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Unknow Nickel 11 o'clock 5cm Elmar

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Hello;
I am Juan, new to this forum; I am a collector/seller around 20 years who is getting closer to the amazing Leica world.
I have got a question around a transitional Leica's(last manufacture of Ia models mixing with I-mod-c, around 58XXX) Elmar lens.
Lens is a normal Elmar 5cm Nickel 11 o'clock without bell push.
The question is around it's meter scale, I have seen some Elmar without the 7 meter (in Ia models) but never saw other Elmar without the 2 meter mark in the scale, like this one I attach.
I do not know if it was a mistake in the production, or there are other Elmar units like this one.
Is there any book just refered to Leica lenses which includes prototypes, and short prodution types?
Please excuse my bad English.
Thank you very much in advance.

<img src='https://i.imgur.com/nnNwLDK.jpg' />
<img src='https://i.imgur.com/aw7fpJE.jpg' />
<img src='https://i.imgur.com/IcCCXD1.jpg' />
<img src='https://i.imgur.com/k55lTNh.jpg' />

 

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Welcome to the Forum !!

You started with a not easy question...

  The first Elmars not only had many small variations (some of them well known and "tracked"... but others not) but also were often reworked for update to later cameras, like unstandardized items converted to standard (which, imho, COULD be the case for your - unnumbered I seem - item)

Anyway... I have reviewed some (20 or so) pictures of 11 o'clock Elmars... and indeed all of them, if scaled in meters, have the 2m mark... (included my one... but it is of the "bell-push" type, with infinity catch an 5 digits s/n) ; why yours one hasn'it ? Who knows....

 maybe a factory mistake, made at the originy or in occasion of a rework (supposed it was an unstandard item then standardized.... maybe also converted feet to meters ? Maybe doing this with a new focus unit engraved in the occasion ?...)

Anyway, it's surely an oddity : I hope you'll continue to partecipate to our community... is the right site for those questions...

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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I have 4 50mm Elmars from the very early standardised period. Two are 11 O'Clock lenses on I Model Cs and the other two have been converted from 11 O'Clock to 7 O'Clock models . All have a 2 metre mark. I would be inclined to agree with Jerzy that your lens has an engraving error.

 

Van Hasbroeck's 'Leica, A History illustrating ever Model and Accessory' is the only book which attempts to classify the different variants of the 50mm Elmar. He listed 22 variants, But I believe that more may exist, particularly in the very early years.

 

William

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VIDOM 70 has detailed description of various Elmars with classification. Do not remember now how many variants he found and how did he classify, but description of variants is much better than by Hasbroek

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VIDOM 70 has detailed description of various Elmars with classification. Do not remember now how many variants he found and how did he classify, but description of variants is much better than by Hasbroek

 

Thanks Jerzy. Vidom will not have been seen by most English speaking members. Hasbroeck's book is far from perfect, but, at least, he attempted a classification in the English language of various lenses (not just the Elmar). Angela  von Einem did the same thing for the I Model A and her book does include 50mm Elmar variations not noted by van Hasbroeck. The main point is that there are more variations than most collectors are aware of. In the present case we are all agreed that this looks like an engraving error and not another variation, unless, of course,  someone can come up with another example.

 

William

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Pretending to classify the "variations" of the Elmar is a titanic/desperate  task... and the reason is simply that it started as a "handmade" item and, thanks to the success of Leica, was evolved into a highly industrialized item... refocusing manufacturing organization in consequence.... so there is a sort o continuity between the limits of "versions" (let'say... "feet/meters"), the "main variants" (let'say... "focus knob") , the "minor variants" (let'say "style of "f" engraving") and "small factory errors" ("missing 2 mtr mark" ? is it such ?

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Pretending to classify the "variations" of the Elmar is a titanic/desperate  task... and the reason is simply that it started as a "handmade" item and, thanks to the success of Leica, was evolved into a highly industrialized item... refocusing manufacturing organization in consequence.... so there is a sort o continuity between the limits of "versions" (let'say... "feet/meters"), the "main variants" (let'say... "focus knob") , the "minor variants" (let'say "style of "f" engraving") and "small factory errors" ("missing 2 mtr mark" ? is it such ?

 

I agree with you about the transition from artisan to industrial process. There are, however, subtle, but recognised, variations in the Elmar (such as no 7 metre mark) which can be conclusive about whether a lens on a I Model A is original and von Einem's classifications are very good in this regard. We had case on this forum recently where somebody was advertising an early I Model A as fully original, but it was clearly carrying a lens from several years later. For users these things are not that important, but in the area of collector pricing these factors can be important. When I recently purchased a very early 4 digit I Model A , I was able to determine from features on the lens, such as the no 7 metre mark and the curvature on the front rim, that the lens was original to the period of the camera. The covering on the camera was not original, but I had already spotted that before the dealer mentioned it. The price I paid reflected all of those factors. It does pay to do research before purchasing vintage items and, with the internet, such research has never been so easy. There is still a need, I feel, for a definitive piece of work on 50mm Elmar variants, beyond the features which you describe. The lens is an essential and integral part of the history of Leica.

