Presenting a favored focal length for portraiture, the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. from Leica is an optically refined short telephoto prime designed for full-frame L-mount mirrorless cameras. Complementing the comfortable focal length is a bright f/2 maximum aperture that suits working in low-light conditions and also affords great control over depth of field for isolating subject matter. The lens' apochromatic optical design uses anomalous partial dispersion glass to suppress color fringing and chromatic aberrations for high clarity and color accuracy, and one aspherical element is also featured to reduce spherical aberrations for improved sharpness. Multi-layer coatings have also been applied to limit flare and ghosting for increased contrast when working in strong lighting conditions. Complementing the optical assets is a Dual Syncro Drive stepping motor, which delivers fast and quiet autofocus performance, and a floating elements system maintains consistent imaging quality throughout the focusing range. Additionally, an AquaDura coating has been applied to the exposed elements and seals have been incorporated in the lens design to benefit working in harsh environmental conditions.
- L-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
- Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
- One Aspherical Element
- Multi-Layer and AquaDura Coatings
Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Overview
Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Specs
|Lens Mount||Leica L|
|Lens Format Coverage||Full-Frame|
|Angle of View||27.3°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||1.97' / 60 cm|
|Optical Design||11 Elements in 9 Groups|
|Filter Size||67 mm (Front)|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||2.87 x 4.02" / 73 x 102 mm|
|Weight||1.54 lb / 700 g|
|Package Weight||3.15 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||9.4 x 6.7 x 6.5"|
Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Reviews
After adapting and using the M-mount version of this lens (APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2.0 ASPH) I really wanted something with autofocus for the SL and CL. I tried the Sigma Art 85/1.4 which was good but not great so I moved to the SL 90/2. The SL 90/2 is simply outstanding optically. Focus is quick and quiet. Accuracy of head/eye AF on the SL, SL2 and CL is fantastic. It's very stout with good weight to it. Not exactly compact but not large enough to feel cumbersome. Don't be put off by the f/2 aperture - if you've ever used any of the Leica f/2 APO's you will understand they are simply sublime. The 90/2 is one of my most used lenses and this lens is a joy to use. If I had to criticize it, I would say the focus ring is on the stiff side but not in a bad way. It is fly-by-wire but a very good implementation. Would be nice to have the snap-back focus rings to engage manual focus like some recent Panasonic and Olympus lenses but it's not a deal breaker. When you switch to manual focus, a turn of the ring engages magnified view with focus peaking - very useful and far more accurate results than I am ever able to get on my M bodies. The problem is, once you use one of these SL APO primes, you'll be scouting the others in the collection!
Moans and groans
This lens moans and groans, and makes scraping sounds while trying to achieve focus. After calling Leica their reply is that this is normal for their “high” quality lens..... So I returned it. It is not “normal” for a 5K lens. It should be silent. You can buy 1K lens that will operate better. Leica, it’s time to get caught up with your technology, and what’s acceptable performance in 2020!
Optically perfect with some design shortcomings
Optically I would give this lens 5 out of 5 stars. It is out of this world beautiful. As sharp as you're ever going to get... across the entire frame even wide open. Fringing, ghosting, flaring, and color aberrations simply do not exist with this lens. Colors, contrast, bokeh are absolutely perfect. The glass has that signature Leica look. Nice 3D pop. If all you care about is optics (which really is all that matters) there is no better lens in this focal range on the planet. Now to the design shortcomings and why I didn't give it 5 stars. For a lens of this caliber and price point I would really really like to have seen hyperlocal distance markings on the lens barrel. But, the biggest gripe about the lens is the manual focusing ring. It simply feels cheap. Very much like the manual focus ring of a lower end Canon lens. It has no hard stops... just spins around forever, the dampening is pretty poor... If you've ever used any of the Zeiss manual focus lenses and like that dampened feel you will be sorely disappointed with this focus ring. Lastly, and this isn't a huge deal, but it would have been nice to have a switch for AF on/off on the lens... there isn't one so you have to do it in camera. Not a huge deal since the manual focus ring is a let down. I can report however that the AF (while not quick on this lens... it hunts) is amazingly accurate.
Best 90mm lens on the planet
Currently have this lens at the 50 Summilux ASPH on my Leica SL. While its hard to choose a favorite between the two I would say the 90mm has (a hair) better image quality but isn't quite as useful of a focal length as 50mm. This is quick to focus and reasonably on the smaller side of medium for lens size which is a perfect fit on the Leica SL2.
I have been using this lens for about three months and I am totally satisfied under all respects. The autofocus is quick enough also in low light and the outcomes are always perfect if you know how to properly exploit this 90mm lens. As a result, all photos come very sharp with a perfect color rendering that is typical for almost all Leica lenses. Very enjoyable!
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