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  1. Hi, In my experience, the key is to blow any dust/residue before anything else. If not, any wipe or cloth will "take" the dust and scratch the lens when applied. I use to use Zeiss wet wipes (have I said after blowing dust?) and I use them in a circular way. They dry without leaving marks. But that's just my experience and having in mind that I don't clean a lot the front element in my lenses because they always have a UV filter on them that is less risky. Hope it will help, Augusto
  2. Arriving late to the party, but in my experience: - Yes, with old lenses, state usually is more important than any other factor. - AFAIK, yes, the Red Scale was recomputed. Personally where I've seen more improvement is shorter distances (in fact, I've used it for reproduction with very good results). But that's not a scientific test, just my observation. - As I was reading the initial posts of thread, I was thinking on the Summitar. In my opinion, it's a quite good lens and I like the way it renders (specially the coated samples) much more than my collapsible Summicron (both in clean condition). So congratulations for your new Summitar, even when I'm afraid that it will not prevent you from trying a Summicron πŸ™‚. Best wishes, Augusto
  3. Hi, I have the strange theory that crisis (of any type) not only don't impact these type of collectibles, but also can make them to go higher or at least solid. High end collectables can be a good shelter for money when the economy becomes unstable, and when high inflation rates make money in the bank to worth less every day, but that's just my opinion. Best wishes, Augusto
  4. Hi, If authentic, either the delivery records should show something related to it ,or a strong proof of that military delivery/usage should support it. If not, sorry for saying this but, my personal approach is that the "default value" is non-authentic. It's like a defaced camera. To get a wartime Leica is relatively easy (and then deface or engrave something) but the delivery records should support in someway the military delivery (in one way or another, you can check my well-known article about my Wehrmacht lens: https://tertuliadelmanuela.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/the-history-of-a-lens/). Best wishes, Augusto
  5. Hi, Welcome to the world of the reworked Hektors!! πŸ™‚ I've been completely unable to reach any conclusion about my sample. The serial number, if it's the original, makes from it the 248th sample. Top part of the lens head is bright chrome, when the barrel is brushed including the part where there should be the vulcanite cover. So multiple changes to this lens or a lens head sold separately and much later a barrel was made for it? On top of that, in my experience, despite it seems that Hektor remained unchanged during its long life, there's nothing like that. Apart from the most evident changes, here you have a detail of the lens head evolution during the time. in this picture all the lens heads are different. From left to right: - Serial 172155 (1933 Nickel). Very similar to the old Elmar 135/4.5. Long from the front to the diaphragm ring and short distance to the tube - Serial 415320 (1937). Short distance to the diaphragm ring then a wide inset and a longer part to the tube - Serial 558119 (1942). Sort distance to the diaphragm ring, then a less wide inset and a bit shorter to the tube - Serial 699247 (1949 Lightweight with sharkskin). Short to the wider diaphragm ring, no inset - Serial 1084969 (1953). Even shorter to the, a bit wider, diaphragm ring, no inset and a bit shorter to the tube So, interesting enough, your reworked Hektor (as well as mine) has the head shape according to the period of the serial, despite the unusual tubes and the polished chrome areas in the lens heads. Best wishes, Augusto
  6. Hi, I don't know which Elmar 90 you currently have. My very personal experience about the 90's (please have in mind that this is based on actual pictures and not scientific tests): - Thin Elmars despite they're not very much loved by Leica fans, to my eye it has a really nice rendering (even the uncoated ones). I have a few of them and like them all. - The rendering of the collapsible version is in line with the thin ones. - The 3 elements that has a very high reputation, to my eye it's just marginally better. - The Elmarit (like the one shown above) doesn't have a great reputation but, once more to me it's a really competent lens. - The Tele-Elmarit 5 elements I like a lot. The rendering is a bit better than the long one but it's size it simply great. - The thin Tele-Elmarit, that once more, has a good reputation, I like less than the 5 elements not only because if its shape but also the results doesn't like me so much. - The Elmarit-M (with integrated hood) has the most modern rendering. And just in case, the Summicron 90 versions II and III, once more to my eye, are nothing really special but I use them quite less frequently due to their size. I don't know if the above comments are somehow distorted by the expectations that I had on them at front. I have neither the Elmar-C nor the Macro version so I cannot provide you first hand experience on them. As, once more, they're my personal feedback I don't know if it will help. Best wishes, Augusto
  7. Hi, According to my research Canada meant in several cases, exceptions to the sequence of the serial numbers and features, but in my opinion it seems quite unlikely about the combination BD with Self Timer. Please keep in mind that RD cameras have important internal changes, not only different speeds but also, and as far as I know, they have an improved shutter mechanism. I don't know if a high skilled technician could help identifying if the self timer is original or a later upgrade. ELC is full of exceptions to the serial number coherence, (as an example you can see the discussions https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/314656-early-iiif-rd-canada/ or https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/327056-leica-iiif-end-of-production-canada/). So, even when it's difficult to state concrete numbers, it seems clear that when ELC is involved there are even more exceptions but, once more, a different thing is earlier or later samples and a different topic is a different camera, so I'd say that the most probable option is the later upgrade. Take care, Augusto
