collecting uncoated vs coated lens

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by randy6, May 31, 2013.

  1. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I have noticed most people spend a lot more money on vintage or collectable muti coated lens is this wise? I was thinking how good of a long term investment can a muticoated lens be? I mean after a number of years most lenes will be aflected with haze or fungus destroying coating's which a newer lens would base the design on the number of air spaces and delicate coating's making a modern lens worthless after time has its way with it. I know a uncoated lens can be etched by fugus but I hardly ever see this. So do you think if you used a hood and filter and did not shoot towards the sun the results would be so poor. I have a leica summicron screwmount the coating has worn off no where to recoat that I know of. Maybe it would be better to collect cheap uncoated lenes what do you think?
     
  2. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I'm sorry cheaper not cheap uncoated lens
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's nonsense.

    A lens that is properly cared for will not get fungus. In addition, many lenses that are "diagnosed" with "fungus" have other issues such as lubricant haze, separation, or the blacking on the edges lifting up (Schneideritus). The best way to avoid fungus is to keep the lenses clean - no dirt equals no food, ergo no fungus. Fugus does not "eat" glass or coating.

    A lens such as a double Gauss type with 8 air-glass surfaces, six of then internal, is a flare machine. Lubricant haze can and does build up over time, this is exacerbated by high temperatures and misguided efforts to clean/lube shutters (if the lens is mounted in a shutter). Just get coated lenses and take care of them, you'll have no problems.
     
  4. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I prefer uncoated lense. They have a unique, softer look. The only coated lenses I have collected are three 1940s vintage, for my Leica IIIc. Otherwise, I'm really into pre-war lenses. (That's Civil War, btw.)


    Kent in SD
     
  5. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    For Von hoegh
    Looking at this ebay item ending today 121115964029 the contax f1.5 looks to be in bad shape would this lens be repairable? I have a f2 sonnar the rear element looked to have some fungus I sent it in to be cleaned the repairman he told me the coating was no longer any good.
     
  6. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I do like the "perceived" soft look from an uncoated lens as well actually an uncoated is quite sharp
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That lens looks like a disaster. Yes, it could be recoated/recemented (I cannot really tell what it's issues are), this would probably cost about as much as two or three (or more...) such lenses in good condition. Buying lenses with problems and having them repaired is a very expensive proposition, these lenses aren't exactly rare.

    Where are you sending your lenses? Does your repairman have knowledge and experience?
     
  8. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    No a sonnar f1.5 is not the rarest I can find them under$100 sometimes but that one is a disaster. Repair people I've used several over the years 2 of which have very expensive reputations I don't want to condem any repair people in this forum. Who would be your suggest? So if I buy the latest greatest version of a leica M mount I should have no worries 50 years from now if I make it the long?
     
  9. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    Who recoat's lenes?
     
  10. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Google Photography on Bald Mountain, in Colorado. They will repolish and recoat lenses -- not cheap but it could be worth it.
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Why should anything go wrong with it? It's up to you, how you take care of it.

    I have a ca. 1958-9 Linhof outfit, three lenses, camera, etc. etc., the lenses are perfect as far as the condition of the glass is concerned - not Ebay "perfect", but perfect. No marks, no haze, nothing, as new like they left the factory over 50 years ago. My late 60s Nikon 35mm gear has no issues with the glass. In fact, even my 100+ year old pre WWI lenses for 8x10 have no real issues... one or two slight cleaning marks, but no fungus.

    1950s Rolleiflex, no issues... 1943 binoculars, 1898 binoculars, 1930s Rollei, ditto... well, you get the point I think. I'll also add that most of this gear has been in my care for the past 25 years or so.

    I sometimes wonder where all these lenses with fungus come from... I've seen them, but never had one of any vintage.
     
  13. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    He's told me there is a lot of risk and expense involved posible breakage I never heard of anyone else. He's worked on a leica summarit 50mm 1.5 and IIIf body before for me in the past. The expense did not warrent the recoat on the summarit.
     
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  15. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    That lens is in awful condition. It would most definitely cost more than the auction price to clean it up. The Sonnar 50/1.5 is a fantastic lens, but I would skip this auction .. if the shutter speeds don't work in addition, this would be an expensive repair.
     
