View Full Version : What Year Was My Elmar Born
Is there a link I can go to and find out when the 5CM 3.5 Elmar I'm using was built? The serial number of it is 1063801.
How about this one?
Thanks again Rover. Looks like it was 1953 to me. I was 10 years old at the time it was built. It was sold to me at a trade show here in Indy. I bought my IIIf with it. The guy said it was a "Red Dial." Some how he knew I didn't know much about Leica's. I must have had it written all over my face. He also told me that the camera had just had a CLA. The thing quit working properly about four months later. I sent it to DAG for a CLA. I don't use it as much as I would like to. I would like to get a faster lens to use as well but don't really know which one to choose. I see so many pictures taken with other lenses that I really like and it's kind of difficult figure it out. I sometimes think I should try another focal length as well.
At some point in time I may look for a 35mm Summaron for my IIIc, time will tell. The Elmar is a great mate for the LTM Leicas, mine is about the same age as your's. As far as faster lenses go, consider the Canon 50/1.5, Nikkor 2 or 1.4 as well as the Leica choices. They are contemporary to your camera and excellent. A chrome Canon 50/1.8 is a good choice too and will be a bit less expensive (@$150). I can see myself walking around with the IIIc and Elmar in one pocket and a faster 50, film and hoods in the other.
The most practical all-purpose lens you could put on it would be a 50/1.8 Canon (early ones are marked Serenar). Far easier to find one in fine shape, because it has hard coating, and is a rigid lens. It is also a very fine lens, known by many as a "Summicron killer". It probably really is better in many ways than the Summicrons of the 1950's. It's not a lens with a lot of "character", it's just a darned good lens.
You have to be a more careful shopper to buy a Leitz lens for it. That's because all the 50mm collapsible screwmounts have very soft front glass, soft coatings, or both.
Summitar 50/2 is a great lens for B&W, fine for color, too. Comes in coated and uncoated -- but often front glass is scratched to hell.
Summicron 50/2 is a potentially better lens than the Summitar, but boy is it prone to internal haze, and it's often the case that the haze causes permanent damage. Also, the front glass is often a mess.
For these Leitz lenses, you either have to be lucky, or be a smart shopper in-person. Or deal with a very reputable dealer. I did OK on eBay for my Summar (even earlier lens) and Summitar, but my Summicron is not great.
I bought my IIIf with it. The guy said it was a "Red Dial." Some how he knew I didn't know much about Leica's. Tom
Tom, what is your IIIf? Black Dial? What's the serial number of your body?
Your Elmar is indeed an early 1953 and we seem to be the same age. 1943.
Thanks for all the useful information. I really do appreciate it. Yesterday when I logged off of Rangefinder Forum I went to KEH and looked at some leica SM lenses. I also checked on Canon and Nikon Rangefinders and their lenses. I'm guessing that both Canon and Nikon lenses will couple with my IIIf since they were more or less clones. Am I correct in my thinking or did I miss entirely?
The first three digits of my IIIf serial number is 588. It is a black dial. Really seems to be in pretty good shape.
The Canon and Nikkor LTM lenses are fully compatible with Leica cameras. Here are a couple other places to go window shopping.
I have found some unexplained excellent deals at Igor's. I check in regularly to see if he has anything listed at a favorable price.
Rover I just took a look at the two sites you listed. Very interesting. Looks like a good place to shop. Thanks!
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