Leica Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 Lens First Impressions

Leica Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 Lens First Impressions:

Leica M gear is definitely not cheap, and for those maybe entering the Leica world for the first time, the Summarit line of lenses are a great way to do so, and to get a more complete system at the start.  While they are still more expensive than say Voigtlander or Zeiss offerings, they are a nice alternative for those who may just want Leica glass to use with their Leica cameras.  Furthermore, you’re still getting Leica quality here.  The glass is excellent.  It’s not as if these lenses are bad in any way.  I’ve always been a fan of the Summarit line of lenses and I’ve tried most but there was always one that I didn’t get a chance to try out, and that’s the Summarit-M 90mm f2.4.  I’ve finally received a review copy, and here’s my first impressions of it.

Let’s start off with the overall build quality.  The Summarit-M 90mm is a Leica lens, so you can bet the build is going to be pretty exceptional.  It definitely does not disappoint in this area.  It’s an all metal design that has a very nice, solid feel to it in the hands.  At 346 g, it has a nice heft but it is in no way heavy.  The focus ring is very smooth and to me, it has just the right amount of tightness for better control when you’re rotating the ring.  The aperture ring also clicks solidly in half stops as you rotate it.  The Summarit-M 90mm also comes in either black or silver.

↑ The Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 lens.

What surprises me the most about the Summarit-M 90mm is it’s size.  It’s so compact for a 90mm, and if you think about it, it’s not even a slow 90mm.  At f2.4, it’s decently fast.  Honestly, it just feels like using a 50mm!  I can’t get over the size of this thing.  I used to think the 90mm Tele-Elmarit was small, and I guess it is a bit smaller.  The Tele-Elmarit uses a 39mm filter but the Summarit is a bit faster, not much larger, and it’s new glass.  Size wise, it’s just a little bit longer than my Summilux-M 50mm.  It even uses the same 46mm filters as the Lux.

↑ The Summilux-M 50mm f1.4 ASPH next to the Summarit-M 90mm f2.4.

The Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 also comes with two metal lens caps, and while I will never use it, I love how one of the lens caps comes in a thick cloth bag.  Of course, the lens itself comes in a leather case with a zipper.  Getting back to the lens caps, one of them is designed to go over the lens hood, and the other is designed to go over the lens.  So, if you choose not to use the hood, you can still cap the lens.

↑ The Summarit-M 90mm mounted on the Leica M6 TTL Millennium.

Speaking of, the Summarit does come with a lens hood as well.  It’s a metal one but it’s one that you screw on, which I’m not a fan of because I find it a little inconvenient when you need to remove or attach it.  The lens hood does reverse though for convenient storage; however, you have to unscrew the lens hood, then rotate it, and then screw it back on.  It just takes up time.  I’ve tried the lens with and without the hood.  Right now, I shoot mostly without the hood because I love how compact the lens is, and I haven’t had any issues with flare yet.

↑Even with the lens hood, the Summarit-M 90mm isn’t that big.

As for image quality, I’ll go into more detail in my review but the Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 is sharp as a tack.  When you nail the focus, you can see every individual strand of say eyelashes, if your subject was a model.  This is at f2.4 too, so in other words, this is definitely a lens that you can use throughout the aperture range, and get excellent results.  The Summarit-M 90mm is also easy to focus.  Focusing is quick, and it’s quite easy to nail the shots at f2.4.

↑This was shot at f11.

↑ This was shot at f2.4.

↑This was shot at f11 near sunset.

I’ve been shooting cityscape, some candid, and of course, portraiture.  I’ve been extremely happy with the results so far.  The camera that I’ve been using to test this lens is my Leica SL.  The Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 has actually been a fantastic match with the SL.

↑ Here’s another shot at f2.4.

↑ This was also shot at f2.4.  The bokeh is very smooth.

For now, I hope you enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for my review.  I’ll have plenty of photos, and words to say about this lens.  If you have any questions, as always, feel free to let me know below. Thanks for stopping by!

If you are interested in purchasing this lens, you can find it at the link below:

Summarit-M 90mm f2.4 at B&H Photo Black or Silver

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