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I looked for a thread about the 50mm f2.5 Hektor but could not find it, so started this.

I just got another one and while waiting for it re-read Jerzy’s detailed paper on the history and details of the lens.

This one was described as possibly coming off a 1a. It is nickel, 11 o’clock, no infinity catch, no visible serial number, standardised and coupled. Jerzy’s history says that that version did not have a focal length group stamped on the back of the focussing arm, but this does “0” for 50.5mm.

Any comments?

 

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The “0” should denote that it is made for standardized mount cameras. It does not have to be “matched” to a specific camera.

The first interchangeable lenses on converted Model I cameras were matched to the camera, with the last three numbers of the camera engraved on the lens. After mount standardization, any standardized lens could be mounted on any standardized body, and the 0 engraving lets the user know this.

I’m sure this lens started life as a fixed lens on a Model I with fixed Hector. These were pretty rare birds with only 1,330 being made. The button on the tab also confirms that this is an early version of this lens, which also appears to be nickel plated.

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"0" above the screw, close to the focus tab is indication of lens being standartized. Pyrogallol means another "0", stamped behind the focus knob, (2nd photo).

Well, I am learning all the time , even now when all my hair are grey 🙂. I wrote the Hektor article few yeras ago, now, when I saw more samples I would formulate it differently - while lenses in IA mount do not have focal length group stamped (does not make sense, each lens is individually matched to the body) for lenses in interchangeable mount focal length group is valid feature. Some early 11 oclock lenses without infinity lock might have it not yet stamped (I have seen few samples without it).

Back to the lens above - would be interesting to open it, to see what is marked on the barrel. Recently I had a suprise finding serial number engraved on inner barrel on Elmar IA (I posted it in another thread). Inquiry at Leica shown, that the lens was from 1932 while camera was from 1931. Optical barrel was renewed and most probably taken from early interchangeable Elmar. Leitz does not have any repair records, the way how this repair was performed suggests that it has been done by third party.
If this lens was produced as interchangeable it could very well be that there is serial nuber inside, possibly as well focal length scratched.

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Hello Jerzy,

Some very interesting observations that you made. You certainly have explored many of these cameras and lenses internally and have discovered many hidden things.

Out of curiosity, I took a closer look at my Model I, serial # 36621 with fixed 50mm Elmar in Nickel. According to the records, this camera was produced in 1930. I posted pictures on this camera in another LUF thread, where I noticed an imprint from the Leica dealer Riegler in Munich. My camera may have been a display or loaner camera, as it has the Riegler logo in brass inset into the rear vulcanite. I will contact the Archives to see what they have in the records on this.

Anyway, I took a look at the back of the focus tab of this fixed lens camera, and low and behold, it is stamped with a "3". Jerzy, what do you think this means? Here are some pictures of this interesting camera.

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Here is my earliest 50mm Hektor, fixed mounted on leica 1 50237. It has no serial number on the front rim, of course, no "o" by the focus tab on the front, again as expected, and no number on the back of the tab for the precise focal length.  I also have some similar unmounted Hektors with the "pin-release", and they also do not have yet the digit code for focal length on the rear of the tab.  Hektor 96179  pin release, does not have the digit,  But Elmar 98944, pin release, does have the  code, 5 as shown in the photo.  I have a 3 digit elmar, without the code. I suspect the code became standard use near the time of the first interchangeable/standardized lenses.  If anyone has a 3 digit lens with the code, we will know it was even earlier.

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I hadn’t thought to look at my non-standard 50mm Elmar 664. It does have a focus scale number.

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vor 12 Stunden schrieb derleicaman:

it is stamped with a "3".

3 means focal length of 48,6mm . From my observation fix mounted lenses do not have focal group stamped. But your camera proves me being wrong. Just wonder if your camera has been repaired at Leitz in a later time, in 30-ties. This could possibly be a reason for the "3". Leitz might have repair records of thgis camera (but not detailed report what has been done).

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb Pyrogallol:

I hadn’t thought to look at my non-standard 50mm Elmar 664. It does have a focus scale number.

well, yet another correction to my assumption within hektor article 🙂

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I have an unnumbered 11O'Clock Hektor which came with a Standardised I Model C SN 63528. As with the item shown above by Pyrogallol in the first post above, it has '0' on the side of the mount above the screw beside the infinity knob and also behind the knob. I would think that the latter refers to actual focal length.

In considering this period we should remember that change was constant and some features only existed for months or even weeks.

William 

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4 hours ago, jerzy said:

3 means focal length of 48,6mm . From my observation fix mounted lenses do not have focal group stamped. But your camera proves me being wrong. Just wonder if your camera has been repaired at Leitz in a later time, in 30-ties. This could possibly be a reason for the "3". Leitz might have repair records of thgis camera (but not detailed report what has been done).

I only have the lens, not the camera body. Back in 2018 you did advise me that only two bodies could have matched the lens, 48664 or 53664.

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On 10/7/2021 at 8:56 AM, willeica said:

I have an unnumbered 11O'Clock Hektor which came with a Standardised I Model C SN 63528. As with the item shown above by Pyrogallol in the first post above, it has '0' on the side of the mount above the screw beside the infinity knob and also behind the knob. I would think that the latter refers to actual focal length.

In considering this period we should remember that change was constant and some features only existed for months or even weeks.

William 

Hello William,

Do you think that your listing of the actual focal lengths of 50mm f3.5 Elmars on Page 3 of "What's the true story surrounding the birth of Red Scale Elmars?"  on 17 Sep 2017 would be the same numbers used for 50mm f2.5 Hektors?

Best Regards,

Michael

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On 10/11/2021 at 7:36 PM, jerzy said:

some, but not all groups are to be found on Hektors, they have the same focal length. Hektor groups are: 0-50,5mm, 2 (5 in 1931)-51mm, 5, 6 - 51,3mm. Shall you find any other number on Hektor pls let me know

Thanks, Jerzy. I was going to refer Michael to you as I think you showed these to me some years ago. I will check the 3 or 4 Hektors that I have to see what is on them. Ulf Richter's book on 'Oskar Barnack - From the Idea to the Leica' ( translation by Rolf Fricke available from LHSA) is essential reading for anyone interested in this period. It covers the constant testing that went on including those relating to actual focal lengths. There are handwritten notes on this topic, shown in the book, from Zuhlcke the foreman of the optical department to Barnack over a number of years, long after the camera and lenses came onto the market. Note that while Berek did the optical designs for the lenses, the meticulous development work was all under the control of Barnack himself, particularly as both the camera and the lens were involved. The book also goes into some of the reasons for the changes in focal length. They were always trying to establish which was the best length for sharpness and coverage. 

William 

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