“Less is more”– Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
This is a short article about my experience on the second (thin) version of Tele-Elmarit (11800) from the 70s. Previous I used it mainly on the Leica M10. This is my first walkabout with this lens on the Sigma Fp. Photo above shows the flare point at a bright light source.
I enjoy small lenses, because the smaller they are, the more likely that I will take them out casually. It is physically the same size as my Elmar-C, but one stop faster. It is the smallest 90mm M lens, excluding the collapsible. One less glass elements compare to the previous ‘fat’ version.
A four elements four groups pre-asph/pre-APO design, it has medium contrast at full aperture, with nice detail clarity at the centre and the field with weaker far corners. Stop down to F4-F5.6 it sharpen up with excellent contrast across the frame. The photos it produces has a classic look.
Being just over 60mm long, with 39mm filter thread and 225g weight, ergonomically this lens is great balance on the Sigma fp via Leica M Adaptor-L. Without autofocus or lens-based image stabilisation, this is much smaller than native L-mount lenses and fit this body perfectly. The handling is nice and tactile, with distinct half click-stops and a very smooth focus rotation.
The image quality is superb, and I like the organic feel in the rendering with airiness, transparency and depth. I love the subtle fine details it can captures.
The Sigma fp can lower ISO down to ISO 6, but I don’t have my tripod on the day out so I didn’t try it out. I believe the camera combines mulitple exposures to simulates a digital ND filter effect . It is possible to get the silky flowing effects. That can be a topic of a future review.
Photo above should its ability to capture details. You can see the softness at the very corner at full aperture. I like it drawing out emotion from the scene.
While this combo does not have optical stabilisation on lens or body, I can easily handheld night shots with available light setting lens to F2.8, 1/80s and ISO3200. It is perfectly usable at low light scenes.
A short tele compresses the perspective of a scene and let photographer focus on specific interest. After work, I stroll around the city with the fp and the 90mm, and love the narrow field of view to study subjects in busy scenes.
The 90mm Tele-Elmarit lens is a very economical lens, small and light. The combo inspires me to go out and take more photos of this style. Old gears urges me to get out to capture our worlds beautifully.
Find Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm F2.8 on Ebay