Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

  

Are there notable optical/coatings differences between la...
  
 
bigbuddha319
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


So I've found some pretty good deals on the 50mm and 90mm Summicrons. They're in respectable condition, have clean optics, are 3-cam and the latest/2nd versions of the lenses, but have very early serial numbers (278xxxx and 283xxxx respectively).

According to this wiki: https://www.l-camera..._x_Focal_Length it would appear that those were in fact the first production year of the 50mm and 90mm summicrons making the ones I want to buy from 1976 and over 40 years old.

So I was just wondering if people have ever noticed or if it's ever been reasonably inferred that the higher/later serial numbers of these lenses were improved over the years or had higher contrast, improved sharpness, etc.? Or if the the look and optics for the Leica R lenses were pretty consistent across their entire production span. Besides the addition of ROM contacts, I assume no optical changes were made to the latest version of R lenses, but sometimes the dedicated lens community will notice otherwise.

For example, it was well documented that certain Contax Zeiss lenses that were made in the 90s which had later serial numbers were noticeably sharper than the ones that had earlier serial numbers from the 70s-80s (I'm not talking about AE vs. MM; merely certain lenses like the 50mm f/1.7 got sharper over the course of it's production life).

I just want to make sure that regardless of the serial number for theses lenses, assuming the optics and body are in good condition, that I will be able to get the same image quality from an early serial numbered lens as a late one. So basically, assuming you had a mint copy of a 50mm summicron from the 70s and a mint copy from the late 90s, pictures taken with the two lenses should look practically identical in terms of color, sharpness, CA, etc.?

Thank you!!



Sep 03, 2017 at 03:18 AM
JohnJ
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


Any production line will change over a very long period of time as processes improve (maybe for economic reasons or technical). But is that variation as great as sample variation alone (within the allowed range of tolerances), or the reality that a new lens is often cleaner than an older one?

I tend to agree with the 'later-Contax-serial-number-are-better' story based on weight of experience but I don't think I've seen this with Leica R lenses so am disinclined to agree without either a consensus from users or confirmation from the factory.

Test the lenses, if you like them buy them.



Sep 03, 2017 at 04:29 AM
bigbuddha319
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


When it comes to the Leica R lenses, it's very difficult to find them in stores to test firsthand so I just gotta go off the pictures. While KEH has great service, their selection is rather limited so I'm going the eBay route.


Sep 03, 2017 at 04:57 AM
freaklikeme
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


With the Summicron-R 35 and 50, I've compared lenses manufactured in Canada to lenses made after they moved manufacturing to Germany and found no discernible differences in performance. I had expected an uptick in contrast with backlit situations, especially with the 50, since it was produced right around the time they introduced the DMR, but I couldn't see a difference between it and the Midland lens.

I've only used Canadian pre-AA 90's, so I don't know there, but I suspect the story would be the same. The 90 was my gateway drug, by the way. You might want to lower the limits on your bank transfers/cards now. After these two, things tend to get pricey.



Sep 03, 2017 at 05:23 AM
freaklikeme
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


bigbuddha319 wrote:
When it comes to the Leica R lenses, it's very difficult to find them in stores to test firsthand so I just gotta go off the pictures. While KEH has great service, their selection is rather limited so I'm going the eBay route.


The great thing about KEH is the zero-hassle return policy. That can be a big crap-shoot with the bay. Take a look at Adorama, B&H, and igorcamera.com. The first two are impersonal but trustworthy, and Igor you can call and ask questions about the lens before you buy. Things to consider.



Sep 03, 2017 at 05:29 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



bigbuddha319
Offline

Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


freaklikeme wrote:
With the Summicron-R 35 and 50, I've compared lenses manufactured in Canada to lenses made after they moved manufacturing to Germany and found no discernible differences in performance. I had expected an uptick in contrast with backlit situations, especially with the 50, since it was produced right around the time they introduced the DMR, but I couldn't see a difference between it and the Midland lens.

I've only used Canadian pre-AA 90's, so I don't know there, but I suspect the story would be the same. The 90 was my gateway drug, by the way. You might want to lower the
...Show more

Gotcha. That's good to hear that at least manufacturing location made no difference.

Haha, the addiction has already started for me. I love the look, but also just the feel of the lenses in my hand. I have the 35mm and as my post says, I'm hunting for good copies of the 50mm and 90mm summicrons.