 

William

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I have just bought an 11 o'clock Elmar. It came with a broken 3a and various other bits I really did not want and have already sold.

 

Thanks to all the expert advice available on this forum in various postings I conclude that it comes from the first half of 1932 ie. it is un-numbered, it is standardised, it has a bell push infinity catch, it is in bright chrome, it is 50mm not 5cm, the scale in metres does not have any distance engravings missing and despite some sideways wobble in the focussing screw movement it is optically OK and giving much the same performance as my other pre-war uncoated Elmars.     

 

Boat picture scanned from an A4 darkroom print. If it looks a bit light on the left hand side it is because the 2f shutter may not be running perfectly.

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I think the lens have been converted, probably originating from IA. Early interchangeable 11 o'clock without infinity lock did not have SN stamped but lenses with infinity lock had already SN assigned. Rechroming could be third party. Early chrome cameras ( up to approx 150xxx) have brighter plating, were less sanded than later cameras, but the DOF ring on your lens is brighter than on lenses from those cameras.

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Forgot about focusing.....on some early Elmars helicoid is milled (3x10mm) and there is a flat spring there to eliminate wobbling, you may check if it is there. Otherwise you may use high viscosity grease for helicoid. Drop me a mail if you need more instructions, I think you have my email

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Forgot about focusing.....on some early Elmars helicoid is milled (3x10mm) and there is a flat spring there to eliminate wobbling, you may check if it is there. Otherwise you may use high viscosity grease for helicoid. Drop me a mail if you need more instructions, I think you have my email

I found a picture illustrating my sentence above. Lens is fix mounted Elmar (IA) but t may be found as well on interchangeable, unnumbered. Only some of lenses had this spring, majority does not. I assume that is was done on the lenses only which weree not stiff enough

flat spring in slightly bent in the middle

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Last month I bought the chromed Elmar discussed earlier here, and received some very informative replies.

Now last week I saw another Elmar for sale on the usual internet site that looked like an early non-standard version engraved 664, I did not expect to be successful in getting it, but did.

I have not had a chance to try it out yet but it seems to be in nice condition, a little haze and a tight but working diaphragm, it is coupled and when I use it I will hopefully discover how non-standard it is, there is no "O" stamped to it to indicate that it had been standardised. It has the recess for the flat spring in the focussing thread mentioned above by Jerzy but I cannot see a spring. When it is focussed on infinity I can see the recess and imagine that it would fall out?

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4 hours ago, Pyrogallol said:

... it is coupled and when I use it I will hopefully discover how non-standard it is, there is no "O" stamped to it to indicate that it had been standardised. It has the recess for the flat spring in the focussing thread mentioned above by Jerzy but I cannot see a spring. When it is focussed on infinity I can see the recess and imagine that it would fall out?

 

Nice item !! Anyway, an unstandardized but COUPLED Elmar would be a real oddity : waiting for your findings… I'd bet it is anyway standardized.. "O" or not… 

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This looks to me like a lens produced for a non standardised I Model C. It would have the same basic design as that for the immediately preceding model, the I Model A, with a milled helicoid, but probably would not have a spring as it was interchangeable. It would be interesting if it were standardised without an '0' being added and even more interesting if were coupled, as speculated by Luigi.

William

Edited by willeica

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It is coupled, the rim at the back that the rangefinder roller makes contact with is much thinner than my other pre-war lenses.

I don’t think it is standardised, I just compared it with a Summar on my Leica 111, the Summar works correctly for infinity and at a closeup object at 4.5 metres, rangefinder and distance scale on the lens agreeing, but with the Elmar I have to move it slightly off infinity for the rangefinder images to co-inside at a distant object and at the 4.5 metre object(the thermometer on my fence that I often use as a focussing check) the scale on the lens is showing 3.75 metres. I am testing it with film, results later.

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My 11o'clock nickel standard Elmar (off my 1C Standard) does have a 2m mark. Just to make sure you know it is a standard lens, it has the zero mark engraved twice, once on the mount face and again just inboard of the focus lever and in line with a fixing screw. 

Wilson

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test which James done on III shows that it is not coupled. Test with film, or with digital M should you have it James will show if it is standartized. Anyhow, interesting would be to find matching camera, SN shall be above 43000 and below 60500 and if needed shim the lens flange on camera or the inner cell of the lens whatever needed to get proper focus.

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