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Guest Ron (Netherlands)

Summicron 35mm first type: any info

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)

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I am trying to find and verify info on this lens (however only on regular available lenses, so not pre-production types). Here are my questions with some facts:

 

- did the serialnumber for the first lens start at 1630501?

 

- did production run from 1958 until 1968 or 1969? I seem to find only lenses that match numberings in 1968; the canada made lens with highest number I found was 2285635, and a Wetzlar with number 22762xx (in my own collection) - both regular lenses without goggles.

 

- how many of this first type summicron were presumably produced (Canadian and Wetzlar)? Any figures on the black version? If possible please make any distiction in the figures between the regular lens and the one with goggles for the M3.

 

- in the first years the lenses seem to have been fitted with a large red dot, in later years with a tiny dot. In which year did they change the dot?

 

- were different coating applied to the lenses over the production years?

 

- does someone know of a leaflet or other type of media by which this lens was introduced into the market in 1958 or before or in later years, perhaps at the photokina in those years?

 

- Is there a technical drawing available of the (8) lenselements?

 

- Did this lens evolve from the Summaron 2.8 or has it a totally different design?

 

- Is the lens a socalled Mandler design?

 

Any other/additional info is very welcome.

 

thanks in advance

Edited by Ron (Netherlands)

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I am trying to find and verify info on this lens (however only on regular available lenses, so not pre-production types). Here are my questions with some facts:

 

- did the serialnumber for the first lens start at 1630501?

 

- did production run from 1958 until 1968 or 1969? I seem to find only lenses that match numberings in 1968; the canada made lens with highest number I found was 2285635, and a Wetzlar with number 22762xx (in my own collection) - both regular lenses without goggles.

 

- how many of this first type summicron were presumably produced (Canadian and Wetzlar)? Any figures on the black version? If possible please make any distiction in the figures between the regular lens and the one with goggles for the M3.

 

...

 

In his "Kleines Fabrikationshandbuch - Leica Objektive" (3rd edit. 207) Hartmut Thiele gives the number you mention for the lowest and 2.286.350 for the last one in 1968.

 

Laney/Puts in their Leica Pocketbook (7th edit) give the following numbers for production:

 

577 screw mount; 11355 M-Mount, 9557 M-Mount with goggles. Though there is an asterix for the last two numbers that " number of later production (i.e. later than 1968?) is unknown". There are no numbers for the black version.

 

Though one cannot accuse the authors of giving false information, none of the listings of serial-numbers or of production are really reliable. Maybe some experts in this forum know more, and may be they will tell.

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If for Technical Drawing you mean the lenses' schema, it's this :

 

 

As you see, both are symmetrical designs (Gauss), the Summaron being a classical dual - triplet, while the 1st Summicron adds one more symmetrical pair at the center; hard to decide if one is directly derived for the other... any symmetrical design can be regarded as a derivation from older designs under the same basic schema. It can be pointed out that the Summaron 2,8 was the first Leitz 35 to use rare earth glass (Lanthanum), a component used in the Summicron too... clearly the capabilty to achieve a new step of luminosity was due also to the growing experience on those new materials, started with the Summaron and refined with the Summicron.

I seem the 8 elements is not credited to Mandler (but can be wrong): Mandler surely put his skills on the 2nd design with 6 elements.

 

The figures Black/Chrome/Canada/Wetzlar, afaik, have never been clarified definitely, while the number of SM items, quoted by UliWer seems generally accepted... surely there weren't "regular" black lenses in SM (Lager diplays one, saying it must be a "one piece"), but SM version exists anyway in Canada and Wetzlar flavor.

 

About the evolution of the Red Dot... just looking at many of the pics I have, seems to me that it occured something around 1.950.000 or so...

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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- how many of this first type summicron were presumably produced (Canadian and Wetzlar)? Any figures on the black version? If possible please make any distiction in the figures between the regular lens and the one with goggles for the M3.

577 SM

11355*BM

9557* M3

* later 1968 issues non available

- in the first years the lenses seem to have been fitted with a large red dot, in later years with a tiny dot. In which year did they change the dot?

between 1960 & 1963

 

- Is there a technical drawing available of the (8) lenselements?

