Thread: Leica R lenses versions

Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1 Leica R lenses versions 
    So I've decided to "go big" in still terms and assemble a set of Leica R primes for my Scarlet-X. In terms of focal lengths I'll probably going to take Matthew Duclos' set as a reference. I'm not very familiar with Leica line of lenses, so naturally I started digging some info along with searching eBay for the lenses I need. What I discovered is that some lenses have different versions, that were released in different time periods.

    Here are the lenses that have several versions:

    Leica 19mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version
    Leica 19mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version — 1990


    Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 1st version — 1970
    Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-R 2nd version — 1994


    Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 1st version
    Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 2nd version
    Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-R 3rd version — 1997


    I've also discovered ROM versions of some of these lenses on eBay (the ones that have electronic contacts).

    The question is — are there any differences between versions of the same lens except the age of the lens? And is it worth to pay a huge premium (sometimes close to 50%) for a ROM version of the lens if I will still convert it to Canon mount and make it fully manual? Are ROM lenses different from previous versions in terms of glass and mechanics?

    If would be great if Matthew himself could answer these questions, but I'm also asking everyone out there familiar with the matter for help.

    Cheers.
    "Production value!"
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts
    90
    Those different versions often have different 'cam'-systems. You have 1 cam, 2 cam, 3 cam, R only and ROM. Through the years, Leica kept adding cams for the mechanical communication between the body and the lens while new technologies arose (TTL metering, auto-exposure, ....), hence the cams. The R only, has a black collar to prevent putting such a lens on older bodies. Adding a ROM-chip served the purpose of electronic information transfer (aperture, focal lenght) for their R8 and R9 bodies.
    The glass design often stayed the same for a very long time. So it is NOT worth to pay the huge price for a ROM version if you are going to 'cine-converse' the lens.


    The 16 mm and the early 24 mm lenses are made by Minolta and are of Japanese make. Later 24mm lenses were made by Leica, but on basis of the minolta (glass)design. Nevertheless, in all cases, lenses with the Leitz brand on it had to pass severe testing in Wetzlar before they were approved. Up to 85% of the minolta glass was rejected during optical tests. So it is safe to state that all the approved lenses are of Leica qualification and specification.
    ,though not exactly the same.

    I can't remember the year right now, around 1990 I think, all glass was brought out under the Leica name.
    Last edited by Philippe Van Horebeek; 01-06-2012 at 08:03 AM.
    Cinematographer
    Steadicam Operator
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    4,109
    This is not exactly accurate, and the answer is not so simple. While the cam part is correct, there are also several lens design changes which make a huge difference in quality. For example in the OP's example above the 50mm Summilux V1 and V3 and two entirely different lenses and the difference is significant. Same for the 19mm and 28mm lenses...they are different designs with big improvements.
    There is another thread on this topic and I would suggest you start there rather than starting a new topic.

    digitalfx.tv

    The RGBlog- Ramblings about Cameras, VFX, etc.
    Twitter

    Red One #83
    Epic-M #98 and #240
    Epic-X #83 and #116
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Posts
    90
    Greg is right. The answer is not simple and I wasn't accurate. With 'The glass design stayed the sam', I meant that this was often the case when they added ROM contacts.
    As one example, one of there top lenses, R 50mm Summicron 2.0 stayed untouched in it's optical design for 43 years before an aspherical version was brought out in 2004.
    I will correct my post.
    Cinematographer
    Steadicam Operator
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Senior Member Sanjin Jukic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    8,889
    I'll quote one of my posts again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjin Jukic View Post
    If anyone wants to read and know something more about Leica R and Leica M lenses should read this:

    Erwin Puts' Leica Lens Compendium PDF>>>

    This pdf file was supplied by Erwin Puts and it's published with a permission.
    Copyright, Erwin Puts. The Netherlands.
    "There is no point in having sharp images when you've fuzzy ideas."
    Jean-Luc Godard.

    Dynamic range is, after all, the measurement between well saturation (photosite blowout) and noise floor.
    Thom Hogan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Thanks guys, now I know where and what to look at.
    "Production value!"
    Reply With Quote  
     

Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts