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Guest srheker

Adjusting the Tele-Elmar 4/135 for the M9

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Guest srheker

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I recently got a Tele-Elmar 4,0 135, but unfortunately it had some back focus.

 

So I did send it to Solms for adjustment with nearly no effect but the advice that it had to be stopped down at least two stops on the M9 due to focussing issues.

 

Today I took care of the matter.

 

A very good colleague (who even advised me to get the lens) had some good advise which helped to solve the problem.

 

The Tele-Elmar is one of those lenses where you can remove the whole head from the barrel to use is with a visoflex.

 

So I took the lens, my M9 and a LensAlign and started making test shots while slowly unscrewing the front. After about 1 and 1/6th of a turn the focus was perfect.

 

I then measure the difference in length of the lens between this and the front part being fully screwed in and made myself a washer from a piece of plastic with exactly that think.

 

With this washer placed between barrel and front my Tele-Elmar is focusing perfekt on the M9 even wide open!

 

The only downside is that the aperture index is not exactly on top of the lens but slightly tilted, but who cares as long the pictures are sharp.

 

Pic. 1 and 2: Lens after CS at f4

 

Pic. 3 Lens with inserted washer at f 4

 

Pic. 4 100% crop Lens with inserted washer at f 4

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When I purchased my 1971 Tele-Elmar it had a couple plastic washers already inserted. Quite a simple fix if you know what you're trying to accomplish, but not at all obvious

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Guest srheker
When I purchased my 1971 Tele-Elmar it had a couple plastic washers already inserted. Quite a simple fix if you know what you're trying to accomplish, but not at all obvious

 

Especially if the CS says it doesn't get better than this, it's hard to imagine the solution could be that easy. Therefore I psted this.

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Somehow Leica is hung up on the preconception that it is not possible to focus 135 mm lenses. Demonstrably not true and rather insulting to the skill of their customers:mad:

- The idea stems from the well-known comparisons between RF and SLR focussing, which show that an SLR is a bit more accurate.

The fact that experienced M users prove time after time that it is perfectly posible to get exactly focussed shots provided the lenses are calibrated properly does not seem to have to reached as far as Solms.

They tried to give me the same runaround on my Apotelyt, however after I insisted it came back well-adjusted.

 

One wonders why Leica have released an 1.4x magnifier which brings the M9 RF magnification within the theoretical limit for focussing up to 135 mm

 

Having said that, the parallel focussing mechanism of these 135s is a dog to adjust.

Edited by jaapv

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I recently got a Tele-Elmar 4,0 135, but unfortunately it had some back focus.

 

So I did send it to Solms for adjustment with nearly no effect but the advice that it had to be stopped down at least two stops on the M9 due to focussing issues.

 

Today I took care of the matter.

 

A very good colleague (who even advised me to get the lens) had some good advise which helped to solve the problem.

 

The Tele-Elmar is one of those lenses where you can remove the whole head from the barrel to use is with a visoflex.

 

So I took the lens, my M9 and a LensAlign and started making test shots while slowly unscrewing the front. After about 1 and 1/6th of a turn the focus was perfect.

 

I then measure the difference in length of the lens between this and the front part being fully screwed in and made myself a washer from a piece of plastic with exactly that think.

 

With this washer placed between barrel and front my Tele-Elmar is focusing perfekt on the M9 even wide open!

 

The only downside is that the aperture index is not exactly on top of the lens but slightly tilted, but who cares as long the pictures are sharp.

 

 

I had a similar experience. Sent it to an independent, got it back six mos later the same as it was. Unfortunately, mine was the opposite of yours, and the lens head needed to bottom farther into the focus mount, so once I determined by test how much, I had to mill down the landing area on the lens head. I don't have the capacity to remove the optics, so that meant using a small disc along the landing, measuring every few millimeters along the periphery with calipers. The lens now focuses perfectly.

 

If you want to realign the aperture index, there are three tiny screws around the outside of the focus mount...loosen them (to gain access you will need to use a rubber glove to grip and unscrew the ring at the forefront of the focus mount), align the aperture index (hold the DOF scale in place), then tighten the setscrews. You'll need a tiny blade driver (perhaps cut down a larger one) and be very cautious loosening them (they are short and can fall out and get lost easily) and tightening them (easy to break off the walls of the driver slot). I realigned mine so it's just a tad off-center to the left (as seen from behind). That lets me see through the viewfinder what aperture I have set.

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One of my tele-elmar (similar to OP) is perfect as it, the slightest back focus can be detected at 200% magnification. My newer version is front focus and a turn of 2mm on the focus ring (toward infinity) brings it to the biting sharp level of my older one. Alas, it is off to DAG for adjustment.

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Guest srheker

If you want to realign the aperture index, there are three tiny screws around the outside of the focus mount...

 

Yes, I already found those this morning...

 

The only problem at present is, that the lens does not focus to infinity, so we will both make a small trip to Solms tomorrow to see what can be done about that...

