band and was engraved on the black portion "Elmar 9cm Hektor 13.5cm". Later version had wide chrome band carrying the above engraving. Later still engraving was: "1:4.5/135 1:2.8/90 12575N 1:4/135 1:4/90". Final version was all black.

FIRHU / 35252 / 66835

Dust cap, for screwing on base of LEICA lens when not in use.

FIRHY / 35252a

Dust cap, chromium plated, for screwing on base of LEICA lens when not in use.

ORYFO / ORYFOCHROM / 14050

Rear cover, chromium plated, for screwing on base of LEICA lens when not in use.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.