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optical scheme of elmar 3,5 cm f/3.5 lens of thirties

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A classic Tessar: four elements in three groups.


Unlike the 50mm Elmar, it's a true Tessar, since the iris is in the conventional place. The 50mm Elmar has the iris further back in the lens.


The corner sharpness wide open reflects the fact that it's a Tessar, and that stretching a Tessar for a wide-angle application is, well, a stretch.

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I couldn't find a diagram of the 35mm f/3.5 Elmar. (I actually had one 50 years ago.) I did find one for the 50mm screw mount Elmar as published in 1954. The first element is a plano convex crown glass lens followed by the aperture diaphragm. Next is a double concave flint lens, then an achromat planoconcave cemented to a double convex lens. That's a surprising place for the aperture stop, though it may have reduced the distortion at the expense of fall-off.

As John suggested, it is not a good wide angle lens. I had to stop mine down smaller than f/4.5 to get rid of the severe vignetting, and much more to get really good quality images. Eventually I traded it off for a 35mm f/3.5 Summaron. Very good!

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I note that some 75 years after the original Elmar, the aperture was moved back to the original Tessar location for the "O" Leica, reputed to have the best performing 50mm lens ever tested at PoP.<P>What a pity that Leica chose not to make it available separately.
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