Double Gauss absolute symetric 8 elements in 2 groups

 

- Did this lens evolve from the Summaron 2.8 or has it a totally different design?

 

issued in the same time but here it is 6 elements in 2 groups

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)

Thank you so much all three of you, who took the time to answer so quickly and thoroughly at my questions. Nice to have this background info on a lens I just acquired some weeks ago from someone here downtown in The Hague. The lens handles really very fine. I guess this is not only due to its design - although it has 8 elements, it is still a rather tiny lens - but also because it is mainly made of brass? I also like the way it renders pictures, tack sharp but with soft contrast and very nice bookeh.

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Yes, it was deliciously compact... I used mine for >20 years...

... now retired so as the other member of the classic 35+90 duo...

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If for Technical Drawing you mean the lenses' schema, it's this :

 

... surely there weren't "regular" black lenses in SM (Lager diplays one, saying it must be a "one piece"), but SM version exists anyway in Canada and Wetzlar flavor.

 

Lager is usually - in my experience - correct, however, in this case not. I have a black SM version of that vintage which has a different serial number. The optical performance is identical. The coatings used in earlier and later lenses seems to be different, some reflecting a more blueish, others a more brownish tint.

Teddy

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)
If for Technical Drawing you mean the lenses' schema, it's this :

 

... surely there weren't "regular" black lenses in SM (Lager diplays one, saying it must be a "one piece"), but SM version exists anyway in Canada and Wetzlar flavor.

 

Lager is usually - in my experience - correct, however, in this case not. I have a black SM version of that vintage which has a different serial number. The optical performance is identical. The coatings used in earlier and later lenses seems to be different, some reflecting a more blueish, others a more brownish tint.

Teddy

 

Thank you Teddy. Since they are so rare, could you show us a picture of your black SM?

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Ron,

Unfortunately, I am totally inept with computers. Several forum members have kindly sent me detailed instructions, however, I have managed only one picture and since then keep failing.

If you like, I will send you an e-mail if you pm me and give me your e-mail address. I can take pictures, put them onto i-Photo and e-mail it to you.

Teddy

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)
Yes, it was deliciously compact... I used mine for >20 years... ... now retired so as the other member of the classic 35+90 duo...

 

Here's mine (took me some time to clean the f-stop rim from little dirt - but now it is shiny again):

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.xs4all.nl/~kpmg0072/Leica/Kopie%2520van%2520Summicron%252035%25201st.JPG&key=cdde40a48ab5d5f5c4554bed3dab030556a6932110696b308ecb436986a4e22d">

 

Just forgot one question: which type of Leitz sunshades are fitting on this lens?

And which type was especially meant for this lens?

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Here's mine (took me some time to clean the f-stop rim from little dirt - but now it is shiny again):

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.xs4all.nl/~kpmg0072/Leica/Kopie%2520van%2520Summicron%252035%25201st.JPG&key=cdde40a48ab5d5f5c4554bed3dab030556a6932110696b308ecb436986a4e22d">

 

Just forgot one question: which type of Leitz sunshades are fitting on this lens?

And which type was especially meant for this lens?

When announced, its shade was the IROOA/12571... in practice, all the shades for later Summicrons 35 fit over it... 12582, 12504, even the present 12526 (there is no dent to keep straight the rectangular ones, but not a problem)

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)

Made a comparison with the 35mm Leitz lenses in my collection:

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.xs4all.nl/~kpmg0072/Leica/35mm%2520lenses.jpg&key=ac07e9b8c72b06bd309688339cf8e58c68551b6aa80bf1383c8fb7c1648e374b">

 

 

If would be interested to see a comparison with the version II, III and IV summicrons, compared with the ashp and or the version I.

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A simple question, no doubt, to lens experts, but I'd like to know: WHY the change from v1, which was such a fine lens, to v2-3? What was the reduction in elements meant to accomplish?

 

Kirk

 

PS, the Wiki article on Dr Mandler attributes v1 to him.

Edited by thompsonkirk
ps

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A simple question, no doubt, to lens experts, but I'd like to know: WHY the change from v1, which was such a fine lens, to v2-3? What was the reduction in elements meant to accomplish?

 

Kirk

 

PS, the Wiki article on Dr Mandler attributes v1 to him.

