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  1. #1

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    Collapsible daylight lenses for Leica M questions

    I'm interested in a daylight collapsible lens....something single coated and low contrast would be ideal. I like a little bit of flare so old Leica lenses make sense (as opposed to something modern)

    I'm thinking of one of the Elmars in M mount (f2.8 or f3.5); the speed difference doesn't matter and they are similarly priced. Opinions on sharpness vary but if clean, then I'd imagine that either will be sharp enough.

    1. Is one Elmar more prone to haze over the other? I read that the iris diaphragm is inside the front air-spaced lens group, and so the front element tends to hazes up. This was in context with the f2.8 Elmar but it might be the same with the f3.5 Elmar.

    2. How are the ergonomics? I believe they both sport 39mm filter threads. Are the apertures clicky or clickless?

    3. I know that the LTM mount Elmars are tiny but I believe that the M mount Elmars are larger due to aperture control? Is there a difference in size between the f2.8 and f3.5 Elmars in M mount? I'd imagine the size difference to be minor.

  2. #2
    JLP
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    There are really only 4 collapsible Leica lenses whether in LTM or M mount. The Elmar, the Summar, the Summitar and the Summicron.
    The Elmar was made in both a 3.5 and 2.8 version. The version II Elmar (2.8) is prone to internal fogging from the lubrication used on the iris. The collapsible Summicron is prone to cleaning marks on the front as the coating is very soft, it also often have internal hazing issues.
    So, yes the Elmar is more prone to internal hazing than other Leica lenses.
    The Summitar have clickless aperture but the Summicron have click at every half stop. The Summitar need a special adaptor from 36mm to 39mm but the Summicron have 39mm filter thread.
    Not sure about the Elmars as I only have and old 3.5 LTM that does not have a filter thread.

    If you have a choice go with a 2,8 Elmar or a Summicron if you can find them clean. The Summitar is good too with some character that the other two is lacking a little. The Summitar is a very good lens for the price.
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  3. #3

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    Don't forget the collapsible Elmar-M 90 f/4

  4. #4

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    I think the early 2.8 Elmar, and the 3.5, are both pretty resistant to unexpected flare so they may not be the thing for you. The Summitar on the other hand has an extra stop and does flare and 'glow' a bit wide open even with a hood. You would need a cheap adapter to put 39mm filters and hoods on, but it is a fine lens and developing a cult status given its change in character from wide open to stopped down. The Summicron on the other hand is much more even across its range, falling off in detail rendering wide open but not nearly the type of 'glow' a Summitar has.

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  5. #5

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    Oh and to be clear, I'm interested in 50mm lenses only. This thread is specific to the Elmars but I don't mind advice on other lenses.

    I'm back and forth between the Elmars, Summitar, and the Summicron. Gauging which one is better is a bit problematic as it will come down to which one I can find/afford clean.

    Is the Summitar generally easier to find clean than the Summicron? I hear that a lot of Summicrons have hazed up, is this true also for the Summitar?
    Last edited by puketronic; 09-21-2013 at 04:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    erikg's Avatar
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    No love for the Summar? I think they can be quite beautiful. There are also Russian made collapsible 50's in LTM, nice and inexpensive.

  7. #7
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    I have elmar 5cm f3.5 in M mount and summicron 50 type III. Both are great and sharp lenses, good with flare as well (but summicron handles flare better). Elmar is smaller, but comparing to elmar in screw mount it is big. Good thing about M mount elmar is that it takes normal 39 filters, and it is aperture clicks. You cannot go wrong with any of those if they are in good condition. Summar 50 is great (I have it) - but not as only lens for Leica (specific character). I had before 50mm f3.5 industar collapsible - also nice and sharp, and super cheap.

    Any 50mm lens for Leica is good - question is only how much $$$ you are ready to spend .

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I used Summitar , Elmar , Summicron and they are all different animals. You must conduct a good research before buying a Leitz lens. Find manufacturing date annals and magazines and compare everything with everything. May be large format Ektar or Wollensak or a Zeiss on Hasselblad is better for you. Leica lenses are for people who have idea on them or you end up saying nikon is better next month.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
    Is the Summitar generally easier to find clean than the Summicron? I hear that a lot of Summicrons have hazed up, is this true also for the Summitar?
    IMO, yes and yes, and for less money than the Summicron.

    Summitar lenses also exhibit mild swirly bokeh effects wide open if you like that kind of thing. FWIW, the Elmar 2.8 has very pleasant bokeh characteristics that more than makes up for its slower maximum aperture.
    Last edited by funkydog; 09-21-2013 at 09:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    LTM 50/3.5 Elmars used A36 slip-ons and the later version E39 filters.
    With the A36 to adjust the aperture you must remove the filter or find the adapter that uses
    an external lever that engages the aperture ring.
    E39's have an aperture ring just behind the front group and accessible.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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