Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Leica Thambar - Exclusive, Unique, Beautiful Imperfection

I've heard of the Leica Thambar lens before. That's about all I could say about it before taking a little interest in it this morning.
Here's what sparked my interest - a post by awslee on Rangefinder Forum.
Image Source: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143874

(Click Here) to see the post and more images.
The Thambar is a screw mount (LTM), 90mm f2.2 lens. Made in the 1930s to respond to the need for a portrait lens that wasn't too sharp, the Thambar certainly delivered. The lens relies on uncorrected optics to render interesting, soft backgrounds. It also uses a reflective spot filter to change the effect near the center of the image.
(Click Here) to read the best description I've found of the Thambar, on the Leica Barnack Berek blog.
The Thambar is one of those very special lenses, one that you probably wouldn't put in your bag very often. Couple that with the scarcity (only a few thousand were made, and now about 80 years ago), and the likelihood of my ever owning a Thambar is reduced to near zero. But boy, would it be fun to try one out.
Hmm. I bet someone in the LHSA (International Leica Society) has one. Any of my friends there want to lend me their Thambar for a few hours?