TeleElmar 4/135mm vs Hektor 4.5/135mm

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by b_n_f, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Ciao

    I am one who loves the focal length on an M.

    I have an early 70s TE 4/135mm.

    I know what my TE can do, and I know what the recent APO 135 can do too, but it
    that one is long gone from my bag.

    I have found a few clean mid-1950s Hektor 4.5/135mm lenses (M and SM mount) at
    good prices.

    Will the Hektor differentiate itself enough from the TeleElmar? I am looking
    for a different fingerprint - a way to change my results simply by changing
    lenses. Or, are they, in reality, just too similar to justify doubling up on
    the focal length. (Albeit, the Hektors are all sub $250 anyway).
  2. The Hektor is going to have an "old" look to it. Low contrast, not especially sharp in the corners wide open, etc. The competing Nikon and Canon LTM 135mm lenses of the 1950's easily bested the Hektor. The difference was obvious comparing my clean coated 1946 Hektor to my Canon 135/3.5.

    So, yes, you will definitely get a different fingerprint. It's not a bad lens, just old-fashioned.
  3. jja


    If you would consider a similar lens, but faster than the TE, I have a 135/2.8 Elmarit for sale,
    cheap. E-mail me if interested.
  4. Thank you, John.

    Juan, speed is not the issue for me. The "fingerprint" or character - and how distinct it is compared to the TE - is important. I chose the Hektor because of its age.
  5. the te is a far better lens
  6. I just recently sold my TE. I didn't like it at all on the M8. The Elmarit produces really
    beautiful images.
  7. I have both lenses and there is no contest for crispness - the Tele Elmar wins hands down. The Hektor does have a "period" feel which I like but only occasionally.
  8. Thanks, Anthony. I'd like more explanation of what you see as the differences and maybe the "degree" of differences between the two.
  9. The Tele Elmar is sharper and more contrasty - a crisper more modern look. The Hektor is softer and gives - I think - more atmosphere to the picture. That is personal because others looking at a print simply decide if they like it.
  10. I just love the old Leica lenses, and the 135mm Hektor 1:4.5 is one of my favorites -- a mint one can be had for app. $100.00
  11. The difference in "fingerprint" is quite obvious: Compared with the TE, which is sharp and contrasty all over the image even wide open, the Hektor is quite soft anywhere but in the middle of the frame and has visibly lower contrast wide open, slowly improving when stopping it down.
  12. One other telephoto worthy of mention is the 135mm F/4.0 Elmar, although not the equal of TE, it is vastly superior to 135 hektor, it is superbly sharp at F/5.6 to f/11 and not very expensive.

  13. I agree the Elmar is a superior lens to the Hektor. The Elmar produces beautiful images particularly portraits, but resolution and contrast-wise cannot compare to the TE which is a superb lens by any standards, the current Apo-Telyt included. Certainly if you are looking for a lens that produces shots that look different form the TE then both the Elmar and the Hektor are those lenses. Personally I would pick the Elmar as it is 1/2 stop faster and only a little more expensive.

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