Flaring Summicron- shade or exchange?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Adrian D, May 22, 2008.

  1. Adrian D

    Adrian D Member

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    Hello all.

    I have been using a 50mm f2 summicron (about 10yrs old, coatings and glass in excellent condition) on my M6, and though it is an outstanding lens for picture quality, I get really frustrated with its tendency to flare. I have read that this can be the case with these lenses, but what can be done to lessen this effect? The retractable integral lens hood seems to be for the most part ineffective. I have been wondering about two options:

    1- is there a more effective lens hood available for this lens ( I have the hood which fits a 35mm summicron and my older collapsible summicron, but it doesn't fit this particular model!)

    2- What would I gain by exchanging it for a late collapsible f2.8 Elmar? I don't mind so much about losing a stop of speed, and I like the collapsible concept. Is this lens a better performer in the flare department?

    Many thanks, looking forward to your thoughts

    Adrian
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Adrian, can you describe the situations in which your lens is susceptible to flare?

    I have the same model, with retractable lens hood, and mine only shows objectionable flare in strongly backlit situations with the sun just outside the image. Otherwise it is quite resistant to flare.
     
  3. Adrian D

    Adrian D Member

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    Hi Uhner, that is also the case with mine, but it does seem overly sensitive to any area of brightness in the frame, unlike my other, older collapsible summicron, which just appears a generally softer lens. The flare has the look of a bright foggy cloud towards the centre of the frame, not always the same size or in exactly the same position, which I could understand if there was some disfigurement in the glass, but there is not!


    I am interested to hear from anyone who uses the f2.8 Elmar just to see how it compares.
     
  4. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Well, that sounds like a lemon. I think you should contact Leica and ask if they think that service might help the problem.
     
  5. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    I have the older, 7 elements, Summicron and it flares only in strongly backlit situations, just like Uhner says, but very often when used whit out the hood.
    I heard that the retractable hood is not so good as the former,vented, one...

    Philippe
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My Summicron is from about 1960, I don't ever remember it flaring, but then I probably haven't shot straight into the sun with it. It doesn't flare with stage lights. I always use the lens hood.

    Lens flare's quite strange ,shooting directly into the sun with a 25 year old LF lens recently I had no flare while a modern Zoom was unusable.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2008
  7. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Take a close look through the lens off camera at a bright source and you may possibly have some shiny surfaces inside the lens. I have seen this in other lenses where the flat black lacquer was reflecting/bouncing light internally.

    Fred
     
  8. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    You should have a shade on the lens regardless. When shooting into the sun or at sunset flare will occur more frequent than appreciated. It is hard to tell with a rangefinder as you are not looking through the lens. Though I am not certain about SLRs either. I shot a role of sunsets not long ago with a really good Leica lens about 3 of the lot had flare. It is just the angle.
     
  9. weasel

    weasel Member

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    Is it possible that there is some internal haze/dust/dirt stuff that needs to be cleaned? I had a lens on retina that flared quite badly; it looked clean and good, until I got out a flashlight, shined it through it and really looked. There was a subtle haze on the internal elements that once cleaned mostly fixed the flare issue.
     
  10. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    I have the Summicron DR 50mm, f/2 and use the vented lens hood. With the hood I have no issues whatsoever.

    I would agree with the suggestion to call Leica. If you're getting the same haze in multiple pictures - and you say it's a new lens? - then Leica should take a look at it for you and fix it if necessary.

    Jeff M
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    A rectangular vented Canon hood works well on my old 50mm Summicron. I have no experience with modern 50mm f/2.8 Elmars, but the early one I tested was even sharper than the Summicrons. The test didn't include flare, though.
     
  12. Adrian D

    Adrian D Member

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    Thank you all

    Thanks for everyone's contributions here. I seem to have solved the problem in the main by acquiring a (non-Leica!) screw-on lens hood for a few pounds on ebay- I hardly get the problem now. It does seem to do a better job than than the retractable hood in the lens.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    Adrian