Leica Summicron 90mm f2 vs Leica Summilux ASPH 75mm f1.4?
For Leica portraits I love my photos taken with the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 but I wanted to be able to get closer to my subjects. This gave me 2 real options. Leica Summicron 90mm f2 or Leica Summilux ASPH 75mm f1.4. Both lenses focus at 1M. Some of the other 90mm lenses do not focus as close and the 75/1.4 is the fastest 75mm lens and the 90/2 is the fastest Leica M mount lens.
The 75mm focal length is not hugely different from 50mm whereas for a 3 lens setup a 28mm (or 35mm), 50mm and 90mm makes more sense.
The Summilux 75/1.4 is would be easier to focus without a viewfinder magnifier however the Leica M9 does not have 75mm framelines.
The deciding factor was the used price of both lenses. The 90mm f2 Summicron can be picked up for 5x less than the 75mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH.
The only risk with either of these lenses is due to the very shallow depth of field it is possible that the rangefinder calibration on the Leica M9 does not align with that of the lens. As a result images may appear soft with the lens used wide open up close even though the lens is plenty sharp enough.
After seeing a newly listed Leica Summicron 90mm f2 on eBay I bought it straight away. There are a few different Summicron 90/2 lenses available. I got the Pre-M 1973 style version. It has a silky smooth slide out hood and newly serviced crisp aperture ring clicks.
I was very lucky in that the seller happened to live locally so I was able to take my M9 with me to test before buying. I was lucky and my lens is indeed sharp wide open on my M9. I would not stay razor sharp but plenty sharp enough for female portraits.
I cannot wait to see the Summicron 90/2 rendering and bokeh when used outside!
I will use the Leica M9 + Leica Summicron 90mm f2 combo on my next studio shoot so results to follow.
If you want to see what the lens looks like Ken Rockwell did a great Leica 90mm f2 comparison here.
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Photographer