LTM: XENON 1.5, some shots.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jcgoodman, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. One of the hardest tasks in LTM photography is the accurate focusing of f1.5 lenses on a rangefinder screw-mount camera, especially a camera as old as a Leica II, and with the lens fully-open. Herewith a couple of cat photos from today's roll of Kodak Gold 100.
    00Gt11-30492384.jpg
     
  2. A shot at f2.2:
    00Gt16-30492584.jpg
     
  3. Crop from previous phot...
    00Gt1B-30492684.jpg
     
  4. John, love the look! Are you're happy with the lens? Did you scan the photo or the negative?
     
  5. Nice examples, John.

    One of the interesting attributes of the Xenon glass compared to many others is that there is no UV transmission through them (even with single coated Xenons), making them more suitable for normal photography.
     
  6. Hello all. Pics above were scanned from negatives at my local
    1-hour lab. Thereafter, I used Photoshop to "Save for Web", with
    no other adjustments. Cheers.
     
  7. Anhtu - yes I'm happy with the old Xenon. Exact image focus at
    the film can be rather hit-or-miss, though. I used an early leica II
    which has had it's lens mount - to - film-plane checked. Even
    then, film might not always be flat in these old cameras. M
    Leicas were better in this regard - stronger body, flatter film -
    therefore more secure focus - all the more important with close
    subjects. Regards.
     
  8. Love the first image. Beautiful quality.
     
  9. John: Thanks again for sharing with us these examples of all the oldest Leitz lenses. I love the qualities of the Xenon, and the optical quality in the cropped kitty is amazing to me. Was the Summarit really an improvement? Best, David
     
  10. "One of the interesting attributes of the Xenon glass compared to many others is that there is no UV transmission through them (even with single coated Xenons)"

    The Leitz Xenon 5 cm/1.5 is a pre-war lens (with a few of them made during WWII). These all left the factory uncoated. Some of the may have been sent to the factory for coating post WWII, but most of the examples that I have seen are uncoated.
     
  11. I seem to recall reading that the Summarit has the exact same optical formula as the Xenon but is coated, this being the only practical difference. I am not sure of this but I do recall thinking at the time that I read this that it was from an authoritative source. I have a very nice Summarit and although I do not use it a lot I cna say that it is more contrasty than these shots. In general I think it to be a vastly under rated lens and I imagine the same can be said to a point for the Xenon.
     
  12. Hello Eliot, Peter, David. I have read that the Summarit was of a
    "similar" 7-glass optical design to the Xenon, but factory coated.
    However, the big improvement in contrast suggests some
    added optical variation. Close-focus/wide-open shots are much
    cleaner with the Summarit. I think this latter lens has a better
    quality of glass. Another jump in quality came along with the
    Summilux 1.4, with its new composition glassware, but this lens
    has a "similar design" to the Summarit! (See: "Collector's
    Checklist of Leica Cameras Lenses and Accessories" by Dr. A.
    Neill Wright and Colin Glandfield, 4th Edn., Thoroughbred
    Books, UK, 1980).
     
  13. Another thought - there seems to be quite a bit of variation in the
    later Xenons - slightly different mounts etc, and it would be no
    surprise if a lot of these late-issue Xenons were prototypes with
    a better glass element or two. My own Xenon is a late-issue
    example, "wartime" serial number. Cheers.
     
  14. There was no change in the optical formula of the 5cm/1.5 Xenon during its lifetime. There were barrel changes. The early versions had three rings while the later ones had four rings, but with exactly the same optics.

    The Summarit 50/1.5 is a different formula lens. It is not simply a coated Xenon as some have suggested. the general layout was similar to the Xenon, but the optics were improved, even aside from the coating.
     
  15. John,
    Very nice photos, I`ve been looking for a "late" Xenon too, records state they were run in the 491000 range (for the last of them) finding a late one is`nt very easy, but I`m interested in getting one, if you ever see another late production one around give me a yell!

    Thanks
    Tom
     
  16. Thanks, Tom, for revitalizing this old thread! I do have two late Xenons - not ready to sell them, but the following pics of them might be of interest.
    00LSbC-36914484.jpg
     
  17. I should mention that both these Xenons - 490797 and 491882 are coated.
    00LSbP-36914584.jpg
     
  18. I have a Schneider 5cm f/1.5 War Xenon on my Leica II.This is a different lens to the Leitz Xenon version.Does anybody else have a lens like mine and would anybody know if the design and configuration of the Schneider version is the same or is it different to the Leitz version.
     
