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In praise of the Mandler lenses

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Kudos! A joy to read, and I certainly sympathize with your findings, owning and using several Mandler designed lenses myself (Summicron 50, Summilux pre-asph. 50, Summilux 80).

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Great article Andy.

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Mandler designed more than 30 M lenses like the famous Summicron 35/2 IV, Summilux 35/1.4, Summilux 50/1.4, Noctilux 50/1, Summilux 75/1.4 and Elmarit 90/2.8 (# 11129) which is another favourite of mine.

Also great R lenses like Summicron 35/2, 50/2 and 90/2, Summilux 80/1.4, Apo-Telyt 180/3.4.

For more details, see 'Eulogy for Dr. Walter Mandler' by Rolf Fricke here:

http://www.phsc.ca/phsc_e-mail/Vol-5/PHSC-E-Mail-V5-2-Dr-Mandler.pdf

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Andy,

 

Interesting stuff. Do you happen to know which of the 35mm Summicron R's Mandler designed? I have the earlier example with the square snap on lens hood - was this his or did he do the later (current) version?

 

I recall an article or letter I read a few years back from a pro (can't recall who or where I read it now) but he said he'd sold his R gear to buy Nikon at the time, but he so missed the 35 Summicron that he bought another R body and another example of the 'Mandler' lens, because it was so special.

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Andy, thanks for the monograph. Your obvious adoration and scholarship are to be commended. I very much enjoyed your images. I'm struck by the absence of the Nocti in your dissertation. Most genius produce prodigiously,but there's a singular signature that remains distinctive long after they're gone. All in all, the Nocti's & Lux's will be Mandler's legacy. As the Voodo Child sings; "Well, I'm standing next to a Mountain and I chop it down with the edge of my hand. Well I pick up all pieces and make an Island, might even raise a little sand."

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Ben: main reason I left out the Nocti is - I don't use one. So have no examples or user-based comments.

 

James E. Putz's Leica Lens Compendium list the SECOND (1976) version of the 35 'cron-R as being a Leitz Canada design. First was Wetzlar.

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Sorry, but it´s Puts for Putz not Putz ...

 

It´s so often quoted wrong that I start to wonder if it´s perhaps intential.

 

AND it´s Erwin, not James, but nevermind ...

 

 

Best

 

________________________________________

 

 

PS

 

BTW, thx a lot for your fine contribution on the MANDLER- lenses. Really great, expertly taken sample shots you showed here. Sorry, for not to having mentioned this before.

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Hi K.G. - I was responding to JAMES, to the effect that E. PUTS' book etc. etc. - but you're right there was a missing ":" and an erroneous "z".

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LCT, I believe, is working on an essay about Walter Mandler, so I'll just briefly describe his place in Leica lens design.

 

Then I can send him an article by Thorpe and James, engineers at ELCAN, on several classic double-gauss designs of Mandler.

 

(I added the reference to the Mandler's article of Wikipedia some time ago, and several other links, very interesting).

 

Walter Mandler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

I have a Noctilux and Summilux 75. I love them.

 

I was surprissed by the cold and somewhat harsh comments of Erwin Puts about Mandler. He comes to say that Mandler was a good designer, but not so creative, original or significant as Zeiss' chiefs of optical design, or those of japanese brands like Canon.

 

See for instance, Puts' comments on the Canon 50mm f/1.2 (he mentions the Noctilux), or his late comments about the 75mm/80mm Summiluxes. The Noctilux is a very small lens and a half stop faster than the Canon.... and Leica wasn't able to produce ASPH lens elements, as the first Noctilux demonstrated. So, Was Mandler's Noctilux design less good than possible? Puts also wrote about Mandler and other Leica designers (Three generations of... ), but he didn't find kind words for Mandler (as he has for Karbe and Kölsh).

 

Was Mandler one of the great lens designers of the second half of the XX century or simply a good engineer of a small but reputed brand of cameras? Was he an innovator or a pragmatic designer?

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All of my SL2 Lenses are from the Mandler era. All of my M lenses, save for the Noctilux and 28 Elmarit, are from the current Asph Designs. I feel as if I have the best of both worlds.

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Andy, hat off for such a refreshing read and accompanying images.

 

Youa re largley to "blame" for me getting the 90 Tele Elmarit (recent post) which I just got today.

 

Images to follow soon,,,,first impressions are gooooooooooooooood:)

 

Great thread and hope more people will enjoy

 

andy

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LCT, I believe, is working on an essay about Walter Mandler...

Andy was mistaking me for James Putz i believe.

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The Mandler glass is memorable. I have never sold one piece.

 

I got all new. Just to show you prices, the 21, 28, 90 were all in the $450/650 range. My 75 1.4 was somewhat more.

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Your photo in this string with the 28mm Elmarit is truly amazing! My mistakenly-low esteem for that particular lens will undergo a rigorous and thorough revision. (My current 28mm lens is non-Leica.)

 

Thanks for posting.

 

-g

Edited by grober

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That's great. And awesome details of the 28mm. I never regarded the 28mm a "real" lens but you prove me (completely!) wrong.

 

I guess I'll have to integrate the (design by Mandler) on my lens compendium as I've done a few places (included the designers name). I did a few, then thought of it as a bit silly, but it's actually interesting. Because one can tell.

 

leica.overgaard.dk - Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Pages - Leitz and Leica Lens Compendium

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