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Some details on the early 105 f/6.3 Mountain Elmar


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The 105 f6.3 Elmar is well known to most of us, but some details can still be discussed. I attach a photo of my collection, which ranges from very early to late production as per the factory serial number list, and from my collected serial numbers.  Several authors have said that they believe an uncoupled version exists, but I do not believe this has ever been confirmed. By most accounts, the lens was not available until early 1932; I note it was mentioned in the March 1932 dealer’s bulletin, as coupled. As the model D was launched around February 1932, there were still plenty of model C cameras that would not have benefited from the rangefinder coupling. Die Leica also notes a coupled version only in the July/August 1932 publication. If an un-coupled version exists, collectors would love to see it. A prototype exists in the Leitz museum but is quite different from production lenses.

Records show 9 early allocated units at 107891 to 107899, but I have never recorded one from this possible batch. The next lot is 107901 to 108097; I have noted 10, all above 108000, and 3 which I have. My earliest is 108003, see photo. It was delivered to Berlin on July 20, 1932 and is definitely coupled. These batches are within the range of 100000 to 120000 that Leitz normally used for their lenses sold to and used on, other manufactures cameras. If anyone has a very early 105 Elmar, please share.

Early units are black and nickel, after 1933 they were black and chrome. All of mine with the distance scale in feet are also engraved Germany, evidently for export. All engraved in meters do not have Germany engraved.  Also, the early lenses, up to about 162,xxx have the lens cap with complete internal velvet covering, after that they only have the covering on the inside rim. Perhaps this was a change for all lens caps of other length lenses also. The original boxes are also rarely seen; in the photo is an early very dark red/brown tube and also one of the later red varieties. Late units have an infrared mark.

These lenses were not especially successful and production (1932 to 1937) was low (3975), but obviously they are interesting to me and I enjoy them. All comments welcome.

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Another impressive bunch of yours...

 

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That is an impressive collection of Berg Elmars, Alan. I have just one, a black and nickel model with metric scale from 1932, in the batch with SNs from 136040 to 137000. It is coated, but I have no indication when the coating was applied.

 

A photo taken with the lens is below:

 

 

 

 

William

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Alan, always a great pleasure to see your collection

here a couple of mine with a non common all black paint sn 107xxx and a 

chrome/black with its dark box sn 128xxx

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Alan,

 

What a great collection you have.  Thanks for showing it.

 

I have a 105cm with serial # 108089.  It is black/nickel, feet, no "Germany"engraving.  It is engraved "Ernst Leitz Wetzlar" on the front 

 

ring.  Although I love the look of the Bertolotti chrome lens, I'm really impressed with the all black JCBraconi lens...two amazing finds. 

 

Ciao,  Sully

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Wonderful replies.

 

  Luigi, I have  berg lenses 300203 and 300220, and have recorded 25 lenses in the 300001 to 300500 lot. All are black. Anything is possible, but most likely the chrome cone was prepared after the lens left the factory.  The mount on these lenses is not that hard to disassemble. Why it was done is unknown, but your suggestion that a scratched cone motivated the owner is possible, or maybe he/she just liked chrome. I agree that it is unique and beautiful. Lens 162968 is reported as all chrome, but unlikely original.

 

William, the photo is strikingly sharp, I would no have guessed this lens was that capable. Maybe a bright day and a high 18-36 f stop. I don't think any of these lenses were factory coated during their original production.

 

JC, the all black lens is breath taking and likely exceedingly rare.  Can you share if it is from the first small lot 107891 to 107899 or from the second lot of 107901 to 108097?   I appreciate the practice of not revealing complete serial numbers.  Also, can you advise if the all black lens is rangefinder coupled?

 

Sully, thanks I added 108089 to the data base.  I also have 108023 and 108045.

 

I also forgot to note that, likely due to factory error, there are a few 105 Elmar lenses marked with an "a" after the serial number. These are reported to be duplicates of the same serial number on other lenses.  As best I can tell, these lenses are from serial 251501 to 251521 for a total of 21 lenses so marked.  I have only recorded two,  251507a and 251521a. Both are duplicates of 35 f/3.5 Elmar lenses. They have been noted by Lager and Nakamura respectively.

Also, in the earlier berg serial number lot 136001 and up. I have recorded 4 lenses (002, 039,044 and 055). But in this group the "a" indicating duplicate is on the non 105 lenses, which were all 90mm "Fat" Elmars. 

 

Many thanks to all.

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William, the photo is strikingly sharp, I would no have guessed this lens was that capable...

It is, indeed, and even if designed for Black & White era, color rendering is pleasant 

(taken at f 9 - OOC Jpg from M240 at 1600 ASA)

 

which makes to think that would be nice to have an adapter for bellows (surely not difficult to have made) ... the lenshead is so tiny that resembles the micro lenses like Milars and similar... 

 

 

(taken with a "Brother Elmar"... 65mm...

 )

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JC, the all black lens is breath taking and likely exceedingly rare.  Can you share if it is from the first small lot 107891 to 107899 or from the second lot of 107901 to 108097?   I appreciate the practice of not revealing complete serial numbers.  Also, can you advise if the all black lens is rangefinder coupled?

 

 

Alan, thanks for your comments; the all black is from the second lot very close from the beginning of the sn.

cannot answer about the coupling as I am travelling at the moment, as soon as I can check I will inform you.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Everyone,

 

I recently got a second Mountain Elmar.  This one is pretty well in mint condition with caps and hood.  My other one is rather battered about - it must have had quite a hard life when in regular use.  They are from the same year's batch - 1933.  It just goes to show what can happen with two different owners!