  8. This is really confusing because the it was delivered before the official presentation. As William has mentioned, the delivery dates of all the earliest samples should be studied in detail. Interesting. I'm specially focused on searching for earlier samples than mine and none has appeared yet. I know the sample (and the owner) of the 71208 and the 71215 was on ebay not a long time ago. The 71204 (5th sample) has not surface in any auction, group, forum, article or any other source that I'm aware of. Even more, I've seen people claiming for the "earliest known so far" with samples in the high 712xx or even 713xx. And of course, there are a lot of earlier samples (including some 71xxx) that everything points to upgrades. By the way, I still need to understand why the first one is the 71200 and not the 71201 (if all the trusted sources are correct). To start in the 0 means that the production is always shifted +1 related to the serial number which it means a pain/headache for any production. In this case my opinion is that more than pre-allocation, we're talking about the famous original drawings lost/non-existent/non-suitable for production. That led to the return of the NY sample and could have led to preserve some samples for internal purposes and/or jumps in the delivery till the production would have become regular. I must clarify that I said an "initial run" of 25. Not sure (specially with initial samples of Leica II) that the production was fully organized in batches. As stated by Jerzy, mine shows clearly that they were using available parts, more than parts specially built for the model D (as they did later on in regular production). The delivery date is, of course, interesting but anyway I'm still supporting the statement that it's "the 8th Leica II ever built" (or the seventh depending on the 71200) as I stated in my first post . Fully agree with you William. The only way to clarify this is to ask for the page/pages of the initial 50 or so, and check the delivery dates as well as orders and the eventual gaps, back and forths etc. in the delivery dates. Delivery dates, in my experience, beyond the concrete date, can help to understand trends/patterns in production. Something like what I mentioned about serials in my Embassy Leica article. The sequence and frequency of the serials pointed to a business even before Jim Lager confirmed it through the order numbers. I'm looking forward meeting you in Buxton for the TLS AGM and I'll try my best to be in Dublin next October. I've never been in Ireland (and what is even more important, my wife has never been there so hopefully she can be convinced about that ). Best wishes, Augusto
  9. Agree with the above comments. Serial number doesn't match with the lens body (chrome instead of nickel, infinity lock type and position etc.) so either as Alan has mentioned there's a missing digit in the serial number (the only aspect that wouldn't match with that would be the lack of coating but that could have been later removed) or the transplant/frankenlens (sorry about this) option. My main concern about this last option would be to know if that work would have been done by Leica or at least if it's properly done. If it wouldn't be the case, it could potentially lead to focus issues. Best wishes, Augusto
  10. I've checked mine and it's the A-116. The only similar strange thing that I can remember is with the M5 50 years that has also a letter followed by a number (350 per letter, as far as I remember). There are samples with no code in the back but with the 50 jahre engraving that are usually associated to spare rangefinder housings stocked for repairs, that have found their way to the market. In one hand I'd say that when Germans state 500 it means exactly 500, not 501 or 499. On the other hand, it wouldn't be the first exception in Leica to a general rule πŸ™‚ Best wishes, Augusto
  11. Hi William!! Yes, there are two batches from Canada as you mentioned with 100 of units each. Mine is in second last batch. And yes, in several sources, the end of production is dated in 1957 but interesting enough, I haven't seen a clear reference supporting that 1957. The two ELC batches are quite later (at least in terms of serial numbers) than the Wetzlar (production in Wetzlar ends in the serial 825.000). My only guess is that the last batches of Wetzlar (quite large) were stocked and sold/delivered during 1956 and 1957. Of course, the ELC batches serial number could have been allocated in advance (before the end of production in Wetzlar), but it seem quite strange specially if we consider the few units on each as well as the strange starting numbers for those batches (not a factor of 1000 or even a factor of 500 or 100). Best wishes, Augusto
  12. Happy new year to all!! As committed, I got the information from Leica saying that there's "no entry in the delivery books and the production year is 1956 ELC". Unfortunately (but as expected because of Canada production), there is no delivery information. On top of the above, a friend brought my attention to the fact of the few samples that have surfaced from those two "posthumous" batches. On the other hand we're talking about 200 units versus the 184.000+ units of IIIf (0.1%) or even the 59.000 units total production of IIIf RDST (3.3%). I've checked with Fabrizio Pangrazi (who I consider one of the most knowledgeable guys in ELC cameras) and he's only aware of another sample, also in the second last batch. BTW, the production total figure is wrong in the Leica Wiki but I don't know how to report it. As William has stated several times, I'm a bit mad about last units of every model (and he's absolutely right!! πŸ™‚) but some time ago I read that "collection is about the firsts, the lasts and the rare samples". Best wishes, Augusto PS: And another picture of it, now that it's already at home and yes, the scale is in Weston/ASA πŸ™‚
  13. Not in my experience. They generally used the available parts at the moment of the conversion. Best wishes, Augusto
  14. That was exactly what I was about to comment. According to Hahne, it was originally black and the top engravings seem white paint not bismuth. What made me check the Hahne list is that the flash sync dial under the speed knob is not converted (it has no metal plate screwed into the old housing, that AFAIK was the standard practice for III upgraded with flash sync). It's originally engraved in the rangefinder housing, so as per my understanding, everything points to a conversion in the 50's of a rangefinderless camera, but in conversions there's nothing like Jerzy's opinion. The change of the finish by Leitz (chrome to black or the other way around) are, according to my experience, extremely rare. That's one of the interesting aspects on my Asterisk sample (you can check details in it's own thread). Best wishes, Augusto
  15. Hi Luigi, Agree!! It looks like quite a Germanic way of proceeding and keeping both, what it was originally and, at the same time, that it's currently a different thing. Best wishes, Augusto
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