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Show us some Mandler Magic

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1 hour ago, otto.f said:

That is my feeling too. The 90 Elmarit‘s contrast is not exactly my image of a Mandler lens. 

I am not an authority on who designed Leica lenses but every source I've been able to find online supports the contention that the 90 Elmarit M is a Mandler design. I also just checked with my longtime friend, Don Goldberg (DAG), who agrees that it is. I have sent an inquiry to my contact at Leica AG in Wetzlar and will let you know if I hear anything that contradicts this. There must be a definitive answer somewhere.

 

Edited by fotografr

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7 hours ago, fotografr said:

I am not an authority on who designed Leica lenses but every source I've been able to find online supports the contention that the 90 Elmarit M is a Mandler design. I also just checked with my longtime friend, Don Goldberg (DAG), who agrees that it is. I have sent an inquiry to my contact at Leica AG in Wetzlar and will let you know if I hear anything that contradicts this. There must be a definitive answer somewhere.

Seems like Mr Mandler agrees with you ;).

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Lately I’ve been a little in doubt about my Summilux 50/1.4 (3rd) too, because it was launched in 1994 whilst Walter Mandler retired in 1985. Someone else must have been involved in the last redesign, but I’ve never been able to figure out who.

So it was reassuring to see it on Dr. Mandler’s own list. 😊

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Maybe innovations in glass or coatings but with Mandler’s design and calculations. It was the decade when SchneiderKreuznach came up with the MC coating.

Edited by otto.f

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For me, that Fricke list is just more "hearsay." A quote of a quote of a recollection.

And impeachable, since it also contains errors (there is no "75 Summilux (2nd)" or "50mm Summilux (3rd)," optically, and it leaves out the "28 Elmarit (2nd)," definitely a Midland Canada design).

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

The 90 Elmarit-M may very well be a Mandler design. But I wouldn't "convict" Mandler of designing it, based on the evidence thus far. ;)

It may just be my journalists' instincts in an era of fake news - "If your mother tells you she loves you, kick her in the shins and make her prove it."

I do look forward to hearing what Brent gets from his Leica contact.

Anyway, back on track with another lens that is on Fricke's list - but Puts also attributes to ELW.

The Watchers -135mm Tele-Elmar f/4.0.

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Andy,

This begs the question for me, who designed the 28mm Elmarit-M v4?  I was not able to find that but have felt that it falls clearer into the older pre-aspheric "look" as compared to the aspheric version Elmarit that followed it. And then, aside from the similar body design that was the 1st 28mm Summicron ASPH, that lens in some ways had a similar look to the 28mm Elmarit-M v4. with the exception being the flat field of the Elmarit at wider apertures.

David

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9 hours ago, adan said:

For me, that Fricke list is just more "hearsay." A quote of a quote of a recollection.

And impeachable, since it also contains errors (there is no "75 Summilux (2nd)" or "50mm Summilux (3rd)," optically, and it leaves out the "28 Elmarit (2nd)," definitely a Midland Canada design)

The 50mm Summilux  produced between 1992 and 2004 is commonly referred to as Version 3. Common usage doesn't make it law but it does explain the reference. (Check Ken Rockwell)

Still no word from Leica. I don't know what the work status is for the office folks in Wetzlar. It might be a while. At this point my most reliable source is Don Goldberg. He was trained at the Leica facility in Wetzlar and is the most knowledgeable person I know for Leica lenses.

There is also a 75mm Summilux commonly referred to as Version II. It looks completely different than the first version. Here's one on eBay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEITZ-Leica-Summilux-M-75mm-F1-4-Ver-II-Lens-Yr-1983-Canada-003/202587340023?hash=item2f2b257cf7:g:5f8AAOSwfKVdWlze

 

Edited by fotografr

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50 minutes ago, fotografr said:

The 50mm Summilux  produced between 1992 and 2004 is commonly referred to as Version 3. Common usage doesn't make it law but it does explain the reference. (Check Ken Rockwell)

Still no word from Leica. I don't know what the work status is for the office folks in Wetzlar. It might be a while. At this point my most reliable source is Don Goldberg. He was trained at the Leica facility in Wetzlar and is the most knowledgeable person I know for Leica lenses.

There is also a 75mm Summilux commonly referred to as Version II. It looks completely different than the first version. Here's one on eBay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEITZ-Leica-Summilux-M-75mm-F1-4-Ver-II-Lens-Yr-1983-Canada-003/202587340023?hash=item2f2b257cf7:g:5f8AAOSwfKVdWlze

The Summilux 50/1.4 # 11868 (right) is a "third generation" according to Leica. I would not say that the Summilux 75 # 11814 with "0.9"m MFD and separate hood is the same version as 11815/11810 with "0.8"m MFD and built-in hood BTW but it is not totally different to be honest.

