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  1. #1
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    What is wrong with my summar?

    Hi all,

    I got myself old summar 50/f2 screw mount for my leica. Glases are clean from scraches and fungus, couple of dust inside, no big deal. But after testing it - I see that something is wrong. Please see attached pictures, they are shoot at f5.6-f8, 1/100s on M3 with adapter, focus on infinity.

    It is not development of camera problem because I shoot some frames on same film with elmar 5cm/3.5 and with industar 5cm/3.5 on same adapter and all is ok. Only summar has those not acceptable results. Same is on close focus, wide open, all settings are giving bad results.

    thanks,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails summar-test1.JPG   summar-test2.JPG  

  2. #2

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    Summar

    Yes they are not so good are they? I am going to make a guess at this. Some lenses and I include leitz ones in that when assembled are screwed together in sections. Now these screw threads have multistart points and my guess is the lens has been dismantled at some time and re-assembled with the lens in the wrong position and wound onto the wrong thread and the focussing scale/rangefinder coupling is well out of adjustment.. Only a camera repair specialist would be able to tell fer certain

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Sorry to mention this, as you have one, but the Summar was probably the worst Leica lens ever made (in my opinion).

    “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

  4. #4
    fotch's Avatar
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    Is your adapter made by Leica or an import?
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  5. #5
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Is your adapter made by Leica or an import?
    Import, but it working fine with 2 other M39 lenses, so I gues this is not a problem.

  6. #6

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    All is not lost! I had a similar problem with an old 9cm Elmar, and tend to agree with BMbikerider, its probably been reassembled incorrectly at some point. I had my lens fully serviced, cleaned (and coated!!!) and reassembled correctly and its given great results ever since. Its whether or not you want to go to the extra expense to put it right I suppose.

  7. #7

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    I agree with the others about disassembly and incorrect reassembly. And the lens should be recollimated. I don't know how that's done with the Summar, but I would:

    1) Make sure that all elements are seated correctly and firmly, and

    2) Recalibrate the lens for infinity focus.

  8. #8
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    First, find out if the lens, itself, is bad or the mount is simply out of alignment. Do this, Darkosaric:

    Hold the lens, wide open, in front of the mount of an SLR that you have, adjusting it back and forth and close enough to the mount, in order to see if there really is a very well focused image that appears in your viewfinder. If there is, there is a problem with the distance that the lens is to the film plane. I wonder if the cam that guides the focus mechanism on the camera is off. Or, I wonder if one of the elements is either reversed or not put on properly. But, again, first you have to determine that the lens, as it is, is really capable of sharp images but only off in its focus.

    Sorry, but to brush this off as "Summars are not good" is rather ridiculous to say. Certainly what the OP has posted is worse than the cheapest box camera ever made and while the Summars might not come up to computerized formula standards at the far sides of the image, the lens is reputable and decent for the era.

    Yes, elekm, "infinity" is the key to get right first, Then all other distances should follow. - David Lyga

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Is it looking properly when opened ?
    y usewd
    The Summars aren't bad lenses, but they are eraly fast lenses so lter lenses are better. Summars and some Zeiss lenses suffer because newer optical glasses introduced the early 30's which make the glass quite soft, they scratch easily and are also prone to slight atmospheric attack. It affects Summars, Novars and some Tessars. So a lot depends on where the lenses have been used/stored as you'll find excellent examples and also poor ones and the effect is a soft diffused low contrast image.

    So you can have a lens that's scratch free and looks optically perfect at first glance but has aged badly so is next to useless. My own Summar is fine but I have a Novar that's junk on an Ikonta, and another similar Novar that came with a shutter and a Tessar.

    Ian

  10. #10
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Do this, Darkosaric:

    Hold the lens, wide open, in front of the mount of an SLR that you have, adjusting it back and forth and close enough to the mount, in order to see if there really is a very well focused image that appears in your viewfinder.
    I have done this: no focused image at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Sorry, but to brush this off as "Summars are not good" is rather ridiculous to say.
    I have summicron and elmar, I am not looking perfection from summar. I got summar because I wanted the look that it gives, I just got a bad copy. But that is life, I will see how much is repair, probably cheaper would be to buy another example and sell this one as broken. Good thing is that here in Hamburg there is a Leica Meister camera shop - they give warranty for their second hand lenses.

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