Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another New Feature Column on DMC-365 - Whole Lotta Leica

If you've been following this blog, you'll already know that I'm working on reformatting it for 2013, and adding some new features. If you're a Leica fan, you're going to like this one.
Last year, I purchased the most expensive piece of equipment in my photographic history - a used Leica M9. I did get a nice deal on it, but wow, that was a big buy.
I also have a nice collection of "normal" focal length Leica (or Leica mount) lenses. I'm including anything from say 35-55mm in that group.
So here's the plan. Each month (or so), I'll match up a lens from my collection with the M9 body. The lenses range from being made in the 1930s (!) to modern. I think it will be exciting and informative to see how the old lenses as well as new work on my most modern digital Leica body.
I'm starting this one off with an old standard - a Leica Elmar 5cm (50mm) f3.5 collapsible lens. It came in Leica Thread Mount (LTM), and mounts up just fine with an M adapter to the Leica M9.
My 1938 Leica Elmar 5cm f3.5 LTM Collapsible Lens
This lens was the standard for Leica screwmount cameras for many years. The LTM Elmar 5cm f3.5 was produced from 1930-1950, with over 36,000 units produced. For details about the lens, and links to reviews, please
(Click Here) to go to
This particular copy is pretty beat up. In fact, it's the worst condition Leica lens that I own. You can see the scratches on the front face of the lens. The front element also has some scratches (sometimes referred to as "cleaning marks," these are really just scratches). There is also a little haze in this lens, but not too bad.
The little lever for selecting f-stop (note the old standard f numbers, no f5.6, 8, etc. on this old version) is a fingernail breaker. Mine binds just a little, and is hard to push. The focus movement is also far from smooth. All that said, I have shot with this lens on a film body, and the results were pretty darned good.
Let's see how it does on the M9. Results due in a couple of weeks.
Welcome to the new column - Whole Lotta Leica!
When this gets you motivated, please buy your M9 (or your $7 LTM-M converter, or anything else you buy from Amazon) HERE!