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LTM users, its time to stand up and be counted!


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#961 TomB_tx

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 23:27

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Easy Loading LTM!

After the M3 introduction the clone makers scrambled to make their offerings more acceptable. Nicca had been making faithful copies of the Leica III, and made several updates. A later one was this easy loading model (I believe type 5L) which is like a Leica IIIf, with a few obvious differences:

Back loading door like an M3

Lever wind (on a IIIf sized body!)

Top speed of 1/500.

Nicca is the only clone I've found that can use standard Leica reloadable film cassettes, and also offered their own branded version that works in Leica.

This one was sold in the USA, and so had the Tower branding of Sears, their US distributor.

Attached File  Nicca-1.jpg   172.12KB   2 downloads

Attached File  Nicca-2.jpg   168.55KB   2 downloads

I also have a Nicca 33, which has lever wind and improved finder (bright line), but no back door.

There are also some interesting innovations in later Leotax and Tannack bodies, which I'll post if anyone has interest.


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#962 TomB_tx

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 23:32

Here's the front of the Nicca 5L.

Attached File  Nicca-3.jpg   167.04KB   1 downloads

It also has a magnified rangefinder like the IIIf, but on this sample the split image is dim. I think I'll see if Youxin can put in a new beam splitter.


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#963 wlaidlaw

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 23:34

I use a 2.8-5cm adaptor with cutaway made by Leica which partially covers the code reader on the M240 but does not give a 'no lens attached' message. It allows full and free use the infinity lock on LTM lenses. I have used it successfully with the Rigid Summar, the 5cm Hektor and the original LTM 2.8cm f5.6 Summaron. With the last named lens it does not bring up the 28mm frame lines on the M240, but I can use the full RF viewfinder or a supplementary viewfinder. I can post a picture of the adaptor if anyone is interested.

 

William

 

The M to T/L adapter on the SL seems fussier with the "no lens detected" than even the M240. Amongst my various LTM/M adapter rings, I have one similar to the Kipon, with a cut out but which has a very narrow band of coding pits. This works fine on the M240 but gives the "no lens detected" message on the M to T/L adapter. I am not too fussed about not being able to use the Hektor on either the SL or M240, given that I have plenty of 50mm alternatives. I just wanted to check that it was focusing to infinity at the lock position and its current performance as a base line before the service (reasonable resolution but a lot of flare wide open, even with a FIKUS hood). As Alan will ensure correct focus to RF cam position prior to return, it is no longer a priority to mount it either on my M240 or SL. 

 

Wilson



#964 mikemgb

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 23:57

Easy Loading LTM!

After the M3 introduction the clone makers scrambled to make their offerings more acceptable. Nicca had been making faithful copies of the Leica III, and made several updates. A later one was this easy loading model (I believe type 5L) which is like a Leica IIIf, with a few obvious differences:

Back loading door like an M3

Lever wind (on a IIIf sized body!)

Top speed of 1/500.

Nicca is the only clone I've found that can use standard Leica reloadable film cassettes, and also offered their own branded version that works in Leica.

This one was sold in the USA, and so had the Tower branding of Sears, their US distributor.

attachicon.gifNicca-1.jpg

attachicon.gifNicca-2.jpg

I also have a Nicca 33, which has lever wind and improved finder (bright line), but no back door.

There are also some interesting innovations in later Leotax and Tannack bodies, which I'll post if anyone has interest.

 

That's an interesting camera!


"Your life is a story, make it a good one"


#965 wlaidlaw

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:40

In a weird case of camera snobbery, the Sears/Tower versions often fetch lower prices than the same cameras branded Nicca. In the UK we have the reverse situation, where a IIIB with a 5cm/f2 Summitar will fetch around £250-400, dependant on condition. The British built version of the IIIB, the Reid and Sigrist with a Taylor, Taylor and Hobson 2 inch/f2 Anastigmat will fetch around £1500 to £3000 dependant again on condition. Now in the last case, it is due to rarity but I am guessing there are more Niccas around than the Sears/Tower version. 

 

Wilson



#966 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:24

In a weird case of camera snobbery, the Sears/Tower versions often fetch lower prices than the same cameras branded Nicca. In the UK we have the reverse situation, where a IIIB with a 5cm/f2 Summitar will fetch around £250-400, dependant on condition. The British built version of the IIIB, the Reid and Sigrist with a Taylor, Taylor and Hobson 2 inch/f2 Anastigmat will fetch around £1500 to £3000 dependant again on condition. Now in the last case, it is due to rarity but I am guessing there are more Niccas around than the Sears/Tower version. 

