Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/08/16

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Subject: [Leica] Unusual LTM lens
From: Mark Langer <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 11:10:24 EDT

I opened up the Olympus 4cm f2.8 lens to clean out some schmutz between the
elements and it is a classic Tessar-type configuration -- two front
elements, diaphragm and a cemented doublet behind.  So the "C" cannot stand
for three lens elements.  I suspect it stands for "Coated" given the age of
the lens.  The lens does couple properly to the rangefinder of a Leica.

I've been trying to glean information about this on the internet, but
there is little to be found.  The best I can figure is that 4 cm f2.8 was
made between 1949 and 1952 -- the dates between when the company took the
name on the lens, and when Japanese equipment was still being labelled
"Made in Occupied Japan."  It appears that no more than 2000 of these were
made, and that my example was manufactured later in the production run.  This
is a very well made chrome over brass lens, with a massive black finished
brass rangefinder cam.  The styling of the lens is quite clearly influenced
by Leica, looking like a cross between the 35mm Elmar and the 35mm
Summaron.  I suspect that this lens is the same formula that was later
available on the Olympus 35 Vb.  In no way is the construction of this
lens inferior to its contemporaries at Leica, Canon or Nikon as far as I
can see.  The accessory finder is quite heavy for its size, and is a matte
chrome over brass.  It is consistent with the construction of other Olympus
cameras of the time and reminiscent of the hefty accessory shoe on a Chrome

Any idea where I can contact Olympus experts who might know more about
this lens?

This little beauty is one of the reasons why I find collecting and using
the older LTM equipment to be irresistable.  Infinite variety and all
sorts of unexpected gems keep cropping up.


> Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 20:47:22 +0200
> From: "E. van Ginkel" <>
> Subject: Re: [Leica] Unusual LTM lens
> Message-ID: <000801c125ba$ba510060$8a7a74d5@sky>
> References: <200108151340.JAA00117@rideau.YP.nobel>
> Mark,
> AFAIK Olympus used the alphabet to indicate the number of lenses used in a
> lens. Its a simple indication of the number of lenses used: A=1, B=2, C=3,
> D=4 etc.
> So a C Zuiko will have three lenses. The changes are that your lens is a
> simple triplet.
> OIC mayby Optical Instruments Co.??
> regards,
> E. van Ginkel

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Mark Langer

Email address:
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