Leica Canon 5cm F2 Serenar and Nikkor-HC 5cm F2 on the M9, at the Marine Museum.

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Some walk-around shots at the Marine Museum at Quantico, dropped Nicole off to class and got about 2 hours of visiting the Museum and taking a walk around the outside memorials. Great place to visit, and the most of the characters and lighting is repeatable.

This Canon 5cm F2 is much better than I thought it would be. It's a classic 1-2-2-1 double Gauss, like the Leica Summar. The diameter of the elements is wider, ~27mm for the Summar and ~30mm for the Serenar. The diameter is close to the Summitar, which in addition to the wider-diameter elements split the front element into a cemented pair. The wider elements reduce vignetting at the corners of the image, more noticeable as color films became popular in the late 1930s- as per the "Leica Manual" by Morgan and Lester.

Comparison with the Summar and Summitar will be for another day.

Today- it's Canon vs Nikon, battle of the 5cm F2's. The difference- Canon quickly moved from the F2 lens to F1.9 and then F1.8. Nikon kept the F2 Sonnar based lens in the line-up throughout the Rngefinder era. I took a relatively early 5cm F2 Rigid, left the 5cm F2 collapsible at home. Next time- the collapsible Nikkor and Canon were manufactured very close to each other.

Some shots at Base ISO-

Canon 5cm F2, wide-open:

Marine Museum, Quantico
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Nikkor 5cm F2 wide-open:

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Cranked up to ISO 2500 for the Korea display. Both lenses made at that time.

Canon wide-open,
Marine Museum, Quantico
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Nikkor, wide-open.

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The Nikkor has a double-helical, the optics do not rotate as you focus. The Canon is a single-helical, rotating optics. The 50/1.9 Serenar has non-rotating optics, the collapsible Nikkor 5cm F2 also has non-rotating optics.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Canon wide-open, ISO2500

Marine Museum, Quantico
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Nikkor, wide-open, ISO2500

Marine Museum
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The Canon has less field curvature, field-curvature on the Nikkor is towards the camera at the edges- why the bricks are sharper. The Canon has more residual astigmatism, more "Swirlies"- much like a Summitar due to the larger front element.

I'll do some shots comparing the F2 and F1.9 Serenar. I believe the single-helical meant that it had to be redesigned to compete with Nikon. "and while we're at it", let's one-up on the Maximum F-Stop. But- after two days of shooting with the lens, it's a good performer. They are rare, this one needed a CLA and a new release button. But for $50 at this weekend's Photorama show- VERY Happy with it. Also picked up the 50/1.9 for the same...
 
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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
It is rare- I've read that less than 1400 were made, but SN's go to 21900 or so, start at 20000 is my guess. Some were made in Canon mount, so maybe 1400 in Leica mount.

It's a good lens, I'll be comparing with the Summar and Summitar. The interior surfaces were very clean, I popped the front section off of it and cleaned each side the the aperture- just a little haze at the edges, now gone. I have two 5cm F1.9's, both very clean- will throw those into the test as well.
 

SParis

Rookie
Sep 5, 2017
1
Beverly Hills, Michigan
Scott Paris
I'd like to see that. As I mentioned, I had an f1.9 that was awful, but I think it was damaged. I'd like to see what a good one looks like. They're usually not expensive, but 50 bucks is a steal.
Just bought a really nice DR Summicron for about 10 times the cost of your Canon. And a bargain at that, I think. Seller said there was a scratch on the front, but I can't find it, even with a flashlight.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
View by series - Canon Camera Museum

An interesting sidenote: The Canon 5cm f2 Serenar is the first lens made by Canon in the Leica 39mm mount. The earlier 5cm F3.5 was made for the Canon S, which used 24TPI.
I suspect that the 5cm f2 was made in both Canon Mount and Leica Mount, which would explain the difference between SN range and numbers stated to be in Leica mount.

There are very few examples of photographs taken with this lens.
 

SParis

Rookie
Sep 5, 2017
1
Beverly Hills, Michigan
Scott Paris
A Serenar 50mm f2 sold recently for US$565.00. This was an auction, not a Buy-it-Now; there were 27 bids, so this is probably a legitimate price.
There are two others for sale now for $435 and $799, but those are BIN asking prices.
 

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