Ricoh GXR: M-Mount Unit with Leitz Elmar-C 90 mm

Preparations for the Unit | Body with Lens Attached | Some Technical Data | Sample Images | Conclusions | Links

After Ricoh's official announcement of the M-mount expansion unit, I decided to buy one, although I had not intended to do so originally. Here are my first personal experiences with the lenses that I bought (or tried to buy). This page is devoted to the Leitz Elmar-C f4/90 mm lens.

Note: You can view and download the original files of the samples (for downloading use the browser's context menu).


Preparations for the M-Mount Unit

In preparation of the Ricoh GXR M-mount expansion unit, I bought one lens, a Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar f4.5/15 mm, and auctioned a second one in August 2011, a Leitz Elmar-C f4/90 mm. Both lenses were meant to extend the range of my two Ricoh GXR A12 units at the wide and tele ends.

The Elmar-C, which I auctioned at ebay for a little more than 170 EUR (2642706 > built in 1973; source: Olypedia: Leica CL and Leica Wiki) was originally dedicated to the Leica CL and corresponds to a 135 mm tele lens at the GXR. The Leica CL was manufactured for Leitz by Minolta in the 1970s (production era: 1972/3-1977; Version 11540). Minolta also sold its own, improved version of this camera, the Minolta CLE, after Leitz had discontinued the CL. I read that the Elmar was the only Japanese lens that was manufactured in Germany.


Figures: Leitz Elmar-C f4/90 mm lens (135mm equiv.)

On the M-mount expansion unit, this lens has an equivalent focal length of 135 mm - the classic tele lens.


Body with Lens Attached


Photos: Body with A12 M-mount expansion unit attached and Leitz Elmar-C f4/90 mm lens


Some Technical Data

Focal length 90 mm (135 mm equiv.)
Angle of view (35mm film) 27° diagonal
Maximum aperture 4
f-stop range 4-22
Number of iris blades ?
Number of lenses/groups 4/4
Shortest distance 1.0 m
Weight 246 g
Length 60 mm
Maximum diameter 51 mm
Filter thread 5.5 type; do not use 39 mm filters - may cause damage!
Lens hood folding rubber hood; screw mount


Sample Images

Here are a first few samples taken with the Leitz Elmar-C f4/90mm lens (click the images to view the unprocessed original files in a new window):

Photos 2014



Disclaimer: I am not a lens expert who sees marked differences between various Leica and/or other lenses. I can check for soft corners, find differences in color rendition, and, in rare cases, may discover a "3D look", but that's all. Please regard therefore my conclusions as the verdict of a "layman".

Manual focusing is generally difficult, but particularly with this Leica tele lens it really is - my results with it are still inconsistent. The focusing aids that Ricoh provides with the M-mount expansion unit (and the new function enhancing firmware update) are useful, but not as useful as I had expected. I looks as if I need a lot of training (and checking after a photo has been taken)...

After a long break in using the M-mount expansion unit and preferring the A16, I used the Leica Elmar-C f4/90 mm lens again and compared it with the Tele-Elmar f4/135 mm during a walk. There I found focusing with the Tele-Elmar easier than with the Elmar-C. But that lens is really heavy thanks to the all-metal construction, and it is also large... Thus, the smaller and lighter Elmar-C has an advantage at least in this respect.

In June 2014, I compared both lenses again and used them particularly for nature shots with sort of a "tele effect," but never really evaluated the results. Nonetheless, this experience, which my other lenses/cameras that I own cannot offer, made both lenses look interesting to me again...

All in all, the results that my Leica Elmar-C lens produces with the GXR M-mount expansion unit are very pleasing.




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