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Showcase Leica 50mm f/1.5 Summarit

Discussion in 'Leica' started by Mr_Flibble, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I picked up a crusty Summarit with 1950s serial number for a fair price last week.
    The front element is pretty scratched up and has two small pits in it. Looks like somebody dragged it along a gravel pathway.
    The aperture ring was binding quite a bit and really didn't like being disassembled.

    The sequence of taking it apart is similar yet differs in some important places from the Leitz Xenon.

    I took it apart, washed the grime of some parts, cleaned up the threads and lubricated them with fresh rifle grease.
    After cleaning the lens surfaces I took a fine-line pen and filled in the pits in the front element with some ink.

    Sunday it was time to mount it on the M-E, put a XOONS hood on it, and take it with me for a walk to see if this was such a flare and glow monster people make it out to be....

    ST170906.
    M9 Digital Camera    ---       f/4.0    1/60s    ISO 200


    ST170908.
    M9 Digital Camera    ---       f/2.0    1/125s    ISO 200


    ST170911.
    M9 Digital Camera    ---       f/9.5    1/350s    ISO 200


    ST170916.
    M9 Digital Camera    ---       f/4.0    1/1000s    ISO 200


    Verdict: Guarded from stray light it's actually a nice performer. The glow is there, on par with my Xenon. Guess I'll have to try it with some B/W film now.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    That looks great! I have two Summarits- one is fussing about the barrel coming out of the focus mount. I need to make a small tool to hold in place, my usual screwdriver through the access port "SNAPPED"!
     
  3. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Someone suggested using a paperclip in the service opening. I had my trusty 1mm clock-maker screwdriver for that.

    I probably need to take my Summarit apart once more, though. The 3 screws that hold the lens barrel in place are not seated deep enough, so I cannot turn the cover ring to the other 3 screw holes. Shouldn't be too hard to fix.
     
  4. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    The paperclip will be too soft for this particular lens. I think something "like" a Thumbtack, with the tip cut so you can grab the focus mount with a rubber band over the tack, pushing down, and then unscrewing the barrel. the other 5 Summarits that I took apart worked with the screwdriver.
     
  5. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Manage to turn the ring with a little force. The 3 cover screws are now in their spots. Lens is ready to go.
    Might risk giving the front element a little polish. But at this point I'm not really seeing any point as the images look okay.

    It looks pretty sexy sitting with its pre-war twin
    21686754_1450554268326259_5611114930418435613_o.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    I found some old, heavily made thumbtacks in the Lab- will trim them down and put rubber on the inside. I'm betting this will work.

    The Summarit and Xenon look great together- both highly under-rated, probably due to people not cleaning out haze before using.
     
  7. Raid

    Raid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    My old Summarit may have internal challenges and not haze. It provides lovely looking portraits with a soft focus resemble.
     
  8. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    If you like it- that's what is important.

    But we could take it part next time I am down...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Raid

    Raid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    That would be great! Let's do this.
     
  10. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    It's a long story on how I ended up with a new Summarit- this one was the most stubborn lens that I've had to take apart to get at inner haze. It's a fairly late run LTM lens with an M-Mount adapter epoxied on. It cleaned up nicely, focus is a little stiff- which is promably why the adapter is fixed in place. Optically, it's as good as the LTM Summarit that is making it's way around the world. Cosmetically, it looks almost new.

    I left this one unmodified, with the inner elements in their original configuration. The Summarit is optimized for F2.8 at closest focus, and F1.5 for distance. The focal length is closer to 51.1mm. This helps correct for focus shift- if the lens had been optimized for F1.5 used at minimum focus, and had been 51.6mm as the RF is calibrated, it would focus must past infinity at F4. This is one of the differences between the Summarit and the Xenon. I believe the Hexagonal pattern of the Xenon is to minimize focus shift.

    Just some quick test shots for "me" to calibrate with this lens, and make the point.:

    Wide-Open, focus exactly with the RF aligned, and yes- it's tilted...

    37568421621_3da7cb1ac8_b. Close-Focus w RF by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Wide-Open, slight "fudge-factor" by shifting the RF slightly:

    37536444972_88cf99f1c2_b. Shift slightly by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Now- I AM CALIBRATED TO THIS LENS- and ready to apply the fudge-factor for offsetting the RF ever-so-slightly.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    Took a "Dad's Day Off" yesterday, and the M9 and M Monochrom with 5 lenses to Gunston Hall yesterday.

    Wide-Open, aligned the RF and THEN shift a little towards infinity.

    37568418221_3b2b562d9d_b. Wide-Open by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    At F4, focus is with the RF spot-on.

    37536443202_bfb2f2783a_b. At F4 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  13. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    Nice test for flare. A Clean Summarit should look like this.

    Wide-Open,

    37536444602_0ea0aedf9d_b. Wide-Open by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    At F4.

    37536444472_467e6382db_b. At F4 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Focus is on the edge of the little spout, then framed. Flatness of field is good on this lens.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  14. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  15. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    At F4.

    37568421191_7c89195bff_b. At F4 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Jason Schneider wrote in high regard for the Summarit. Having owned two of them for over a 15 years, they need to be opened up and cleaned about every 10 years. After 15 years- the haze builds back up. If left unchecked- oil that outgasses onto the surfaces on each side of the aperture can get into the coating. If that is the case- best to remove the coating. The front element is fairly soft, and prone to coating damage. It is worth a trip to FocalPoint to have recoated.
     
  16. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I've got mine with me this weekend at the coast with the family. Haven't been able to get the front group unscrewed at all.
     
  17. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    Sometimes you just have to realize that these are 60+ year old objects that refuse to budge. I've seen a little grease act like glue in Jupiters and Sonnars. This one of mine is the most stubborn that I've worked on, the front group unscrewed rather than the whole barrel first time I tried.
     
  18. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Yeah, taking off the outer aperture ring took quite a bit of skin off my fingers. It wasn't until I heated the lens unit to a 100C that the ring budged. Unscrewing the ring with oven mits was also a challenge ;) 
     
  19. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Veteran

    491
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Matsbranding.
    M9 Digital Camera    ---       f/9.5    1/500s    ISO 200


    Desaturated, slight contrast tweak and cropped square. Summarit with XOONS hood on Leica M-E.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
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