 

I am by no means an expert, yet here are my 2 cents:

 

1. The general trend was to achieve higher contrast. The 1st version of the Summicron 35 has relatively low contrast at f2.

2. There seems to have been a trend to try and cover the whole 24x36 area evenly. The 1st version has an excellent center with less excellent corners.

3. Posible also economical considerations.

 

I had the 2nd and 3rd versions which I sold. I therefore prefer the 1st and the 4th versions for picture taking. The 35/2 asph is much more contrasty and sharper. It depends on the subject which lens one would chose, as well as the film. In the case of high contrast high definition films such as the cancelled Tech Pan (Neofin Duku development) I preferred the 1st version.

Teddy

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I agree with Teddy... a good contrast is easier to achieve with less glass elements; cost, too, I think was a very important issue... the simple absence of 2 elements means, roughly, 25% less of glass machining time, and a shorter/simpler assembly process; the 1st Summicron 35 was issued in 1958: only 2 years after, Leitz made the Summilux 35 with 7 elements instead of 8.

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)
I am by no means an expert, yet here are my 2 cents:

 

1. The general trend was to achieve higher contrast. The 1st version of the Summicron 35 has relatively low contrast at f2.

2. There seems to have been a trend to try and cover the whole 24x36 area evenly. The 1st version has an excellent center with less excellent corners.

3. Posible also economical considerations.

 

I had the 2nd and 3rd versions which I sold. I therefore prefer the 1st and the 4th versions for picture taking. The 35/2 asph is much more contrasty and sharper. It depends on the subject which lens one would chose, as well as the film. In the case of high contrast high definition films such as the cancelled Tech Pan (Neofin Duku development) I preferred the 1st version.

Teddy

 

 

I fully agree on all this. I read somewhere that lenses with more glass are prone to more internal reflections and this is due to the low contrast. Why then the eight lenses? Because Leitz wanted to accomplish a very high resolution with the summicron, that was not technically done before 1958. But I guess Leitz already knew they had to compromise with the contrast (which is of course less a problem in a world were 80% still shoots b&w).

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Before coating, any lens with more than six air-glass surfaces was pretty hopeless in a backlit or high contrast situation. Light reflected from the free surfaces bounced around inside the lens AND the camera: each uncoated glass surface reflects roughly 4% of the light that falls on it. This is why so many early lenses (Tessar, Elmar, Xenar etc. were "cemented triplets": four elements of which two were cemented into one group without any air between, thus six free surfaces.

 

A ten element lens like the 1935 Xenon 1.5 lost upward fifty percent of all the light on the way -- one full f-stop! Unfortunately, this light did not just evaporate -- that old conservation of energy stuff -- some of it wound up on the film as fog. Hence the low contrast.

 

Coating changed all that, but coatings have improved much since their inception in 1935 (year of the first Zeiss Jena patent). Today, a lens can have lots of free surfaces and still be very brilliant. One case in point is the current 50mm Summilux ASPH, which has eight elements in five groups, and thus ten free air-glass surfaces (the cemented surfaces don't count). Still, its freedom from stray light and resistance to reflections is nothing short of amazing -- much better than the current 50mm Summicron, a classical Gaussian six-elements-in-four-groups design. By the way, zoom lenses with their dozen or more free-standing elements would be impossible without multicoating.

 

-------------

 

The 1958 Summicron and Summaron lenses were computer-aided designs, but computers in those days were slow and unwieldy, and the software was primitive (Leitz had to largely cook their own). So lens design in the 1950's--1960's was still very conservative, and designers did only slowly move away from classical formulas. The real explosion in exotic designs did not occur until the introduction of mass-produced aspherical lens elements in the 1990's.

 

The old man from the Age of the 5cm Elmar

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)
Hi,

Summicron 35/2: (1st) (2nd) (3rd) (4th) are all Mandler's mind-made.

 

 

Cheers.

 

Shalom

 

Thank you, any soure(s) you can refer to?

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Guest Ron (Netherlands)
Thank you, any soure(s) you can refer to?

 

Question already been answered by our fellow member Teddy Heinrichsohn. He sent me a very informative article by Rolf Fricke about dr. Mandler, for which I want to thank Teddy.

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