  16. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I have an older Linhof III with wide tele and normal no problems with coating's yet. Are these considered "hard coating's" ? Now I have a rollei 3.5e planar with a coating issue and a 2.8f that's fine. I was to understand modern coatings are very soft and can be wipped off is this true? As for uncoated I run into almost no problems such as a leica 5cm summitar uncoated with haze cleaned up like new.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The Summarit isn't such a great lens wide open, I'd rather have an f:1.5 Sonnar.

    As for coated vs. uncoated, if you are collecting the cameras, then they should have the appropriate lens. A coated Sonnar does not belong on a Contax I and so on.
    If you are using the lenses, coating becomes more important. A Sonnar, with all it's internal sufaces, benefits from coating - the more internal surfaces, the greater the benefit. Most modern lenses would not be useable without antireflective coatings.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    No. Most (if not all then very nearly all) coating issues are due to abuse such as improper cleaning. Some of the very early coatings were "soft", and easily damaged - as were some of the glasses used. Modern coatings are very hard, sometimes harder than the glass they are applied on.
     
  19. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Modern coating are tougher than the glass they are applied to. What with this, and the idea that coated lenses present a problem, it's as if you read a book about photography backwards.

    Either buy the appropriate lens for the camera, coated or uncoated, or buy the lens you want.

    Poor storage is what causes problems for any lens, and a bad case of fungus will etch glass whether or not it is coated. Fungus spores are in the air all around you, you have them in your camera right now, it just takes a dark damp atmosphere for them to flourish. So don't keep lenses in leather cases that can absorb moisture, make sure they get enough UV light by using them regularly (or keeping them out on a shelf), and don't worry. The problems of fungus and haze have been highlighted recently simply by people dragging in their granddads old camera in from the garage and selling it on Ebay, so it all seems like a disproportionate problem.

    Steve
     
  20. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    who keeps saying uncoated lenses are softer? Not in my experience -- coating allows more light to get through, but it doesn't improve the way the lens is designed ... a very old uncoated lens is perfectly capable of excellent results.

    The thing you do want to watch out for is light hitting the front element -- they can flare a titch more, so get that lens hood. Shooting into the sun is asking for more trouble because more light bounces around inside the lens on those uncoated surfaces instead of passing through.

    Some feel this bouncing lightens shadow areas a bit, making for a less contrasty look, but certainly not less sharp. Lens coatings are like every other aspect of photography -- a good image is 5 percent equipment and 95 percent the photographer.
     
  21. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I do a lot buying from different sources and different parts of the country. I almost allways see issues with angenieux, steinheil and some older leica lenes.
     
  22. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Because...............over the years they have been under many different owners and stored in many different conditions. Ipso facto they will exhibit many traditional problems if any one of those owners has unwittingly started the deciline. UV light is the best thing for older lenses, not a drawer.

    Steve
     
  23. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Uncoated lens are prone to scratches. Coated lenses added a hard layer that protected the glass.

    I think that's why uncoated lenses get the reputation for being "soft." Optical glass can't really be soft. Otherwise, it would bend and melt if left in a hot car.

    The thing with uncoated lenses is how they were handled over the years. Aggressive cleaning has caused many to have "surface cleaning" marks, which are just minute scratches. I've had several lenses that have been damaged by this.

    There also is a natural process called "blooming," which affects some uncoated lenses. The result is that it can help to reduce intralens reflections, although it doesn't protect the lens like anti-reflective coating does.
     
  24. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    E, have you seen a Sonnar cross-section? 6 air-glass interfaces, the same as the highly flare-resistant Tessar.
     
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's not strictly true, I have many old uncoated lenses and the glass is fine with no scratches. However some of the 1930's lenses used newer glass from Carl Zeiss/Schott that seems to be prone to scratches and atmospheric attack. The lenses I've seen like this are Summars, some Tessars and Novars and it's due to the glass being softer.

    Ian
     
  26. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I have always wondered what would be entailed in coating lenses at home. Seems like a handy fellow could do some sort of coating.