elmar 50/3.5 or 50/2.8?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by john_fleetwood, May 10, 2001.

  1. Looking at all the dust, scratches, and haze in my LTM elmar 50/3.5 has given me a GAS attack. Loss of pocketability and $$$ keeps me from seriously considering a new screwmount summicron. I think the elmar is a great lens. What do you think about replacing it with a 50/2.8? Image quality vs. size and weight? I have a summitar, but I prefer the elmar. Thanks, Barnack fans.
  2. I think I'd just look for a cleaner coated 3.5 if you have been happy
    with yours. At any given time, it seems there are at least a few
    reputed to be in super clean shape on Ebay, and they don't go for a
    ton of cash. I've been tempted to pick one up myself and use it on
    my M3 for times when the ultra high sharpness and contrast of the
    Summicron is not needed.
  3. From an inconoclastic Barnack user (III F):
    Have you given any thought to the Cosina lenses, especially the 50mm
    1.5 Nokton or the 35mm 1.7 Ultron?
    I refer you to Erwin Putts review of those.
    The price/performance ratio is astounding. Granted, the construction
    may not be up to Leica standard, but, I use them on my LTM and the
    results compare extremely favorably with those from my M6 cum
    Summicron 35mm 2.0.


    If one is on a tight budget,(as I am), those Cosinas are a godsend.
  4. Thanks for the Cosina info, but I'd rather have a collapsable lens,
    so I can carry my IIf in my pocket.
  5. John, have you considered speaking to Jon Van Stelten at Focal Point
    in CO? He can do a CLA and, if necessary, re-coat the front
    element. The 3.5 Elmar's front element is very small and not
    cemented to another element, so the cost should not be exhorbitant.
  6. The LTM 50/3.5 is my favorite Leica lens. The 50/2.8 Elmar is almost
    exactly the same weight as the Summitar, even though it has a
    rotating mount, and has the larger 39mm filter size. Collapsed it
    protrudes nearly as far as the Summitar, and extended it's even
    longer. It doesn't really offer any advantages over the 50/3.5,
    except 2/3 stop in speed, and I can't tell any difference in
    sharpness. I'd say either have your 50/3.5 refurbished (see Jay's
    post) or replace it with a clean used one.
  7. just seconding jay. i'm using a first-version collapsible
    summicron that has had a compolete CLA by Van Stelten, including the
    front element polished and recoated. The cost was $175!............
  8. Van Stelten cannot recoat the 3.5 Elmar as the front element is too
  9. Now look what you made me do--I just found a clean coated Elmar at a
    really good price and bought it. What size cap does it take, and was
    there ever a filter adapter that steped it up to 39mm?
  10. 36mm clamp-on. But if you put a filter on it you won't be able to
    set the aperture.
  11. Who needs a filter anyway. Anyone got a 36mm cap for sale?
  12. It is not Leitz but you can use a plastic soft drink tap Andrew, I
    usualy keep my original caps safe at home and use plastic taps that
    fit, and losse tons of them, and don´t care much.By the way changing
    apertures to an Elmar can be a pain in your nails, if you find a
    trick to that let us know.
  13. How about that fancy hood they made that coupled with the aperture?
    I know, they probably are collectors items now and cost more than the
    lens. Maybe I'll just leave it set at 5.6 or 8.0.
  14. It's a VALOO and they seem to go for about $40 on eBay, and work
    quite nicely (click stopped). You can clamp a 36mm filter over them
  15. I believe that an Elmar 3.5/50 is a great lens and worth to be
    repolished and recoated. My uncoated nickel Elmar 3.5/50 (1934) have
    been repolished and fully multicoated. It works a little better than
    my 2.8/50 Elmar on M3, less flare, more contrast and sharpness. I use
    it on a pristine Leica III in black. My second chrome coated Elmar
    3.5/50 on 11F is working almost likewise as recoated one.
  16. victor: who multicoated your Elmar? Somebody earlier on this thread
    said van Stelten couldn't do it................
  17. The collapsible Summicron is a very respectable lens for image
    quality, though it doesn't collapse as flat as the 3.5 Elmar. The
    2.8 Elmar doesn't, either.
  18. the 50/3.5. may look like a body cap when collapsed; does any one
    know of it´s average price now?
  19. To David: My Elmar 3.5/50 was repolished and recoated at the
    works "Arsenal", Kiev, Ukraine, where such cameras as Salut, Kiev-88,
    Kiev-6c and others are made.



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