Collapsible daylight lenses for Leica M questions

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by puketronic, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm interested in a daylight collapsible lens....something single coated and low contrast would be ideal. I like a little bit of flare so old Leica lenses make sense (as opposed to something modern)

    I'm thinking of one of the Elmars in M mount (f2.8 or f3.5); the speed difference doesn't matter and they are similarly priced. Opinions on sharpness vary but if clean, then I'd imagine that either will be sharp enough.

    1. Is one Elmar more prone to haze over the other? I read that the iris diaphragm is inside the front air-spaced lens group, and so the front element tends to hazes up. This was in context with the f2.8 Elmar but it might be the same with the f3.5 Elmar.

    2. How are the ergonomics? I believe they both sport 39mm filter threads. Are the apertures clicky or clickless?

    3. I know that the LTM mount Elmars are tiny but I believe that the M mount Elmars are larger due to aperture control? Is there a difference in size between the f2.8 and f3.5 Elmars in M mount? I'd imagine the size difference to be minor.
     
  2. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    There are really only 4 collapsible Leica lenses whether in LTM or M mount. The Elmar, the Summar, the Summitar and the Summicron.
    The Elmar was made in both a 3.5 and 2.8 version. The version II Elmar (2.8) is prone to internal fogging from the lubrication used on the iris. The collapsible Summicron is prone to cleaning marks on the front as the coating is very soft, it also often have internal hazing issues.
    So, yes the Elmar is more prone to internal hazing than other Leica lenses.
    The Summitar have clickless aperture but the Summicron have click at every half stop. The Summitar need a special adaptor from 36mm to 39mm but the Summicron have 39mm filter thread.
    Not sure about the Elmars as I only have and old 3.5 LTM that does not have a filter thread.

    If you have a choice go with a 2,8 Elmar or a Summicron if you can find them clean. The Summitar is good too with some character that the other two is lacking a little. The Summitar is a very good lens for the price.
     
  3. M9reno

    M9reno Member

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    Don't forget the collapsible Elmar-M 90 f/4
     
  4. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    I think the early 2.8 Elmar, and the 3.5, are both pretty resistant to unexpected flare so they may not be the thing for you. The Summitar on the other hand has an extra stop and does flare and 'glow' a bit wide open even with a hood. You would need a cheap adapter to put 39mm filters and hoods on, but it is a fine lens and developing a cult status given its change in character from wide open to stopped down. The Summicron on the other hand is much more even across its range, falling off in detail rendering wide open but not nearly the type of 'glow' a Summitar has.

    Steve
     
  5. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Oh and to be clear, I'm interested in 50mm lenses only. This thread is specific to the Elmars but I don't mind advice on other lenses.

    I'm back and forth between the Elmars, Summitar, and the Summicron. Gauging which one is better is a bit problematic as it will come down to which one I can find/afford clean.

    Is the Summitar generally easier to find clean than the Summicron? I hear that a lot of Summicrons have hazed up, is this true also for the Summitar?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2013
  6. erikg

    erikg Member

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    No love for the Summar? I think they can be quite beautiful. There are also Russian made collapsible 50's in LTM, nice and inexpensive.
     
  7. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I have elmar 5cm f3.5 in M mount and summicron 50 type III. Both are great and sharp lenses, good with flare as well (but summicron handles flare better). Elmar is smaller, but comparing to elmar in screw mount it is big. Good thing about M mount elmar is that it takes normal 39 filters, and it is aperture clicks. You cannot go wrong with any of those if they are in good condition. Summar 50 is great (I have it) - but not as only lens for Leica (specific character). I had before 50mm f3.5 industar collapsible - also nice and sharp, and super cheap.

    Any 50mm lens for Leica is good - question is only how much $$$ you are ready to spend :smile:.
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I used Summitar , Elmar , Summicron and they are all different animals. You must conduct a good research before buying a Leitz lens. Find manufacturing date annals and magazines and compare everything with everything. May be large format Ektar or Wollensak or a Zeiss on Hasselblad is better for you. Leica lenses are for people who have idea on them or you end up saying nikon is better next month.
     
  9. funkydog

    funkydog Member

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    IMO, yes and yes, and for less money than the Summicron.

    Summitar lenses also exhibit mild swirly bokeh effects wide open if you like that kind of thing. FWIW, the Elmar 2.8 has very pleasant bokeh characteristics that more than makes up for its slower maximum aperture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2013
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    LTM 50/3.5 Elmars used A36 slip-ons and the later version E39 filters.
    With the A36 to adjust the aperture you must remove the filter or find the adapter that uses
    an external lever that engages the aperture ring.
    E39's have an aperture ring just behind the front group and accessible.
     
