If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I have been having quite the experience with a Leica IIIF I purchased from KEH. To get the whole story you can check out these articles here. In the meantime, I had purchased a Summitar 50mm f2 collapsible lens for the IIIF.
At first, I was using my Canon LTM lenses with the IIIF until I could figure out if it was a camera I wanted to own in my collection. Despite all the troubles I was having, I eventually knew I would want one in my collection. Whether that would be from KEH or somewhere else is a different story for a different article to come.
Summitar 50mm f2
I’ve been searching for a Leica screw mount lens for a while now, and I read that it wasn’t easy to find one that didn’t have fungus or haze, and the glass tends to be extremely delicate on these older LTM lenses.
I regularly kept an eye on KEH, but the LTM lenses they had were always graded with their Ugly grade. That meant it was in rough shape and couldn’t be returned. So lens after lens I passed on until finally a Summitar 50mm f2 collapsible lens came up with a bargain grade. I couldn’t pass it up.
Keep in mind, I bought this before the issue with my IIIF was discovered so literally as the lens was coming in the mail, I was returning the first copy of the IIIF I got from KEH. Again you can read those details in other articles.
I started to get really discouraged and had to really decide if I wanted one of these cameras. If not, would I keep the lens and use it on my Canon 7, or just send it back?
When it arrived, I was thrilled to see it was in beautiful condition, and the glass was clear. The only issue was the aperture was extremely stiff, which I read is common with this lens. However, after researching, I decided to wipe a small amount of Ronsonol in the crack between the aperture and the lens barrel. This immediately loosened it up.
Now I know this is only a temporary fix, and the fact that it was stuck in the first place means it needs a good CLA. However, after all the time and money I’ve put into this setup, its just not an option at the moment.
Should I Keep the Summitar 50mm f2?
So to keep or not to keep? Once I developed this test roll, I immediately fell for this lens. The depth of field, and softness it seems to give its subjects is not like anything I’ve ever seen with lenses I own. It seems to be a vintage look that only a vintage lens can give, or maybe I’m just blinded by love haha.
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In the end, I’ve decided to keep this lens. After experiencing the difficulty of finding one in this nice of cosmetic condition, I wasn’t willing to send it back. I love how compact it is when compared to the large Canon 50mm lens I was using before, and as I mentioned, I love the character it brings to a composition. So, for now, this is the lens that will live on my Leica IIIF.
What do you think of this lens? Do you have a favorite LTM lens? Let me know in the comments.
To buy your own Summitar 50mm f2 from Ebay click here.
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