Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/05/05

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Subject: [Leica] Re: 35 mm LTM lens
From: lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin)
Date: Sat May 5 09:31:13 2007
References: <>

On May 5, 2007, at 12:01 PM, lDaniel wrote:

> I am toying with the idea of picking up a compact 35mm lens for a  
> Leica
> IIIf or IIIc. The way photography is working out, I end up using a
> digital outfit for quite a lot, but want to have a 400 b/w body along
> for the ride. The screwmount Leicas work out nicely for this and the
> 50/3.5 Elmar is a good companion.
> I'd like a 35 mm that compares with the collapsed Elmar when it  
> comes to
> size and that leads me to these two lenses (in the subject line).
> I would expect that the 35/3.5 Elmar is not much of a performer. I've
> never really heard anyone saying much good about it (not much bad
> either). I suppose that it is a piece of glass reflecting its day  
> and age.
> Anyway, if anyone has experiences with these, I'd appreciate  
> hearing it.
> I know about watching for haze and stuff like that.


I have both the 35 mm Elmar and a 35 mm f.2.8 Canon LTM. I used to  
have a 35 mm f3.5 Summaron in a LTM mount. The Elmar lens is truly  
tiny, protruding less than 1/3" from the camera body. If you want  
vintage era photographs, this is it. Stop down to f8 and the whole  
frame is reasonably sharp. Any wider and you lose definition on the  
edges. If you find a user model, it keeps your Leica kit 1930s era  
authentic. The Summaron is a good performer, on a par with the M  
mount Summaron of later years. It should be. It's the same lens.  
Collecters have driven the price up beyond its photographic value  

My choice for an inexpensive, but good, 35 mm LTM lens is the Canon.  
These are available for about 1/2 the price of their Leica  
counterparts and every bit as good. I've found it equal to, or even  
slightly better, than the Summaron. These lenses originally came with  
fitted case and a decent 35 mm viewfinder. You will need some  
auxiliary viewfinder for the IIIc or IIIf anyway.

None protrudes more than 3/4" from the camera body. Any one will keep  
the camera pocketable. Of course you could always opt for a newer,  
pricier CV or Nikon lens but I doubt that the additional expense  
would be worth it for casual use.

Larry Z