Which LTM glass, fitler threads, hoods

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by puketronic, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Well there are plenty of lenses that I'm considering but my biggest concern is not the sharpness/character/bokeh but getting a darn filter and hood on there.

    Here are the following lenses that I am interested in:
    -Leica 50mm f2.0 Summitar or Leica 50mm f2.0 Summicron (collapsible)
    -Leica 50mm f3.5 Elmar
    -Leica 35mm f3.5 Summaron

    I believe all of these can be had at reasonably fair prices and are relatively common. They appear to meet my standards for being small and high quality.

    Now, my primary concern is in the filters and hoods.

    1. How is the quality of the old Leica filters (Elmar/Summaron take A36 and the Summitar takes L-type)?
    2. Any experience with a DIY solution? Eg. replacing the old glass with modern glass?
    3. For those that adapt to E39, what was your method and lens shade?
    4. Any of the OEM shades for these things collector pieces?
     
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  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Congrulatiions ! They are matchless lenses. I would not use Japanese or East European films with these lenses. With Leica , at worst shot , there would be always an high quality detail , bokeh , elegant color with these lenses. I am seeing at Japanese lenses and films , at your best shot , there would be always a bad bokeh out of balance tone , bad cheap color , out of sharp area and any others.
     
  3. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Here's my thinking, and the route I took. I love vintage cameras because they ARE vintage. I have a couple of Nikon DSLR cameras and pro f2.8 zooms when I want something tack sharp and highly saturated. Sometimes all of that is overated though. I love the look I get from classic gear, and like the sense of connection I get to history and the people of long ago when I use really old lenses etc. For whatever format I'm shooting, I think in terms of the SYSTEM, not the pieces. I have a Leica IIIc, which is about the most modern film equipment I own. (My true loves are from the 1930s or pre-Civil War.) I went with a Leica IIIc from 1942 as the thought of owning something made during such a chaotic time fascinates me. For lenses, I went with ones correct to the period. I have a very early Elmar 5cm f3.5 vintage ~1932, Summaron 3.5cm f3.5, and Elmar 90mm f4, the last two being from 1946 and 1948. I really like the images these lenses create, and I like using them. They all take the same A36 filters and I use the A35 FIKUS hood. Add a Leica style cable release, a couple of A36 filters, VIOOH viewfinder, and a ArcaSwiss QR plate and I'm set! It all fits in a very nice compact LowePro bag, the Streamline 100. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._LP36361_PAM_StreamLine_100_Shoulder_Bag.html I love this little compact system! For a meter I use the Sekonic L-208, which is very compact as well. I don't get hung up on the lenses as I am specifically after a vintage look anyway. I just want a system that works well together. It's my "Leica team!"

    The A36 filters are the clamp on type (with a screw,) and they are plentiful and cheap. I usually snag them off ebay or KEH. To reduce space in my bag, I also just went with the FIKUS adjustable hood. Even though most aren't marked, you can use them with the 3.5cm lens if you shorten them all the way. Downside is you can't use filters with the hood on (vignettes.) I have two filers: yellow 1 and orange. I don't use so-called "protection" filters as they increase flare and can scratch up your lens if they break into shards. Never used "protection" filters and all of my lenses are perfect despite 25+ years of hard outdoor use. I do use lens caps though


    Kent in SD
     
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  4. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I can reconsider the filter thing ...but...

    They take an arcaswiss plate? I was unaware! which one fits? The same ones that mount on M's? Are the base plates the same dimensions.
     
  5. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    The old Barnacks are absolutely wonderful cameras and I love using them. In some ways they are more difficult because of the small rangefinder and viewfinder windows, but that just makes them a joy to work with. Based on what I understand of Barnack's intent, they are much closer then any of the later M versions.

    I am very far from being an expert on anything Leica, but my Elmar 5cm/3.5 uses the A36 clamp-on filters, and they are relatively easy to find and can be had for decent prices, unlike the more modern Leica lenses and accessories. The hood I use is the FIKUS adjustable, and mine was inexpensive. It clamps on just like the filters. The filter and hood may vignette on the 35mm Elmar, but I haven't noticed that problem with my 50mm.

    I do not use the Summitar or the Summaron so I cannot speak to those.
     
  6. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I edited my post to make things more concise. I was a bit all over.
     
  7. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    I'd look for more modern, multicoated filters if possible - and as the glass in these older Leica lenses is very soft (and the coating fragile), I'd keep a filter on as much as possible to reduce the need to clean the glass directly. I use color correction filters frequently and shoot modern, hard-coated lenses without filters otherwise. My Summar always has a filter on it as I want to keep it unscratched.

    Modern multicoated filter don't add much in the way of flare. I have a Hoya MC filter on a Summar which works nicely. The only headache is that it makes filters that fit over the lens more of a headache. For example, a FIKUS works with the Summar without a filter but vignettes with one. I still haven't found a hood solution I really like. I'll probably try a DIY solution at some point.

    ...

    And plenty of the non-Leica glass is excellent. The Voigtlander lenses are generally safer purchases (less variability due to age than 50+ year old glass). The Yashinon 5cm 1.8 is a favorite of mine but the Canon LTM lenses are very close. The VC 35mm 2.5 LTM is an excellent 35mm option and a bargain compared to almost anything else out there.
     
  8. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    True, my questions were regarding Leica glass but when you factor in the soft glass, and filter/hood issues, the Japanese glass becomes instantly more appealing. Thanks for the tip! but I hope this thread doesn't become a Leica vs non-Leica debate.
     
  9. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I use a generic flat A/S QR plate on the Leica. As a bonus, it is flat and easily stores in a side pocket of my LowePro bag, along with the cable release.


