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Archive 2022 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)

  
 
Juha Kannisto
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p.7 #1 · p.7 #1 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Update: The Apollon I referred below has already been sold. Didn't take long...

@letchhausen@ I noticed that a very slightly used Silver copy (looks like new and includes all original parts including caps, hood, box & data sheet paper) of Apollon appeared today at Mercari Japan:

https://jp.mercari.com/item/m17138910820

The seller says he bought the last one from MKDirect and only tried it out just to test it but ended up buying another lens. Looks like the seller has 222 ratings with perfect score so appears to be a reliable one.

Mercari Japan is a popular Japanese site where people can sell their items to others. It's not an auction site so everything is sold at a fixed price set by seller and sellers can modify their asking price later on if the items are not selling at original asking price etc. I've never purchased from there personally so far but they often have some listings for MS-Optics lenses.

There are some proxy services that support purchasing overseas purchasing from Mercari, like this one:

https://japanrabbit.com/shops/mercari-japan/

I have no experience of those either but apparently Japan Rabbit is a very reliable proxy but possibly more expensive than average proxies...

Edited on May 01, 2024 at 08:35 AM · View previous versions



May 01, 2024 at 03:52 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.7 #2 · p.7 #2 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Fred Miranda wrote:
It's surprising that they decided to halt production of the MS 36/1.3 Apollon. I remember it being a highly sought-after lens when I was in the market for one. Every time it appeared on Japanese auction sites, it would sell out rapidly and often above its original price. It took me quite a while to track one down due to its popularity. Maybe it's a challenging lens to manufacture. Initially, my copy wasn't properly aligned with the RF, but I managed to adjust it over time.

I bought mine for original price here:
https://www.japanexposures.com/shop/camera-lens/ms-apollon-36-f1.3.html


I think MS-Optics always has some pre-defined overall production volume target (typically in the range of 200 to 500) and they probably order parts to meet that target and later on they might or might not be able to do additional runs... They usually don't continue production of any lenses indefinitely and all of their lenses seem to go out of production after a couple years if not sooner, but some less popular ones remain in stock longer (or if they've been produced in higher volume and haven't sold as fast as anticipated).

Currently MKDirect has only Sonnetar 50/1.3 remaining in stock and everything else is sold out, but I suppose they are still able to produce at least 28/1.7, which seems to go in and out of stock periodically. Xenomax 50/3.5 was also still in stock very recently.

JCH seems to have a few more lenses still in stock (but no Apollon).

Japan Exposures seems to have some more lenses besides 28/1.7 with at least one in stock when checking all color options:

https://www.japanexposures.com/shop/camera-lens/ms-optics-xenomax-50mm-f-3.5-m-mount.html
https://www.japanexposures.com/shop/camera-lens/ms-optics-sonnetar-50-1.3-full-mc.html
https://www.japanexposures.com/shop/camera-lens/ms-optics-elnomaxim-55mm-f-1.2-m-mount.html

From physical stores I just know Lemon Ginza as having remaining new copies of 40/6.3 H-Prot (and possibly one H-Dagonar). Map Camera and Fujiya Camera both have some used lenses.



May 01, 2024 at 04:16 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.7 #3 · p.7 #3 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


I was fortunate with that MS Optics 57/2 Petz lens you assisted me in purchasing in Tokyo. It's properly centered and aligned with the rangefinder. This particular lens came in historic and vario versions and is now quite rare to come by. Your explanation about limited production runs for most lenses makes perfect sense. I'm interested to see what's coming next!

Juha Kannisto wrote:
I think MS-Optics always has some pre-defined overall production volume target (typically in the range of 200 to 500) and they probably order parts to meet that target and later on they might or might not be able to do additional runs... They usually don't continue production of any lenses indefinitely and all of their lenses seem to go out of production after a couple years if not sooner, but some less popular ones remain in stock longer (or if they've been produced in higher volume and haven't sold as fast as anticipated).

Currently MKDirect has only Sonnetar 50/1.3 remaining
...Show more



May 01, 2024 at 11:00 AM
letchhausen
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p.7 #4 · p.7 #4 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Update: The Apollon I referred below has already been sold. Didn't take long...

@letchhausen@@ I noticed that a very slightly used Silver copy (looks like new and includes all original parts including caps, hood, box & data sheet paper) of Apollon appeared today at Mercari Japan:

https://jp.mercari.com/item/m17138910820



Thanks! But it's sold. I was too slow. I'll take a look at familiarizing myself with Mercari, etc, in case this happens again.



