PDA

View Full Version : infinity lock Like it? Hate it? cool? Uncool?


Mean Panda
12-07-2007, 12:39
Do you prefer your lens with an infinity lock? My summilux 35 and summicron 50 rigid are both with the lock. The locks don't really serve particular function to me. I want to trade mine with the non-locked type. I wonder for those who have the infinity lock Leica lens actually like it.

SolaresLarrave
12-07-2007, 12:47
It's such a small thing it won't bother me in my collapsible 'cron. In fact, the lock never annoyed me because I used it as a kind of guide or handle for fast focusing.

But then, I never had a qualm about the red dot either... :)

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 12:59
Hate, loathe, despise and detest the damn' things. The only lens I have where the lock is not disabled is my 1936 Elmar, where putting your finger on it pretty much automatically unlocks it anyway. All other infinity locks I have ever had (especially the 50/1.2 Canon) are/were disabled.

Why not disable the lock on the one you have? As I recall, a removable shim will do it.

Cheers,

R.

ferider
12-07-2007, 13:07
On my lenses that have it (Summicron 50/2, Canon 50/1.5, Nikkor 50/1.4, among
thers) I like it and use it for focusing. Helps me focusing blind - I have big fingers I guess.

They are easy to remove but I wouldn't since it gives the lens more stability.

Roland.

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 13:29
On my lenses that have it (Summicron 50/2, Canon 50/1.5, Nikkor 50/1.4, among
thers) I like it and use it for focusing. Helps me focusing blind - I have big fingers I guess.

They are easy to remove but I wouldn't since it gives the lens more stability.

Roland.
Dear Roland,

Are you not conflating the lock and the spur? The spur is a delightful feature, especially useful for focusing blind, as you say; but I see no excuse at all for the lock. How can it add stability?

Cheers,

R.

LeicaTom
12-07-2007, 13:53
They are easy to remove but I wouldn't since it gives the lens more stability.

Roland.

Well, removing the them also makes the lens near worthless......for a resale they are next to impossible to bring away, even if the lens is uncommon, it won`t sell well, I like and keep them all together on my lenses, I have turned down some very rare lenses in the past because the locks were gone, anything missing on something is a critical factor in condition, even in a "user" lens

Tom

crawdiddy
12-07-2007, 13:55
I like it on my Elmar 50mm f/3.5 collapsible, although it's not useful for much, other than mounting/unmounting the lens. But I suppose I do use it for focusing.

On my Canon 50mm f/1.2, the infinity lock is annoying.

*edit* Leica infinity locks=very cool (even if you don't know what to do with them)

sepiareverb
12-07-2007, 14:05
Never had it, don't know what the heck it is.

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 14:06
Well, removing the them also makes the lens near worthless......for a resale they are next to impossible to bring away, even if the lens is uncommon, it won`t sell well, I like and keep them all together on my lenses, I have turned down some very rare lenses in the past because the locks were gone, anything missing on something is a critical factor in condition, even in a "user" lens

Tom
Dear Tom,

Near worthless? Not to a user. Why would it matter? I no longer buy lenses to sell, and if I can get a more usable lens for less money, I'll jump at it.

Besides which, many can be disabled reversibly: as I say, with a shim or block of some kind.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 14:14
Never had it, don't know what the heck it is.
It's a gruesome little tab or button that has to be depressed before the lens can be focused closer than infinity. Otherwise (the clue is in the name) it is locked at infinity.

Some (as on pre-war Leica lenses) are depressed almost automatically, just by resting your finger on them; others (as on the 50/1.2 Canon) require a real effort to grasp and unlock. I've been using Leicas for close to 40 years, and started with a 1930s 50/3.5 Elmar. I hated it then, and I hate it now -- and it isn't the worst of them. Nor have I ever seen any excuse for the wretched things.

Cheers,

R.

Shac
12-07-2007, 14:18
I'm probably wrong but I thought that they were originally mainly useful on LTM's to help remove/mount the lens. On the M's I find them rather a pain - especially on my 35/2 V1. That one I don't think is as easyt to remove or disable as the ones on say the 50's. I do however like the tabs (or spurs as RH calls them) on some lenses.
If they are not primarily for helping remove/mount an LTM lens, I'd be interested in hearing the reason for them
Cheers

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 14:24
I'm probably wrong but I thought that they were originally mainly useful on LTM's to help remove/mount the lens. On the M's I find them rather a pain - especially on my 35/2 V1. That one I don't think is as easyt to remove or disable as the ones on say the 50's. I do however like the tabs (or spurs as RH calls them) on some lenses.
If they are not primarily for helping remove/mount an LTM lens, I'd be interested in hearing the reason for them
Cheers
I'm sure you're right: I see no other excuse. But even then, you could always jam the spur against the close-up stop. It's a bloody great brass post on pre-war lenses, after all. On the 35 Summicron, there's really no excuse at all. If there were, why didn't later lenses have them?

Cheers,

R.

ferider
12-07-2007, 15:56
Dear Roland,

Are you not conflating the lock and the spur? The spur is a delightful feature, especially useful for focusing blind, as you say; but I see no excuse at all for the lock. How can it add stability?

Cheers,

R.

Hi Roger,

thank you for your reply.

Maybe we are talking about different types of locks ?

