Saturday, November 16, 2013

November's Whole Lotta Leica (WLL) Lens - Canon LTM 50mm f1.4

Canon 50mm f1.4 Lens in Leica Thread Mount (LTM)
ca. ~1972
This month's lens is the Canon 50mm f1.4. Some refer to this lens as the "Japanese Summilux." I won't deliberate on whether that's deserved or not. I will say this is one sharp lens. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if it competes well with a Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 from the same era. I don't have a 50mm Summilux, so I can't say for certain.
I have to use a LTM-M mount adapter to use this on my M9; that's no problem at all. They work beautifully, and I've never had a problem with focus shift or anything else when using the adapters.
This lens has an odd filter size of 48mm. When I used it on my Leica M8, which required a UV/IR filter, I bought a step-up ring, which allowed me to use a 49mm (much more common size) filter. I still have the adapter on there today, so that I can use a 49mm lens cap. The one I have on there now is a Pentax cap. So, I have a Canon lens mounted to my Leica M9 body, with a Pentax cap. Quite the mix.
My copy is a version II, and was made sometime around 1972. I bought it for around $300, and they normally go for $300-$400 on the used market.
The original Canon hoods for these lenses are difficult to find. I have seen them listed for $100 or more, which is simply ridiculous. Last year when I went to Japan, I went to a weekend flea market. There was not a lot of camera gear there, and what I did find was expensive. However, I did find a little leather case marked "Canon" at one of the stalls. Opening it up, I could not believe my eyes - there was the exact hood that I needed. One thousand yen (~$13 at the time) later, and it was mine. Very lucky.
Anyway, I'll use this lens as my standard lens in November and share the results with you. Results coming soon!