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Lewy

Looking to Buy my First 50mm on Ebay

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and hope to get some help from all your combined years of expertise. I want to buy my first 50mm, have a 35mm Summilux on the M-10P. After obsessive days of research I've settled on the rigid 50mm Summicron because I want to make pictures with a softer look. This would be my first time buying used on ebay so I'm being cautious. The seller is LeitzUSA, anyone have experience with them? LeitzUSA says the original owner purchased the lens brand new in 1975, serial # 245XXX. According to a chart on Ken Rockwell's site the Summicron f/2 Rigid was in production 1956 - 1968. Just wondering about the difference of 7 years from end of production till the purchase year. Does that seem likely? Is this the real deal or a later version? It is supposed to come with cards, hood in original box.  Thank you in advance!

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the forum :)In 1975, the rigid Summicron 50/2 is what we call the version 3 (or sometimes v2) of this lens. Code number 11817. Very good lens with no focus aid. I had one on my new M4 a couple decades ago.

Edited by lct

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I bought a of couple of lenses using e-bay and have no regrets and they were easy transactions.  Standard due diligence exercised: ratings, a quick look at seller and buyer feedback, including what the seller has bought and sold and a few messages asking how the seller acquired, etc.  BTW, a lot of reputable brick & mortar shops sell on eBay and often list the same lens on their store website, sometimes for less than the e-bay asking price because they can avoid the e-bay seller charge.  

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LeitzUSA on ebay seems an established seller BUT the red flag for me is their 'no returns' policy. Of course you have the usual ebay/paypal protection but I wonder why they don't offer a returns policy given the subjective nature of used goods?

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I've bought a couple of things from LeitzUSA on eBay with no problems.

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I would never buy a lens without being able to return it if something was wrong or it wasn't calibrated correctly, etc. I can also understand why a seller wouldn't want to accept returns when people buy things and then change their minds and want a refund. That just complicates everything. I have heard it happens with photo gear.

Also check FredMiranda.com buy & sell forum. I've made many solid transactions there with no regrets. As always with online transactions, do your research and  buy the seller as much as the article you're buying.
 

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The second version of the summicron was the first rigid one (after the collapsible one - version I). It was produced from 1956 to 1968 (code 11818, serial numbers from 1,400,001 to 2,358,300 [Leica pocket book, 8th edition]). The third summicron - still rigid - was produced from 1969 until 1979 (code 11817, serial numbers from 2,269,251 to 2,915,800 [ibid.]).

It seems as if you were looking for the second version - the first rigid one - but are being offered the third version - the second rigid one. Usually only the first rigid version (the second version of the summicron) is being referred to as "the rigid".

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Having done hundreds of Ebay transactions since late last century, including lots of Leica gear (both buy & sell), the usual due diligence applies. Especially if there is a FIRM no return policy (often the disclaimer in fine print excludes where the item received doesn't match the description or is damaged in transit), ask the seller lots of specific questions and pictures for you to do at least a credible evaluation. Good sellers will accommodate you or offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you're uncomfortable with this seller in particular, you might contact somebody with an excellent record like Tony Rose at Popflash.com, or KEH.com. Good luck in your quest.

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Posted (edited)

Have made very many eBay transactions and regardless of what the seller says re returns, eBay's bias is toward the buyer and will press the seller to accept return if the buyer makes a reasonable case.  As a frequent seller, I always accept a postpaid return if the buyer is displeased - and I believe most sellers do as well.

Edited by fsprow

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Wow, thank you for the generous responses. A no return policy is a deal breaker.

Yes, I realized the one offered is the third version, which explains why it's black and not chrome like v2, thanks Vertieidiger. The more I explore the Leica universe the more it feels like going into a black hole albeit a fascinating one. But I do need to get on with image making so any thoughts on v2 vs v3?  Issues with using/finding a mount for the M39 screw? Then there are all the associated issued with buying a 50 year old lens. I'm sure there's a thread on that.

Really appreciate all your insights, thank you.

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2 hours ago, Verteidiger said:

Sorry, the code 11818 might be a misprint in the Leica pocket book as well as in Ewin Puts' Leica Chronicle; the correct code might be 11118 as in the Leica wiki, where this lens is referred to still as the summicron I (https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Summicron_(I)_f%3D_5_cm_1:2).

11118 is v1 and 11818 v2 IMHO. If the OP's body is from 1975 it should be a v3 (11817) as suggested above. 6 elements in 5 groups. First rigid w/o focus button.

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5 minutes ago, Lewy said:

Yes, I realized the one offered is the third version, which explains why it's black and not chrome like v2, thanks Vertieidiger. The more I explore the Leica universe the more it feels like going into a black hole albeit a fascinating one. But I do need to get on with image making so any thoughts on v2 vs v3?  Issues with using/finding a mount for the M39 screw?

If yours is a v3 (11817 referred to above) it is an M lens i.e. with bayonet. 

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3 minutes ago, Lewy said:

Yes, it is a v3.

Very good lens as suggested above. Its optical head can be detached to be used on Visoflex housings.

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Posted (edited)

My Ebay experience as a buyer has been good. One factor I watch for is a large number of satisfied customers.  It seems to me that large number of feed backs back likely means that the seller is a commercial retailer of some sort, and if the mare majority are happy, it improves the chances that I will be too. I also like a positive return policy – for obvious reasons.

I have also used successfuly BIDNAPPER - an autobidder site that improves the chances of being the successful bidder (assuming you are the high bidder. It prevents being outbid by last-instant others.

Edited by Michael Hiles

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17 minutes ago, albertknappmd said:

eBay is always a challenge but a no return policy is a definite deal breaker for me.

Albert

On some things I listed to sell recently the “system” put no returns when I had not asked it to.

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Posted (edited)

Comments on different Leitz lenses, These reviews are from long time Leica shooter, Mr. Alfred Breull.

for me very helpful and in my use of those lenses

quite accurate in most cases.

But not in the Summicron III, my first Leica lens and favorite that I always use decades later.

His comment reproduced here to say that we are different users :

"


Black 2/50 Summicron:

The "black" Summicron was introduced in 1969, and is - according to Laney - the officially 2nd version (thanks to i.e. Erwin Puts, we know better). I had this lens for some month, about 25 years ago, and I can give you my reasons why we "divorced" pretty soon - although you may call me something like a Summicron manic. Compared to the rigid chrome Summicron, my lens had an increased contrast but a reduced sharpness. The contrast agreed to the current 1.4/50 M Summilux, and the sharpness to the 2/50 coll Summicron. Maybe I had a "Monday production", maybe not. I was so disappointed by this lens at that time (in comparison to the rigid chrome Summicron), that I sold her pretty soon. In my memory (which may be errorous), the color rendition is comparable to the coll Summicron resulting from the enhanced contrast. Today, I'm sure, that I over-reacted 25 years ago, and that my expectations resulting from the rigid chrome Summicron (which I had sold to purchase the black Summicron) were too high. On the other side, I've never touched this type of lens again.

 

"

 

Edited by a.noctilux

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16 hours ago, Lewy said:

After obsessive days of research I've settled on the rigid 50mm Summicron because I want to make pictures with a softer look.

In that case I think you want the v2 (first rigid version) that's normally silver chrome and has the infinity lock.  I still have the version 2 because of its lower contrast pictures and had the 3rd version for a while.  The version 3 is an excellent lens but produces pictures with higher contrast that probably wouldn't be the "softer look" that you're looking for.

Pete.

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