  11. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    Leica lenses are for people who have M mount / LTM cameras. In some cases Nikkor lenses ARE equal or better (show me a Leica lens longer than 135mm that can be used on an M mount camera with accurate framing and focusing and I'll eat my shoe)

    You should be able to find a collapsible summicron for not too much money...be wary of the coatings and haze though...I guess that applies to all older Leitz lenses. Alternatively, a good collapsible LTM lens on an M adapter could be just as viable a solution...
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Chris, Chris, Chris,

    What size shoe and do you want pickles with that?? :tongue:

    Technically they don't go directly on the body.
    But remember the Visoflex lenses? From 65 all the way to 560mm and do give accurate focus and framing.
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Are you trying to get a crappy lens for a specific look?

    If so, you might look at a Soviet LTM lens with an M adapter. Don't pay too much, and you can use a Scotch Brite pad to scratch the hell out of the front element.
     
  14. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    John, I knew -someone- would bring up the Viso... :smile:

    My 50 DR's lens unit is removable for use with the Viso I believe, but I have zero desire to acquire one of those things.

    And, yeah, if you just want a knock-about 50 collapsible, it's hard to beat a collapsible Industar...you would be surprised at how good they can actually be, relatively.

    ...oh and medium rare, please.
     
  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    There is a second type of setting ring that lives inside the hood or filter next to lens to adjust aperture back off clamp screw and rotate filter or hood then tighten screw.
    Invention of devil and the rings are collectible...
    If you want photos the modern post 94 Elmar is comparable with late post 79 cron.
    it us well compact collapsed with hood in place.
    But a LTM Cosina /2.5 is only 1.5mm larger with hood.
    And you don't need to extend or collapse.
    Both have good ergonomics you won't tell the pics apart on 10x8s...
     
  16. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    No. I'm not trying to get a crappy lens. I don't think. I like my Tessar on my Rollei 35 and so a single coated Elmar seemed logical. I do like my DR cron too but I didn't like the Hexanon on my Hexar AF because it was too contrasty.

    Well all of the lenses that I like are single coated and none of them are flare fighters and so I figured that I would look for a lens of similar characteristics.
     
  17. Dikaiosune01

    Dikaiosune01 Member

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    another alternative

    I'm assuming, you are choosing one of the elmars because of their size and portability. In lieu of that, you should know you have a few other options.

    If you search on that big auction site that shant be named, there are many lenses made by a lens creator called Miyazaki. He created a series of VERY small lenses. Japancamerahunter featured his lenses a few times. and I think there are a few distributors out there who are selling them.

    If you are looking for portablility, these lenses "M.S. Optical" will blow any elmar or elmarit or summarit out of the water in terms of portability and cost. If you are looking for sample images, quite a few can be found on flickr.

    i.e.
    http://www.japancamerahunter.com/2012/06/ms-optical-apoqualia-50mm-f3-5-lens/
     
  18. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I had thought about mentioning the MS optical lenses...but they can be a bit difficult to hunt down...

    Though it is difficult to make an M much more portable than with a MS Optical Perar...
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    :surprised:) Medium rare it is.
    I always forget about the Perar's but they sure are tiny little suckers.
    Biggest problem with Visos besides bulk is finding the adapters for different lenses.
     
  20. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    One of the clean Summars will run rings around nearly any lens made, as long as it's at f4 or more. I actually have close up shots at f2 that were just fine. This lens gets a bad rap because many are in bad shape, but if you can find a clean one (not that hard) or get one CLA'd, they are astoundingly good, AND setting the aperture w/ a filter and hood on is easily done. Has it's own character too that screams "vintage Leica". W/ a decent hood they do not flare unless you shoot right into the sun.
     
  21. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    I have all the Leica lenses mentioned. 3.5 is nice and small and there is a small round clip on shade . Diaphragm is hard to set inless you have small fingers. 2.8 are lowish contrast at 2.8, work well at 4. Summitars, I have two, are very sharp at 5.6, soft wide open. Summicron is a bit better than than the Summitar, but not stellar. ANY version of the Summicron is way better than the collapsible. I compare only top condition lenses.

    My favorite is the recently discontinued 2.8 Elmar M It is my go to 50 for daylight 50 mm.

    Old lenses in top condition are hard to find and any savings are eaten by repair costs and frustration.

    Summars are uncoated from the factory, hence low contrast. Mine takes charming pics when I want the effect.