Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/02/21

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Subject: [Leica] A question for Ted, our God of Speed.
From: jbcollier at (John Collier)
Date: Mon Feb 21 09:29:33 2005
References: <>

The Hektor is an OK lens for straight photography: quite soft wide open 
with the usual improvements when stopping down. Where it really shines 
is when used stopped down on a viso/bellows. It is an excellent M 
"macro" lens and that is all I use mine for.

For general shooting the 135/4 Tele-Elmar is stunning performer from 
wide open right the way through the aperture range. According to Erwin 
the 135/3.4 APO is ever so slightly better but I can't see any 
difference on slides I have seen. The T-E is a light, pocketable lens 
handy to have about when a little more reach is required and you are 
only carrying M cameras.

The 135/2.8 Elmarit-M (second version) is a very good lens. Not as 
sharp as the T-E or APO wide open but not too bad. Typical of long 
f/2.8 lenses of the period with the usual pleasant "Leitz" rendition 
wide open as opposed to the more "clinical" rendition of the Japanese 
lenses (with the exception of the 105/2.5). Mind you the 135/2.8E-M is 
a huge lens on an M. I only use mine in indoor/lowlight situations -- 
read: seldom.

John Collier

On 21-Feb-05, at 10:06 AM, wrote:

> Ted,
> You just saved me a sizeable chunk of change. You confirmed what I 
> found in my limited experience with a 135mm on an M body.
> I bought a 135mm Hektor as an experiment I shot a test roll. It was 
> adequate. I probably used it twice more in two years. The third time 
> took it off the shelf, I found that its aperature leaves had become 
> all confused and bound up, giving it a max aperature of f/8. The only 
> positive aspect to my Hektor test was that I parted it out on that 
> auction site and kept my net loss to about $50. It's amazing what 
> people will pay for a 39mm Leitz UV filter and a silver lens cap, not 
> to mention a lens that clearly advertised as non-functional.
> ------------------------------------------------
> Ted, The Taunting Didactic replied:
> Howdy Chris,
> Seems you're first. ;-)
>> Ted, here's my question. If you have or use an M-series 135mm lens, 
>> which
>> one is it? Why that particular lens? Does it hold up well when 
>> thumping
>> dullards who get in your way? <<<
> I had a 135mm M lens for one assignment back in the '70's because I 
> required
> to be as quiet as possible and yet have some reach, so it was the 135
> Elmarit-m 2.8.  Hated the lens everytime I had it in hand and to my 
> eye!
> Simply because 135 is too long for the M body and viewfinder viewing. 
> And
> that's whatever model Leica make new or old. As soon as the shoot was 
> over
> in a month I sold it at a loss just to get rid of it.
> The longest M lens I use is a 90 Summicron  f 2.0, a razor blade sharp
> negative cutter. However, I rarely use it unless I absolutely have to. 
> I
> prefer anything longer than 50mm to be on an R body of some kind. If 
> for
> some reason I required a 135 for the M today I'd look for a used same 
> old
> 135 Elmarit-m 2.8. Why? Because it's faster than the new Apo-telyt M f 
> 3.4
> and my first choice for any lens is fast first. Regardless of any other
> number or technical factors.
> And yes the 135 Elmarit-m 2.8. is solidly made and a good thumping 
> lens if
> necessary. ;-) Although I'd not recommend lens thumping. ;-)
> I hope this answer works for you,

Replies: Reply from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] A question for Ted, 135 lens)
In reply to: Message from mcyclwritr at ( ([Leica] A question for Ted, our God of Speed.)