  19. Here is a photo of my lens on my Leica II.
    00Ssuy-119715684.JPG
     
  20. And another photo :-
    00SsvE-119717584.JPG
     
  21. Attractive lens, that Schneider! It would be of interest for the LTM fans to see some examples of its work.
     
  22. Hello John,
    Many thanks for your reply.I will take some photo's with it in the next week or so and get them scanned and post some examples on this thread.Unfortunately I don't have a scanner of my own and have to rely on local film processor for scanning.I am still trying to find out further information about this Schneider War version,particularly if it has the same configuration as the Leitz Xenon.It may be that the Schneider version was further developed during the War years since the Leitz version lens appears to have a longer barrel and only stops down to f/9, but the Schneider version seems to have a shorter more "chunkier" barrel and stops down to f/16.
    From the serial number(Ser.No.1917613) it seems to have been produced in 1944.
    Regards, William
     
  23. I have a Leitz Leica modified Xenon 5cm F:1.5 that started life in 1939 as a German Ministry Of health X-Ray Xenon. Then is was reconverted by leitz to a three knurled ring Xenon. Serial# 491581 You can see the X-ray Xenon ring for the front made of Nickel, and it holds and unscrews with the first lens element. Only leitz could have done this. The lens has a very early coating of light bluish color and tested out on a m39 > m4/3 rd's adapter much better than most photographers realize. I often find that a lens of the 1930's test out far superior on a TTL DSLR mirrorless camera @ 5x critical focus than the rangefinder design they were orginally meant for. Regards, Don
    00a3o6-445431584.jpg
     
  24. I have a Leitz Leica modified Xenon 5cm F:1.5 that started life in 1939 as a German Ministry Of health X-Ray Xenon. Then is was reconverted by leitz to a three knurled ring Xenon. Serial# 491581 You can see the X-ray Xenon ring for the front made of Nickel, and it holds and unscrews with the first lens element. Only leitz could have done this. The lens has a very early coating of light bluish color and tested out on a m39 > m4/3 rd's adapter much better than most photographers realize. I often find that a lens of the 1930's test out far superior on a TTL DSLR mirrorless camera @ 5x critical focus than the rangefinder design they were orginally meant for. Regards, Don
     
  25. I have a Leitz Leica modified Xenon 5cm F:1.5 that started life in 1939 as a German Ministry Of health X-Ray Xenon. Then is was reconverted by leitz to a three knurled ring Xenon. Serial# 491581 You can see the X-ray Xenon ring for the front made of Nickel, and it holds and unscrews with the first lens element. Only leitz could have done this. The lens has a very early coating of light bluish color and tested out on a m39 > m4/3 rd's adapter much better than most photographers realize. I often find that a lens of the 1930's test out far superior on a TTL DSLR mirrorless camera @ 5x critical focus than the rangefinder design they were orginally meant for. Regards, Don
     
  26. Why bother with a LTM body; mechanical linkage errors and optical coincidence errors are a design limitation even on a 100% serviced leica. Every ultra fast lens I ever tested was far superior when tested on Mirror less digital cameras. The days of Rangefinder focusing, DSLR, DST, are ending. use a DSLM for this lens! I shoot the lens on a Sony A7r and the results are far superior focusing at 7x magnified mode manual. Since the lens tends to be low contrast improve it with a polarizer filter also. You should also have a sunshade a must to prevent notorious flare in this lens. I have many outstanding photos, but would have to convert from 36 Meg file to 8 Meg for this sites outdated file submission standard. legacy lenses such as Canon 0.95, Leica 1.1, Nikon, 1.1, Canon 1.2 and many others were FAR superior optically than there inferior designed focusing mechanism could accomplish. BUT, Full frame Mirror-less is direct TTL focusing at 7x magnified EVF and its accuracy is untouchable compared to the days gone bye. I have a vast collection , I keep of those bodies, but i don't use the bodies any-longer; I love their lenses! best Regards, Don@eastwestphoto
     
  27. Yes, Donald - the digital, Full Frame body has been a great help to us Old Glass users. I hope to be using a Sony A7r soon.
     
  28. There's a lot more navel gazing with lenses now we can get digital test images NOW.
    I know because I do it, that's why I found both the Summarit and Xenon both seem to give the same kind of image at all available apertures, that is sharpness and out of focus images, and both seem to focus quite accurately. My XENON is quite old, marked and uncoated, but this seems to just make a more low contrast but clean image.
    The Summarit is very clean and coated, but I think a well coated Xenon would behave pretty much the same. I am sure I read an opinion that the Summarit, from f4, was as sharp as the collapsible Summicron.
    Mind you, its nice to have them, but I'd rather use the Summicron.
     

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