Jump to content

Does Leica still service R lenses in 2024?


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Hello All,

     Thinking of buying either of these lenses:

Leica 35mm Summilux-R ROM

Leica 35mm Summicron-R ROM

     The first thing I want to do is, I want to send the lens to Leica for a CLA just so that I know that I will get the best functioning lens for an upcoming trip to Tibet in February.  Just wanted to know if I can still send in Leica R-mount lenses to get a CLA before I make a purchase like this.

Thanks in advance,

Adam

Link to post
Share on other sites

They may well be able to service them (unless some part needs replacing that is no longer available), but with lead times often running into many months at Wetzlar, I'd be dubious about sending anything in that had to come back by a specific date. In fact, I wouldn't send anything in at all unless I had good reason to believe it had an issue. Instead, I'd buy from a dealer who offered a warranty or at least a reasonable return window, and I'd test the lens thoroughly when I got it. There are certainly independent technicians who can service R lenses, including DAG in the US and Cameraworks-UK.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Anbaric said:

They may well be able to service them (unless some part needs replacing that is no longer available), but with lead times often running into many months at Wetzlar, I'd be dubious about sending anything in that had to come back by a specific date. In fact, I wouldn't send anything in at all unless I had good reason to believe it had an issue. Instead, I'd buy from a dealer who offered a warranty or at least a reasonable return window, and I'd test the lens thoroughly when I got it. There are certainly independent technicians who can service R lenses, including DAG in the US and Cameraworks-UK.

Thank you for your useful information.  I’m this close to pulling the trigger on a unused in the box 35mm Summilux-R ROM…

Adam

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just try shooting with them. If the aperture is smooth and the lens appears clear, there is not really much to go wrong. Certainly not worth sending to Leica for a CLA without even trying them first. Lenses are usually low maintenance items. If the focus and aperture are smooth, and they perform properly, there is not much call for service. Depending on who you send it to, the risk is not necessarily zero that problems will happen in service, particularly if people take on overzealous cleaning or are not meticulous about reassembling and collimating the lens.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Adam James,   You can also call Don Goldberg at DAG camera and ask him.  He does excellent work.  But Stuart in his Post 4 above is spot on with his sage advice.  You can test the lens yourself and certainly check for de-centering, etc.  Make sure you get a warranty or their return policy in writing before buying.  If you do get the lens CLA'd by Don or whomever, they should clean it, remove the old lubricant and replace it, adjust the optics etc for the effort.  Last, be sure to tell Don when you need the lens back and cost estimate.  It will be a lot faster than Leica and less expensive too.   r/ Mark

Edited by LeicaR10
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 6/8/2024 at 12:36 PM, Adam_James said:

Thank you for your useful information.  I’m this close to pulling the trigger on a unused in the box 35mm Summilux-R ROM…

Adam

Please let me know how this (35 R Lux) purchase goes - I've been looking at one too - for some time - just have not been able to justify price -- good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, OR120 said:

Please let me know how this (35 R Lux) purchase goes - I've been looking at one too - for some time - just have not been able to justify price -- good luck!

I’ll keep in touch…. I deposit money and pay for the lens as soon the bank opens tomorrow.  After that I’m going to contact Leica and see about sending in my two ‘R’ lenses for a CLA.  I believe it’s absolutely important to send a used lens that’s over 20 years old to Leica to get a CLA. It’s just seems like the smart approach if you’re going all the way to Tibet you want to have the best functioning equipment possible…

Adam

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Leica repaired an old (1980 — 3 cam) 35mm summicron-R for me last year.  It wouldn’t focus to infinity any more.  I think one or more elements inside had come adrift.  Leica  fixed the problem and cleaned up the lens so it works fine now.

Edited by ejd
Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Adam_James said:

I’ll keep in touch…. I deposit money and pay for the lens as soon the bank opens tomorrow.  After that I’m going to contact Leica and see about sending in my two ‘R’ lenses for a CLA.  I believe it’s absolutely important to send a used lens that’s over 20 years old to Leica to get a CLA. It’s just seems like the smart approach if you’re going all the way to Tibet you want to have the best functioning equipment possible…

Adam

It seems over the top to me, if it works it works, put them in the freezer and see if the grease hardens if you are worried about the mechanical side of things. But maybe the smart approach is to take an alternative and reliable camera system instead. Nobody will be able to tell the difference between an image from a 50mm Nikkor and a 50mm Summicron R and the price of an outfit will be on a par with the price of servicing the Leica lenses.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Which camera are you intending to use the R lenses on? The 35/1.4R is now a 40 year old design. There are better and very likely much cheaper Leica 35/1.4 M lenses.  And even the very versatile R 35-70/ 4 lens will match or better the performance of any R prime within its aperture and focal length range – including at f4 – and with today's digital cameras' high ISO capabilities, its very usable f4 max aperture is no handicap. Furthermore, the planned CLA for a 10 element 35/1.4R lens wil likely be very expensive and if 'unused & boxed', unnecessary. 