 

My question is: were there any filters made to fit it?  There are none mentioned in the Leica Accessories book I have, even though other one-off lens sizes are.

 

In expectation of either JB or Alan presenting us with a photo of the complete collection...

 

Best wishes,

 

Susie

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Regular A36( 36 mm) filters fit over the large end of the hood.  Lager shows a single ( prototype? ) screw in filter marked E. Leitz, but says no code word for a screw in filter has been found.  Seems a little clumsy to have the filter that far forwared as you climb thru the Alps, also it would have to be removed to reverse mount the hood on the lens.

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  • 4 years later...
Posted (edited)

Following up on an old thread.

My Mountain Elmar arrived today. 1933 black and chrome, scaled in feet, with hood.

It’s smaller than I imagined only having seen pictures of them before, but I should have realised as the widest part is the screw mount and the front of the hood is A36 size. Will hopefully use it tomorrow.

I have another lens that is cone shaped as well, a modern Voigtlander said to be copying a 19th century Voigtlander design.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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As I discussed in another thread I am interested to find out when the infrared sign R appeared on Leitz lenses. That was around 1933/34 and it would be nice of some of you could check on your 105mm Elmar lenses of approximately those years if the R indication appears or not. I am trying to make a list with serial numbers of several lenses and it seems to move around a bit.

So any information about the Mountain elmars in this respect is welcome.

Lex

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, sandro said:

As I discussed in another thread I am interested to find out when the infrared sign R appeared on Leitz lenses. That was around 1933/34 and it would be nice of some of you could check on your 105mm Elmar lenses of approximately those years if the R indication appears or not. I am trying to make a list with serial numbers of several lenses and it seems to move around a bit.

So any information about the Mountain elmars in this respect is welcome.

Lex

Yes, it does have an infrared “R” and it is 162867.

 I do have Rollei 400 infrared film in my Leica Standard so I could make use of the “R”.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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9 hours ago, sandro said:

As I discussed in another thread I am interested to find out when the infrared sign R appeared on Leitz lenses. That was around 1933/34 and it would be nice of some of you could check on your 105mm Elmar lenses of approximately those years if the R indication appears or not. I am trying to make a list with serial numbers of several lenses and it seems to move around a bit.

So any information about the Mountain elmars in this respect is welcome.

Lex

Red Dot have two more Mountain Elmars for sale. From the photos 128980 does not have the “R” but 251331 does.

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I have a 'customised' version - lens head 136870 - in a non-RF coupled focus mount. I just tried the lens on a half-plate camera and wide open it appears to illuminate as much as possibly even 5" x 4", not that this gives any indication of viable coverage. I suspect hat it might be usable on quarter plate  but more likely 6x6cm would be viably usable. Mine has some 'natural' blooming on it although the optics remain very clear. Its a good little lens which I rarely use and sometimes consider selling. Perhaps I should persevere with it and try it with a medium formal sometime.

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On 6/1/2016 at 2:58 PM, alan mcfall said:

 

 

The 105 f6.3 Elmar is well known to most of us, but some details can still be discussed. I attach a photo of my collection, which ranges from very early to late production as per the factory serial number list, and from my collected serial numbers.  Several authors have said that they believe an uncoupled version exists, but I do not believe this has ever been confirmed. By most accounts, the lens was not available until early 1932; I note it was mentioned in the March 1932 dealer’s bulletin, as coupled. As the model D was launched around February 1932, there were still plenty of model C cameras that would not have benefited from the rangefinder coupling. Die Leica also notes a coupled version only in the July/August 1932 publication. If an un-coupled version exists, collectors would love to see it. A prototype exists in the Leitz museum but is quite different from production lenses.

Records show 9 early allocated units at 107891 to 107899, but I have never recorded one from this possible batch. The next lot is 107901 to 108097; I have noted 10, all above 108000, and 3 which I have. My earliest is 108003, see photo. It was delivered to Berlin on July 20, 1932 and is definitely coupled. These batches are within the range of 100000 to 120000 that Leitz normally used for their lenses sold to and used on, other manufactures cameras. If anyone has a very early 105 Elmar, please share.

Early units are black and nickel, after 1933 they were black and chrome. All of mine with the distance scale in feet are also engraved Germany, evidently for export. All engraved in meters do not have Germany engraved.  Also, the early lenses, up to about 162,xxx have the lens cap with complete internal velvet covering, after that they only have the covering on the inside rim. Perhaps this was a change for all lens caps of other length lenses also. The original boxes are also rarely seen; in the photo is an early very dark red/brown tube and also one of the later red varieties. Late units have an infrared mark.

These lenses were not especially successful and production (1932 to 1937) was low (3975), but obviously they are interesting to me and I enjoy them. All comments welcome.

Woosh...and I thought I had had a "significant" collection! My archive's listings give a modest eleven references for the "berg" Elmar 105 : serials 107922, 123405, 128320, 128926, 136949, 136993, 162611, 162938, 251381, 300095 and 300302.

It seems that my first serial pertains to the earliest produced (the second limited batch quoted by Alan).

The photos I choose are those of serials  123405 (sorry, I could not find an illustration of nº107922), 136949, 162611, 162938 and 300095. I also add a photo of the red (?) box I had, and of the Elmar 105 mountedd in Compur of another brand (not from my collection). Hope it will help historians.

 

 

 

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