Taking images indoors with the Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5 you need extra care: steady handheld skill and fast shutter speed. In fact, this applies not only to this telephoto lens, but also to every lens of similar focal length or higher. Also the depth of field counts. What making it more difficult to review whether the subject is in focus is the LCD monitor resolution. In the case of the Leica M9, you probably need to enlarge a bit in the playback of the images to check whether the subject is in focus. Nowadays most of the DSLRs can deliver a higher resolution of image on the rear LCD monitor. But on my Leica M9, the LCD monitor is only 2.5 inches wide with a resolution of 230,000 pixels. It is simply hard to ensure whether it is sharp or not. Of course you need to understand the Leica M9 is 3 years old.
Also bear in mind the Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5 is actually not a newly released lens, although you may find it available new from the Leica store.
Described by Günter Osterloh in his book Leica M: Advanced Photo School, photography is writing with light. Without light, it is almost impossible to capture a subject. The camera and the lens must be made to capture the best possible photograph. Today as most of the cameras are equipped with good metering, getting correct exposure of an image is almost effortless. Accompanying with an excellent lens, you can get many rewarding images. To me it is vital to see how this lens performs as some say it is not as good as other non-Lecia Summarit-M Lenses. However, I have never tried any other 90mm M lenses so my user report is very personal.
In order to find out the resolution of this lens, I have taken some shots using the equipment set up as follows:
Lens: Leica Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5
Camera: Leica M9
Other equipment: Shutter release
Distance to subject: 1m
Processing: Adobe Lightroom 4 converted from original DNG, no other retouching or sharpening
The following images are placed in the order of aperture value from wide open f/2.5 to f/16. You can see the center resolution from the center-cropped images for yourself.
As you can see from the images, this lens performs really good from wide open at f/2.5. Stepping down from f/4 onwards, this lens delivers excellent sharpness, colour and contrast.
My next post will display the resolution of the corners and some comparisons with the Canon EF 85 mm f1.8.