    Kent in SD
     
  10. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I've had a Summitar for a few years and had no hood or any way to use filters with it. I recently bought one of these kits from ebay seller Heavystar. It's a good price and now I have a lens hood and can use my 39mm filters on the Summitar.
     
  11. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    To make an LTM usable today, by which I mean it can integrate into other newer methods of attaching hoods and filters etc, then I would forget (regretfully) the early Elmars because you need to remove the filter to change aperture.

    So choose a more modern lens such as a Summitar or Summicron, and get any necessary adapters (like Michael has shown above), and use modern filters and hoods. This opens up your choices and you don't need to scour the internet for rare or expensive items. All to often older lenses can throw up hurdles that turn them into niche purchases and not everyday users.

    Steve
     
  12. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Well I use the aperture adjustment (link below) ring, then UV (or Y0) filter and then FISON hood on a coated '49 Elmar and a IIIc. To adjust the aperture you slacken the filter clamp-screw rotate the filter and tighten the screw. Not quick like a click stopped lens but no hazard of finger printing a lens. You don't have to use a filter it (the ring) will work ok with just a hood. If you need to change filter it is slow as the ring is sprung into the filter, other wise the solution is practical. If you use several filters get several rings...

    http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00O3IQ

    The VOOLA I have I got in photo shop 8 years ago and the Ch collectors seem to have bought all the others as it is now astro for a bit of chromed brass, last one I say was 50 GBP...

    I stick on a generic plastic 36mm cap on front of the fison, ..., lens assembly in collapsed or extended state and throw into Hadley digital...

    The LTM Elmars are very different year on year I'd get a red dial (i.e. late one) as they are better then the later f/2.8 post '57 LTM ones. They are collectors and way over priced for the optical performance you get. You are paying for the name plate.

    With a cron or tar I use a leitz filter and a barn door hood, the barn doors are still cheap today...

    Noel
    P.S. the filter adjustment ring is only meant for the clamp on 36mm filters thn slip on early collectible ones are much less convenient.
     
  13. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Yep, for amateur photographers the old Leica lenses are not good enough. :wink:
    What was Max Berek thinking when designed the Elmar - sharp, beautiful, compact..
    The perfect lens is supposed to be big, black, ugly, soft and say Nikon or Canon :D
     
  14. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Yes, very funny.

    I was thinking of my drawer full of Leica bits and pieces that have been accumulated over the years purely to make LTM's work. And having grown up (a long time ago actually),I realised I'm not one of the people who relish talking about part numbers and barn door's and slip on this or that's. If I use 39mm filters with my other lenses it makes sense to unify the kit and carry less around. For me the photograph isn't so much about demonstrating a particular lens, it is about the subject of the photograph and if a big black lens on the day is more efficient than a 5cm Elmar I'm not going to beat myself up about it. That said, I would have to go out and buy a Canon or a Nikon to make it happen.:wink:

    Steve
     
  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    It is certainty very rare to see a pre M leica (or any Contax) in the streets being used, and the ones Ive seen have all been amateurs no pros.....
    He did not have a computer to do a more complete optimization and he had a more limiting glass catalog, modern lenses are smaller, better, cheaper
    agreed polycarbonate and high refractive index, all the pros have them, soft is questionable

    Noel
     
  16. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Yep, today's pros rely on Photoshop :D

    You are wild guessing here, there are a only few people who are aware what types of glass Leitz used back then and even today.
    Elmar they say is based on Zeiss Tessar, You don't need a computer for such simple lens formula.

    Todays pros shoting Nikon or Canon are blind for everything beyond 100 lp/mm (Nikon D800E physical resolution limit is ~ 100 lp/mm, Nyquist frequency)

    The shots they get today, using "modern" black, plastic, ugly dSLR lenses are much softer (and distorted) than what You can get with ltm Elmar 3,5/50 (or any decent prime made for RF film cameras) and films like Kodak t-max, Agfa Copex-rapid or some of the still available color negative or slide films.

    With ltm Elmar You get distortion free photo, since this design is nearly symmetrical and resolving power great up to ƒ 5,6.

    The above been confirmed true several times already by authorities like Carl Zeiss AG Camera Lens Division in lens test conducted by Dr. Hubert Nasse, senior scientist at Zeiss and chief optical designer.
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    photo shop is verbotem for photo journos, e.g. stitching two shots together for a pano is dismissible, too many people have been naughty...
    Leitz have published some of the glass types for some of their lenses e.g. in the quarterly magazine they used to send to every one who registered a passport, including a set of Elmars glasses, but Elmars have gone through lots of sets. This is hardly 'only a few' people. Elmars are thin lens triplets like Tessars and the computer software will indeed converge to either design. given minimal constraint, and you do need the computer to reduce the manufacturing cost to the minimum, manufacturing cost is profit, not performance, and profit is important _ expansive marketing statements can skirt around performance issues.
    the pro D4 only does about 68 LPM at Nyquist, but that can be in the dark when you need a flashlight to see your nose... 35mm was never about quality.
    the Nikon 5cm f/1.4 is a superb lens high resolution and low distortion it is an enhanced double Gauss - a near symmetric design ,and what ISO do the films have?
    I thought it was an asymmetric triplet, (is three and even number?) and even at /5.6 it softens into the corners, the post '94 M Elmar is a much better performer, there are published MTF diagrams for both lenses. - but I suppose great is subjective marketing speak?
    So Zeiss are marketing Leica LTM lenses as well as having Cosina manufacture most of their own ZM lenses, that does sound strange?
     
  18. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I wouldn't count out some of the Soviet lenses if you can use them.

    They can be found in good shape rather easily, I've been delving into a full FED-2 system recently and some of the lenses can produce excellent results.

    I've heard great things about the Industar 26m, but if I had the cash for Leica glass it would be a no-brainer.