Tuesday, April 21, 2015

1946 Leica Summitar / 1953 Leica Summicron / side by side / taken by Sony RX1 @ f4

Just got the Summitar. Its Aperture dial was stuck. These lenses can be cleaned and lubed with a little care and the help of our friends on the internet. Unscrewed the lens top. Removed two set screws. Removed the adjustment ring. Cleaned the inner and outer ring surfaces with alcohol and applied thin film of Teflon impregnated bicycle lube and reassembled. Since I mount these lenses on various digital cameras, it is important to note that the Summicron's retraction distance is quite a bit less than the Summitar's. As you can see, the distance marking's on the Summicron are in meters and the Summitar's are in feet. One was designed to be sold in Europe, the other in the US. The Summicron has detents and clicks into place at each aperture stop marking, F2, 2.8, etc. The Summitar flows freely with no such clicks. Both are retractable, even though Leica did offer a rigid version of the Summicron beginning in 1956, three years after this one was made, in 1953. It is interesting to note that the serial number for the Summicron lists it as a 1952 model, even though the lens was introduced in 1953. Apparently the factory assigned numbers prior to production. It's also interesting that the Summicron was co-terminus with the M3 intro, yet this lens, as there are many others, was not an M mount, but rather a 39mm screw mount, to be used on the model III, etc. Both lenses are coated, which is typical for post WWII.
Summicron is a bit yellow from radioactivity.

Both fully extended here. When retracted, the Summitar protrudes rearward about twice as much. Both lenses, are shown here have been fitted with screw on, aftermarket M mount adapters, to allow mounting in the the M8, R-D1 and others. Otherwise you'd see the screw mounts below.

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