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Leica 135mm f2.8 Elmarit + goggles


SJP
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I was looking at some 2nd hand prices and these seem reasonable enough say 200-500 euro ballpark. But I was wondering about the 'goggles', presumably this works on the M8? Or is it inconvenient due to the 'overrotation' to bring up the 90mm framelines?

 

Any comments?

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Hi Steven,

 

The 135 Elmarit with goggles brings up the 90mm frame line by default. It has the goggles to magnify the viewfinder to make up for the 135mm focal length. There are quite a few members on the forum that use this lens and are happy with it. It you want a razor sharp 135mm though, look for the 135mm Tele-Elmar (f/4.0). It is virtually as sharp as the current APO Telyt version and is also cheap on the used market. I use the TE and am very happy with it. It is also a long focus design - that makes it easy to focus.

 

Andreas

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Thanks Andreas,

 

So the image quality is a possible issue? Is that sharpness, CA, flare? Is it OK stopped down or does it lag behind the Tele-elmar at all apertures?

 

I am intrigued that it brings op the 90mm lines, that means it behaves differently than most 135's??

 

Stephen

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Thanks Andreas,

 

So the image quality is a possible issue? Is that sharpness, CA, flare? Is it OK stopped down or does it lag behind the Tele-elmar at all apertures?

 

I am intrigued that it brings op the 90mm lines, that means it behaves differently than most 135's??

 

Stephen

 

 

Stephen,

 

It is an OK lens, certainly for that money. The TE and ApoTelyt are sharper full opening but the E135/2.8 is fine stopped down.The metering with the goggles is an OK idea and indeed you look work with the 90mm lines, but the goggles make the lens a little akward to stow away. It is also big: remember it is actually the 135.2.8 R lens in a M remake.

 

Here is a pano, by hand, with the E135/2.8:

South Africa and Namibia Panorama's

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I was going to buy a 135 spectacles Elmarit about 18 months ago. I spoke to Malcolm Taylor, the UK Leica lens guru and rebuilder. He said that many will need their goggles realigning and this lens in particular suffers from element edge separation. The version 2 is particularly difficult to rebuild, as Leica used UV light activated cement for the elements, which makes them very difficult to separate without damage. His recommendation was that unless I really needed the extra speed, to go for a 135 Tele-Elmar, which is optically better, lighter, easier to stow in a bag and less problematic. To get the 90 framelines, you simply release the lens catch and over rotate it. The rangefinder cam has an extended bearing surface, I assume to allow this. I went for a T-E and have not regretted it since

 

Wilson

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I was looking at some 2nd hand prices and these seem reasonable enough say 200-500 euro ballpark. But I was wondering about the 'goggles', presumably this works on the M8? Or is it inconvenient due to the 'overrotation' to bring up the 90mm framelines?

 

Any comments?

 

I have seen a couple of these on EBay for $249... They look "mint"... The interesting thing is that the owner says they have removed the goggle...

 

Leica Leitz 135mm f2.8 Elmarit V1 MINT GLASS 135 M8.2 - eBay (item 150320927426 end time Feb-12-09 09:03:37 PST)

 

Is it possible to remove the goggle yourself and how does that effect image quality?

(I have perfectly lasered vision and would much prefer to do away with the goggle for space considerations ;-)...)

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Stephen,

 

I always enjoy the Elmarit 135mm threads here on the forum. I had a Tele-Elmar 4/135 in the past but prefer the Elmarit 2.8/135, though it is larger. It balances well with the M8.

What I like is the enlarged viewfinder due to the goggles, projecting a larger image (the 135mm view was always too small to compose on film M) and giving the right view with the 90mm frame. It allows for better focussing as well and I use the 1.25x magnifier in addition to that. Be aware that if you use the M8 handgrip, you have to remove it when changing the Elmarit due to the goggles.

 

For image quality, I am picky but very satisfied with its performance from f/4 if you have a the second version. Note that the second version with the finer grip has 55mm filter thread, in contrast to the first version which has a series filter (important for UV/IR of course).

 

If you still live in The Hague, you can find a copy of the lens with your local retailer to give it a try. You can download some of my M8 with Elmarit 135 images from my iDisk public folder at http://homepage.mac.com/paul.steunebrink/FileSharing1.html

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I use the TE and am very happy with it. It is also a long focus design - that makes it easy to focus.

 

Please could you explain this? When you say "long focus design" I presume you mean long focus as opposed to telephoto, and I can't work out how this could affect focusing, least of all with a coupled rangefinder.

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I have seen a couple of these on EBay for $249... They look "mint"... The interesting thing is that the owner says they have removed the goggle...

 

Leica Leitz 135mm f2.8 Elmarit V1 MINT GLASS 135 M8.2 - eBay (item 150320927426 end time Feb-12-09 09:03:37 PST)

 

Is it possible to remove the goggle yourself and how does that effect image quality?

(I have perfectly lasered vision and would much prefer to do away with the goggle for space considerations ;-)...)

