Review and photo examples of APO-Summicron-R 90mm ASPH. , a telephoto lens for Leica R

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  • LEICA M typ240


Apo Summicron R 90mm ASPH. is a medium telephoto lens for Leica R with a focal length of 90mm.
This lens consists of 5 elements in 5 groups, where all lenses are independent, with 3 lenses in the front group, and the front of the third lens is an aspherical lens. Sonnar type lenses have two or three laminated lenses placed in the area where the aspherical lens is located, and by using the aspherical lens, the amount of correction can be optimized and there is no need to worry about balsam breakage. Guessed. The rear group has two lenses, and the previous Summicron had a single lens in the rear group, so it is thought that the correction in this area has been optimized.

This lens uses a filter diameter of 60mm compared to the old Summicron R, making the lens barrel thicker and giving it a more solid feel. It is about 180g lighter than the Summilux R 80mm, which is one of the popular R mount lenses, so it has a good balance when attached to a small mirrorless camera.
The front part of the lens barrel is equipped with a pull-out hood, but the amount of pull-out is modest and it is rarely used. The lens barrel design is a straight shape with no irregularities, which is common to new generation R-mount lenses, and it differs from the M-mount version’s design, which narrows down toward the mount. I really like the design of the lens barrel, which is fat and straight.

The lens uses the latest aspherical lens and is resistant to backlight, so of the several medium-telephoto lenses I own, I often choose this lens for the perfect situation.
The image circle is wide and completely covers the range of the 44*33mm medium format digital sensor used in HASSELBLAD X2D (X1D / X1DII / X907 / FUJI-GFX). When used with a 35mm sensor, the image circle seems to have plenty of room.

This lens appears to have the same lens configuration as the M-mount Apo Summicron, but when I briefly owned both, I compared the results and got the following impressions.

  • M mount lenses are sharp in the center and a little loose around the edges.
  • With R mount lenses, the entire screen is flat and the resolution is constant.

It’s possible that this is just how it appeared to me, or that it’s due to the individual characteristics of each lens, so in reality, the photographer will have no choice but to try it out for themselves.


When comparing the specifications of the two, the major difference is that the M mount version has a minimum shooting distance of 1m, while the R mount version has a minimum shooting distance of 0.7m. The advantage of being able to get closer to the rear by 30cm with a 90mm medium telephoto lens is huge.
The M-mount version also allows you to adjust the minimum focusing distance by using an extension tube or by attaching an auxiliary helicoid to a mirrorless camera.
However, Leica may not have considered the imaging performance at distances shorter than 1m.
It worked without any problems when attached to the EOS-1Ds MKIII via a mount adapter.

Lastly, this lens is one of the rare lenses that is quite difficult to obtain. After all, it’s rare to find one on the used market.
As of 2024, the M-mount Apo Summicron 90mm ASPH. is a current product, so it is possible to purchase a new one, and the situation is very different from what you can find on the second-hand market.
I see it quite often on eBay, so if you really want to get it, I think you’ll have to procure it from overseas. However, due to the weak yen in the 2020s, it will not be possible to buy cheaply.

The lens configuration diagram is taken from the official Leica web page.


focal length(mm)90
Maximum aperture2
Minimum aperture16
Lens configuration5groups 5elements
Minimum distance(m)0.7
Lens length(mm)59.3Distance from mount flange
Lens max diameter(mm)71
Filter diameter(mm)60

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.02.13:Update article
  • 2022.11.02:First draft

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