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A question for all of you aficionados: if I was offered a black paint Leica lens how would I know it was really black paint and not black chrome or anodised just by looking at it and handling it?

 

Pete.

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Black paint lenses almost universally have red and white numbering, whereas the black-anodized lenses have yellow and white (unless they are from the 1960's or earlier). Black paint is not metallic, and thus an insulator, and thus will feel "warmer" to the fingers because it is not conducting heat away as fast as a metal coating would.

 

(That last test doesn't apply if the lens has been sitting in the sun, however

)

 

Generally, black paint is also a bit smoother and glossier (although age can affect that) - black anodized is a bit matte-er, and has a slight tooth to it (like a black chrome body).

Edited by adan
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A black paint lens is also going to be heavier than an anodized lens due to the use of brass for paint adherence if I am not mistaken.

 

Yep, my black paint 35mm Summicron asph is a lot heavier than the anodized version.

 

Also, in general, the finish on black paint lenses seem be to glossier and "warmer" than anodized lenses.

 

Jim B.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. Unfortunately I'd need to have a non-black paint lens to know what a black paint lenses is heavier than.

 

Pete.

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Nitromors?

 

Tusk tusk.

 

The earlier ('58) BP tended to be porous and allow salt from finger to penetrate, so you got small pits, is was very dull. Tendency to chip (flake) as well.

 

The mid ('68) BP is much better and more glossy.

 

But these are two samples there may be variations, e.g. my late M6 zinc top has pitted as well.

 

But any of the original BPs will wear rapidly with any use to reveal the yellow brass underneath, so unless it is a collector or a repaint of an original BP model it is easy to identify.

 

Noel

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The weight is not on the box but in the specification section of the instruction booklet, at least with the current lenses. Black paint lenses have brass barrels and rings so weigh approximately the same as a silver chrome version would. If you have access to a reference like the Hove Leica Pocket Book you can also find weights in there. For example the regular black Summicron 35/2 ASPH is 255g, and the silver chrome version is 340g, so the BP version will also weigh about 340g.

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