Summar Question

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by david_clark|4, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. Did Leica coat any Summars? I saw a coated one, and I wondered if it was a
    factory coating. Has anyone used a coated summar? Did this improve or otherwise
    change the performance? Thanks
  2. A technician very familiar with these suggested that when they coated them, post-production, they only coated the front element. Be interested to see others' thoughts and experience.
  3. I have a coated SUMMAR with all glass/air surfaces coated. Presumably it went back to the factory for disassembly/polishing/coating. The coating is of a magenta hue, but not as deep as found on a modern lens. Performance (contrast)is definitely improved - compared with my uncoated, clean SUMMAR. I have seen some of these lenses coated only front and back, often with a coating that appears light blue: almost certainly non-Leitz.
  4. It was not uncommon for Leica to upgrade cameras and lenses as an after sales service. I myself own a very nice 111a which has been factory upgraded with the 111f sync arrangement including the odd looking sync dial positioned coaxial with the shutter speed dial to set the correct moment for fing the flash depending on the characteristics of the flash bulbs in use (slow burning / fast burning etc.)

    It also wears a nice 1936 50mm f3.5 Elmar which, being of prewar production would have originally been uncoated but which now has a very nice clean lens coating. Both the camera and lens were obviously factory modified.

    I suspect that it would not be unusual in the least to find a Summar similarly disposed to the above Elmar. From what I have read the idea of coating to incerease light transmission began just before the war and came into common practice with most manufacturers after the war although I think there were a few coated Leitz lenses made during the war. (I am working from memory here.)

    In short you will find that prewar lenses were invariably non coated but may have been retor fitted. I think post war from perhaps 1947 onwards (I am sure you can look it up somewhere) all or almost all new lenses were coated. (Perhaps a few were made from earlier lens units.)
  5. I have a 1938 Summar and I realize now that it does have a light violet coating on at least the front and rear element. I don't know if it was also internally coated as well. The lens is flare resistant relative to what I hear about other Summars and it seems the contrast of this coated lens approaches the early 50 crons. See example, taken recently.

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