Which Leica 90mm Lens

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: sep 2010; revised: mar 2018; readers past month: 897

Leica APO-Summicron 90mm f/2 Lens

As a result of messages I’ve received related to my post about the two Zeiss ZM 85mm lenses and another in which I am considering the Leica 90mm Lens, I’ve begun looking for a 90mm Leica lens. I’ve been checking out the ones suggested here. However, I have no sense of what lenses should cost, no way to gauge them. Maybe y’all can give me some guidance in this area, although I’m departing from my own topic.

I found a listing for a Summicron 90mm f/2 in black, made in Canada. It says something about it being a 55 — that seems to be the filter size. It’s priced around a $1000. That sounds fantastic compared to the new version of that model. However, I suspect it’s pretty old. I’m concerned that, despite being supposedly in excellent condition, it may have some of the usual problems associated with an old lens.

I found another one that a few people recommended, an Elmarit 90mm f2.8, also in black, but made in Germany. The advertisement associated with it states it’s a 39. Again, that’s the filter size. This one goes for a bit over $450. This lens is also reportedly in excellent condition. I trust the sellers of both these to rate properly their lenses. It’s just that I suspect that excellent condition for a new lens is different from excellent condition for a thirty year old lens.

So, I’m wondering if these good prices. I may not buy these particular ones, but I’d like to learn how to spot a good lens in this focal length from Leica. I need to do more research to be able to understand how to value an old Leica lens, and to develop an expectation which is adjusted fairly.