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Help identify 135 Elmar lens


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Can anyone help identity this lens?

Serial number is 100991 which is from the group of 100000-120000 that I believe Leitz used for lenses they made for use on other manufactures cameras.

Other close by serial are typically from the Nagel Recomar camera.

 

The distance scale and rear mount flange are chrome, which was used primarily after 1933/34.

The f stops are from 4.5 to 32,  not 36.  Normally, the continental scale was not used until after the war.

The front diameter and thus the lens cap is E-39, not the expected 36mm cap.

 

The best guess I have is that this was an early Elmar lens head for Nagel that was sometime after the war mounted in a Hektor 135 black and chrome mount.  But the lens head is also f.32.

 

Just wondering if anyone has a possible idea.

Thanks, alan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Alan,

 

Perhaps the lens might have gone for servicing at a time when there were no longer F4.5 Elmar parts available & Leitz might have rebuilt the lens with similar components for early versions of the F4.5 Hektor. Replacement with similar components from later models has been done with screw mount camera bodies & has also has been done with "M" mount cameras. It is possible that the same thing has been done with earlier lenses.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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IMG_0204.jpg

 

....

 

The best guess I have is that this was an early Elmar lens head for Nagel that was sometime after the war mounted in a Hektor 135 black and chrome mount.  But the lens head is also f.32.

 

Just wondering if anyone has a possible idea.

Thanks, alan.

I second this opinion : is worth noting that Nagel (and Kodak/Nagel) used the "modern" apertures (5,6 - 8 - 11 etc...) in their cameras of the 30's... you can find easily examples of Nagel cameras with 13,5 cm lenses (here, for example : http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Recomar_33) closing to f32... and one with an Elmar lens , with s/n close to yours, is soon to be auctioned at WestLicht (.https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/45494658_nagel-recomar-33-elmar) . Of course, if the lens cell was originally on a Nagel plate camera, it was very probably mounted onto a leaf shutter... which makes to think that the head in itself has been someway "rebuilt" with a new f stop ring (anyway, work was necessary to have it screwable on the Elmar focusing unit...btw : can the lenshead be unscrewed ? it would be fine to inspect it directly...)  I cannot find other hipotesis... given that the front engraving with s/n looks clearly original (and identical to the WestLicht item, apparently)  and has nothing to do with the engravings on the Elmar 13,5 cm 4,5 for Leica, which were on side and not on front ring. 

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Michael... I spoke about Elmar 13,5 cm 4,5, not Hektor... anyway, also the first Hektor were engraved on side of lenshead (

 Wiki... http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/File:45hektor135.jpg)
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Alan, some questions about the focusing Mount...

- Not so clear in your picture... but the DOF scale is coherent with f stops right ? (to 32, I mean)

- No IR mark, right ?

- Is it present the usual tripod Mount ?

 

All in all, looks like an immediate postwar Hektor mount  (not the "Elmar focusing unit" as I wrote in my previuos post) ... I wonder if this can be one of the lenses that Leitz factory assembled in the first difficult times after WWII, using "sparse" parts that they had in house... I think it's someway uneven that such a significant job, involving a Nagel camera, disassembly of a lens, and "ad hoc" factory parts, would had been done "on demand"... it sounds more "let's try to build some 135 to deliver" .... if your item came from USA, its story could even be related to the military occupation times of Germany by US forces...

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Great help, much appreciated.  The lens head (probably originally from a Recomar) is removable. See first photo. It does have both a tripod mount and an infared mark, both the barrel distance scale and the aperature ring are f.32. The diameter of the connecting thread is 40mm, all of the Hekor mounts I measured are 42mm, so this head will not screw into a normal Hektor mount.  In the photo you can note what looks like an adaptor, it is not removable.  So, this could still be a Hektor mount with this adaptor to the head.

Leitz used the early f stops until about 1947, so I have quite a few lenses that are just post war and they are still the old f.36 scale.

With regard to the location of the serial number on the Hektor 135, in general the early lenses have it on the outside, and the late lenses on the inside of the front.  I attach a photo of an "intermediate" Hektor where the serial is in two places on the head and on the barrel mount.  In this case the dual serial is No. 442042*, a duplicate lens. the lens head was often removed for use on the viso attachment or other copy device and maybe they wanted to make sure it went back to the original mount.

I need to do a lot more study of the 135 Elmars and Hektors.   Thanks

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Alan,

do you know Hartmuth Thiele publication "Grosses Fabrikationsbuch Leica-Objektive"? Is in German, contains the list of Leica lenses from SN 92201 until year 2012 (edition from 2014). The list has some gaps, your SN is not within. Closest Sns are Elmar 5cm for Nagel Pupille (100754 till 100845), Elmar 3,5cm for Kaftan Minifex (101001 till 101004). Obviously there must habe been another batch between 100846 and 101000 where your lens fits. Earliest Elmar 135mm are listed for Nagel Recomar (100111 till 100489).

Picture below shows the set of 3 Elmars and one Hektor:

- Elmar non-coupled, non-std, number 315

- Elmar non-coupled, non-std, number 425

- Elmar non-coupled, standartized, no SN

- Hektor, coupled, SN 172372

Hektor is, according to Thiele, from the very first batch (172001 till 172500).