Edited by lct

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7 hours ago, DwF said:

Andy,

This begs the question for me, who designed the 28mm Elmarit-M v4?  I was not able to find that but have felt that it falls clearer into the older pre-aspheric "look" as compared to the aspheric version Elmarit that followed it. And then, aside from the similar body design that was the 1st 28mm Summicron ASPH, that lens in some ways had a similar look to the 28mm Elmarit-M v4. with the exception being the flat field of the Elmarit at wider apertures.

David

28 v.4 was designed in Solms in the era of Lothar Kölsch. But who in his office actually pushed around the mouse of the lens design computer.....? Walter Watz gets specific credit for the 35 Aspherical and ASPH, under Kölsch's directorship. Could have been Kölsch, Watz, perhaps Peter Karbe (as a journeyman), or (see below) Klaus-Dieter Schaefer - or others.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Lothar_Kölsch

IMHO, along with the 50 Summicron 4/5 and 90 Elmarit-M, it is a "transitional" lens that shares characteristics of both Mandler and the post-1990 APO/ASPH revolution.

(Of note - no new M lenses at all were introduced between 1980 and 1990 - the focus (hah!) was on upgrading the R lenses - 100 APO-Macro-Elmarit, 280/400/560 modular lens, revised 19/28mm Elmarit-R etc. etc. Oh, and also the 40mm f/2.4 Summarit for the Minilux (Kölsch and Klaus-Dieter Schaefer, according to the wiki).

In all ways, the v.4 Elmarit served as a "design goal" for the 28 Summicron ASPH - Leica was determined the Summicron would be no larger than the Elmarit v.4, and at least as good, even at a stop faster.

As to the 75 Summilux, if one wants to name the cosmetic or mechanical variations using the same glass, there is the v.1 (separate lens hood, E58 filter size), the v.2 (Leitz Canada), and v.3 (Leica Germany, with reduced weight).

My own bias is that if the same glass will produce the same pictures - that is one version of a lens. There is no other version - until the lens elements change shape or size or glass type and start imaging differently (e.g. 50 Summilux v1/2, 35mm v/1-4, etc.).

Edited by adan

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4 hours ago, adan said:

28 v.4 was designed in Solms in the era of Lothar Kölsch. But who in his office actually pushed around the mouse of the lens design computer.....? Walter Watz gets specific credit for the 35 Aspherical and ASPH, under Kölsch's directorship. Could have been Kölsch, Watz, perhaps Peter Karbe (as a journeyman), or (see below) Klaus-Dieter Schaefer - or others.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Lothar_Kölsch

IMHO, along with the 50 Summicron 4/5 and 90 Elmarit-M, it is a "transitional" lens that shares characteristics of both Mandler and the post-1990 APO/ASPH revolution.

(Of note - no new M lenses at all were introduced between 1980 and 1990 - the focus (hah!) was on upgrading the R lenses - 100 APO-Macro-Elmarit, 280/400/560 modular lens, revised 19/28mm Elmarit-R etc. etc. Oh, and also the 40mm f/2.4 Summarit for the Minilux (Kölsch and Klaus-Dieter Schaefer, according to the wiki).

In all ways, the v.4 Elmarit served as a "design goal" for the 28 Summicron ASPH - Leica was determined the Summicron would be no larger than the Elmarit v.4, and at least as good, even at a stop faster.

As to the 75 Summilux, if one wants to name the cosmetic or mechanical variations using the same glass, there is the v.1 (separate lens hood, E58 filter size), the v.2 (Leitz Canada), and v.3 (Leica Germany, with reduced weight).

My own bias is that if the same glass will produce the same pictures - that is one version of a lens. There is no other version - until the lens elements change shape or size or glass type and start imaging differently (e.g. 50 Summilux v1/2, 35mm v/1-4, etc.).

It is interesting (I guess telling of the transitional time) that the design of that lens is a bit up for grabs. Make more sense as you describe here it's physical design-goal connection to the first 28mm Summicron.  The v4 is a lens I particularly enjoy so it's nice to have this clarity, even if it came out of a time when things were in flux!  Thanks again Andy for shedding light here.

David

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20 hours ago, adan said:

 

My own bias is that if the same glass will produce the same pictures - that is one version of a lens. There is no other version - until the lens elements change shape or size or glass type and start imaging differently (e.g. 50 Summilux v1/2, 35mm v/1-4, etc.).

That's a very good point but only if the lens designer's responsibility stops with the glass. Other factors like barrel design and focusing mechanics might change the actual functioning of the lens without affecting the imaging. I really don't know if designers like Dr. Mandler also worked on those aspects as well as type, grind, shape and placement of the glass elements. If they did, I would support the position that those changes would warrant different version designations.

