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Is this likely to be a genuine Leica infrared filter?


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I think this is an impossible question to ask, without someone seeing it in person, but back in the 1960's and 70's I accumulated a small collection of Leica gear, most of which went into storage when I got into digital.  Then Leica came out with the M8 and M8.2, so I bought one as soon as I could afford it.  When I read about the problem the camera had with infrared, for me that was a bonus - I wanted to take infrared photos, and now I had a chance.  I did this back in 2009 and 2010, and then I mostly moved on to other things.  I've now got a M10, and all my other gear is put away in drawers, but I again want to start taking infrared photos.

50 or so years ago I got what was supposed to be a Leica infrared filter that screws into my equally old 50mm Summicron.  There are no markings on the filter, but I've been using it all this time.  I know there are several filters I can buy nowadays, but my first question is whether anyone recognizes this as a Leica filter.  Did Leica make several variations of this, or was this "it".  

It's nice that I can take hand-held photos with the M8.2 using this filter.  

A related question is about focusing.  I read that on the 50mm Summicron, I need to focus normally, then take the distance mark on the lens and turn the focus adjustment such that this mark is now opposite the f/5.6 mark that's used for depth of field.  (from here:  https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/why-no-ir-mark-on-summicron-50mm.162704/ )

I'm surprised there are no markings on the filter.  

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Mike, I also used an IR  filter with my M8. I am fairly certain that none was available through Leica. Ironically, Leica were trying to eradicate IR contamination,  not encourage it. Your filter looks like an unbranded one, although one which worked for you.

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Yes, it has worked several times - and hopefully will again later this week.

Instead of trashing the camera, people might give it credit for being such a good IR camera?

I know Leica made a mistake, but nowadays it's a lovely camera for IR photography, unlike my DSLR cameras that I can't see through with an IR filter over the lens.

 

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The M8 is a classic in its own right; the first Leica digital rangefinder camera. For many purposes,  it is still a very capable camera. Focusing for IR proves challenging for me, particularly for closer than infinity. Any tips?

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Hello Everybody,

The Leitz infrared filter for a 50mm, F2 Summicron from the 1960's & 1970's is a 13126. The filters (NOT infrared.) that I have, made by Leitz, from that time period, ARE appropriately engraved & DO NOT look like the filter mount in the photo. This matter can better be investigated in the Collectors & Historical section.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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27 minutes ago, wda said:

The M8 is a classic in its own right; the first Leica digital rangefinder camera. For many purposes,  it is still a very capable camera. Focusing for IR proves challenging for me, particularly for closer than infinity. Any tips?

Well, check the link in my first post.  I plan to try that.   Focus with the rangefinder as normal, then re-adjust the lens so the focus mark is aligned with the 5.6 mark used for depth of field.  It's a good starting point, but there are too many variables I guess....

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30 minutes ago, wda said:

The M8 is a classic in its own right; the first Leica digital rangefinder camera. For many purposes,  it is still a very capable camera. Focusing for IR proves challenging for me, particularly for closer than infinity. Any tips?

While I agree with you, Ken Rockwell though it was horrible.  Unfortunately, when I tried to find his initial review, I couldn't find any sign of it, even on the "way back machine".  It doesn't matter to me what Ken thought - and maybe he was even right, for most people.  But every company with every product needs to start somewhere, then improve.  

I had an opportunity to swap it for a M9 long ago, a month or so after I bought it, but I didn't want to.  

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I have a small collection of infrared filters. The Leica ones are usually marked “rh”, “rd” or “ir”. They vary in density from red to so dense that you cannot see through them at all. I find with Rollei 400 infrared film that five stops extra exposure gives the correctly exposed negative. Old Leica lenses had an “R” focusing mark to reset your focus to after using the rangefinder or you can use the right hand f5.6 mark.

I am talking of course about infrared filters that cut out visible light. Often now I read on the forum about people looking for infrared filters for digital use that cut out infrared light, the complete opposite of the effect you get from the red filters. I think wda in post #3 is talking about that sort of filter, similar to a uv filter.

