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Can the color of the red dot on M Lenses change?


yeahyoung
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Today I bought a used Summicron 28 ASPH and immediately noticed that the red dot on the lens - the one used to align when mounting - is of a different color than the Summicron 50 that I have. It is more of an orange color on the 28, and red on the 50. 

 

My speculation is that the red color has changed (bleached out) due to exposure to the environment. This sounds quite stupid but it's Leica so anything is possible. 

 

Anyone has similar issues? Any advices will be helpful!  

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There are first world problems and then there are Leica user problems 

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If lens works to your expectations enjoy.

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Lucky you!! It sounds like you have one of the ultra rare 'persimmon' lenses, so called because they are identified by the special little plastic bump marker. Did you pay an awful lot for it?

 

I finally found a persimmon lens a few years back but I was lucky, the owner was asking very little over list price for it. I'm not sure he knew exactly what he had there.

 

I shan't use it though, obviously.

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It could be some kind of fading - but realistically, Leica has been putting red dots on M lenses for 60 years, and there has been a lot of normal product variation over that time.

 

Persimmon red, fire-engine red, candy-apple red. Made or installed in Germany, Canada, Portugal. Even large or small (although size has been pretty consistent since the 1970's).

 

The dot on my brand-new 90mm is slightly less "orange" than the ones on my 1980's Canadian 21 and 35 - but my 1960's German 135 dot is even darker red (and smaller).

 

Since the dots fall off from time to time, any given lens may have had a dot replaced with one from a more recent era (or even an earlier era, if serviced by a third party who just dug around in his/her parts box for a spare red dot.) My Leica rep carries around a plastic baggie of red lens dots, for people who have lost theirs.

 

If you're worried about dot color - wait til you see how much the yellow paint in the lens barrel engravings has varied over the years!  1980's: medium canary yellow. Recent: orangey "Kodak box" yellow.

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I would only be seriously concerned if the red dot would finally do what all red control lights should do: Blinking, when the technology fails. 

 

You can just blink your eyelids. Then it would work, even on the M-A...

 

s-a

Edited by semi-ambivalent
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Today I bought a used Summicron 28 ASPH and immediately noticed that the red dot on the lens - the one used to align when mounting - is of a different color than the Summicron 50 that I have. It is more of an orange color on the 28, and red on the 50. 

 

My speculation is that the red color has changed (bleached out) due to exposure to the environment. This sounds quite stupid but it's Leica so anything is possible. 

 

Anyone has similar issues? Any advices will be helpful!  

 

That is unlikely due to weathering since the glue is actually the weak link part. It's more likely that the previous owner knocked off the red dot and replaced it with one of the Chinese made one. Ebay Chinese made dots are on the lighter side.

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  • 4 years later...

The sealed-new-in-box Leica M lens from 2001 I just received has a noticeably more orange dot than my current M lenses.  So either it did fade over 18+ years (but sealed in a box), or Leica used more orange-ish dots for some of their M lenses back then.

Next, I'll do extensive MTF testing to measure the effect of the orange vs red dot on lens resolving power.

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It's all very well for you folks with only a few types of red dots to choose from but think of the poor souls such as myself who has a 1954 Summaron(-M) where the original red paint of the indexing pit is wearing-off! How on Earth do I know which of the million shades / hues of "Red" is correct? Is it, in actual fact, not more of a Vermillion?? Or is Vermillion really just another type of RED???

Or do I abandon all attempts at originality and simply acquire a red plastic dot? Or, perhaps - going after the collector's market - the Limited Edition "Persimmon" version?

HELP!!!

P.

Edited by pippy
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19 minutes ago, pippy said:

t's all very well for you folks with only a few types of red dots to choose from but think of the poor souls such as myself who has a 1954 Summaron(-M) where the original red paint of the indexing pit is wearing-off! How on Earth do I know which of the million shades / hues of "Red" is correct? Is it, in actual fact, not more of a Vermillion?? Or is Vermillion really just another type of RED???

P,

To find the correct tint and hue it is essential that you use Leica's Red Dot Colour Calibration Light Source and Leica's Red Dot Colour Calibration Goggles.  The set is very reasonably priced at £4,790 and can be used multiple times.  (Of course if you intend to use it in the future it is strongly advised that you also acquire Leica's Red Dot Colour Calibration Light Source Calibrator.  POA.)

Failure to select the correct, calibrated colour of red dot or red paint risks impairing your lens's performance by 22% per shade divergence.  Colour blindness is not accepted as an excuse.

Pete.

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1 hour ago, pippy said:

Or do I abandon all attempts at originality and simply acquire a red plastic dot?

Slightly cheaper than Pete's suggestion, you could go for the advanced CLA, which includes a "paint" stage. However, it is advised that you don't mention to the missus that you got the CLAP.

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Just now, ianman said:

Slightly cheaper than Pete's suggestion, you could go for the advanced CLA, which includes a "paint" stage. However, it is advised that you don't mention to the missus that you got the CLAP.

:lol:=D>

I'd like to have been able to award you TWO Laughing-Johnnies for that, Ian!

P.

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7 hours ago, pippy said:

I'd like to have been able to award you TWO Laughing-Johnnies for that, Ian!

Thank you! The problem now is that I will never be able to see "CLA" anymore without thinking about the paint option. A bit like the jungle book elephant song, once it's in your head.... oh f... !

 

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You think an off-red dot is problem?  I bought a lens last week with a white dot on it.  Turns out it's some sort of Limited Edition Wetzlar Edition 35 Summilux, or something.

You'd think they'd take even more care to get the correct shade of red dot with so-called Limited Editions.  I'm going to ask for my money back.

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On 7/17/2015 at 7:48 PM, TomB_tx said:

A lot of dots have been replaced by users, often by making a new one from a "map pin" with a red plastic ball head.

But that would hurt you every time you picked up the lens.

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