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Archive 2013 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?
  
 
wfrank
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


Have come across a beautiful Leitz Summitar 50/2 from 1946. There's a distinct (but tiny) air bubble in it. I am sure it does not affect image quality. Somebody claimed it was a quality sign of the glass but Leica dont really need that :-)

My question is, should it affect the price - or are they (almost) always present in lenses of this age?



Jun 20, 2013 at 04:49 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


I wouldn't worry about it. I've seen a lot of Zeiss Sonnar lenses for sale from that era with similar bubbles. A greater concern would be haze, fungus, separation and oil. You know, the usual afflictions of old lenses.

If the price is good, this might be a nice character lens. I think I tired one once, a number of years ago, and it might have been a bit swirly on FF...



Jun 20, 2013 at 05:14 PM
redisburning
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


wfrank wrote:
Have come across a beautiful Leitz Summitar 50/2 from 1946. There's a distinct (but tiny) air bubble in it. I am sure it does not affect image quality. Somebody claimed it was a quality sign of the glass but Leica dont really need that :-)

My question is, should it affect the price - or are they (almost) always present in lenses of this age?


I am not sure how value goes, but if it's not a collector condition/priced item, an air bubble should not affect the price in any meaningful way.

no, it is not a sign of quality. it is a sign of limited production technique from an era where they could not prevent air bubbles. most early nikon RF lenses have them too. later lenses tend not to, not because they were made more cheaply, rather the opposite; they were made with more capable machines.



Jun 20, 2013 at 05:38 PM
LightShow
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


Crucibles could not handle the high heat for a long time before contaminating the glass so the bubbles didn't have time to work there way out, better materials in the crucible means the glass has more time to expel the bubbles.
And AFAIK the bubbles have no effect on the image under the vast majority of shots you'll take, but I could see a light source in frame causing some issues in some situations.



Jun 20, 2013 at 06:32 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


Thanks guys appreciated. I'll see what can be done with the price. I cant really justify buying it just for the effect if it aint cheap.

Rubbish testshots but theres definitely some nice funk going on in the bokeh









Jun 20, 2013 at 07:14 PM
 

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Toothwalker
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


wfrank wrote:
Have come across a beautiful Leitz Summitar 50/2 from 1946. There's a distinct (but tiny) air bubble in it. I am sure it does not affect image quality. Somebody claimed it was a quality sign of the glass but Leica dont really need that :-)

My question is, should it affect the price - or are they (almost) always present in lenses of this age?


If it does not affect image quality, then the right price could depend on whether the buyer is a collector or a photographer.



Jun 20, 2013 at 07:34 PM
joe88
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


I think its quite common for some bubbles to appear in some of these older glass. I think some of the other experts on this forum can elaborate, but my understanding is that sometimes some of these bubbles actually create a layer of coating on the lens to actually improve flare suppression. For example, quite a few of the prewar Zeiss Contax RF lenses have bubbles and its not an issue to use of one these lenses except for the collectors.

Most of the earlier Leitz lenses up to the 1950s have softer glass elements, I would be more concerned about cleaning marks, scratches or haze. That said, if you are concerned, there are plenty of Summitars out in the market, if you are patient, you can find a good one. Otherwise see if the seller is willing to refund the lens if you find that the bubble create IQ issues?

There are quite a lot of these vintage lenses out in the market with minty barrel and externals but with imperfect glass. Otherwise I know quite a few collectors buy two or even more lenses and swap parts/ elements to create a nice "collector".



Jun 20, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Almass
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


It depends on the collector, which lens and which period.

Some would jump on a lens with bubbles and some will shy away.

In both cases, bubbles are only acceptable and sought for old noble lenses (over 15 years old).

In case the collector is a photographer and it is a "noble" lens, then he would value much more such lens as it is unique and has very strong chances to have it's own rendering signature.





Jun 20, 2013 at 08:50 PM
JohnJ
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


Personally I would avoid bubbles if possible but the reality is that they are quite normal and common, more so in the past.

From Schott.

See pages 25-26:

http://www.schott.com/advanced_optics/english/download/schott_optical_glass_pocket_catalog_europe_october_2011_en.pdf

More specific info re bubbles (you have to register):

http://www.schott.com/advanced_optics/english/community/technical-papers-and-tools/tie.html?so=australia&lang=english



Jun 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Leica Air Bubbles a good thing?


Bubbles wont hurt if its front elements of lens, back elements wouldnt be that good.


Jun 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM





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