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CLA 1953 Summaron 3.5 f3.5 - Worth it?


anitsirk
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Bought a supposedly in good condition 1953 Summaron 3.5 f3.5 with 'clean glass' for € 380, however upon arrival it has oil leaking out of the infinity lock and the glass is very hazy. Will it be worth it to CLA? I can still return the item but it will cost me postage fees + I already paid for the import taxes.

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What a pain. If you can send photos to a lens cleaning specialist, perhaps they can advise if you'll lose any of the coatings. I did this recently with a dirty lens and when informed that I'd lose some if the coatings I resolved to return it. My 1954(?) Summaron 3.5/3.5 is a brilliant lens with no flare problems that I've noticed. I'd count my losses and send the lens back and wait for a good one to appear.

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2 hours ago, david strachan said:

I have one too, about the same age.  It's nice and sharp but v low contrast.  And a lot of veiling flare if there's any strong light in the picture.

I still use it though with a lot of post processing.

...

I've been looking for a clean copy! Found this one which is a lot cheaper with a bubble case, unfortunately the listing is not accurate. Planning to use a UV filter.

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1 hour ago, Xícara de Café said:

What a pain. If you can send photos to a lens cleaning specialist, perhaps they can advise if you'll lose any of the coatings. I did this recently with a dirty lens and when informed that I'd lose some if the coatings I resolved to return it. My 1954(?) Summaron 3.5/3.5 is a brilliant lens with no flare problems that I've noticed. I'd count my losses and send the lens back and wait for a good one to appear.

Not sure if it's coated, I'm not very familiar with Leica lenses (yet). Hard to find a good one, most of the listings I've seen are € 600 ++. 

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3 hours ago, anitsirk said:

Bought a supposedly in good condition 1953 Summaron 3.5 f3.5 with 'clean glass' for € 380, however upon arrival it has oil leaking out of the infinity lock and the glass is very hazy. Will it be worth it to CLA? I can still return the item but it will cost me postage fees + I already paid for the import taxes.

Assume 125-200  Euro for a professional CLA, depending on the amount of work. I would say the lens is not worth it. And 600 Euro is far too much to pay for this lens, even in good condition. I'd sell my mint (without box) goggled one in flash for that price.

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4 hours ago, anitsirk said:

Bought a supposedly in good condition 1953 Summaron 3.5 f3.5 with 'clean glass' for € 380, however upon arrival it has oil leaking out of the infinity lock and the glass is very hazy. Will it be worth it to CLA? I can still return the item but it will cost me postage fees + I already paid for the import taxes.

I had my 1954 Summaron 3.5cm f/3.5 cleaned and serviced by Cameraworks here in the UK earlier this year. I consider it money well spent and it's now one of my favourite lenses.

Alan

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I have to say my experience with my M-mount '54 lens has been similar to that mentioned by Alan in post #7.

I've had it since 1980 and several years ago, when I noticed the results were not as clear as they once had been, sent it for a CLA after which it performed like a new lens; sharp, as contrasty as a '54 lens should be and pretty much perfect.

The CLA was £100 / €120 and I couldn't have been happier.

The asking-price for these lenses has certainly been rising markedly over the last couple of years so it might well be worth having it sorted but, if you do elect to go down this route, it might be a good idea to verify that there is no fungus present as that is a different matter from just haze.

Philip.

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3 hours ago, jaapv said:

Assume 125-200  Euro for a professional CLA, depending on the amount of work. I would say the lens is not worth it. And 600 Euro is far too much to pay for this lens, even in good condition. I'd sell my mint (without box) goggled one in flash for that price.

I wished we had more statements like this about the first or fourth versions of the 35mm Summicron or the 35mm Summilux. Perhaps they could dampen the present fetishism for these lenses combined with prices way above decency. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, pippy said:

I have to say my experience with my M-mount '54 lens has been similar to that mentioned by Alan in post #7.

I've had it since 1980 and several years ago, when I noticed the results were not as clear as they once had been, sent it for a CLA after which it performed like a new lens; sharp, as contrasty as a '54 lens should be and pretty much perfect.

The CLA was £100 / €120 and I couldn't have been happier.

