Leica has announced it is reviving the classic Thambar lens with the release of the new Thambar-M 1:2,2/90.

The original was released in 1935 and the new Thambar inherits much of the optical design of its ancestor.

“The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion,” Leica explains.

“The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.”

Credit: Leica

The Thambar’s ‘soft’ look is a result of deliberately under-correction of spherical aberration.

This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system and the degree of softening can be controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. So the effect is more pronounced at wider apertures.

Credit: Leica

The lens goes on sale mid-November from Leica UK stores and dealers for £5,095

See the proposed specifications below.

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Angles of view

(diagonal, horizontal, vertical)

approx. 27°, 23°, 15° (for 35 mm: 24×36 mm)

Optical design

Number of lenses/groups Position of entrance pupil (at infinity)

49.6 mm
(in the direction of light incidence behind the bayonet fitting contact area)


Focusing range
Smallest object field / Biggest scale

1 m to ∞
Meter divisions
approx. 215×322 mm/1:9.0 (for 35 mm: 24×36 mm)


Setting/Function Setting range

No detent positions
2.2 – 2.6 or 9 – 25 (values in white: for use with the associated center spot filter)/2.3 – 6.3 (values in red: for use without the associated center spot filter)

Bayonet fitting

Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6 bit lens identification bar code for digital M models2

Filter mount / lens hood

Internal thread for screw-on filter E49, center spot filter and push-on lens hood in the scope of delivery


Camera viewfinder


Black lacquered (Distance scale: silver)

Dimensions and weight

Length to bayonet flange (without/with lens hood) Largest diameter (without lens hood) Weight

approx. 90/110 mm approx. 57 mm approx. 500g

Compatible cameras

All Leica M cameras