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.