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  1. #1
    Hawkeye's Avatar
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    When did Leica resolve lens fogging issue?

    I’m looking for a summicron or elmar 50mm for my M2.

    I’d prefer to stay away from lenses that may have fogging issues. I’m assuming at some point in time the fogging issue was resolved. True?

    If true, what serial number (date) should I look for to avoid lenses that may have, or might get, lens fog.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    AgX
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    What is lens fogging?

    Condensation of fumes out of the grease used in the lens barrel?

  3. #3
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    You'll find Stephen Gandy's take on this subject at the link below.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/mlenses.htm

  4. #4
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    May be true, however, I have seen fog on other brand lens also. I don't know Mr. Gandy, but he does have an incentive, shown by his additional statement :
    "Now a good case can be made for the inexpensive current production Cosina Voigtlander lens lineup. "

    That said, I would rather have a lens without fog or haze. It sounds like if you have or come across an older lens without fog, it isn't likely get fog so it may be worth considering.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Iím looking for a summicron or elmar 50mm for my M2.

    Iíd prefer to stay away from lenses that may have fogging issues. Iím assuming at some point in time the fogging issue was resolved. True?

    If true, what serial number (date) should I look for to avoid lenses that may have, or might get, lens fog.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Any lens may develop internal fog if stored in poor (damp) conditions. I own all the iterations of the 50mm Summicron M and cannot say that any one has a greater tendency to fog (apart from greater age). The position with Elmars is different - this is a Tessar-type (4-element) lens, Leica chose to place the iris diaphragm right behind the first element instead of between elements 2 and 3, this lens, especially in the f2.8 version, is notorious for fogging due to evaporation of oil from the iris. I have scrapped two examples over the years because of this, the very latest version may be better (no experience of this).

  6. #6

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    Never seen one w/fog & I've seen a lot of them f**ked up with damage to the front elements.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  7. #7

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    Oh they get cloudy. My old 50mm collapsible Summicron (1954) was so cloudy when I bought it you couldn't see through it. As somebody mentioned above, it's probably due to outgassing of the lubricants. The good news is that most haze is easily cleaned. I had my Summicron cleaned and it's now one of my favorite lenses. As to when the fogging stopped, probably in the 1960's I'm guessing, though you can argue that it's probably still going on, if the outgassing theory is true.

    Jim B.

  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I’m looking for a summicron or elmar 50mm for my M2 I’d prefer to stay away from lenses that may have fogging issues.
    I would stay away from 50's Leitz lenses - I have had lenses with the 'etched glass' problem - it still cost $100 to get them taken apart and cleaned to no avail. The problem is no recent discovery and has been known for (at a minimum) 20 years.

    You may find a 50's Elmar/Summicron/etc. that doesn't exhibit etching but it is a matter of time and humidity until it does. Not all lenses used the glass formulations that were prone to etching but the early 50mm f3.5 and f2.8 Elmars were a real problem.

    The 80's Summicron is probably the best buy if you want Leitz glass. I am rather blasť about Leitz optical performance: I can't honestly tell the difference between an 80's 50mm f2.0 Summicron and a comparable Nikkor - even with TechPan and a resolution target. There is nothing wrong with the Summicron, but just about all major 50mm f2.0 lenses are superb performers. OTOH, if I look at the build quality between a Summicron and a Nikkor (or any other modern lens) there is no contest: the Summicron wins by miles.

    The advice to seek Cosina/"Voigtlander" lenses is good advice if you are going to use the camera for making photographs and are looking for the best bang for the buck.
    Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 01-27-2009 at 06:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    I would stay away from 50's Leitz lenses ...
    What you say about the risk of fogging is true, although I have not had any lens develop fogging after a CLA. However, what 50s Leitz lenses have going for them is great resolution and field coverage together with significantly lower contrast, which I personally like in color transparencies. I reserve my latest-model Summicron for b+w, where I find I need to downrate film even further than the usual 1/2-stop and cut development more than I do with other equipment (such as 80s Nikkors and view camera lenses ranging from 1950s to new). I find that the combination of a new Summicron and high-saturation color film gives screamingly high contrast.

  10. #10
    phc
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    This thread subject sounds like one of those "When did you stop beating your wife?" questions.

    What fogging?

    Cheers, Paul.
    paulhardycarter.com <<< Pictures and blog.
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