May 01, 2024 at 02:02 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.7 #5 · p.7 #5 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


letchhausen wrote:
Thanks! But it's sold. I was too slow. I'll take a look at familiarizing myself with Mercari, etc, in case this happens again.


You can use the buyee proxy service and buy items from Japan from numerous stores like Yahoo Japan Auction, Yahoo Japan Shopping, Rakuten, Mercari and others. Buyee charges a fee but I find it to be fair. I used their service a few times and it always worked for me. https://buyee.jp/?lang=en
I think it's your best chance to find an Apollon.



May 01, 2024 at 02:12 PM
grantgoodes
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p.7 #6 · p.7 #6 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Fred Miranda wrote:
You can use the buyee proxy service and buy items from Japan from numerous stores like Yahoo Japan Auction, Yahoo Japan Shopping, Rakuten, Mercari and others. Buyee charges a fee but I find it to be fair. I used their service a few times and it always worked for me. https://buyee.jp/?lang=en
I think it's your best chance to find an Apollon.


I can confirm that Buyee is safe and fair: It allowed me to (finally) purchase a set of keys for an old yellow Nikon trunk-case that I had. Found the keys on a Japanese auction site, and although the Buyee fees doubled the price for such a small item, I don't think I could have gotten them any other way. The process was painless and clear, and all fees were disclosed up front.



May 01, 2024 at 02:17 PM
letchhausen
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p.7 #7 · p.7 #7 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Thanks @fredmiranda and @grantgoodes

I'm about to go on vacation but I'll register and check it out when I get back.



May 01, 2024 at 04:52 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.7 #8 · p.7 #8 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


According to a booklet "MS-Optics Lens2" by S. Miyazaki / S. Ishida, there were only 200 H-Petz and 100 Vario Petz made, though I'm not sure if those are accurate final production numbers. Should be in that ballpark anyway. I think the small production numbers for these 2 lenses make them quite rare even among MS-Optics lenses. The Historical series were not particularly popular (especially the H-Prot 40/6.3 and H-Dagonar 40/6.3 that appeared before H-Petz 57/2) and all lenses in Historical series were planned in rather small numbers (200 each). After those 3 there were no longer any new releases with the "Historical" moniker (at least so far).

I think your H-Petz was the last new one that Fotoborse had while mine (which I also purchased from there earlier) was the 2nd last one. I've also been very happy with my copy of that lens. Although I don't know about rangefinder alignment accuracy on my copy due to not having/using any rangefinder cameras, at least it's perfectly aligned for hard infinity with my accurate Rayqual adapter.

Fred Miranda wrote:
I was fortunate with that MS Optics 57/2 Petz lens you assisted me in purchasing in Tokyo. It's properly centered and aligned with the rangefinder. This particular lens came in historic and vario versions and is now quite rare to come by. Your explanation about limited production runs for most lenses makes perfect sense. I'm interested to see what's coming next!






May 02, 2024 at 05:44 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.7 #9 · p.7 #9 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


letchhausen wrote:
Thanks! But it's sold. I was too slow. I'll take a look at familiarizing myself with Mercari, etc, in case this happens again.


Yeah, unfortunately it went very fast this time. I'll let you know if I see any new 2nd hand supplies popping up in Japanese stores that I keep an eye on later on.



May 02, 2024 at 05:47 AM
letchhausen
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p.7 #10 · p.7 #10 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Juha Kannisto wrote

Yeah, unfortunately it went very fast this time. I'll let you know if I see any new 2nd hand supplies popping up in Japanese stores that I keep an eye on later on.


Thanks! I'll keep an eye out.



May 02, 2024 at 03:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.7 #11 · p.7 #11 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Juha Kannisto wrote:
According to a booklet "MS-Optics Lens2" by S. Miyazaki / S. Ishida, there were only 200 H-Petz and 100 Vario Petz made, though I'm not sure if those are accurate final production numbers. Should be in that ballpark anyway. I think the small production numbers for these 2 lenses make them quite rare even among MS-Optics lenses. The Historical series were not particularly popular (especially the H-Prot 40/6.3 and H-Dagonar 40/6.3 that appeared before H-Petz 57/2) and all lenses in Historical series were planned in rather small numbers (200 each). After those 3 there were no longer any new
...Show more

Very interesting information, Juha! Do you happen to have a copy of the MS-Optics Lens2 booklet, or is it available anywhere?