Anyway, it looks like a nice filter to try if you are using infrared film, if you bought it 50 years ago that would be its use, dark red or almost un-see throughable.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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With two knurled rings it looks like a Series 7 filter. Can you unscrew it? If you can it should say exactly what it is around the edge of the removable filter. Many companies made then in many adaptable mounts, push-on, screw on, and if I was a betting man I'd put money on it saying 'Kodak' on it.

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I just received another infrared filter for my small collection.

A tiny dense red Fibob  that screws into the front of the 35mm or 50mm Elmar f3.5 lenses. Interesting that the code name on the box is Fibob not FIBOB. I thought that the codes names always appeared as uppercase letters.

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Nice!

Maybe I should work a little harder at getting a filter that I know is for infrared, and get it in a size for a lens that will fit on my M8.2, so I can get more involved in IR.  I just took several IR photos this morning, to re-learn what I was doing ten years ago.  Nice find!  I wish old Leica gear could be purchased for "ordinary" prices.

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I know that if I look through the filter, everything I can see is a deep red.

When I bought a special IR filter for my Fuji, I can't see through it at all.  From this article, I know the types of filters I would be most interested in - will have to find my notes from when I almost bought filters years ago:    https://kolarivision.com/articles/choosing-a-filter/

I agree the filter looks like it will come apart, but not with hand pressure, and I don't want to ruin it.  I have other, similar filters.  Maybe I'll see of one of those comes apart.

This OP is especially cautious about not breaking things he doesn't yet understand.

Edited by MikeMyers
typo.
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  • 7 months later...
On 12/2/2020 at 6:25 PM, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Everybody,

The Leitz infrared filter for a 50mm, F2 Summicron from the 1960's & 1970's is a 13126. The filters (NOT infrared.) that I have, made by Leitz, from that time period, ARE appropriately engraved & DO NOT look like the filter mount in the photo. This matter can better be investigated in the Collectors & Historical section.

Best Regards,

Michael

Michael, it's half a year later, but thanks for the above information.  Using the part number, I was able to find two sources, each for around $60.  It's now on order, and will arrive early next week.  Should work fine on my M8.2, one more thing on my list of projects I want to work on.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012LWJT6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Hello Mike,

If you are looking for an Infrared Suppression Filter, like the type that was originally supplied with M8 & M8.2 cameras: That is a different type of Infrared filter than the 1 that I wrote about. I think that the Infrared Suppression Filters that are NECESSARY for regular photography are discussed in the M8 & M8.2 Manuals.

I think that a quick "search" thru the Forum archives should bring up a number of Threads dealing with this. 

Best Regards,

Michael

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No, what I am looking for is filters that will allow me to take advantage of the Leica M8's ability to capture images with infrared light illumination.  I know about the other filters, and have one, but I've never used it, and am less likely to do so now that I've got the M10.  The big advantage of the M8.2 for me, is its ability to capture the strange and unusual tones from using infrared light.  I have a deep red filter now that sort of works (I showed it in a response towards the beginning of this discussion) but this new filter seems to be one of the filters I've been searching for.  If I remember correctly, my images will be black&white, not "false color".  

It also cost me less than half of what I expected to have to pay.  That was a pleasant surprise.  

Knowing the model number was a huge help!!!!   🙂   Thanks for posting it.

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I use to shoot a fair bit of photos in IR with the M8.2. I mostly used either Hoya R72 or B+W 092/093 filters.

The Hoya R72 produces similar images to the one above and let in a bit more of the deep reds which meant that shutter speeds was comparatively faster than the B+W filters. The darker of the B+W filters (forgot which one) required much longer shutter speeds but produced more greyscale images as compared to the R72 where there’s much more false colour between the red and green channel,

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Thanks for the link - those 39mm filters should fit onto an old 50mm Summicron lens.  I might buy some more of them.  I never figured out a way to get filters onto my 35mm Summilux, which would sometimes be better on the M8.2 because of the crop factor - the 50mm behaves more like a 75, and the 35 behaves more like a 50.  I used to know where there were some very helpful discussions in this forum for shooting IR with the M8.2.

I also need to find my old notes on how to swap the color channels using DxO PhotoLab4.  

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