 

If you remove the goggles you will not be able to focus correctly. It has nothing to do with your perfect eyes. Don't do it, makes no sense at all. You can remove the head only and use it with the right schnecke on a visoflex.

BTW;there have been three verions of this lens. i have the first one and like it very much.

Later ones are said to be a tad better. I also have the later R version and can't tell much difference between the too in normal day shooting.

The tele elmar is better and much smaller but you'll need a separate finder for it because the M8 has no frames for it.

Cheers,

 

Michiel Fokkema

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I like this lens very much and have taken hundreds of photos with it on my M8 or M8.2. The goggles make focusing workable especially with a 1.25 or 1.4 eyepiece magnifier. Performance at f4 or higher is fine.

 

I use only for relatively "static" scenes. If real motion is being followed, my D3 is in service!

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Please could you explain this? When you say "long focus design" I presume you mean long focus as opposed to telephoto, and I can't work out how this could affect focusing, least of all with a coupled rangefinder.

 

Hi John,

 

On wide angle and standard lenses you turn the focusing ring through approx 120 degrees from closest focusing distance to infinity. On longer lenses this becomes almost 180 degrees. This means that you have to turn the focus ring further to achieve focus. The two images move over each other slower - this makes it easier to focus long lenses. Not the most scientific explanation - but there really is quite a difference in focusing a 21mm in comparison to the 135mm, especially at close distances.

 

Andreas

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Wow! What a flurry of information.

 

Thanks to all!

 

It does look tempting, not that I expect to use it a whole lot but for landscape & nature stuff it should be a useful addition.

 

Also the comments on what to watch out for, lens separation etc. are very useful to know. So now I have to start thinking.... :(

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i have one of the first version goggles lenses you speak of.

 

i find it acceptable, but i need a cap.

its big, bulky, but i dont need an ~180mm lens very often so i'll live.

 

where does one find a cap for that?

I would recommend one of these. They are cheap and provide cushion, and cover for the glass. I use the smallest one on my 18mm Zeiss Distagon ZM lens. I use a Leica UV/IR 55 filter and a step down 58 to 55 ring/Did not like the Heliopan UV/IR. And needing a sort of cover to go over the lens hood and front element the "Hoodie" is perfect.

 

Hoodie Lens Caps - LensCoat

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Hi John,

 

On wide angle and standard lenses you turn the focusing ring through approx 120 degrees from closest focusing distance to infinity. On longer lenses this becomes almost 180 degrees. This means that you have to turn the focus ring further to achieve focus. The two images move over each other slower - this makes it easier to focus long lenses. Not the most scientific explanation - but there really is quite a difference in focusing a 21mm in comparison to the 135mm, especially at close distances.

 

Aha. I never thought of it that way, probably because my Leica lenses include a 50mm with a 180 degree focusing throw to get to 1m minimum distance, and a 75mm with a 90 degree throw to get to 0.9m.

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Wrotde andit:

If you want a razor sharp 135mm though, look for the 135mm Tele-Elmar (f/4.0). It is virtually as sharp as the current APO Telyt version and is also cheap on the used market. I use the TE and am very happy with it. It is also a long focus design - that makes it easy to focus.

 

Andreas

 

I too got the impression when reading this that Andreas was claiming that the TE was more easy to focus because it was a long focus lens---in contradistinction to the Elmarit. Now 'long focus lens' is a technical term to differentiate a traditional 'symmetrical' lens from a telephoto design. The old 13.5cm Hektor was a long focus design: The center of the optical cell, more or less where the diaphragm is, is actually about 135mm from the film plane. In a telephoto lens this measure is considerably shorter than the nominal focal length. Therefore the lens can be built physically shorter.

 

But both the Tele-Elmar (as its name indicates) and the Elmarit are in fact telephoto designs, although moderately so. Still it is true that lenses of long focal length, irrespective of their optical design, tend to have longer focusing throws than shorter lenses. But there is no hard and fast relationship there. It all depends on the mechanical design of the focusing helicals. It is a design decision: How precise focusing will this lens require in practical use?

 

I do own a second version Elmarit and I do occasionally use it with my M8. It is quite sharp wide open, but the general contrast is less than that of the Tele-Elmar. No big deal in this digital age. The equivalent of a 1:2.8/180mm is worth having. But the beast IS heavy!

 

The old man from the Age of Front Cell Focusing

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I recently got a fine Elmarit 135mm 2.8 Second series and I use it to get acquainted with the extra weight and the look of the googles.

 

But it's sharp, well weight balanced, and it's great when you need to isolate the background and you don't have a Summilux.

 

My first photos are onmy flickr account

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Do you mean Minderman? I did not see a Elmarit 135 in his list of 2nd hand stuff: FOTO MINDERMAN EN PISA Occasions

 

I do see one: :DTele Elmarit 2,8/135mm. zwart 750 Euro.

Way too expensive though: should be more like 450 EUR - max.

Edited by vanhulsenbeek
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