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  1. #1
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Collapsible screwmounts.

    I'd like one. I'm thinking about the Canon 50/1.9, but it may be slightly (or really, really, really) over my 'budget' since I'm trying to save for an M and the CV 35/1.2. The prices I've seen for them lately are over the auction prices of a Summicron collapsible.

    So, the question. How are the Elmars? Should I consider a Summitar? If I went Leica it would be my first...and my most expensive lens. I know that the FSU clones are pretty good as well when you get a good one, but I don't know if I'd want to take a chance on the auction site for that.

    Any comments would be appreciated, thanks.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  2. #2

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    I've got a FED 2 with a collapsible lens. The lens's model number isn't clearly marked, but I'm sure the possibilities are limited. Concerning its quality, I can't say much. I've shot with this lens, but not a lot so far. My early impression is that it's a bit softer than many other lenses, but not in an unpleasant way; it just produces photos with a more old-fashioned feel.

    One thing to consider concerning FSU lenses is that their prices are so low that you can afford to take more of a gamble -- buy three or four and at least one's likely to be good (at least, in terms of fungus, scratches, focusing stiffness, etc.), and the total cost might not be more than you'd pay for a single sample from a higher-status brand. OTOH, if you want Leica quality, you're not likely to find it in FSU gear.

  3. #3
    Ole
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    Stephanie,

    I have a big stack of collapsible FSU lenses. I'll give you one to try. Either an I-22, a I-50 or a FED lens - they're all 50mm f:3.5. I'll see which decent one I can find when I get home next week.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Awesome, Ole. You saying you had a bunch was what got me thinking about it again, actually. I'm also debating whether or not waiting and getting one next year when I get an M2. Decisions decisions.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  5. #5
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
    So, the question. How are the Elmars? Should I consider a Summitar? If I went Leica it would be my first...and my most expensive lens. I know that the FSU clones are pretty good as well when you get a good one ...
    Like others, I never got a 50 mm FSU lens that I liked - on the other hand, I've had 2 135 mm Russian lenses and they were both good.

    Summitar - having owned the 2 lenses either side of the Summitar (Summar and Summicron), I can't help but regard it as a transitional design - the coated version is definitely preferable, still has a lot of tendency to flare by modern standards, but is sharp and has quite a flat field by the time it's closed down 2 stops. The original Leica lens hood for the Summitar is a hoot (and shows how little faith Leitz had in their flare suppression) - it's huge and collapsible!

    The Elmar is a great classic - I enjoy playing with an uncoated 50 mm f3.5 from time to time.The f2.8 I think is only worth considering if you feel you must have a collapsible lens - it has the design oddity that the iris diaphragm is placed (IIRC) between the first and second elements. Store your Leica and f2.8 Elmar lovingly in a drawer for any length of time lying on its back and oil vapor will condense onto the back of the front element - leave it too long and the glass will be pitted and beyond saving. I did have a mint-condition coated f3.5 Elmar once - very disappointed in the performance, spent money having it checked, the verdict was it was in as-new condition but ahd never been any good! It is worth bearing in mind that people scrutinise Leica pictures much harder now that they did, certainly before the war - the original owner of this lens (which was immediately post-war) may have used it for years, made 5x7" prints from the negs and thought the results were great.

    I have just bought a 50 mm Summicron mark II and am looking forward to this - Summicron mark I was a nice lens, lower contrast than today's lenses, but I think Japanese collectors have bought every worthwhile example on the face of the earth! If I hadn't got this lens, I think I would have bought a CV f2.5 Color-Skopar. The choice is frightening!

    Regards,

    David

  6. #6
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    FSU Lenses

    You may be pleasantly suprised by the FSU lens you get from Ole. I have an I-22 and an I-50. I think they're sharp. I showed photos taken with the I-22, along with the lens and zorki-1 camera to a researcher where I used to work. He was born in Germany and a Leica collector. He marveled at the sharpness of the images and said, "Almost as good as an Elmar." Big praise from a proud Leica collector. As for the camera itself and the lens, "Not too shabby." The following year I showed photos taken with an I-50 to a coworker who had photographed professionally in a previous career. She was also impressed with the quality of the images. I believe the build quality of Khruschev era FEDs and Zorkis was better than some of the later models. I also think lenses from that period were more carefully adjusted at the factory - I didn't have to do any adjusting to my I-22 or I-50. All my later lenses were overunning infinity and I had to adjust them out. But they were sharp after that. Let us know how you feel about the lens!
    Happiness is a load of bulk chemicals, a handful of recipes, a brick of film and a box of paper. - desertrat

  7. #7
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Stephanie

    WHAT do you want the lens to do for you ? Is there a period 'look' you want to reproduce ? Without some kind of context, there is no way to answer any question about " is it good " ?

    SO, what do you like already ? Pin some things down, and the rest takes care of itself.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Not looking for any specific look...I just want a collapsible with a decent sharpness and smooth bokeh. It's more that I want one to put on the camera when I'm going out in the daytime and I need the whole thing to be pocketable.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  9. #9

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    What camera body would you put the collapsable on? The reason I ask is that they cannot be used with the Cosina Voigtlander bodies as they will hit the shutter when collapsed.

  10. #10
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Koch
    What camera body would you put the collapsable on? The reason I ask is that they cannot be used with the Cosina Voigtlander bodies as they will hit the shutter when collapsed.
    Not sure about this - I have a Bessa L with a pre-war collapsible 50 mm Elmar on it, have even fired the shutter accidentally with the lens pushed in - no damage!

    Regards,

    David

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