EDIT: I note you are using an SL2 S camera. The 35/1.4R is a poor choice compared to an SL lens.

Galloping GAS ??

If you really insist on buying a 35/1.4R, please consider trying the lens before purchase. 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not so hard to figure out if a manual focus lens actually needs servicing. Does it have fungus? (send it back). Are there scratches deep enough to care about, especially on the rear element? (normal servicing won't help). Does it focus smoothly? Does the aperture mechanism work properly and is there oil on the blades that might cause it to stick? Is there significant haze or internal debris? Above all, what do your test shots look like? It if checks out, what is to be gained from sending it in? If it doesn't, you may be better off returning it and looking for a better example.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A 35mm f1.4 R lens on an SL2 S = Impractical optical theatre – may look impressive but there are other more practical and $£economical options. Also bear in mind that some exotic R lenses stick on dealers' shelves for months without tempting buyers. Dealers s/h follies which look impressive in their listings – hoping to attract a rich videographer's eye - but end up being substantially reduced in order to sell. The 19mm f2.8 R  Mk II is one such lens. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, dkCambridgeshire said:

Which camera are you intending to use the R lenses on? The 35/1.4R is now a 40 year old design. There are better and very likely much cheaper Leica 35/1.4 M lenses.  And even the very versatile R 35-70/ 4 lens will match or better the performance of any R prime within its aperture and focal length range – including at f4 – and with today's digital cameras' high ISO capabilities, its very usable f4 max aperture is no handicap. Furthermore, the planned CLA for a 10 element 35/1.4R lens wil likely be very expensive and if 'unused & boxed', unnecessary. 

EDIT: I note you are using an SL2 S camera. The 35/1.4R is a poor choice compared to an SL lens.

Galloping GAS ??

If you really insist on buying a 35/1.4R, please consider trying the lens before purchase. 

I guess it’s the lens I’ve always wanted.  In terms of GAS, it’s a reality many people face because we want to do the best job that we can.  I feel like the 35 Summilux is a character lens.  The 35 Apo SL was indeed a choice and I will get that as well when I have to have autofocus.  While I’m in Tibet, I want to be slow and methodical and take my time with each shot.  
     As for the 35 Summilux I bought, it was in Mint condition.  There also is another one for sale, but it is NIB and the price was unattainable.

    The Vario Elmar-R you speak of is highly regarded.  I thought about purchasing that lens, but the F4…. I’m really looking for something faster, so I went with the Summilux.  Thank you for your input.  I appreciate your opinion as a valuable member of this forum.

Adam

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Anbaric said:

It's not so hard to figure out if a manual focus lens actually needs servicing. Does it have fungus? (send it back). Are there scratches deep enough to care about, especially on the rear element? (normal servicing won't help). Does it focus smoothly? Does the aperture mechanism work properly and is there oil on the blades that might cause it to stick? Is there significant haze or internal debris? Above all, what do your test shots look like? It if checks out, what is to be gained from sending it in? If it doesn't, you may be better off returning it and looking for a better example.

That is good advice!  I’ll thoroughly inspect it when it comes in.  The perfectionist in me can sometimes cloud my judgement.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 6/9/2024 at 1:18 PM, OR120 said:

Please let me know how this (35 R Lux) purchase goes - I've been looking at one too - for some time - just have not been able to justify price -- good luck!

   The 35 Summilux-R comes in today.  I’ll thoroughly inspect it as it was pretty expensive.  What system will you be using it on if you buy it?  I’ve kind of been obsessing over this lens, and have read countless articles, and done a lot of research on it.  By no means am I an expert, but I figured out exactly what years or iterations of this lens based on this forum and lens databases.  If you are looking to use it on an L mount camera, I’d look for one with ROM contacts, and silver box packaging.

Cheers,

Adam

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 6/9/2024 at 4:36 AM, jaapv said:

Many if not most R lenses will have haze by now. Cleaning will visibly improve performance.

Jaapv,

     Thank you for your sound advice.  I’m looking where I can send the lens to have a CLA, so I can have a haze-free lens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just shine an LED light through it at various angles when you get it. I have Leica (and Nikon) lenses much older than this without any significant internal haze. Don't worry about a little dust - even new lenses can have this - but fungus or enough haze to reduce contrast or produce flare when shot into the light is an issue. Examine some recent lenses for comparison so that you know how a clean lens should look.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...