Leica Re-Releases a Vintage Lens Favorite

The classic 1935 Thambar-M 90mm lens is back.

Following the re-issue of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, Leica has announced the Thambar-M 90 mm f/2.2, originally released in 1935. Thambar is derived from the Greek term 'thambo', meaning 'blurred', and it's this distinctive, "unmistakeable bokeh" look that will interest filmmakers and photographers. 

Leica Thambar-M 90mm
Leica Thambar-M 90mmCredit: Leica
Leica is saying the original design of the vintage Thambar-M 90 mm f/2.2 has been almost entirely preserved in the new model with the exception of the "single-coating to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion." Optically you are looking at a very simple lens design with four elements in three groups along with a 20-bladed aperture for the circular rendition of out-of-focus highlights. 

The lens creates a dreamy, romantic look with soft focus areas that is not easily replicated in post-processing. It's made possible due to an intentional under-correction while constructing the spherical lens elements. Filmmakers can control the softening level and depth of field by rotating the step-less aperture ring. Widening the aperture will increase the soft focus, while stopping down reduces the effect. 

A still using Thambar-M 90 f/2,2Credit: Jolie Luo

The Thambar 90mm f/2.2 can be used with any Leica M Camera and can focus on objects as close as 3.3" (1 meter) and stops down to f/25. A 49 mm filter thread allows for attaching ND, UV or polarizing filters. This new lens will be available from mid-November. Price set at $6,495.00You can find more info at Leica’s microsite here.

Tech Specs: 

  • Focal length: 90mm 
  • Aperture: f/2.2 to f/25
  • Angle of view: 27°
  • Min. focusing distance: 3.3' / 1 m
  • Optical design: 4 elements, 3 groups
  • Focus: Manual 
  • Filter Thread: 49 mm
  • Lens mount: Leica M quick-change bayonet
  • Camera viewfinder
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.5" / 57 x 90 mm
  • Weight: 1.1 lb/500 g
  • Compatible cameras: All Leica M cameras

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Your Comment


Now this is a reissue I'm interested in.

Not that I can afford the dang thing.

October 19, 2017 at 4:58PM

Joseph Elliott
Director of Photography, , Director, Editor, Composer

Call me a hater, but the sample image makes me throw up in my mouth a bit. To each their own I guess?

October 19, 2017 at 5:35PM

geoff webb

I'm with you on that boat. We might as well smear vaseline on the lens we already have and probably end up with a similar effect, for free.

October 20, 2017 at 8:19AM

You voted '-1'.
Herman Delgado
Filmmaker, Editor