Determining date of old Leitz Elmar lens

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by charles_stobbs|3, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. I am trying to date an old Elmar lens using a table of serial numbers vs. manufacture dates but I can't find a serial number on the lens.
    It is a thread mount, uncoated, focussing scale in meters, probably nickel plated, and an older progression of f stops (3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18). Any info on location of serial number or manufacture date would be appreciated.
  2. Unless it's a really early one, which might not even have a serial number, it would normally be engraved/stamped on the black-painted brass bezel around the front lens element.

    There's also a small change you can find it on the rear of the lens mount.

    Serial numbers engraving started at #85000 from 1932-ish. Nickel-plated version production stopped in 1936
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    There are several excellent Leica Clubs online - if you haven't visited, might be helpful.
  4. SCL


    Someone on the L-Camera Forum (Leica enthusiasts) brought up a similar question a few weeks ago. Get a magnifying glass and look closely at the black ring surrounding the front element...the engraved serial number will be very small.
  5. Thanks (again) Richard. (Ithought I replied yesterday but I guess it went adrift.) The number was right where your photo showed it. My lens is a 1931 Elmar. I bought it from Olddn Camera & Lens in NYC in the late 1950"s. It would be interesting to know where t spent the 30's and 40's. And thanks to all who replied.
  6. I completely misunderstood your question. I thought you were saying you couldn't find the serial number related to your lens on-line. When I saw Richard's reply, I thought ... Duh!!! o_O

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