 

Wilson

 

As well as rarity, there is the 'perceived desirability' aspect. With the Leica II Model D, 36,936 black models and 15,573 chrome models were made and yet the black ones fetch much higher prices. One must admit, however, that black models with nickel 'furniture' were some of the nicest cameras ever made by Leica. In the case of the Reid both rarity and 'perceived desirability' apply. As for Leica copies, the same criteria apply generally. I have a friend who is a long time collector who has a substantial number of Leica copies from Japan, China, US, Italy etc. He often shows them to me and they are all lovely cameras with many as good in construction as, if not better than, Leicas. When we meet up, I often show him my Leica bits and pieces and he always says that where Leica was better than all the others was in producing a true system camera with many accessories for many different applications. Some of these would work on Leica copies, of course. I will put the Sears/Tower v Nicca issue to him the next time that we meet.

 

As for value, ultimately that is decided by what the collector or user market is willing to pay.

 

William



#967 jc_braconi

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:39

Some adapters I have with and without cutaway (seen with an Elmar 3.5/50 ).

after the M4 the frames in the viewfinder are different than what it is engraved.

 

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#968 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 13:42

Thanks JC. The one I mentioned above is the second from the left on the top row, but mine is marked in cms rather than mms.

 

William



#969 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 14:15

Here is a black Leica III with 'chrome furniture' and a black and chrome 7.3 cm f1.9 Hektor mounted. It also has a MOOLY winder fitted which upsets the balance a bit. Indeed, this rig weighs about a kilo, and to think that I feel that the current SL is too heavy! The most rare item here is the folding SAIOO finder for the Hektor. The little purse on the left is for the SAIOO. That is a 5cm Elmar underneath propping up the combination.

 

Attached File   Black III with Hektor and MOOLY etc (1 of 1).jpg   72.12KB   4 downloads

 

William

 

 


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#970 MRTEE

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 15:08

William.......that's a great set up. What kind of results do you get from the 7.3cm Hektor? It looks in good nick. Tony.


Here is a black Leica III with 'chrome furniture' and a black and chrome 7.3 cm f1.9 Hektor mounted. It also has a MOOLY winder fitted which upsets the balance a bit. Indeed, this rig weighs about a kilo, and to think that I feel that the current SL is too heavy! The most rare item here is the folding SAIOO finder for the Hektor. The little purse on the left is for the SAIOO. That is a 5cm Elmar underneath propping up the combination.
 
attachicon.gif Black III with Hektor and MOOLY etc (1 of 1).jpg
 
William


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#971 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 15:34

William.......that's a great set up. What kind of results do you get from the 7.3cm Hektor? It looks in good nick. Tony.

 

 

Thanks Tony. Just to quickly access one, this is a shot I took almost wide open on the M240 the day that I got the lens. The rendering is very similar to that of the Summar with swirly bokeh wide open. Using the MOOLY, I generally use either a 5cm Elmar or a Summar. The rig I show above is very heavy.

 

Attached File  Hektor Flowers July 2016 (1 of 1).jpg   122.7KB   1 downloads

 

William


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#972 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 15:37

I might add that this looks much sharper in my photo library at home. In the past year something (a change of some kind?) is causing posted images to be much less sharp on this forum. I can send an original of this to anyone who is interested.

 

William



#973 MRTEE

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 15:59

Hi William, I love that effect from the lens,very impressionistic, would like to see the original. You can send it to ....2bornot2boggy@googlemail.com
One of the reasons I love the Barnack Leica's,..is that they are much lighter and more compact than the later series. So probably won't be going down the MOOLY Rd. But the 7.3cm could be nice for some artistic shooting. Tony.
PS. What is the close focus distance of the 7.3cm, and does one need a NOOKY . Thanks.Tony.




I might add that this looks much sharper in my photo library at home. In the past year something (a change of some kind?) is causing posted images to be much less sharp on this forum. I can send an original of this to anyone who is interested.
 
William


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#974 willeica

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 16:46

Thanks Tony. My absolute favourite lens for an 'old look' is the Summar. I presume that you saw my recent article about the Summar linked off this forum. A recent list published by one of the American Photo magazines (either Shutterbug or Popular Photography) put the Summar No 1 among all old LTM lenses for use on modern digital cameras because of its unique look. The minimum focus distance for the Hektor is somewhat less than 1.5 meters. You cannot use the NOOKY ( for 5cm Elmar) or the NOOKY-HESUM (for 5cm Hektor, Summar or Summitar) with the 7.3 cm Hektor. Prior to the introduction of those devices screw in lenses for the 5cm were the only choice or extension tubes which were also introduced around that time. I have never used extension tubes with the 7.3cm Hektor.

