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BobinBoulder

Too Old to Code?

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After finally getting my M10 delivered to me last November, I was chomping at the bit to use my old lenses that I used to shoot with my M6's some 10 years or more ago.  They are all older lenses (late 70's to mid 90's) in 28mm, 35mm, two 50mm's, 90mm, and 135mm and all relatively fast lenses (mostly summicrons with a summarit here and there) but not one of them is aspherical. 

 

I loved these lenses while shooting film and still love them on the M10, but it is a ROYAL pain to have to mash buttons up and down and in and out of menus to set the M10 to the right lens designation every time I switch lenses and to be perfectly honest, I haven't noticed a difference in the images.  I tried ordering new bayonets that were "codeable" on ebay and turns out the screw patterns weren't the same.  And at this point, I'm wondering if I should bother at all?  Is there really a difference in a coded vs non-coded lens of this vintage besides getting exif data out of the shot?  I've seen the magenta color shift in some of the images posted here and elsewhere, but damn if I can find it in my shots. 

 

So... are these lenses too old to code?  Just the wider ones? Do I even care? 

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The 28 and 35’s would benefit. They’re not too old to code.

Edited by jdlaing

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Like you, I have found little difference when setting the codes manually for my older 28mm Elmarit and my 21mm Color Skopar.   Maybe I am not critical enough, but I could not see a difference in the results with and without coding, except in the exif info.

If you want to manually code some of your lenses, for the exif info, I can suggest one option. (which is a bit slow and inconvenient)  You could make a separate user profile for each of four of the wider lenses, and remember to change profiles when changing lenses.   That might be quicker than running through the menus each time to select the right profiles.

Edited by RonM

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1) As JD says, 28s and 35s (and wider lenses) will benefit from coding, to remove color stains at the long ends of the 24 x 36 frame. With 50 (usually), 90, and 135 lenses - no, you won't see a difference with or without coding. It all has to do with the "shortness" of the back-focus - how far into the camera the lens intrudes.

 

I can clearly recognize the "cyan vignetting" in the corners, or other problems, that come from using uncoded 35 and 28mm lenses on Leica's full-frame digitals. Uncoded 35 Summilux pre-ASPH example:

 

 

2) Leica "grandfathered in" support for essentially the last generation of pre-ASPH/APO lenses when they instituted the coding system - on average back to about 1980 or so (but in some cases even earlier). Here is a current list of the lenses they will factory-upgrade to coding (at about $300 each). The better 3rd-party technicians can also change the mounts to coded versions, maybe for less. I've highlighted the supported "old guard" lenses that date back quite a ways. The only lenses never grandfathered in were the 35 Summilux pre-ASPH and 135 Tele-Elmar, which always had thick lens flanges that cannot be updated with today's thinner "screws-on-the-back" flanges.

 

And BTW - yes, some lenses need the lens re-drilled to move one of the screws out of the way of the coding bars - just part of the process.

 

 

3) With the M10, you get one "freebee!" You can use any one uncoded lens, and leave the camera set for that lens. If you mount a coded lens, the camera detects the coding and automatically overrides the menu and uses the coding. I use an uncodable 135 Tele-Elmar-M along with three coded lenses, and still never have to go to the menu when I put on the 135 - the camera takes care of the change for me.

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3) With the M10, you get one "freebee!" You can use any one uncoded lens, and leave the camera set for that lens. If you mount a coded lens, the camera detects the coding and automatically overrides the menu...

 

This makes me wonder if something might not be done in future models to extend this beyond just one lens if there was a way to enable the camera to sense which set of frame lines was in place. i.e if the camera detects the mounted lens is uncoded it checks the frame line setting and then looks up the setting for that value.  Having three default values, one for 28, 35, and 50 would pretty much take care of all my needs.  

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1) As JD says, 28s and 35s (and wider lenses) will benefit from coding, to remove color stains at the long ends of the 24 x 36 frame. With 50 (usually), 90, and 135 lenses - no, you won't see a difference with or without coding. It all has to do with the "shortness" of the back-focus - how far into the camera the lens intrudes.

 

I can clearly recognize the "cyan vignetting" in the corners, or other problems, that come from using uncoded 35 and 28mm lenses on Leica's full-frame digitals. Uncoded 35 Summilux pre-ASPH example:

 

35nocode.jpg

 

2) Leica "grandfathered in" support for essentially the last generation of pre-ASPH/APO lenses when they instituted the coding system - on average back to about 1980 or so (but in some cases even earlier). Here is a current list of the lenses they will factory-upgrade to coding (at about $300 each). The better 3rd-party technicians can also change the mounts to coded versions, maybe for less. I've highlighted the supported "old guard" lenses that date back quite a ways. The only lenses never grandfathered in were the 35 Summilux pre-ASPH and 135 Tele-Elmar, which always had thick lens flanges that cannot be updated with today's thinner "screws-on-the-back" flanges.

 

And BTW - yes, some lenses need the lens re-drilled to move one of the screws out of the way of the coding bars - just part of the process.

 

codableMlenses.jpg

 

3) With the M10, you get one "freebee!" You can use any one uncoded lens, and leave the camera set for that lens. If you mount a coded lens, the camera detects the coding and automatically overrides the menu and uses the coding. I use an uncodable 135 Tele-Elmar-M along with three coded lenses, and still never have to go to the menu when I put on the 135 - the camera takes care of the change for me.

 

 

Wow... you have a much better eye than I do.  I would never have attributed the color cast in the photo to an uncoded lens.

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