Review: Leitz Wetzlar Elmar-C 1:4/90

The Leitz Wetzlar Elmar-C 1:4/90 was a lens produced by Leitz in Wetzlar. It was made for the Leica CL, Leicas biggest attempt at a consumer-market rangefinder. The camera itself was considerably smaller than the M-series and was made in a cheaper way. The cameras were produced in Portugal by Minolta whilst the lenses were produced in Wetzlar. The Elmar-C 1:4/90 was obviously made for the CL and while some people (and Leica) claims that the lens won´t focus precisely on the M, I have never experienced this. Not on the M8 and not on the M240 and defiantly not on film M´s. The Leitz Wetzlar Elmar-C 1:4/90 is one of the cheapest ways to get a 90mm in M mount, but what a overlooked lens! Yes it has limitations, but i´ve learned to live with them and I have nothing but great this to say about this lenses performance. 

Couple. Shot wide open on the M240.

Couple. Shot wide open on the M240.

So as I said, I have no complaints about this lens optically. I turn the lens profile in M240 to the Macro-Elmar 90/4 and its about there. I do the same in Lightroom, but then I turn the distortion slider a bit back. 

The only real issue I have with this lens is the looks of it. IMO it looks a bit un-complete without the lenshood, and with it the lens still looks weird on an M. The hood is a collapsible and made in rubber. Whilst it is practical to have the possibility to collapse, I never find myself actually doing it. 

Leica M240 with the Leitz Wetzlar Elmar-C 1:4/90, Match Technical thumb grip and a "100 Yahre" soft release.

Leica M240 with the Leitz Wetzlar Elmar-C 1:4/90, Match Technical thumb grip and a "100 Yahre" soft release.

The 90mm focal length is quite a challenge for me. I am really used to shooting a 35, as that is my go-to for street. It takes some time getting used to, but I really like the results I get with such a focal length. Having to precisely focus and frame. Selecting what to actually fill the frame with, and sometimes having to step back.

Most of these shots were taken at the Sanssouci Castle in Potsdam outside Berlin, Germany.

Leica SL - Lowlight and general use

The Leica SL is Leicas second mirrorless, and first full fram mirrorless camera. When saying mirrorless I mean one without a mirror or physical shutter, with a detachable lens. Because if     we´re gonna get geeky, every Barnack and M Leica is mirrorless.

The SL feature a 24mp CMOS censor capable of shooting 11fps and with a 50-50 000 ISO range. This suits me well, as I like to do photography in the dark at times. I had a loaner for about 48 hours, and the first thing I did was to go to my local skatepark after dawn, to test out the AF and higher ISOs. 

Emil staring at his phone (ISO 40 000)

Emil staring at his phone (ISO 40 000)

Skaters (ISO 25 000)

Skaters (ISO 25 000)

These images were all shot on ISO´s between 6400 and 50 000.

Jason (ISO 50 000 pushed)

Jason (ISO 50 000 pushed)

Emil (ISO 25 000 pushed two stops on him)

Emil (ISO 25 000 pushed two stops on him)

The next lot here is shot within the same range, and pushed afterwards. This is because a high shutter speed and small aperture is pretty ideal for sports, and also to help the AF a bit. The autofocus is blazingly quick in “normal” lighting, and I was actually surprised about how accurate and quick it was in almost complete darkness. And the best thing was, it didn't miss focus once! Not even when i tried to shoot it at 2.8. 

Jonathan Krabbe (sequence shot at high-speed burst) 

Jonathan Krabbe (sequence shot at high-speed burst) 

I tested the SL against the Sony A7s a bit and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Even though the A7s goes all the way to ISO 402 000, the SL was cleaner at 50 000. When pushing the SL one stop in post, to 102 400, it was about the same as the A7s. I find that the color noise on the A7s is way worse, but that might just be a preference thing. 

The SL-system with the current 24-90 and 90-280, as well as the yet to be released Summilux 50/1.4

The SL-system with the current 24-90 and 90-280, as well as the yet to be released Summilux 50/1.4

The lens selection at the time of this review consists of a 24-90/2.8-4 and a 90-280/2.8-4. There is a 50/1.4 on it´s way, to be release later this year. As well as there are options for adapters to M, S and everything else you can adapt to those mounts. It does take T lenses natively as well.

Cigarette

Cigarette

So to wrap it all up, if you come from a Leica M and want an Autofocusing camera or a Leica S and want a smaller, faster camera,  this is really the way to go. The camera is simply stunning, with a small yet ultra-high qualityselection of lenses.

Thanks to Bresson AS for lending it to me.

Ilford Delta 100 test shots

This is a small article featuring some shots I did on Ilford Delta 100. I usually shoot way higher speed black and white film. (typichally Ilford HP5+ pushed to 800) In the summer this is kind of a problem, so last summer I decided to try out some Ilford Delta 100. I am really happy with this film, and will without doubt be using it more in the summer months this year. Anyways, here are them.

[All images are shot with the Leica M4-2 and different lenses]
 

Taking the step from a Leica M8 to a Leica M240

In February 2013 i bought a used Leica M8 from Interfoto, which was my first Leica. One and a half year later, it found itself replaced by a M240.

The Leica M8 is a digital rangefinder type camera. When first launched in  September 2006, it was the first ever digital rangefinder camera. The sensor is a APS-H (1.33x crop) 10.3 megapixel Kodak KAF-10500 CCD sensor. 


The camera was in no way perfect, having a smaller-than-fullframe sensor, and no IR filter, giving dark tones a purple tint. Leica supplied and still supply M8 owners with two IR filters, in whichever size they want when signing up on the Leica webpage. 

As a "starter-Leica" this was the ideal camera for me. Being the only digital Leica i could afford at the time, and quite frankly, a pretty good camera. 


This camera have been with me on travels abroad, in-country, slung over my shoulder while biking, on skiing trips, in weddings and even a funeral. 

Even though i have a lot emotional attachment to the camera, it had to face it´s replacer midways in November 2015. I got a really good deal on a used M240, who just had gotten back from Wetzlar. 

Im going to write a review of the M240 in the future, and maybe the M8 if i have the time for it before selling it. 

Here are some images taken with the Leica M240 and a Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f1.1

Mathias