New Leica Chamber-M 90 f/2.2

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(photo by Leica)


It almost seems like every day we see camera manufacturers bringing back bodies or lenses that were once beloved and have been forgotten. There's a reason for it though. Lenses and knowing what to do with them are almost more important than the camera.

How many times have you seen someone with a brand new 5D with a giant zoom lens and they keep the camera on auto? I know you've seen it. When asked often times they say it's just easier as the camera knows what to do. 

To get a specific look you need a specific lens and to know how to use it. When photography made the switch to digital it killed a lot of companies. Companies that didn't have the pockets to withstand the loss of customers. But as more and more people switched, many realized that they don't want to keep their cameras on auto. They want to get the looks that they used to get when they were shooting digital and that's where the lenses come in. 

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(photo by Leica)


Lecia is known for making exceptional glass. Some like their Thambar 9cm f/2.2 have achieved legendary status. But why? Like a Helios, the Thambar wasn't about getting the crispest image. It was about getting the ethereal one, and now it's back. To quote Leica:

Manufactured by Leitz from 1935, the Thambar 9cm f/2.2 achieved a relatively low production run of just 2,984 units, which partly explains its great popularity among collectors.
When developing the Thambar, the engineers surrounding Max Berek were able to draw on their vast expertise regarding the causes and correction of optical flaws, in order to design an intrinsically sharp lens which nevertheless permitted a carefully determined level of spherical aberrations - thus giving rise to the desired soft-focus effect. When the Thambar was first launched more than eighty years ago, it was intended for photography enthusiasts who were highly skilled at their craft.
Today, the ability to adjust images in the camera's Live View monitor makes it even easier to achieve the desired results with this truly exceptional lens.
The new Thambar has almost entirely adopted the design of the original lens - featuring the same proportions, black paint finish and red and white aperture scales as its 1930s predecessor. The red scale applies when the center spot filter is in place, which diminishes the effective aperture of the lens - for example, from 2.2 to 2.3 when wide open. When working without the center spot filter, the white aperture scale is used. In order to retain its vintage appeal, the Thambar's exterior has only been subtly adapted to reflect the pared-down character of contemporary M lenses. This takes the form of details such as the knurling,which is now in line with the standard Leica style generally used today, the lettering on the lens, which is inlaid in the now customary LG (Leitz Gravur) font, as well as the introduction of clear-cut edges and chamfers, which serve to emphasize the precision of the lens design

It's definitely not a lens that you'd take to shoot your entire vacation on, but check these dream-like images that you can't re-create in a computer. 

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(photos by Leica)


The Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 lens is designed for use with Leica M bodies, excluding the M8 series and will go on sale in mid-November at Leica authorized stores and dealers. Pricing has not been announced, though it's a Leica, so, it's probably not cheap. 


Source: LEICA