Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/07/16

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Subject: Re: Looking for an M-4P and Summicron.
From: "C.M. Fortunko" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 22:51:47 -0600

I agree with Marc Small. There is quite a bit of heresay on this board.

I happen to have the new-design 35mm Summicron. I noticed that this lens has
a tendency to flare. In spite of this, I like the lens very much.

I don't have any experience with the Summilux. I know that Hicks loves them.
However, in one of his books he points out that one of his Summiluxes was a dog.

On the subject of computer design of lenses. Computers have been in use for
a long time. Even before the war, people used various mechanical computers
and tabulating machines. In good hands, these gave wonderful results.

I am not a big fan of computers. They can produce wonderful results in the
hands of capable people. However, their indiscriminate use can lead to real
nonsense. A good engineer should be able to design both ways. The computer
should be an aid, but its results must be validated.

I don't know how to design lenses, but can design various ultrasonic and
vibration transducers. I can tell you that many of the best designs were
arrived at in the 50's by people who really understood the limits of the

Best regards,


At 11:44 PM 7/16/96 -0400, you wrote:
>At 08:32 PM 7/16/96 -0400, Charles E. Love, Jr. wrote:
>>Claude--The old 35 Summilux (very recently discontinued) was, a friend at
>>Leitz tech services told me, by far the poorest of the current M lenses.
>>The design is so old, he said, that it was the last of their lenses designed
>>without the help of a computer!  Optically, it remained the same from the
>>time it was introduced in 1961!  (See Rogliatti for confirmation.) 
>Well, Leitz designed all Wetzlar-produced lenses from 1949 onwards by
>computer, so I seriously suspect your friend hadn't a clue as to what was
>going on -- see Rogliatti, as you snippily advise, for confirmation.
>Second, instead of passing on some stale hearsay -- have you ever USED one
>of these?  They work and, as Roger Hicks smuggly points out, at f/1.4 they
>blow the doors of the f/2 Summicron.
>In any event, if you like the Summicron, try the FIRST generation lens, the
>eight-element jobby.  Quite possibly you'll not be happy with the current
>version thereafter.
>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
>Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!

C.M. Fortunko, Ph.D.
Group Leader, Materials Characterization (853.05)
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80303

Voice phone:(303)497-3062      FAX:(303)497-5030