The asking-price for these lenses has certainly been rising markedly over the last couple of years so it might well be worth having it sorted but, if you do elect to go down this route, it might be a good idea to verify that there is no fungus present as that is a different matter from just haze.

Philip.

And oil leaking out at the infinity stop? Sounds like a lens that has been "CLA-ed" , especially L-ed (WD40?) by DIY, who knows what else is wrong. I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole - and the recent CLA of the Tele-Elmar I am selling  (not much success yet :( ) was 175 Euro with Will van Manen...

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25 minutes ago, jaapv said:

...the CLA of the Tele-Elmar I am selling  (not much success yet) was 175 Euro with Will van Manen...

Yes; oil leaking out doesn't sound very good I agree, Jaap, but perhaps it depends on 'why?' : if everything cleans up properly in a CLA then oil itself shouldn't be too much of a worry. The last time I saw an f3.5 M-mount Summaron for sale from a dealership here in London it was £690 / €800 and it was grabbed within a couple of days after appearing. There is currently an f2.8 example offered for £1,000 / €1,200 so even if we add €175 to the €380 already shelled-out it still amounts to only €555.

It really does come down to whether the lens' internals are fine and a CLA can sort everything out correctly.

As far as the cost of a CLA is concerned the Tele-Elmar is at least three times the size of the tiny Summaron so that's probably why it cost you so much......:lol:......

Seriously, though; as mentioned in the text you quoted my lens' CLA was carried-out several years ago (2014) so I'd guess even just taking inflation into account plus the rising price of lenses then it should be no surprise to see the price of a CLA increasing, too.

Philip.

Edited by pippy
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vor einer Stunde schrieb pippy:

The last time I saw an f3.5 M-mount Summaron for sale from a dealership here in London it was £690 / €800 and it was grabbed within a couple of days after appearing.

Those lenses were sold for € 200 to 250 ten years ago. I fail to understand why people are prepared to pay € 800 for it now. I do own an LTM copy of that lens myself (inherited from my late father), and while it is a decent performer, its successor the 2.8/35mm Summaron (which I also own) plays in a different league. I'd rather pay € 1200 for the 2.8 version than € 800 for the 3.5. So the bottom line for me is if a Summaron 3.5 may be acquired for a reasonable price (the OP's € 380 would have been reasonable if the lens were as described) it is still worth considering. Else, I'd look for something other than a Summaron 3.5.

Andy

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Took some photos. It’s very oily! There might be some fungus spots or maybe just dusts.

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Hmm...Certainly 'Not as Described'!

I didn't realise it was in LTM mount; I thought it was one of the very early M mount lenses made for when the M3 hit the shelves and the price I quoted is considerably higher than an f3.5 LTM would normally fetch. Apologies for that mix-up.

It's hard to know quite how bad the oiling situation is. It could be that it had a less-than-silky-smooth focus action and some cack-handed...person...thought that a hasty dismantling and a quick squirt of WD-40 (actually it looks more like bicycle oil!) on the threads would do wonders. Still; it doesn't look good and it could be a lot worse even than it appears.

I really don't like the look of the state of the glass. All-in-all if I were you I'd certainly return it.

Philip.

Edited by pippy
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An average screw fit f3.5 Summaron sells for about £250 on e bay. I bought two at that price in the last year. Expect a bit of haze, but not too much. The oil doesn’t look right.

 

Except that now I look at the prices of sold ones the prices seem to have gone up in the last six months !

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=leica+35mm+f3.5+summaron&_sacat=625&LH_TitleDesc=0&rt=nc&LH_Sold=1

Edited by Pyrogallol
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Summarons - all different versions - often show fog on their rear lens elements. It is not clear what is the cause for this problem, I suspect that the glass they used for this lens type was prone to degeneration. In many cases this does not matter at all, but sometimes the results become foggy. Therefore I recommend to look at a Summaron closely and test it on a digital camera before buying it. 

In no case there should be an oil well on any lens!

To keep the prices on the modest side I can only hope that we'll constantly repeat the mantra, that Summarons are baaaaad lenses - even if this is not true.

 

 

 

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