The Leica Thambar-M 90mm F2.2 may make you fall in love with vintage optics all over again
Can any vintage or ‘legendary’ camera brands, products, or services of the past who are interested in being revived for modern photographers please raise their hands? We need to get a head count because it seems 2017 is the year of the revival in the photography world and that trend continues here today with Leica’s announcement of their ‘new’ Thambar-M 90mm F2.2.
Leica is saying that the original design of the Thambar-M 90mm F2.2 has been almost entirely preserved in the new model announced today – down to the intensity of the black paint finish, the aperture engravings. However, they do note that some slight modifications were made to help the lens better match the more minimalist design of modern Leica M lenses.
If you are an image quality freak, pixel peeper, or some other sort of photography troll – you better turn away while you still can. This is one of the specialty niche lenses designed to give a specific look – a look you will either love or hate, and that many could mistake for bad optics. But as Leica puts it, this lens is about ‘the look’, that signature aesthetic not easily replicated in post-processing. This engineered aesthetic is unique but similar in idea to Lensbaby’s Velvet 56mm and 85mm effects lenses, with a softer, more pronounced effect wide open that gets progressively less intense as you stop the lens down.
The Thambar-M 90mm F2.2 will also have – as you would expect – the latest and great Leica lens coating, a decided advantage over the last version of this lens that was released. Additionally, it will feature a stepless aperture ring, another feature of this lens that as a photographer you will either love or hate. Optically you are looking at a simple lens design with four (yes four) elements in three groups.
Pricing was not announced alongside the new lens, but Leica is saying it will be available at Leica boutiques, stores, dealers, and online sometime in mid-November (2017 if that is not obvious). If you are interested in learning more, you can find all the available information about the new Thambar-M 90mm F2.2 over on the Leica website.