Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/12

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Subject: [Leica] New M6 Owner what first lens
From: Mark Langer <>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 13:17:31 -0500
References: <>


Different people have different standards about the meaning of a budget lens.  I'll assume that you want something under a couple of hundred dollars.  My choices would be these screwmounts.

1)  Jupiter 3 50mm f1.5  This is the Soviet knock-off of the classic Zeiss Sonnar designed for the Contax.  As with any Soviet glass, sample variation is a huge consideration, but if you get a good one, it is a great lens.  I used one as my standard lens on a M Leica until recently
buying a fairly new Summicron.  The Jupiter still sees some service.  A good one will set you back considerably under $100 on eBay, and if it doesn't perform as well as you like, just sell it there for what you paid for it and buy another one.

2)  Industar 55.  This is a 50mm f3.5 lens that is comparable to a red scale Elmar.  The earlier Industar 22 is a nice lens, but it won't cost you any more to get the improved later version.  It would be hard to spend more than $40 to get a good example, and often you get a Zorki or
Fed thrown in as part of the deal.  So don't just search under Industar on eBay, but under Fed and Zorki, as the lens alone often sells for as much as the lens and camera.

3)  Going a bit upscale, you can't go wrong with a nice clean Summitar.  This is a collapsible LTM lens, although more bulky than the Industar.  Performance is darn close to an early Summicron for a fraction of the price.  Downside is a bizarre tapered filter thread.  Make sure that
you get a coated postwar version of this lens that stops down to f16 and not the wartime version that doesn't stop down as much.  You should be able to get a good example of a Summitar for under $200.

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