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Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m

  
 
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m
@yukosteel has recently published a new disassembly article focusing on modifying the Leica Summicron 50mm F2 "Rigid" lens to reduce its minimum focusing distance from 1m (3.3 feet) to 0.75m. This lens is one of my favorites due to its exceptional performance and unique rendering. However, a common issue with this lens is its limited focusing range of only 1m. Yuri tackled this challenge by reducing the minimum focus distance to 0.75m, greatly enhancing the lens's versatility.

The modification involved the following steps:
  1. Complete disassembly of the focusing frame
  2. Cutting the arc for extended radial movement of the helicoid guiding bar
  3. Cutting the bottom of the helicoid guiding bar to enable further axial movement
  4. Altering the mount area to allow the M camera rangefinder roller to move deeper into the mount
  5. Precisely grinding the edge of the rangefinder couple cylinder for the new extended close focus range

Here's an excerpt from the conclusion of the close-up modification:

"Modifying Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid lens for closer 0.75m focusing is quite challenging. It's definitely not something I'd recommend as a regular DIY activity. This mod requires accuracy, proper skills and tools and should be performed by experienced lens repair person. It was very interesting exploration though, and it's great to see that this Leica 50mm lens model has durability capacity for such modification without loosing high precision of its its mechanical and optical performance. Having extra 25cm of closer focusing is quite convenient and focusing frame performing smooth at new range thanks to all durable brass mechanics."

Here is a link to the full article: https://www.yukosteel.com/2023/11/mod-closer-focus-of-075m-leica.html

















Nov 11, 2023 at 10:13 AM
j.liam
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Chopping up a $1000+ classic to get an extra 25cm of focus. Hmmm.

Definitely not for the faint-hearted.



Nov 11, 2023 at 02:16 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


j.liam wrote:
Chopping up a $1000+ classic to get an extra 25cm of focus. Hmmm.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted.


I like living on the edge.

...But I trust the operator's skills, so I'm not reckless.



Nov 11, 2023 at 04:06 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Interesting! It's neat to have him as a resource. Any samples images at .75m?


Nov 11, 2023 at 04:37 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Fred Miranda wrote:
I like living on the edge.

...But I trust the operator's skills, so I'm not reckless.



I wish he would do my 35 SR

I get and respect his reason for not wanting to take on projects for a fee though- .25 meters is a ton, especially on a 35 IMO




Nov 11, 2023 at 08:04 PM
j.liam
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


RustyRus wrote:
.25 meters is a ton, especially on a 35 IMO



Cropping the image rather than chopping the glass, is a less destructive adjustment methinks.



Nov 12, 2023 at 09:58 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


j.liam wrote:
Cropping the image rather than chopping the glass, is a less destructive adjustment methinks.


"chopping the glass"

I'm sure you are probably joking but just to clarify, the modifications were focused on the mechanics of the lens to enable closer focusing. It's quite absurd to assume that the actual glass was altered in any way...

Moreover, cropping can be done to any image and it's not the same as changing the distance between camera and subject which affects rendering and depth of field. I do agree that this modification should only be considered under the expertise of a highly skilled technician. The article merely demonstrates this is possible for those who truly love the 50/2 Rigid rendering seeking closer focus capabilities. Leica 50/2 cron models post-1968 already offer a minimum focus distance of 0.7m.



Nov 12, 2023 at 11:06 AM
RustyRus
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


j.liam wrote:
Cropping the image rather than chopping the glass, is a less destructive adjustment methinks.



Cropping is great for landscapes-

This SR lens is probably my favorite lens I have ever used- In the right setting, its just incredible. Bars ,restaraunts, late nights out, really just a lens I use when I go out to just have a good time-

You can't crop what you can't get in focus- The 1m stop is very limiting- This is a lens I have no inattention of selling so moving some metal to give me more control would be very worth it.






Nov 12, 2023 at 11:16 AM
j.liam
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Fred Miranda wrote:
"chopping the glass"

I'm sure you are probably joking but just to clarify, the modifications were focused on the mechanics of the lens to enable closer focusing. It's quite absurd to assume that the actual glass was altered in any way...

Moreover, cropping can be done to any image and it's not the same as changing the distance between camera and subject which affects rendering and depth of field. I do agree that this modification should only be considered under the expertise of a highly skilled technician. The article merely demonstrates this is possible for those who truly love the
...Show more

Just a turn of a phrase. Didnít mean it literally. I wonder how accurate the RF focus is with the modification and puzzled why Leica settled on 1m minimum focus with the Rigid/DR.



