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  1. #1
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    Help: identifying my Leica-M 50 Summilux lens (Silver, 1962) and what to do with it??

    I have a silver Leica-M 50 mm lens f 1.4 Summilux with serial number 1946918 (Germany). The serial number indicates that this lens is from 1962. It is in very good condition and works flawlessly.

    Q1) Am I correct in assuming it is the first type of this lens?

    Q2) My other question: I saw two other lenses like these on internet" - the first has serial number 1945xxx see: http://photoalps.at/shop/Leica-M-1-1...lver-Version-1 - the second has serial number 2072xxx see: http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/50mm-f14.htm My lens number is in the middle of these numbers. The first lens on internet has "13" engraved behind the letter "m" and beneath the word "feet" of the focusing scale. The second lens has "14" engraved in this place. However, my lens has no engraving in this place what so ever. Can anyone tell me what this engravings mean and why there isn't any on my lens?

    Q3) This my hardest question (and doubt). Seeing the 2nd hand prices for these lenses, I'm wondering if I should sell mine and invest the money in a M9 or M-Monochrome camera (I love B&W)? I'm told Leica lenses are hard(er) to get nowadays thus raising the 2nd hand market prices. I also have a 35 mm Summicron, a 50 mm Summicron and a 90 mm Elmarit (f 2.8). I like wide angle more than tele photo. So I'm also thinking of selling the 90 mm lens (black, #2427612, Germany, like new) since I don't use it. This would mean I'll keep the 35 and 50 mm Summicron lenses. I have an old & battered M4-2 (but functioning), a M5 and a brand new M7. I would like to go digital with Leica but can't afford to buy one. My only digital camera is a Nikon D200. So: what would you do? Or maybe trade in my M7 for a digital Leica? I'm not sure....

    Thanks, Bert from Holland

  2. #2
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Help: identifying my Leica-M 50 Summilux lens (Silver, 1962) and what to do with it??

    Get the M-Monochrome. Your photos will improve dramatically.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

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  3. #3
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Sorry, did not mean to sound so flippant. Honestly though if you come to the Analog Photography Users Group and ask if you should go digital do not be surprised (MEME: If you ask about digital on this forum.....you're gonna have a bad time). Only you can really answer that question. You got a line-up of some the very best glass in existence. If you are not satisfied you can ask yourself if digital will make it better, or will you ever be satisfied? You're over-thinking it I believe, and perhaps just need to go and study photographers you admire, shoot more, and get better. After 33 years of photography and many cameras (film and digital) I've discovered in the last year or two that an old Leica IIIa and a classic Nikon F2 give me more joy and the best photographs I've taken in a long time. Go figure...
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  4. #4
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    Hello Richard,
    Thanks for the comment. Your right: it's a bit strange to ask about a digital camera on this forum. I thought and hesitated about that. But then, posting it here would give me some reactions from people like you who also understand and appreciate the non-digital photography. People I won't likely find on other (digital) fora, where "more bytes is always better" rules. So please indulge me.
    And since this wasn't my only question, I dared posting it, hoping people won't find it too much off topic.

    First off all, let me say that I agree with you: a digital camera won't make you a better photographer (or an analogue for that matter). It's not that I'm not satisfied with my cameras or lenses. And I will stick to analogue just for the fun of it.
    But I would also like to be able to shoot digital. I have one digital camera (a Nikon D200) for about 6 years now and it seems it is dying on me (won't happen with my much older Nikon F5 or Nikon EL-2). So, instead of buying a new Nikon, I thought maybe I could get me a digital Leica, especially for the fantastic lenses I have. But I'm not able to make that kind of investment. Hence my dilemma. I'm very interested in a Leica M Monochrome, just not the price tag.

    But, even if I don't sell my lenses, I still have the 2 questions (Q1 and Q2) about the Summilux lens.

    And yes: I have great fun (and fantastic images) with my old Leica M4-2, my Bronica SQ-B or my Agfa Clack rebuild into a pinhole camera. I think I have about 20 different film cameras and I enjoy them all from time to time. So just one digital camera is allowed (in my opinion), even if it won't make my work better. Just easier on some occasions .....

    Thanks,
    Bert from Holland
    http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Sell a Leica-M 50 mm lens f 1.4 Summilux, are you mad?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Hi Bert, well-worded reply. :-)

    Consider what I did: Get a Sony NEX-6 and an adapter for the Leica lenses. A great digital camera with a viewfinder and the ability to use that great Leica glass digitally. I also shoot it with my old 60's Nikon glass too!

    Sorry I cannot answer the other questions for you. Consider the Leica forums too for those.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  7. #7
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    @Richard: good alternative and not so expensive. How does it work out? Lens + adapter on camera = manual settings? How do you focus? And can you still use the light meter from the Sony camera?
    BTW: would be nice to use my old Nikon glass as well. I have some very old beauties ;-)
    Are these adapters expensive?

    @Cliveh: might be ..... not sure yet ..... and maybe Richard came up with a cure .....

  8. #8
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Help: identifying my Leica-M 50 Summilux lens (Silver, 1962) and what to do with it??

    Yes, all manual, including focusing. Yes, you can use the camera's metering. The camera also has a nifty feature called "peaking" that accentuates in the viewfinder the contrasting lines in either white, yellow or red to assist ease of manually focusing. Works well IMO.

    Adapters are cheap, $15-50 on eBay. I have them for Leica, Nikon, Contax/Yashica and Contax RF.

    If you have other questions I can help with or comment we should take this to PM as others on this forum will not want this digital talk here...
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  9. #9

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    You can get an enormous pile of Ilford HP5 for the same price as one of those mono-only Leica digital bodies...
    Matt

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxBronica View Post
    You can get an enormous pile of Ilford HP5 for the same price as one of those mono-only Leica digital bodies...
    1673 rolls of it, by my approximation. That's a mighty big pile.

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