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What could be wrong with my Summitar?

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I've recently bought a Summitar in very good condition (I hope) from an Austrian Leica specialised shop. It is the ten aperture blade version instead of the six aperture blade version. Overall condition looks very good. 

No visible scratches on the front element or back element and focus is smooth. 

 

While scanning the first results I noticed that the centre of the frame has less contrast and is lighter than the outer portions of the frame. First I thought this is internal reflections or incoming light from the side. I didn't use a hood.

But looking at more frames it also shows while the sun is coming from behind me so flare is not so likely. 

 

Does anyone has an idea about what this could be?

 

I’ve attached some unedited scans. The are shot with Tri X / TMax 400 @ 250, developed for 6 min. in HC-110 at 20C.

 

It is not in every frame. I used the sunny 16 rule (lens only goes to 12.5 so I compensated for that). 

 

Hope to find out if it is the lens, light conditions or something else. 

 

Thanks!

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Could possibly be internal haze, or veiling flare. You need to take some shots in controlled lighting of a test chart or similar.

 

If it's haze you should see it but try shining a light through the lens and look through the other end - post a photo of it if you can.

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Indeed, if the front and rear elements look good, it's probably haze on an internal one.

Also, is it a coated or uncoated lens?

If memory serves, the early 10-blades Summitars were uncoated, while the last ones before the introduction of the 6-blades versions were coated.

Early coatings were not as stable/resistant as those we know today, so I'm wondering if coating degradation could somehow cause the issue.

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Thanks for the input. As soon as I can I will do the flashlight test. 

This version is the uncoated version. 

 

Is it possible to remove haze?

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It depends on the cause of the haze. I've had several lenses of similar vintage cleared during a CLA service, and one Leica tech noted she used a liquid provided by Leica to remove haze. However, sometimes a glass surface may become etched, or the glue between elements affected, and little can be done. My 1939 Summitar cleared up well.

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I agree with the haze diagnosis. I would advise contacting the seller and have them CLA the lens.

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Hi

I have a Summitar # 526606 with the same problem. Then I discovered a strange ¨oval glare¨ behind the first lens element ( I dontˋ know how else to put it). Classic Camera in London looked at it and suggested that the glueing of lens element 1 and 2 had started to loosen. Was possibly fixable... but costly.

 

Good luck!

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Try using an LED torch to inspect the lens internally as it will illuminate any dust, have and separation. If it turns out that the adhesive holding elements together is failing then it should be possible to have this repaired as its likely to be Balsam rather than a UV cured adhesive so can be softened and removed usually. You will need to find a specialist and ensure that they can remove the old adhesive, accurately realign the elements and then re-glue (probably with a UV cure adhesive) them. Its unlikely to be cheap so if you can get this sorted under warranty it would be viable. If not then I'd return the lens for a refund because it won't get any better on its own!

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