Edited by fotografr

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11 hours ago, lct said:

75/1.4 v1 & v2 produce totally different pictures at 0.8m :D. Just kidding. Same for 50/1.4 v1/v2 vs v3 BTW.

 

Yes, I've noticed the same thing. 🥴

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6 minutes ago, fotografr said:

... I really don't know if designers like Dr. Mandler also worked on those aspects as well as type, grind, shape and placement of the glass elements. ...

The existence of floating lens elements indicate that they must do (now) considering that the mechanics and optics must function together to produce desired image quality.

Pete.

Edited by farnz

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2 hours ago, fotografr said:

That's a very good point but only if the lens designer's responsibility stops with the glass. Other factors like barrel design and focusing mechanics might change the actual functioning of the lens without affecting the imaging. I really don't know if designers like Dr. Mandler also worked on those aspects as well as type, grind, shape and placement of the glass elements. If they did, I would support the position that those changes would warrant different version designations.

Well, it's an interesting question. What responsibility does a Porsche engine designer have for the drive train, the steering linkage or the cornering ability? ;)

Not to mention the production engineering - someone has to decide if a design can be manufactured to the desired tolerances for a reasonable price - and modified, if not.

Optical engineering, mechanical engineering and production engineering are separate disciplines - although one can probably become expert in more than one, with a lot of work.

It is also interesting the virtually all of the "class of 1980" Mandler/Canada lenses underwent rather obvious ergonomic or operational changes very rapidly (within the first 1-2 years of existence). There would be a lot of "versions" cataloged if all of these individual changes were counted.

21 Elmarit-M - introduced (and photographed for catalogs) with a E49 filter size - but changed almost immediately to E60. Also with convex "tiger-claw" focus tab, soon changed to concave tab. And with a close-focus limit (not RF coupled) of 0.4m.  And later in the run, changed from a lens hood fitting over protruding  "Frankenstein-bolt" metal pins, to a bayonet lens hood mount more like today's Zeiss ZM lenses, only smaller.

I've never even come across the E49 version, but I think Luigi Bertolli on this forum has. They are so rare they go for $15000-$20000 now, described as prototypes. (***sigh***)

https://picclick.com/PROTOTYPE-Leica-elmarit-m-21mm-f-28-E49-Lens-black-311751802204.html

But they are still the version 1, just like all the others.

28mm Elmarit-M v.3 - introduced with a very narrow "wasp-waist" focusing ring/barrel shape and "tiger-claw" focus tab, but revised to more of a straight-line (consistent diameter) barrel, and with a concave tab. Came with Frankenstein-bolt lens hoods - but early hoods were solid, while those produced after the M4-P was introduced have cutout to avoid viewfinder blockage.

35 Summicron-M v.4 - convex and then concave focus tabs. And apparently (lct?) a revision to replace a fragile plastic locking plate, approximately when production moved to Solms.

50mm Summicron-M v.4/5 - v. 3 had no focus tab, v.4 had both convex and concave tabs. v.5 of course (and much later) added built-in hood while removing the focus tab again.

75 Summilux-M - already mentioned, but came originally with separate pin-mounted plastic hood and E58 filters and generally skinnier barrel, then revised rapidly to built-in metal hood.

90 Summicron-M - first production runs had built-in hood that covered aperture ring when retracted, E49 filters, and thinner overall barrel. Rapidly revised to shorter hood that did not cover aperture ring, E55 filters, slightly fatter barrel diameters.

90mm Tele-Elmarit-M (actually class of 1974) - some have engraved focus distance for 50 feet, and some skip it and go directly from infinity symbol to 25 feet. And some shipped with folding rubber hoods - but I'm not sure for how long.

If each and all of those changes (presumably made for a reason) were counted as a new version, we would have 21 Elmarit-Ms v.1, 2, 3, or 28 Elmarits v.3, 4, 5 (and the 1991 re-design would be "version 6.") Or at the very least, versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.

But that is not the case. Instead they are described as "tiger claw" or "bayonet-hood" or "E49" or "early-production."

I happen to have a 28 Elmarit v.3 with: no wasp-waist, but with tiger-claw focus tab, and with the no-cutout-hood. Is that a version 3.1.1? Or a version 3.25? Or a version 4.1?

Nope. It is a version 3. And here's a video of another version 3 (with wasp-waist). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVKv2Hy9_cM

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to image-search all those lenses and see the variations - that did not, and never have, counted as "versions."

 

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Several lenses you're quoting have the same code number. Just to take an example, the Summicron 50/2 v4 kept its code numbers when the shape of its focus tab changed. Remained v4 until it lost its tab and got a built-in hood, then its code numbers changed as well as its version number. Same for the 35/2 v4 until it became asph, 50/1.4 v2 vs v3, 75/1.4 v1 vs v2, etc. 

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