Leica Showcase Leica 50mm f/1.5 Xenon

Mr_Flibble

Top Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
The Lowlands
Rick
The screws on the front ring only hold the aperture numbers ring in place as I recall.
The whole front lens group should unscrew like with the summitar.

You can remove the aperture ring screws and ring itself without the blades coming out. I recall there is an inner ring with set-screws in there holding the blades in place (The blades are not overly difficult to replace if they do fall out)

The focus ring should unscrew from the part holding the focus tab if you take out the set screw. It needed a bit of force initially to get it to turn

This is mine (one less knurled ring on the focus ring) showing the set screw on the ring
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Raid- the Xenon arrived Monday- picked it up for $400 on Ebay.

Rick- Thankyou, that is what I was looking for. So, the front group should unscrew leaving the aperture blades exposed, and gives access to the front element and middle doublet.

The front surface on this one is very clean, some spotty haze behind it. I would like to get this one as good as possible for comparisons with the Summarit.
 

Mr_Flibble

Top Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
The Lowlands
Rick
Yes, the front lens group unscrews as a unit, giving you access to the aperture blades and the front surface of the second lens group.

If you want to get the second lens group out you'll need access to those service openings under the focus ring to lock the rear section in place. This allows you to unscrew the group. That'll leave you with only the rear lens element in the lens tube inside the mount.

With the focus ring off, you'll also have access to the internal ring with 3 set screws that stop the lens tube from rotate freely in the mount.
 

Raid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
This is the one that I saw when I asked about the price here, Brian.
See my Oct 4 post: "What is current market value for a Xenon?"
I had just done an ebay search for a Xenon, and this one was by far the cheapest!

I am very happy that you and not someone else got it, Brian.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
thanks for the tip- using a rubber grip for the front, was able to get the front section off to get in between the front element and doublet. The splotchy-haze, maybe dry condensation- came off easily. The glass is uncoated, but has a nice bloom to it. I had a spare Tiffen #611 retaining ring, used for series VI filters. Much easier than finding filters for the Summarit, which I have a couple of. Nice yellow filter on it, a Canon Hood- will try the Xenon out on the Monochrom.
 

Mr_Flibble

Top Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
The Lowlands
Rick
I've managed to put a Summarit Y1 filter on the front before, it's rather tight. but it works.
Still looking for an affordable Xenon lens cap ;)
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
this lens is optimized for F1.5 across the full distance range.

F1.5 at 1m,

Leica Xenon 5cm F1.5, Wartime

Distance, F1.5

Leica Xenon 5cm F1.5, Wartime

at F4:

Leica Xenon 5cm F1.5, Wartime

View attachment 8713Leica Xenon 5cm F1.5, Wartime

My first impression: This lens is not "just an uncoated Summarit"...It is optimized for F1.5 at close-focus, the Summarit is optimized for F2.8 at close-focus. The Xenon looks good at distance at F1.5, as does the Summarit. The Summarit is a 51.1mm focal length, and the focus-shift allows it to be in focus close-up at F2.8 and infinity at F1.5. The circular aperture of the Summarit produces beautiful Bokeh, but also maximizes focus shift. The Hexagonal pattern of the Xenon minimizes focus shift, much as the odd pattern used by Zeiss with the post-war West-German Sonnar and modern C-Sonnar.

I'll pull the optics module from the focus mount, will be interested to see of a focal length is scribed on it. I also want to clean the other surfaces, they are decent- but a cleaning will not hurt.
 

Mr_Flibble

Top Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
The Lowlands
Rick
Very recognizable results. So the glow is inherent to the design, not due to the poor glass or soddy maintenance on mine . Interesting and good to know.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
This lens has 7 elements in 5 groups, and is uncoated! That 10 surfaces to produce reflection and reduce contrast.

I have some spare elements from a parts Summarit. If the elements turn out to be identical, I might try swapping some temporarily. The individual elements of the Summarit are marked as to power.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I spent a few hours at the Marine Museum at Quantico today, brought the Xenon, a 1934 Sonnar, a 1936 Sonnar, the M9 and M Monochrom. I will be doing a comparison of the Xenon and Sonnar. I feel the Xenon is at it's best now, after cleaning the glass on each side of the aperture. This lens performs better than I thought it would- especially in color. For Monochrom- I put an orange filter on it and on the 1936 Sonnar. Did a lot of shots with each lens at F1.5 and F4.

This is wide-open,



and F4,

 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
On the M monochrom- Orange filter,

Wide-Open





For Monochrom- I go with deep yellow or orange; for this lens- Orange seems best. Worked out for these shots.

The color rendering on this lens reminds me of the Summar, like shooting Kodachrome 10- colors are "understated". Nice for a lot of situatons.
 

Mr_Flibble

Top Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
The Lowlands
Rick
A couple from Santa-Fe 2015 event in Liberty Park, Overloon.
Leica IIIc, Xenon 50 f/1.5 and Fomapan 100

1. No.5 AFPU photographer
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2. Close Shave
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3. POWs
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4. Hurry up and wait
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