Which LTM glass, fitler threads, hoods
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?
Last edited by puketronic; 02-02-2013 at 09:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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/produc...ulder_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
Last edited by Two23; 02-02-2013 at 07:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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.
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.
I edited my post to make things more concise. I was a bit all over.
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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.
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.
Originally Posted by Brian Legge
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
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.
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.