Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/06/13

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Subject: Re: 50mm Elmar
From: Bob Sperling <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 21:15:35 -0400

At 10:44 AM 6/13/96 PDT, you wrote:
>At 09:09 AM 13/06/96 -0500, you wrote:

>>Bob, the camera was described to me when I got it in the 1960s from a 
>>photographer friend in DC who was dying and wanted to liquidate his gear 
>>so his wife wouldn t have to. He said he thought it was a 1936 or 1937 
>>model, Leica Standard. It is #296703.  There is the small O on the lens 
>>flange. What does that O mean?  
>Leica's made in 1930 and early 1931 were not standardised for the lens mount
>to film plane distance, and lenses that matched a given camera body were
>marked (usually scratched inside the lens barrel, but sometimes engraved)
>with the last three digits of the camera body. 
>Starting in 1931, the lens mount to film plane distance was fixed at 28.8mm.
>and cameras that met that standard had the 'O' engraved at the top of the
>lens mount. Thus, your camera will fit all "standard" screw mount lenses.
Fred:  Further on this.  Early Elmars that has been standardized (28.8mm)
had the "o" on the BACK of the lens flange.  Later the "o" is on the spot
just above the focus knob.  An Elmar without a serial number that is
standardized is an early lens that as been standardized after originally
marketed.  The Elmars with 3 or sometimes 5 serial numbers on the lens mount
are not serial numbers for the lens.  These lenses were matched to early
model C cameras. The numbers are either the last three numbers of the camera
serial number, actually, all five of the serial number of the camera.  A
matched pair, or set, is considered very collectable.