Enthusiastically joining the current vogue for nostalgic revivals, Leica has announced the revival of its classic Thambar-M 1:2,2/90 lens for M-mount.
This contemporary version of a 1935 lens inherits the distinct characteristics of the original, namely a soft-focus effect and distinctive bokeh produced by a 20-blade iris, rendering point light sources as perfectly round.
Remarkably, with regard to the optical design, not a huge amount has changed from the original – the main change is that the four elements in three groups are now protected from corrosion and general wear by a single coating.
Otherwise the design is much as it ever was – size, colour and engravings are all as they were on the original. A few minor tweaks have been made to make the lens fit the M-series look, but that’s it.
The aforementioned soft-focus is down to a deliberate under-correction of spherical aberration, which increases towards the edge of the frame. The degree of softening can be controlled via the stepless aperture control (being more noticeable at larger settings).
As you’d expect from Leica, the lens is “manufactured in strict compliance with the most stringent quality criteria” from “only the best materials”. It’s all metal, and even the felt lining of the hood and front cap are made from premium materials.
Leica Thambar-M 1:2,2/90 lens specifications
Focal length: 90mm
Maximum aperture: f/2,2
Lens construction: 4 elements in 3 groups
Minimum focus distance: 1m
Size: 57mm (D) x 90mm (L)
Weight: Approx. 500g
Leica Thambar-M 1:2,2/90 lens pricing and availability
The lens is expected from mid-November 2017, carrying a retail price of £5,095. If you’re feeling exceptionally flush and fancy one, here’s the dealer list.