35mm Summilux w/eyes....quality? eyes removeable?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sergio_ortega, Sep 2, 2000.

  1. Ok, here's a question for you hardcore Leicaphiles:

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    A friend found a chrome 35mm Summilux, with caps and hood, for sale at a VERY good price. It's the version with the focus tab that locks at infinity, and the eyes attached for use on the M3. (serial #2,166,...) Reportedly, both the glass and mechanics are in really excellent condition. I've done some research on this lens for him, but am unable to answer a couple of his questions.

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    Questions:

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    -Can these eyes be removed for use with a non-M3 body? (From what he says, the eyes contraption appears to be attached with two small screws that screw into two tiny vertical brackets affixed to the top of the lens barrel.)

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    -This version apparently can focus to 65cm, rather the usual 1m. Is this closer focus a result of using the eyes on an M3? Or will it focus to this distance on a non-M3 body?

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    -How does this lens compare to other 35mm Summiluxes? (I know, I know...the 35 ASPH 1.4 is the best thing since sliced bread, but it costs eight times as much as this lens, and he wants a fast 35 now!)

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    -Does it have any greater value as is, with the eyes attached, as a potential collector's lens?

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    Thanks for your help. Sergio.
     
  2. The lens will not focus without the eyes. To remove the eyes, the lens
    has to be locked in at infinity, and then with the eyes off, it will
    not come off infinity focus, because the focusing won't sync up with
    the correct distance without them. I see some of these lenses
    advertised on e-bay, and the sellers state incorrectly that the eyes
    are removable. You can still use this lens on other M-bodies, but
    it will bring up the 50 lines which will be converted into 35
    lines with the eyes. Yes, it does focus closer because of the
    eyes--all the 35mm lenses with eyes go down that close. The quality of
    the older 35 f1.4 is good, but not as good as the 2.0 Summicron and I
    think a notch below the 2.8 Summaron as well.
     
  3. Andrew is correct, as the focusing cam is adjusted to work with the
    eyes attached, it will not focus correctly with the eyes off. It is
    easy to file a bit of material of the bayonet ear to select the
    proper frame but I do not know how easy (or expensive) it would be to
    recalibrate the focusing cam. Best to consult with an experienced
    Leica repair person on that. It is optically identical to
    the "regular" summilux. The lens is an excellent performer except at
    f1.4 where it suffers from excessive flare and coma. It is really
    only an f2.0 lens with an extra stop in reserve for an emergency. If
    you are planning on shooting mostly wide open, you might not be that
    happy with the lens. If you only shoot open occasionally, then it
    just may be the ticket as it is very light and compact.

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    Cheers
     
  4. Thanks Andrew and John! I'll pass the excellent info along. It
    sounds like much more trouble than it's worth, and definintely not
    what he was/is looking for. Sergio.
     

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