Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/10/22

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Subject: Re: Hektor 135mm /SM
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 11:22:55 -0400

At 10:34 AM 10/22/96 -0400, Charles E. Love, Jr. wrote:

>Yes--I once owned both a very late Hector and its successor,  the 135 f4
>Elmar, which was reputed to be much better (and is much more expensive
>today).  They looked very much alike--and I could see no difference in their
>performance either.  I wonder how they stack up with the current 135 f4
>tele-Elmar (which has been around since 1965).  I also wonder if that lens
>is still competitive with other 135's (though that focal length is not
>popular any more, what with the rise of zooms, so there probably aren't any
>relatively new designs out there).  Mr. Puts, are you listening?--Charlie

I, too, would be quite curious as to Herr Puts' assessment of these lenses.

Both the 4.5/135 Hektor and its successor, the 4/135 Elmar, are long
physically, as both are 'long-focus' lenses and not true telephotos, while
the 4/135 Tele-Elmar IS a true telephoto -- that is, it's length is less
than the focal length, as is also the case for the 4/135 Jupiter-11, for
instance.  I don't believe the 4/135 Elmar in M mount is currently that
expensive:  a good user can be had for under $350, while the Tele-Elmars
tend to run almost twice that.  (For that matter, I have one for sale myself
and haven't had many nibbles.)  This IS now an unhappy focal length, as so
many folks have been told for so long that it is pushing an RF to use that
long a lens, that now they believe it.  I use the 4/135 Tele-Elmar and
2.8/135 Elmarit regularly, and find them both delightful lenses in all regards.

Leica has stated that the current 4/135 has had a slight optical redesign
from the older 1965 design.  My source for this is Eric Welch, and I hope he
is still on board and can quote the statement he posted a year or so back.

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!