Black paint lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by arthur_yue, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Does anyone have any information about black paint 50mm luxes & 35mm crons or for that matter information on any other black paint lenses based on current M lenses ? Are they brass and hence weigh as much as the chrome equivalents? Does the pain wear easily? Are they as lusted after as black paint M6s?
    Many many questions!

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    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Arthur, I have three Black Paint Ms (M3 & two M2s) but have no interest
    whatsoever in black paint lenses.
     
  3. Q. Are they brass and hence weigh as much as the chrome equivalents?

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    Yes.

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    Q. Does the pain wear easily?

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    Yes.

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    Q. Are they as lusted after as black paint M6s?

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    Yes.

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    Even the 35/2 vented lens hood is black painted.
     
  4. Arthur

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    The current black paint lenses are brass, as Leica had long ago
    determined that a brass surface holds paint the best. Accordingly,
    they are heavier than the regular black anodized lenses. As far as I
    am aware, the two lenses you mentioned are the only ones offered in
    black paint finish. You should be aware that the black "paint" on
    these lenses is electrostatically applied by a special process; these
    are NOT hand painted.

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    As you are probably aware, Leica offered black paint lenses shortly
    after the introduction of the M system, to match the black paint M2
    and M3 (later M4) cameras. These lenses were made on special
    request, usually by photojournalists and other professionals who
    preferred the black finish. Most of them have a combination of
    anodized and painted parts,although some are entirely painted. These
    lenses were hand painted, and although made in very small numbers,
    there is a lot of variability in the finishes.

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    The original black painted early M lenses include the following:
    35/2.0 (M2 version, 8-element), 35/2.0-RF (M3 version with eyes, 8-
    element), 35/1.4 (M2 and M3 versions), 50/1.4 (both first and second
    formulas), 50/2.0 (7-element, rigid Summicron), 90/2.0 (SEOFF-M), and
    90/2.0 preset version. They are usually found well used and are
    generally quite expensive. However, some of these original lenses
    can actually be had (if you can find them) for less than the price of
    a current new model black paint lens.

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    I personally wouldn't buy a new black paint lens (too much of a
    premium), although I have several original lenses. In addition, I
    think they made too many (at least 2000 each) for them to appreciate
    much in value. As for the wearability, the new finish is said to be
    more durable than the original.
     
  5. Bottom line is:

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    If you are a collector, they are neat.

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    If you are a shooter, they are too darn heavy. Regular black lenses
    feel much better on your M6, especially after a long day (night) of
    shooting!
     
  6. Allow me to add to Arthur's questions - Are Leica black paint lenses also painted on the internal assemblies (the parts that are visible through the lens)?

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    I've used some pre-owned medium format lenses that had black paint over black metal. The exterior paint was worn in the places where the lens was gripped in normal use. There were also little black flecks on the elements inside. Does this happen with black paint Leica lenses too?
     

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