Leica Showcase Leica 5cm F1.5 Summarit-M

Alex

Rookie
Dec 2, 2012
United States
Alex
I don't know the size of the ball bearing...However, I have a leica hektor 135mm and so I'm going to try to use the ball bearing from that in the summarit and if it works, I'll take it to a camera repair shop and see if they have one. Is it the same thing with the shim....acquired from "now parts lenses"?

Thx for the advice on the FD 50 1.4...I don't own one but I'll know if I ever do. However, its funny you mention FL lenses, because I have the opportunity to buy a 58 1.2 FL with a stuck aperture. The seller is planning to send it in for repair and factor this into her quote for the lens; however, if the repair charge raises the cost too much I may just offer something for the lens and then plan to operate on it myself given my recent experience with stuck aperture rings. Are the FL lenses easy to work with?
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
I've uploaded the pictures for the disassembly and modification for wide-open/close-focus. There are very few tutorials on this lens, so I've made it a "Sticky".
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
i love this lens, it has real character. i'll take making memorable images over biting sharpness every time, though i think she's plenty sharp. here are a few from my rd1:

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rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
not sure why the second and third photos are x'ed out. they are/were there initially and when i hit 'edit'. but then theyre gone!
 

Raid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
One of these days, I will let Brian take a look at my "soft(er) focus Summarit". Don Goldberg had it, but he decided not to change anything it and to keep it as a soft(er) focus lens.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
i just want to caution, these lenses were made at a time when sharpness across all apertures was not de rigueur. rather the philosophy was that the photographer would use different apertures to create different looks, a very sharp look being just one tool in the chest. imo, with this understanding, this is not a 'soft' lens. my version is as sharp as i want it from f4-8, and nicely sharp for the kind of portraits i personally like at 2.8. if you want biting sharpness at every aperture, no thats not what this lens was intended to accomplish. that does not mean it does not provide great sharpness, and it is certainly not a 'soft focus' lens as we commonly understand that term. to me the wonder of these types of lenses is that they are not 'one trick ponies', but do a number of things very well, and do them with a unique character.

having said that, because the 'soft coatings' previously discussed can get pretty scratchy, and add to that whatever haze or similar degradation that occurs with a sixty year old optic, any particular copy may indeed now not be capable of the kind of sharpness the lens could produce when new, or could now still produce if, like me, you simply have a 'healthy' copy in your possession.
 
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Raid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
My copy may have some internal problems to result in soft looking images. It gives dreamy looking images. I have seen many images taken with other Summarit lenses, and they are all sharper than my images with my Summarit.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
yeah, thats unfortunately pretty common with this lens given the combo of its age and the soft coating. i was just lucky with mine. ive often said its better to be lucky than good!
 

Raid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
I do not know, Brian, but the lens is too soft for not having something wrong inside it. Do these images look OK to you?



 
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BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
It's amazing how much better a lens performs when the internal haze is cleaned off a surface- that was the issue with the Nokton. With the Summarit, the haze often penetrates the softer coatings. Would like to see it.
 

Fanjan

New Member
Aug 7, 2016
Fanjan Combrink
Hi there

@Brain Thank you for your tut on the Summarit lent. I've got a Summarit 50mm 1.5 of which the f-stop markings do not align. From your pics on disassembly of the lens, and looking at the sub-assemblies myself, it seems that the only way to align the f-stop markings with the aperture ring is to shim the front assembly (as you have done), however this then changes the lens characteristics to my understanding of your post. Currently, when wide open, the aperture ring is about 3mm to the right of the 1.5 f-stop marking, and sits at F11 when fully closed down.

Any advice before I go blindly, albeit cautiously, into the lens any further? Something I'd rather avoid even if I picked up the body and lens for a song.

Having an M3, it makes picture taking even longer as I now have to turn the aperture ring either fully open or closed, then count the stops to my needed f-stop. Albeit I could shoot "Aperture Priority" and only change those every once in a while.
 

BrianS

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
Can you post a picture of the Summarit? There are two type of aperture rings- first type, the numbers stay still and an arrow on the aperture ring turns to point to the F-Stop. Second type- an index dot is stationary and the numbers are on the aperture ring.

For the Second Type: fill in the old index mark and use nail-polish to make a new one. I do this on Jupiter-3's when the focus mount has to be ground down.
 

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