I know down the line, the ones I really want are the 19mm f/2.8 V2, 80mm f/1.4, and 100mm APO f/2.8. But like you said, those are extremely pricey haha.



Sep 03, 2017 at 05:30 AM
freaklikeme
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


bigbuddha319 wrote:
Gotcha. That's good to hear that at least manufacturing location made no difference.

Haha, the addiction has already started for me. I love the look, but also just the feel of the lenses in my hand. I have the 35mm and as my post says, I'm hunting for good copies of the 50mm and 90mm summicrons.

I know down the line, the ones I really want are the 19mm f/2.8 V2, 80mm f/1.4, and 100mm APO f/2.8. But like you said, those are extremely pricey haha.


They are very well built. At last count, I've been in possession of 62 used Leica R and M lenses and have never had a mechanical or optical problem with any of them (that I didn't cause myself), and the bulk of them have been heavily used copy. My 60 macro looked like it had been rolled down several hills and still shot like a dream. In the R line, I'm down to three teles, and one of them is the APO 100, a lens I can't picture myself ever selling while I'm still shooting the 135 format. It's superb at any distance, so, to me, it justifies its price with high usability.



Sep 03, 2017 at 06:02 AM
Sam_W
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


If you want a "timeless" selection that won't break the bank completely (so no Super-Elmarit-R 2.8/15, no Apo-Telyt-R 4/280), I'd recommend:

* Elmarit-R 2.8/19 v2: Basically a reference lens. Only bested by the C/Y Distagon 2.8/21, but not by the Z* versions. (It has style.)

* Elmarit-R 2.8/24: Under-rated lens. Wide, but handles the distortion well. Excellent on a crop body. And very cheap, comparatively-speaking.

* Elmarit-R 2.8/28 v2: Again, basically a reference lens. Though for less than a quarter of the price, you can get about 90-95% of the IQ, and style, with the C/Y Distaong 2.8/28.

Budget: Summicron-R 2/35: Excellent lens all around. Cheap, and great.
Not-budget: Summilux-R 1.4/35: Fantastic lens. Expensive. Full of character and style. Arguably "bested" by the C/Y Distagon 1.4/35, but character really matters, since we're talking mostly about wide-open performance here.

* Summicron-R 2/50: If you like a schizophrenic lens and a challenge to make you a better photographer.

* Macro-Elmarit-R 2.8/60: Seriously good glass. With style. Walter Mandler style. 'Nuff said.

Pick between the Summilux-R 1.4/80 or the pre-Apo Summicron-R 2/90. They're both excellent and pretty unique pieces of glass. The Summilux more-so, due to the bokeh effects wide-open.

* Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 2.8/100: Reference lens.

* Apo-Elmarit-R 2.8/180: Expensive and questionable choice, but excellent glass. If you get a v2, you can stick the Apo-Extender-R 1.4 on it for a budget 4/250 that retains apo qualities.

Edited on Sep 03, 2017 at 05:28 PM · View previous versions



Sep 03, 2017 at 06:11 AM
genji
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


freaklikeme wrote:
They are very well built. At last count, I've been in possession of 62 used Leica R and M lenses and have never had a mechanical or optical problem with any of them (that I didn't cause myself), and the bulk of them have been heavily used copy. My 60 macro looked like it had been rolled down several hills and still shot like a dream. In the R line, I'm down to three teles, and one of them is the APO 100, a lens I can't picture myself ever selling while I'm still shooting the 135 format. It's superb
...Show more

The ROM version of the Summilux-R 35/1.4 that I purchased from you in 2010 must have been one of the (hardly used) exceptions. It was (and remains) pristine. I doubt I'll ever sell it (or any other of the Leica R lenses I've picked up).



Sep 03, 2017 at 11:27 AM
freaklikeme
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Are there notable optical/coatings differences between late & early serial numbers of Leica R lenses


genji wrote:
The ROM version of the Summilux-R 35/1.4 that I purchased from you in 2010 must have been one of the (hardly used) exceptions. It was (and remains) pristine. I doubt I'll ever sell it (or any other of the Leica R lenses I've picked up).


Oh, no, that was a beauty. That, the 100, 180, and 280 were lucky purchases where I got great copies at less-than-market prices.



Sep 03, 2017 at 05:50 PM







FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password