Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/04/09

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Subject: Re: 50mm Summilux versions?????
From: (Henning J. Wulff)
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 09:32:48 -0700 (PDT)

Marc James Small wrote:
>The Summilux was originally a renamed Summarit.  The lens was optically
>reconfigured at 1,844,001 in 1961.  The mount was changed several times
>thereafter, including the 1992 change to the inbuilt lenshood, but the
>optical formula has remained unchanged for the past 36 years.

Actually, around 1965-66 the Summilux went from chrome to black, and at
about the same time the two elements just in front of the diaphragm
separated, and the two rear elements got glued together. More importantly,
the quality went up significantly. The first Summilux up to 1965 did have a
construction quite similar to the Summarit, but not identical. The latter
optical design is still in use. The change would have happened around the
2,100,000 mark, even though some books mention the 1844001 number. I don't
know. I have a July,1967 catalog which still shows the chrome lens.

Most of this I got from my pile of books, but they seem to agree, except
for the serial number thing, which I'm not particularly up on. Since I
never actually got out my hacksaw to investigate, this is all second hand,
but the jump in quality I can definitely vouch for. I never met a chrome
Summilux I liked, even though it was noticeably better than any Summarit I

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