Retro is really in and Leica have tapped into their wealth of manufacturing experience to produce an amazing soft focus M lens which gives truly outstanding results and an artistic bias that is really spectacular. To make this lens possible, they had to go back to the mid 1930’s to look at the original Leica 90mm f2.2 lens called the Thambar, which had been designed as a new creative idea, specifically for the professional photographer who wanted to push the boundaries of photography. The new Leica thambar lens, is optically based on the original and cosmetically designed to look almost the same, but tweaked slightly so it looks great alongside the entire Leica M System range. The chrome focus ring with stepped meter marks and the ribbed aperture ring, harp back to the long line of superior manual lenses that came from the Leica stable in the early years.
Due to the highly successful launch and sales of the legendary Leica Summaron M 28mm f5.6, Leica Wetzlar have widened the range to include the Thambar 90mm f2.2, as it is perfect for portrait and landscape shots, which is where the lens will prove most effective. The modified design has been carefully thought through to work well with digital photography and it comes complete with a hard leather case, centre spot filter and metal lens hood and cap. The physicality of the lens is proportionally the same as the original, with the same black paint finish and red and white aperture scales, so reminiscent of the early Leica lenses. The clear cut edges and chamfers harp back to a bygone era and the lettering on the lens shouts out the 1930’s.
No we don’t know what it means either – its Greek, but Leica have used the phrase specifically for this lens as it translates as ‘blurred and out of focus, blinded by beauty’. Think Claude Monet and you can get an idea, of the effect this lens can create. Once the soft spot filter is in place, it creates a blur on the lens optics, which then transforms the photograph into a remarkable impressionist style image, making it perfect to use in all sorts of photographic spheres; dreamy summer days, floating cumulus clouds, seaside landscapes or spectacular sunsets, this lens will lift the subject matter to another plane.
The Leica Thambar lens distinctive Bokeh has been deliberately created by the under correction of spherical aberration as well as the internal design of 20 (yes 20!) aperture blades to make the “out of focus” highlights circular giving an overall luminescent and ethereal effect. In spite of the mid 30’s inspiration, Leica have put all their combined years of lens manufacture into this new lens to ensure its versatility and flexibility in all types of photographic genres. Red scale measurements are for use with the centres spot filter in place and white scale is used at all other times.
The Thambar lens is bought with the hard, brown, Vintage Leather case, which has loops either side so it can be carried on a shoulder strap, a metal lens hood, lens cap and spot filter. The metal hood can be inverted when the lens is being carried, so that it is more compact and the felt lining on the hood and front cap, help to protect the metal from scratches during transport. Clever Leica have thought of everything, as there is even a specially designed space in the lens case lid in which to put the centre spot soft filter for safe keeping.
Well we all know that Leica’s attention to detail is legendary and this lens is no different. Manufactured to a very high standard, crafted by trained Engineers to the highest standard, this lens has been designed for optical excellence and long-term durability.
Leica Wetzlar are re-creating history with these new lenses, but adding up to date, state of the art options for a modern world. In our opinion, the Leica Thambar M 90mm f2.2 lens is the perfect balance between new and old.
Order now to be to be one of the first to get your hands on the new Thambar.
UPDATE: The Leica Thambar lens is now available in stock.