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Having said that, the parallel focussing mechanism of these 135s is a dog to adjust.

 

I had a look inside the focus element part of my 135 f4 last night (my example needs the lens module moved towards the sensor it seems, so a shim won't work) and there appears to be a inner threaded ring for the lens module that sits inside the outer lens barrel.

 

I was wondering if this inner ring is adjustable thus properly positioning the lens module?

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I was parroting Will van Manen on the difficulty of adjustment.

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Guest srheker
I was parroting Will van Manen on the difficulty of adjustment.

 

After three very pleasing, entertaining and very interesting and informative hours at the CS in Solms today I can say that the construction of the lens makes the degree of adjustment needed for the M9 (analogue M's are more forgiving) quite difficult. Especially if you want it to work perfectly from 1,5m to infinity. But they made it.

 

To be honest I can't imagine any other customer service in the world where you could walk in and say:

 

"I had this lens serviced and was not quite satisfied, so I disassembled it and made myself a plastic washer and it's better now, but doesn't focus to infinity properly. Do you think we could make infinity work (no problem if can't give any warranty etc.)?"

 

and the technicians answer is

 

"Well, I think I have an idea, let me try..."

 

instead of "How dare you to disassemble that lens, get out of here!"

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I had a look inside the focus element part of my 135 f4 last night (my example needs the lens module moved towards the sensor it seems, so a shim won't work) and there appears to be a inner threaded ring for the lens module that sits inside the outer lens barrel.

 

I was wondering if this inner ring is adjustable thus properly positioning the lens module?[/quote]

 

I think not... better to look at the work posted above by 2Bèbért... I made the same with a Summicron 90, except that, instead of soldering metal, added 2 slices of scotch tape... incredibly rough and simple (even I didn't dismount the cam-retainer) and it worked fine...

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Jaap, Srheker, 2Bebert, Luigi, Thanks for replying.

 

The apparent assembly of my 135 f4 seems to include some manner of adjustment, but it is beyond my ability to fix it this way.

 

With my lens, the point of image focus is closer to me / the camera than the rangefinder indicates.

 

I looked at 2Bebert's post and it looks like my lens would need the opposite adjustment, fileing it down, shortening the part he lengthened.

 

Would this be correct ?

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When the lens is at the infinity stop of the focus mount, a subject at infinity should be focused sharply on the focal plane. If it is not, then the optics themselves need to be moved fore or aft w/respect to the infinity stop. Altering the length of the rangefinder pushing arm will not accomplish that.

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When the lens is at the infinity stop of the focus mount, a subject at infinity should be focused sharply on the focal plane. If it is not, then the optics themselves need to be moved fore or aft w/respect to the infinity stop. Altering the length of the rangefinder pushing arm will not accomplish that.

 

2Bebert, Luigi,

Did your lenses work at all focus points including infinity, after you added solder or tape to the 'pushing arm' (or whatever it's called).

 

Bocaburger,

If my lens needs mill work, then I guess I'll have to send it off to DAG or Sherry as I don't feel up to this kind of work.

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2Bebert, Luigi,

Did your lenses work at all focus points including infinity, after you added solder or tape to the 'pushing arm' (or whatever it's called).

 

Bocaburger,

If my lens needs mill work, then I guess I'll have to send it off to DAG or Sherry as I don't feel up to this kind of work.

 

Yes... to be precise... RF doesn't align perfectly at infinity, but the lens focuses right and above all, is really spot on at low distances, which are the most critical when you use the lens wide open (I think I never used the Cron 90 at f2 at infinity... neither at 2,8, probably) : for such a rough & simple adjustment, I'm very satisfied of the result (btw... truth is also that now I use much more my splendid Elmarit M 90...

)

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Yes... to be precise... RF doesn't align perfectly at infinity, but the lens focuses right and above all, is really spot on at low distances, which are the most critical when you use the lens wide open (I think I never used the Cron 90 at f2 at infinity... neither at 2,8, probably) : for such a rough & simple adjustment, I'm very satisfied of the result (btw... truth is also that now I use much more my splendid Elmarit M 90... )

 

 

Thanks Luigi !

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I sent my 125 Tele-Elmar-M into Solms for adjustment. This is the the E46 version without the removable head. CS as well as Leica Mayfair loaded up on caveats about need to stop down 2 stops. I see this as bullocks. It was consistently back focusing. Had it been a random effect I would buy the argument.

 

Now that I have it back it seems to focus just fine! But CS sent yet another 2 stop caveat with the lens when it was returned.

 

Question: Does anyone know if the non removeable head version is easier to calibrate for the M9 than the older removable version? I'm not talking about using plastic washers or DIY but rather from a proper repairman or Leica CS point of view?

I'd asked when I sent it in if calibration was problematic on the newer version and they didn't mention either way.

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very admirable diy. my guess is that if leica adjusted it so for your M9 they would then be openly criticised because the focus is off back on your M6/M7/MP..?

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