Thursday, February 11, 2021



After Bob's post about his Leica M4, I thought this to be a good addition.

By Bob Nandell

A number of years ago I came across a battered little 90mm f/4 Elmar M.  I got it from its owner for forty dollars. The leatherette was off.  The lens was 'foggy.' there were marks on the mount, which was hard to turn because of lack of lubrication.  A screw was missing, causing the back-end of the lens to be loose.

Using a small spanner, I braved it and took the lens apart.  It was easy to clean oxidized lubricant from the back of an interior lens element, and get the lens assembly put back together.  Another screw was tapped and put into place.  The leatherette was put back on with Super-Glue.




To my surprise, these years later, the little 'unwanted' Elmar is still plenty sharp.  I like it because it is so tiny, that without the hood, I can carry it in a trouser pocket when out snapping black and white for book projects.  It weighs nothing.  I don't care that it is a 'slow,' old lens.  Most of my stuff is shot at f/11 anyway on Ilford HP5.

There are lenses that will always stay with me, such as my old 50mm f/2.8 Elmar.  This tiny 90 remains part of the pack.

Attached are some photos of it, and a couple photos shot with it for my forthcoming book of black and white photos and poems titled “Offerings and Sacrifices.”  My Leica lenses, much like me now, are 'old and slow' and I like them that way.



Bob Nandell is retired from his position as staff photographer for the Des Moines register.

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