Nov 12, 2023 at 12:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


j.liam wrote:
Just a turn of a phrase. Didnít mean it literally. I wonder how accurate the RF focus is with the modification and puzzled why Leica settled on 1m minimum focus with the Rigid/DR.


One potential clue is the slight gap when transitioning to the new MFD, as shown in this image. This gap is frequently noted in various MS Optics lenses since they can focus very close.

RF accuracy is crucial to me and in the specific case of the Leica 35/1.4 SR Close-up Mod, also performed by Yuri, the rangefinder remains accurate even with the closer distance due to meticulously precise grinding, allowing for this adjustment. I have not yet tested the 50/2 Rigid after the mod but I'm sure RF will be accurate.







Nov 12, 2023 at 01:20 PM
 


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infidelity
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Hella interested in this. Please post samples!


Nov 12, 2023 at 07:05 PM
yukosteel
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


infidelity wrote:
Hella interested in this. Please post samples!


Most close shots in article are taken at 0.75m-0.8m distance.



Nov 12, 2023 at 08:53 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


lifeandmylens wrote:
Interesting! It's neat to have him as a resource. Any samples images at .75m?


Hi Shawn,
I haven't gotten the lens back yet, but I'll share some photos at the new minimum focusing distance. Yuri shared some sample photos at a short distance in the article.



Nov 13, 2023 at 01:26 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


One pragmatic way to look at it is the undisclosed cost of such modification. If it is about $500-1000, you might be better off getting a good used copy of the Leitz 50/2 DR lens instead. This lens might also require a modification to allow infinity focus on some M cameras, but it always allows close focus capability on all M cameras (both original and modified).

Another even more pragmatic approach is using a close focus lens on top of the M-lens and then focus via LiveView or external EVF. I have taken very good close-up shots with my 50/2 Vers. V Summicron lens this way.



Nov 13, 2023 at 02:12 PM
lifeandmylens
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Fred Miranda wrote:
Hi Shawn,
I haven't gotten the lens back yet, but I'll share some photos at the new minimum focusing distance. Yuri shared some sample photos at a short distance in the article.


Ah ok. I didn't see the link for the article: https://www.yukosteel.com/2023/11/mod-closer-focus-of-075m-leica.html - the close up pics look really neat. Love the swirl!



Nov 13, 2023 at 03:47 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Update: I got the Leica 50/2 Rigid today, and it's all good. The lens focuses down to 0.75m with rangefinder coupling, and it seems like Yuri also replaced the grease because the focusing action is now smoother.

Here's an interesting thing: I tested this on the Leica M10-R, and everything works as described. However, when I tried it on the Leica MP (film), the rangefinder coupling stops right before reaching 0.75m. I talked to Yuri, and he suggested that perhaps the MP might have a different geometry of RF roller, preventing it from going as deep as the M10-R roller. To make it compatible with the MP, more grinding might be needed.

Tomorrow I will take some test shots showing the 0.75m close-up focus using the M10-R.



Nov 18, 2023 at 09:11 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


BTW, I found out today that starting with the M10, the RF roller was tweaked, allowing M lenses to focus as close as 0.6m when using the rangefinder. This is great news for RF shooters, especially those using Voigtlander lenses that can focus closer than 0.7m. I knew my Leica lenses focused slightly closer than 0.7m but only yesterday measured this and it's nice improvement.


Nov 20, 2023 at 10:42 AM
RustyRus
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Fred Miranda wrote:
BTW, I found out today that starting with the M10, the RF roller was tweaked, allowing M lenses to focus as close as 0.6m when using the rangefinder. This is great news for RF shooters, especially those using Voigtlander lenses that can focus closer than 0.7m. I knew my Leica lenses focused slightly closer than 0.7m but only yesterday measured this and it's nice improvement.


Its funnyou mention that- I thought my M11 100% focused closer than .7 with the new 50 and 35 lux-

I always meant to measure that- Thanks for confimring



Nov 20, 2023 at 10:57 AM
hkrazerx
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


Can the mod be done on the DR version? Some people might want to chop it up anyway for use on the M10 and earlier bodies.


Nov 28, 2023 at 09:48 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Close-up Mod - Leica Summicron 50mm F2 Rigid with a MFD of 0.75m


I managed to edit a couple close-up shots I took with the Leica MP and the modded 50mm f/2 Rigid lens. While it doesn't quite focus at 0.75m on the MP, it does a great job at around ~0.8m. It does go all the way to 0.75m on my M10-R though.






Leica MP, Portra 400, Leica 50/2 Rigid







Leica MP, Portra 400, Leica 50/2 Rigid




Nov 29, 2023 at 09:40 AM







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