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LSM (M39) on M6 problem

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I am using a 1954 Summitar 5cm f2 lens on my M6 with a screw mount to M mount adaptor. As carefully as I try to focus nothing seems sharp on my negatives at all f stops.

Could there be a problem with the adapter? Should I just use M mount lenses.

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If this is the only lens you have that problem with then it is either the lens or the adapter (not the camera). With a good adapter (one of the currently produced Voigtlander are about as good as they get) and a properly adjusted LTM lens (I've never purchased one that didn't focus perfectly on all of my M cameras) you should have zero problems with use on your M6.


My suggestion would be to buy a good adapter if you don't already have one, if the problem persists then it's probably the lens and it will need professional adjustment


Don't let this scare you away from all LTM lenses as they can be some of the best bang for the buck lenses out there...

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Welcome to the forum!



Isn't the Summitar collapsible? You are using it in the extended position, right. (I mean, someone has to ask.



The rangefinder does track when you turn the lens, doesn't it?


What condition is the lens in? The diaphragm? The coating?


Remember that no 1954 lens, no matter its condition, is going to meet modern standards.


You don't say how unsharp the pictures are. Can you post a sample image, and maybe a picture of the lens with adapter?


If it's a Leica screw to bayonet adapter, I don't think it's going to be at fault.


Have you tried the camera with another lens? If that works, we can pretty much eliminate the camera as being the problem.

Edited by ho_co

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With a 50mm lens at an aperture f/8 or smaller, there's enough depth of focus for minor errors from a cheap adapter to be pretty insignificant. (The adapter is about 0.9mm thick, and depth of focus about 0.48mm.)


So check everything else first. Is the lens clean? For various reasons lenses of that vintage can be hazy until cleaned.


Is the rangefinder out of adjustment? Focus the lens on infinity; are distant objects (more than 100m) sharp?


And - as Howard says - make sure the lens is properly extended. Everyone has forgotten that at some stage.

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And - as Howard says - make sure the lens is properly extended. Everyone has forgotten that at some stage.


yes indeed, if even by a little. Note that you can only twist and lock it when it is fully extended so that's a sign that it is properly pulled out.


I got a Summitar with my LTM kit and absolutely love the lens (and its name, too). It is one of my more frequently used lenses, actually.

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My 48 Summitar is a great lens, perfect focus on my M9 at f2.0. (Better focus than both my '60s-'70s Summicrons.)


I did pick up a Canon 50 1.8 Serenar from about '54 that is way off in focus. I suspect it has been poorly serviced.

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Thanks all. I discovered it was my scanner (or use of) that was the problem. I shot a roll of Kodak BW400 CN and had it developed. I was quite pleased with the results. This is my first Leica and you could imagine my consternation when the results were not what I expected. I'm finally getting back into the darkroom after a 10 year hiatus.

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