All of them have aperture up to 36 and engravings outside on the lens barel. Lines on DOF scale are in parallel on all of them. Lines as on your mount I have seen on later Hektors.

In regard to engravings on your lens - there is an analogy to engravings on the Elmar 5cm in Compur mount - lenses for Leica Compur had engravings outside on the ring, lenses for third party on the ring inside. 

 

 

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Many thanks, I have ordered the book you mention.   With respect to the early Hektor 135, from the first lot, I have 172078, 172220 172226 and 172277. There are 135 Elmar lots at 176xxx, 197xxx and 240xxx, so production of the new Hektor must have overlapped the older Elmar and they were  available simultaneously  for a period of time.     Regards.

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There are 135 Elmar lots at 176xxx, 197xxx and 240xxx, 

as per Thiele the last batch of Elmar 145/4,5 was 176001 - 176350.  197xxx are listed as Hektor 135 (until 197500) and Summar above. 240xxx is listed as Hektor 135. Obviously Thiele list has some deviations. It is very probable that Elmars and Hektors were produced simultanously for some period of time, however lower SN does not necessarily mean earlier production date

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Just as a matter of curiosity... has someone ever tested if also the Hektor does cover a format larger than 24x36 ? Elmar of course does (by far.... 9x12 cm)... and I remember that Lager shows some lenses (Telyt 200, iirc) mouted through adapter on 6x6 SLR...

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Jerzy makes an important point. In a general manner, increasing serial numbers can relate to age.  But we do not know the exact method that Leitz used to make lot assignments for upcoming production.  Lot sizes varied from just a few, to in some cases, thousands. Estimates of future demand and capacity certainly varied.  We know that sometimes when a lot assignment was not fully utilized, it could be left open, or more frequently used or reassigned to other products. Even to the point that sometimes we see post war items that have serial numbers one would associate with pre-war. A lot could have been assigned to a particular lens, it was not built and some years later a different lens was assigned to this lot.

 

The delivery records in Solms list the lots 197001-197500 as EFERN and 240001-240505 also as EFERN, neither as HEFAR. This is from a copy/ compilation by Lager.  Interestingly, Lot 176001-176381 are Elmars and the remainder of the "batch" 176382-177000 is Hektor.  That would suggest a transition point and might lead Thiele to conclude this(176xxx) was the last lot of Elmars.  But, I have many collected serials from 197xxx and 240xxx and they are all Elmars, not a single Hektor.    So,I suggest the final Elmar is 240505.

 

There are dates(year only) also from the records.  The  Elmar lot 176xxx is dated 1934, and the lot 240xxx is dated 1935-36; while the first lot of Hektor 172xxx is dated 1933-34. Is it possible that lots 197 and 240 were built before lot 176, maybe but I do not think so and the dates don't reflect that.  In this particular case, I think some overlap between Elmar and Hektor is likely.  But as noted, serial number study is not  a perfect science, and we continue to learn more.

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I have an HEFARCHROM without any s/n supposed to be from 1931 as the HEFAR not standard with 186 engraved as the last 3 digit from the camera,

and an Hektor 176xxx from 1934 and an another 485xxx from 1938 

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Sorry JC.... I am not able to connect your statement ("...HEFARCHROM without any s/n...") with the 3 pictures following.... you mean that the depicted item is an Hektor, not an Elmar ?

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I have an HEFARCHROM without any s/n supposed to be from 1931 as the HEFAR not standard with 186 engraved as the last 3 digit from the camera,

 

both are unusal pieces. non-standard cameras and lenses were produced between May 1930 and May 1931, one year only. As per literature Hektor started in 1933, so way after all lenses were standartized. It is however possible that your 186, upon customer request, has been "downgraded" to match the customer's non standard body.  Possible, however rather unlikely in my view. Coud you post some photos?

HEFACHROM without any SN  is another mysterious piece. Until now I hoped to have the only one

, photos below (sorry for the low quality). I did not do yet any research on the origin of the lens. It has A36 filter size, vulkanit is from 1953-1956. This is why I believe that the lens orginiates from this period as well. Interesting is well unfinished lens cap - just brass without chrom plating. Is your lens similar to mine? Could you place some photos?

And back to Thiele.

In general, most common source to determine production year of specific SN are delivery records from Leitz. But almost every dept within Leitz had it's own records (assembly, engravings, etc). And these might be a better source to determine "birth date" than the delivery records. They are however available only to the very narrow group of people.

Some of the pre-assigned numbers remained unused or have been used in a later time. You might have seen some IIIf with the SN out of the range of wartime IIIc (397611-397760). Some of them were former IIIc Betriebskameras, which early 60-ties were upgraded to IIIf, "civilized" (SN assigned) and sold internally. In his article in Vidom 110 describes Mr. Mihaely some more cameras like this.

 

Thiele explained that his source of information were some information received from Leitz, but as well he used all other sources like auction houses, dealers, ebay and last but not least feedback from collectors. He admits that the list might not be fully correct and complete and he would be thankfull for any feedback. His email is within the book, I may provide it to people interested upon PM.

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