It appears that the Petz 50/2 Vario version shares the exact design with the Historic model but offers the ability to tweak aberrations, similar to how the MS Optics Sonnetar 73/1.5 works. However, the downside of these types of aberration control is that they are not compatible with rangefinder use, as they noticeably shift the focus. However, they work fine when adapted to a mirrorless camera or when using an external EVF with the Leica M.



May 02, 2024 at 11:25 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.7 #12 · p.7 #12 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Fred Miranda wrote:
Very interesting information, Juha! Do you happen to have a copy of the MS-Optics Lens2 booklet, or is it available anywhere?

It appears that the Petz 50/2 Vario version shares the exact design with the Historic model but offers the ability to tweak aberrations, similar to how the MS Optics Sonnetar 73/1.5 works. However, the downside of these types of aberration control is that they are not compatible with rangefinder use, as they noticeably shift the focus. However, they work fine when adapted to a mirrorless camera or when using an external EVF with the Leica M.


There were 2 booklets / paper leaflets with around 30-40 pages each released by S. Ishida with information about MS-Optics lenses and he collected information from Miyazaki-san and had him check the contents. First one covered the earlier lenses (it was apparently released in 2017) and the 2nd booklet (released in 2022) covers 14 lenses from H-Prot 40/6.3 up until Xenomax 50/3.5. I have a paper copy of the 2nd booklet only (purchased from Map Camera). I think both of them are out of print now as I haven't seen any copies being sold anywhere in a long time now and Map Camera has also removed those entries. I tried to Google search for any information on those booklets didn't get any hits now.

In the booklet there's basically similar information for each lens that can be found in the data sheets that come with the lenses (including design concept info, some technical details, MTF curves etc.), but in the booklet the information is typed in by computer and not handwritten. There are also some lens images. Secondly there is a section where the author has some additional information about the lenses based on his own experiences with them and some of his sample photos. In addition to that, there is a table with lens release history including the original release timings and production volumes (split into different color versions etc.) and original price information. It's all in Japanese. These booklets were quite cheap (around 1000 to 2000 yen each) and the print quality is rather basic so the sample images etc. are not really detailed but the text contents are interesting.

Yes, Vario Petz 57/2 is a variant based on the H-Petz but with an additional control at the bottom of the lens (not accessible when lens is mounted on camera) for tweaking the position of the rear lens element by +-1mm from the regular position where it is on H-Petz. It's supposed to control "SA correction level" while not affecting other aberrations and there are 5 marked positions. At -2 position SA is under-corrected to the max and the rendering becomes more like Kino-Plasmat, 0 is the only position coupled with rangefinder (matching H-Petz) and at +2 SA is overcorrected to the max and rendering becomes more like Thambar (according to info from the booklet).

I don't have the Vario Petz version of the lens myself. I did have a couple of chances to buy that one 2nd hand but since I have the H-Petz I didn't go for it as I figured I'd probably not get much use out of the "SA correction" control since it's not accessible while the lens is mounted on camera and I prefer to keep hard infinity calibration at the right place to be able to utilize hard infinity with my Rayqual adapter... It could be an interesting addition though.



May 04, 2024 at 09:21 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.7 #13 · p.7 #13 · MS-Optics Apollon 36mm f1.3 (Leica M-mount)


Juha Kannisto wrote:
There were 2 booklets / paper leaflets with around 30-40 pages each released by S. Ishida with information about MS-Optics lenses and he collected information from Miyazaki-san and had him check the contents. First one covered the earlier lenses (it was apparently released in 2017) and the 2nd booklet (released in 2022) covers 14 lenses from H-Prot 40/6.3 up until Xenomax 50/3.5. I have a paper copy of the 2nd booklet only (purchased from Map Camera). I think both of them are out of print now as I haven't seen any copies being sold anywhere in a long time
...Show more

Very interesting, Juha. The booklet seems to be a great resource for those interested in the history of MS Optics. I have the feeling that MS Optics is significantly more popular in Japan than in other countries.

By the way, as you mentioned, the 73mm Sonnetar has similar controls for SA. After my copy was calibrated to the rangefinder using the middle setting (default), I decided to check the other settings. Although the lens loses RF calibration when moved out of the middle setting, I discovered that I could calibrate the lens to any other setting if needed.

Using Live View, I've compared the differences in rendering between all the settings and posted the results here for those interested:
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1568520/7&year=2018#16305107

Likely, similar adjustments apply in the case of the Vario Petz.



May 04, 2024 at 09:50 AM
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