1937 90mm F4 ELMAR

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by anthonymarsh, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. I took a chance and bought this on E-Bay. The glass is amazingly clean and clear no haze fungus scratches or cleaning marks. What puzzles me is that it displays slight iridescence as if coated. I don't believe that LEITZ was coating lenses of that year. Can anyone offer an explanation for the colors? I have older ZEISS glass that is bloomed however have never heard that LEITZ glass undergoes the process. The photo was made under overcast grey skies so there is no blue present.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  2. Leica would apply coating to older lenses as a paid service. Just like they would upgrade older Barnacks to newer models into the 60’s.
  3. Thank you. Is it a thin single coating?
  4. I wouldn't know. If important, you could ask in the Leica Collectors & Historica forum: Leica Collectors & Historica
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    You might query them. I would not be surprised if even now, there are records. Another way would be to query Leica collectors as NHSN suggested.
  6. Back in the day when a lens was sent back to Leica for element coating, did Leitz do a complete CLA to like new Leica standards on the lens elements in addition to applying the coating to the elements? If the front element was badly scratched, would the service include a new element? This example looks like Leitz turned a 1937 f4 Elmar 90 into a mid '60s new Elmar. My 1953 Elmar 90 lens elements sure don't look like this one. Nice lens, hope you enjoy using it.
  7. After over 80+ years since it was made, there’s no telling who’s hands it has gone through and who has worked on it.

    Could have been Leitz, and it could have been any number of other private individuals/repair shops any where in the world. You can send lenses like that today to Kanto Camera in Japan and they’ll do everything from adding coatings to the optics to re-grinding or anything else needed to repair/customize the unit. The Focal Point in Colorado, now closed, when it was open could have done the same type work.

    You’d probably have as much luck trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow as figuring out who did whatever it was they did to that one particular lens.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  8. Yes, agree with all the other comments. Older lenses were sometimes coated. There's also a thing called 'bloom', I've been told, which apparently happens to old glass. Apparently acts as a sort of surrogate coating - I read about it in Mantanle's text, but have been told about it by by others. Can't vouchsafe for its authenticity. But I have seen it, or I think I have, on a couple of old Steinheil (not sure I've got the spelling right there) lens I still have. Both culminars, 135, one an LTM and the other a 49mm screw mount. Regards, Arthur
  9. It does occur. This is my IKOFLEX II with bloomed lenses

  10. A better photo of the IKOFLEX bloomed lens

  11. That looks like a diffraction effect from the glass/glass or glass/air interfaces rather than "bloom".
  12. The photo was made from an open window overcast sky,no glass.
  13. Greg, in your first sentence it should be whose, not who's. Did a spell check miss that?
  14. Greg's comments regarding what parties have worked on a lens is important. John Van Stelten's now closed The Focal Point optical restoration service is an accurate description of Focal Point services. His restoration work on my 1950's 50 Elmar f2.8 LTM was really a rebuild of the entire lens. In addition to the complete CLA, he was able to replace a fogged and scratched front element with a new Leitz coated front element along with optical bench services. In an earlier post I related the process by which he was able to restore a 50 Summarit f1.5 including his polishing to remove scratches and a thermal re-coating of the front element. In the event of any future sale, I've made a point of saving the paper work that should go with each lens. It is reassuring to read of the Kanto Camera service in Japan that does the same type of work.
  15. Japan Camera Hunter website has a You Tube video of a visit they made to Kanto Camera, including a behind the scene look at some of the work they do and equipment they utilize for work such as lens restorations. Very interesting watch.
  16. The blueish (or otherwise coloured) bloom on old lenses is not necessary fabricated on purpose. Some types of optical glass tend to corrode (very slightly), i.e. the glass changes it s structure. This may lead to changes of the refractive index, but only of a very thin layer. This might have a similar effect as anti-reflective coating, which depends on a similar physical effect (coating with a layer with very little but well-determined thickness, of a material with a refraction index lower than the "base" glass).
  17. Huh? I was talking about the glass within the lens itself.

  18. I would love to hear what results you get from this lens.

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