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Kipon Alpa to Leica L39 adapter issue


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I recently purchased a Kipon Alpa to Leica L39 adapter (from Breguet Cameras, Hong Kong) & it arrived today. Unfortunately it's not functioning correctly with my Alpa Kern Switar 50mm f1.8 lens. With my three LTM Leicas (plus my M240 digital) it will not focus to infinity. All of my other LTM lenses (x12) function correctly wrt focussing to infinity with those cameras. Also with the digital camera there is quite a mismatch between rangefinder focus & EVF focus - they are out. It appears that the adapter is not doing as it should. I can't seem to find anything to adjust on the adapter (doubt that there would be). To me it appears that the width/thickness is wrong ie should be slightly thicker to achieve infinity focus. This adapter claims to work with all Alpa lenses with this mount. Any advice - could it actually be the lens that's at issue - I can't imagine that??.

We'll see what Breguet & Kipon have to say - have sent them both emails

Not happy as this adapter cost me an arm & a leg!! On Kipon's website they claim that their adapters are precision instruments.

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I have tried several coupled helicoid adapters in the past - including Kipon - for various mounts. I ended up returning all of them, except those made by Amedeo Muscelli, which are true "precision instruments". Unfortunately, Amedeo makes M adapters only for Nikon-S, Contax and Prominent mounts. Other alternatives are full lens conversion (but this is expensive, often not reversible, and prevents you from using the lens on the system it was originally designed for) or uncoupled adapters, which are much cheaper but require a LV/EVF-enabled camera.

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Posted (edited)

If it is focussing beyond infinity and the lens needs to be moved out a bit then that is the right way round. You could then fit a thin shim/washer between the camera and adaptor. I needed to do that with a cheap Leica to Fuji adaptor I bought.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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15 minutes ago, Pyrogallol said:

If it is focussing beyond infinity and the lens needs to be moved out a bit then that is the right way round. You could then fit a thin shim/washer between the camera and adaptor. I needed to do that with a cheap Leica to Fuji adaptor I bought.

I think I may have confused people here - It's the opposite to what I initially said regarding making the adapter thicker - as it can't focus to infinity (not beyond it) the adapter needs to be thinner (IMHO that's a more significant problem). Also, could it have something to do with the helicoid in the adapter?

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Ecar said:

I have tried several coupled helicoid adapters in the past - including Kipon - for various mounts. I ended up returning all of them, except those made by Amedeo Muscelli, which are true "precision instruments". Unfortunately, Amedeo makes M adapters only for Nikon-S, Contax and Prominent mounts. Other alternatives are full lens conversion (but this is expensive, often not reversible, and prevents you from using the lens on the system it was originally designed for) or uncoupled adapters, which are much cheaper but require a LV/EVF-enabled camera.

yes, the Kern-Switar 50mm lens is taking great pics with my M240 when using the EVF (but the rangefinder is totally out). Unfortunately I can't use it on my LTMs (the primary reason I purchased the adapter). Don't want to go down the path of full conversion as I want to use it on my Alpa body.

Edited by romualdo
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18 minutes ago, romualdo said:

I think I may have confused people here - It's the opposite to what I initially said regarding making the adapter thicker - as it can't focus to infinity (not beyond it) the adapter needs to be thinner (IMHO that's a more significant problem). Also, could it have something to do with the helicoid in the adapter?

Yes, it's probably the helicoid, not the adapter body itself. Probably adjustable too, as long as you know how to do it.

14 minutes ago, romualdo said:

yes, the Kern-Switar 50mm lens is taking great pics with my M240 when using the EVF (but the rangefinder is totally out). Unfortunately I can't use it on my LTMs (the primary reason I purchased the adapter). Don't want to go down the path of full conversion as I want to use it on my Alpa body.

Great lens indeed - a hard-to-describe combination of high resolution and overall softness. I have a converted Kern Aarau Switar 50/1.8.

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22 minutes ago, Ecar said:

Yes, it's probably the helicoid, not the adapter body itself. Probably adjustable too, as long as you know how to do it.

There's a ring threaded on the inside of the helicoid which can be wound up or down - I've moved that to a few positions along the length of the helicoid but it makes no difference in the focus outcome - still very "out"

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12 minutes ago, Ecar said:

Is there any technician near you that could take a look at it?

looks like I just solved the problem - I needed to unscrew the ring all the way to the tip of the helicoid - now matching perfectly (rangefinder with EVF) plus reaching infinity

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On 3/19/2021 at 10:49 AM, romualdo said:

looks like I just solved the problem - I needed to unscrew the ring all the way to the tip of the helicoid - now matching perfectly (rangefinder with EVF) plus reaching infinity

Happy end... looks like Kipon adapters are assembled with no so much care : I have one for Contarex lenses to M, and to make the diaphragm actuator working, had to unscrew the front ring and reposition ... the mechanism was right... but mounted so that could not engage... 

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On 3/22/2021 at 7:07 AM, luigi bertolotti said:

Happy end... looks like Kipon adapters are assembled with no so much care : I have one for Contarex lenses to M, and to make the diaphragm actuator working, had to unscrew the front ring and reposition ... the mechanism was right... but mounted so that could not engage... 

I'm surprised that there was no literature/instructions with the adapter especially regarding adjustment. I havn't yet received a reply from Kipon (contacted them 5 days ago).

The thing that really annoys me is that these are not cheap adapters. Unfortunately it appears to be the only alpa to leica screwmount adapter - all the other brands (good & bad) are for alpa to Leica M mount

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Nice setup, I have the same lens,  I am about to order the same adapter soon to use with my canon rangefinders LTM, I have the M mount version from Fotodiox($45.00), it was easy to adjust to match perfect focus with M body, only problem the adapter is bring up 35mm frame line instead 50 with my M camera, it's so annoying. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, supremehut said:

Good to know, I saw many Alpa to Leica M adapter  in ebay,  no one mention what frame line will show on the M body, it's for the 50mm alpa, so I was expecting 50mm frame line 

This is interesting - I have a Kipon Alpa to L39 (screwmount) adapter & I can use either of the three adapters (Leica in my case) to use on my M cameras, depending on what lens I'm using but with the Alpa to M adapter, what frameline will come up?? I havn't seen three types of Alpa to M adapters advertised (35/135, 50/75 & 28/90). According to Supremehut the 35mm framelines come up. Can anyone else comment from their own experience?

Edited by romualdo
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On 3/23/2021 at 4:47 AM, romualdo said:

Well, here it is (Kern Switar 50) mounted on my IIIf bd using the Kipon adapter

How do you like this adapter so far?,  also, the minimum closer focus is 1mm or 0.7M  when using M adapter on M body?, my alpa-M Adapter minium foucs is 1 M

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, supremehut said:

How do you like this adapter so far?,  also, the minimum closer focus is 1mm or 0.7M  when using M adapter on M body?, my alpa-M Adapter minium foucs is 1 M

minimum focus is 1m

now that I know how to adjust/fine tune the adapter, it's working well with the Kern Switar on my LTM Leicas plus also my digital (M240) with LTM to M adapters

It also blends in nicely (aestheticallly) with the lens & camera body

Edited by romualdo
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On 3/24/2021 at 7:02 PM, romualdo said:

minimum focus is 1m

now that I know how to adjust/fine tune the adapter, it's working well with the Kern Switar on my LTM Leicas plus also my digital (M240) with LTM to M adapters

It also blends in nicely (aestheticallly) with the lens & camera body

Nice, I still need to look for a used one for cheaper price, it's too much for me, I can get a nice canon ltm lens for that kind of money lol

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