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1938 Elmar 5cm - I read it can cover 120 - 6X6 Format , Is it True ?

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1 hour ago, a.noctilux said:

Out of curiosity, as I never thought of using the Elmar 5cm on my Xpan.

I have a device * to try some lenses if it covers 24x65 Xpan format.

Just tried out the 5cm on the "device".

Not easy as the short about 28mm's flange focus to infinity...untill now I tried with SLR lenses (about 40-47mm).

First observation, it can do about 55mm of coverage, not bad for lens coping with 43mm coverageof 24x36.


*crude one ...long hood with at one end translucent paper with field markings as 24x65mm and 43x43mm



you can build this crude "camera obscura" with a tube (plastic/carton/etc. not too long for Leica lenses, about 3cm long! ) then try out with lenses you have.

Have fun with your project.

I changed my mind and decided to follow hektor 135/4.5 , 6x6 or 9x12 route. I think its lot better lens and 1/3 the price tag. I have both of them . Thank you very much for your helping hand. I can try 24*65 route and I want to learn the original xpan lens details. Thank you very much indeed.

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It would be easier with Hektor 135 than Elmar 5cm lens.

With your Hektor, to shorten is easy, just unscrew it from it's focussing mount.

I can't help more to focus the Hektor without it's focussing mount.

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41 minutes ago, willeica said:

I note that your one has the Kodak name on the Compur. I have a Pupille and a Vollenda with the Kodak name on the Compur. Dr Nagel continued to work for Kodak after the takeover and he designed the Retina and the 35mm reusable cassette. Some of the early Retinas have a similar depth of field scale on a round plate to that found on some Vollenda 48s and also on the Pupille. In essence Nagel cameras became Kodaks. I will be covering this in my upcoming talk.


Yes it has 'Kodak' on the shutter and embossed on the front of the camera and Vollenda on the cameras back. I have another somewhere but can't remember what the shutter is branded as other than Compur, but that body is fully branded as a Vollenda. The shutter on that needs a service so I haven't used it for years, although the one in the photo is used often and can produce very sharp pictures.

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3 hours ago, a.noctilux said:

I don't know for Elmar 5cm.


Marco Cavina proved that the Tele-Elmar 4/135 can cover  6x6

link here


Me too read Cavina's article, and I was surprised, being the Tele Elmar clearly designed for Leica, in times when Leitz was not interested in larger formats... differently from the times of old 135s... probably the first Elmar 13,5 cm f4,5  does even cover more than 6x6... I seem to remember that its optics was "taken as is" from a lens made for plate cameras (9 x 12 ?)

I don't know if design and build of a lens with an "abundant" coverage has a significant impact on industrial costs, but, just to freely speculate... Tele Elmar 135 was designed (in Wetzlar, I think) when the Canadian factory was yet established for some years... maybe they thought that a design fit for larger formats too could be useful for some of the military-related projects in which the Canadian factory was very active. (projects that could involve also larger and even "odd-non standard" formats) 

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19 hours ago, Mustafa Umut Sarac said:

I heard Elmar 5cm can cover 6x6 format ? Is it true or what is the maximum size format it can take ? If it can cover 6x6 , I want to create a camera for it !!

I haven't tried it but it is extremely unlikely. If it did I am sure that someone would have already made a wide-angle medium format camera using this lens. The physical design suggests not. The actual design was for an intendeduse on 35mm film so, no it almost certainly (99.9999%) won't  cover 6x6, and if by some extraordinary chance it did, it certainly wouldn't give good results. I suspect that the image circle is just marginally larger than the diagonal of 35mm format (24x36mm).

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From a Recomar owner with a 10.5cm lens. He has the Kodak Anastigmat which I am pretty sure, like my 10.5cm Elmar, derives from a Zeiss Tessar lens with the same specs:

"Recomar 18, a beautiful little 1930s folding plate camera from Germany. It's a very well-designed and beautifully built instrument from the hand of renowned camera designer Dr Auguste Nagel, whose Nagel Kamera Werk in Stuttgart was bought by Kodak in 1932. It has a 105 mm f/4.5 Kodak Anastigmat lens set in a Compur shutter with speeds from 1 - 1/250 sec., plus T and B.

The Recomar 18 was originally designed to expose 6.5 x 9 cm glass plate negatives, but sheet film holders are available as well. I shoot J and C Classic 200 in 6.5 x 9 cm sheets in this camera. "

I have mounted my 10.5 cm f 4.5 Leitz Elmar on a 5x4 camera and it seems to give full coverage, but I need to test this with sheet film sometime. My next step will be to shoot some Instax with a Lomo back with the combo.

One of my early 1920s Contessas has a 10.5 cm f 6.3 Tessar, same specs as the Berg Elmar, but it has a wider diameter. 

There are whole host of lenses made in Germany during that period where the specs seem to have come from Zeiss in the first instance and then spread out to other makers, including Leitz. The fact that Zeiss had a degree of control over Deckel and Gauthier may have had something to do with this as millions of lenses made in that time ended up in those shutters. One of the German sources I have looked at shows that in the period 1900 to 1968 13.5 million Deckel shutters were produced and 22.5 million Gauthier shutters, making a grand total of 36 million shutters looking for lenses to fit them or vice versa. There is no doubt that Zeiss was the 'Big Daddy' of the shutter side of the business. It is said that Deckel did very little without consulting Zeiss and, of course, Zeiss had a controlling interest in Gauthier. 

As I have said before, this needs to be written up fully in English. I have been collecting books in German on the topic recently. When I first started collecting Leicas I said to myself that I should learn some German, but I have never got around to this


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