 

William



#975 MRTEE

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 08:52

Thanks William for sending the picture file, it does indeed look much better. And appreciate all the info. I will keep my eye's open for a Summar. Regards Tony.


Thanks Tony. My absolute favourite lens for an 'old look' is the Summar. I presume that you saw my recent article about the Summar linked off this forum. A recent list published by one of the American Photo magazines (either Shutterbug or Popular Photography) put the Summar No 1 among all old LTM lenses for use on modern digital cameras because of its unique look. The minimum focus distance for the Hektor is somewhat less than 1.5 meters. You cannot use the NOOKY ( for 5cm Elmar) or the NOOKY-HESUM (for 5cm Hektor, Summar or Summitar) with the 7.3 cm Hektor. Prior to the introduction of those devices screw in lenses for the 5cm were the only choice or extension tubes which were also introduced around that time. I have never used extension tubes with the 7.3cm Hektor.
 
William



#976 wlaidlaw

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 09:13

The problem with so many of these older Leica lenses is that both the front element and if they were coated, also the coating are extremely soft. Before the days when many of us carried a micro-fibre cloth with us, people used to use anything at hand to clean their lenses, a dusty handkerchief for example. The end result is that many of them look like they have been attacked with a pot scrubber. I was looking for a 5cm/f1.5 Summarit and gave up finding a good one at reasonable cost in the end and bought a contemporaneous Canon Serenar f1.8, where there are very no cleaning marks at all on it. The good news is that at least it does not cost much to get an uncoated lens' front element re-polished. Colour film actually did us a big favour, as when that became common, most photographers put a UV/skylight filter on their lenses. 

 

Wilson



#977 Lax Jought

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 10:00

I have a silly question to ask - I bought a Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM for my M9-P, and I bought a Rayqual LTM-to-M adapter from CameraQuest  (50-75mm frame lines).  Notwithstanding the frame lines, does this mean that I can now use any LTM lens on my M9?  What's the difference between "m39" and "m42"?


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#978 willeica

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 10:51

I have a silly question to ask - I bought a Canon 50mm f/1.4 LTM for my M9-P, and I bought a Rayqual LTM-to-M adapter from CameraQuest  (50-75mm frame lines).  Notwithstanding the frame lines, does this mean that I can now use any LTM lens on my M9?  What's the difference between "m39" and "m42"?

 

M39 is Leica Thread Mount (LTM). M42, also known as Universal Screw Mount (USM) is found on Japanese and Eastern European film SLRs made before bayonet mount became common. Your adapter should enable you to attach any LTM lens to your M9. Be careful with collapsible lenses. I never collapse such lenses on digital cameras even if others say that this can be done.

 

To Wilson's earlier point, I have been lucky with my 'accidental' Summar collection, where most of the lenses were bought unseen at auction attached to various LTM lenses. All of my 8 Summar lenses (all different variants) are very good. The Rigid Summar shows some haze pointed towards a strong light source. I knew this when I bought the lens as this is exactly what I wanted; an old fashioned look. The only suggestion to anyone buying a Summar or any older LTM lens from a dealer's store is to bring an adapter and a digital M to the store and to try out the lens. Make sure you get at least one outdoor shot pointed towards a strong light source.

 

William


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#979 wlaidlaw

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 11:26

My Hektor looks so good, I suspect the front element has been re-polished in the not too far distant past.

 

My father had his Summar coated in the Netherlands sometime around 1948. I had borrowed it and his IIIA as one of the sample cameras and lenses, when I wrote my thesis on camera and lens testing for my second year physics at university in 1965. The Summar and the IIIA were coming out so badly in the comparative testing that I took them down to Wallace Heaton in Bond Street, for probably the IIIA's first CLA from new and for the lens to be re-polished and re-coated. They commented that there was not a lot of the coating left in the centre of the front element and that the coating at the sides, was a bit lumpy. They also coated the internal air surfaces, whereas the original coating was on the front and rear external surfaces only. The Summar still placed last but was hugely better after the rebuild. The only bit my father seemed to enjoy was the bulb flash synchronisation for his Bilora flash, which I also got W-H to add (IIIA's have no flash sync at all). 



#980 Lax Jought

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 11:33

M39 is Leica Thread Mount (LTM). M42, also known as Universal Screw Mount (USM) is found on Japanese and Eastern European film SLRs made before bayonet mount became common. Your adapter should enable you to attach any LTM lens to your M9. Be careful with collapsible lenses. I never collapse such lenses on digital cameras even if others say that this can be done.

 

 

Hi William, I'm going to ask another stupid question - so that means I can use any M39 lens with my M9/M8, but no M42 lenses, correct?    I can't imagine I will be getting any collapsible lenses so I'll be ok, I have read about the issues with the spacing with those ones. 


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