Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/11/04

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Subject: [Leica] Rose Scollard and the Visoflex
From: marcsmall at (Marc James Small)
Date: Sat Nov 4 19:18:53 2006
References: <> <002001c7004b$46408850$6500a8c0@klus> <> <000d01c70081$1e8b1100$6500a8c0@klus>

At 09:21 PM 11/4/2006, Rose Scollard wrote:
>wow - that's a lot of variables!!!!  thanks for the link.  David


There are hundreds of adapters for Visoflex, many 
of them not readily known as they were marketed 
through the microscope side of Leitz and not 
through the camera dealers.  To complicate the 
issue, Leitz used three different sets of 
catalogue codes -- the alphic one such as OUBIO 
used into the 1960's and the current numeric code 
(which has several permutations, but let that one 
rest for now!).  In addition, Leitz was beginning 
to convert to yet a third system, numeric, when 
the Second World War broke out, which forced them 
to stay with the alphic system they had been 
using.  Still, catalogues and the like from the 
late 1930's list both the alphic code and the 
numeric code from this abortive system.  This 
switchover complicates things more than a bit, as 
many of the adapters were in production from the 
late 1930's to the untimely and unseemly death of 
the Visoflex system in 1984.  I have been 
compiling a list of Visoflex adapters for the 
past decade and I would guess that it is only 
about half done, as I have yet to work my way 
through the process of acquiring and analyzing the microscope catalogues.

There were two basic families of Leitz reflex 
housings.  First came the PLOOT, in two versions, 
and the Visoflex I, which could be had in both 
LTM and M BM.  This had an optical registration 
of 62.5mm (that is, it required lenses with a 
back-focus which could accomodate the camera's 
depth plus this distance -- that is, 28.5mm + 
62.5mm, for a total back-focus of  91mm.  (The 
lenses stayed the same:  M mount Viso I's were 
actually 63.5mm in depth, as the depth of an M 
camera is 1mm less than the LTM bodies to allow 
the use of lens adapters of 1mm thickness.)  Then 
came the Viso II, IIa (two versions, yet again), 
and III, which only had a depth of 
40mm.  Something had to make up that 22.5mm 
difference, and the OUBIO was the solution, as it 
is, essentially, a 22.5mm spacer.

Later Visoflex lenses were made a bit longer to 
accomodate this.  I suspect there are exceptions, 
but a good working hypothesis is to check on how 
the lens is marked:  if it is in cm, it requires 
as OUBIO and, if it is marked in mm, it does 
not.  But that is a working hypothesis I just, as 
Mark Rabiner might say, just worked out in my 
head, and I've not checked all my Viso lenses to 
be certain of this -- I just strongly suspect this to be the case.

There is a lot of Visoflex knowledge on the LUG, 
and a bit of Visoflex deriding, as well.  Bear 
with it:  the Visoflex allows all sorts of 
flexibility with a Leica camera, such as macro 
work (20X enlargements, for instance) and tele 
work -- I can readily adapt my M6 to one of my 
telescopes and get a 2100mm long-focus lens!  It 
is a system well worth learning.

Ask, and we shall do our best to answer.

Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!

Replies: Reply from editor at (Rose Scollard) ([Leica] Rose Scollard and the Visoflex)
In reply to: Message from vick.ko at (Vick Ko) ([Leica] Visoflex III fixed)
Message from editor at (Rose Scollard) ([Leica] Visoflex III fixed)
Message from jbcollier at (John Collier) ([Leica] Visoflex III fixed)
Message from editor at (Rose Scollard) ([Leica] Visoflex III fixed)