I have come across three different types, so far:

a) a round knob as found on older Elmars, the 50/2 Summicron v2 ("rigid"), the Canon 50/1.5, the Nikkor 50/1.4, etc. This is the one I referred to. It does help me focusing.
b) a spur as in the 35/2.8 Summaron that I once had. Is the 35/2 v1 similar ?
c) a flat "button" as in the Canon 50/1.2

I was referring to a) and just imagined, that when the lens is locked at infinity, and
manipulated with the camera, the lock gives the focusing helix additional stability,
since it fixes the lens' movable part to the lens mount.

For me, b) was a pain, and c) somehow too, since it didn't help me focusing in any way.

Best,

Roland.

peter_n
12-07-2007, 17:34
I have a rigid Summicron that DAG thinks is one of the best he's ever seen. But it has a #!^* infinity lock so for all intents and purposes it is unusable. I don't like tabs and I dislike infinity locks even more.

Keith
12-07-2007, 17:36
Hi Roger,

thank you for your reply.

Maybe we are talking about different types of locks ?

I have come across three different types, so far:

a) a round knob as found on older Elmars, the 50/2 Summicron v2 ("rigid"), the Canon 50/1.5, the Nikkor 50/1.4, etc. This is the one I referred to. It does help me focusing.
b) a spur as in the 35/2.8 Summaron that I once had. Is the 35/2 v1 similar ?
c) a flat "button" as in the Canon 50/1.2

I was referring to a) and just imagined, that when the lens is locked at infinity, and
manipulated with the camera, the lock gives the focusing helix additional stability,
since it fixes the lens' movable part to the lens mount.

For me, b) was a pain, and c) somehow too, since it didn't help me focusing in any way.

Best,

Roland.

4th type ... the hocky stick on my Leica 1a ... now there's a challenge. Good thing they did away with that when they added the rangefinder! :p

rbiemer
12-07-2007, 17:53
I have only two lenses with infinity locks; an Industar-22 and a Canon50/1.8. I don't mind the locks and the shape of them make it easier to focus(after I've unlocked 'em). One thing about the locks on my lenses that's good, it makes changing the aperture a bit easier. But both lenses are a little stiff.
I can't use the I-22 on my FED 5, though. The catch doesn't have enough clearance to unlock if the lens is seated fully or if I mount the lens while set to closer focus, I can't quite reach infinity--again, not enough clearance.
Rob

aizan
12-07-2007, 22:10
i don't even notice the lock when i go to focus. makes a big difference when mounting small lenses, though. love the tabs!

Doug
12-07-2007, 22:26
I do think there may be some confusion here, in that some Leica lenses have focusing tabs, and some (but not all) focusing tabs feature an infinity lock. Both the tabs and the locks vary in configuration.

My only lens with an infinity lock on the focusing tab is a 35 Summicron v1. Very comfy and smooth, the lock is handy in mounting/unmounting the lens, and is depressed/unlocked almost automatically when using the tab. So I agree with Aizan above. :)

Roger Hicks
12-07-2007, 23:24
Dear Roland,

We are indeed using different terminology. The 'bell-push' on (for example) an early Elmar is not too bad -- I use the term 'spur' to describe the sticky-outy bit you move to focus, also referred to as a 'tab' -- because you depress it more or less automatically. Some can be disabled with a small C-shaped washer on the back to keep the bell-push permanently depressed.

The sort that moves more or less radially, inside a scooped-out finger-grip, spur or tab is a complete nightmare and much harder to disable temporarily, though I imagine a repairer could do it. Maybe they moved more freely when they were new but I have never encountered a usable one in nearly 40 years of using Leicas.

The variety you call a 'button' -- I'd say it was more like a short, fat lever -- on e.g. a 50/1.2 Canon is easily disabled by wedging a bit of toothpick in it, or (as I understand it) by reversing the spring: Optical Instruments (Balham) did this for me when they serviced the lens, greatly improving both its performance and its handling in the process.

There are others: the version on fixed-lens Leicas has already been mentioned (I found it pretty unpleasant, but not as bad as the worst), and of course Contax/Kiev/Nikon has another kind, again easily disabled by wedging the lower lock button (beside the lens mount) with a bit of toothpick again.

A properly made lens mount (as all the above were, except perhaps Kiev) doesn't rock and therefore doesn't really need any stabilization.

Incidentally, am I the only one puzzled by the concept of 'coolness' as applied to these loathesome things? How can anything that useless be 'cool'?

Cheers,

Roger

FPjohn
12-08-2007, 11:15
Once useful, now vestigial, the infinity lock is like the appendix - removable.

RayPA
12-08-2007, 12:24
I like it only for removing ltm lenses; otherwise, it's usually a PIA to deal with.

.

btw, aren't choices #2 and #4 basically the same. Didn't vote no choice for me. :(


.

Philippe D.
12-08-2007, 13:31
I hate it too, difficult to focus at 20m (65ft).
It was obviously the case of many others who hated it, then today no lens is made any more with this damned feature.

It was just useful with a screw lens.

LeicaTom
12-08-2007, 13:38
Well, honestly if anyone has a undamaged infinity lock assembly for a
1939 f2.0 50mm Leitz Summar, please let me know, I can use it to restore a lens back to original

Thanks

Tom

Philippe D.
12-08-2007, 13:50
if anyone has a undamaged infinity lock assembly for a
SummarAsk Don Goldberg ([email protected] (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/[email protected])) , he have almost everything somewhere. :)

LeicaTom
12-08-2007, 13:57
Ask Don Goldberg ([email protected] (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/[email protected])) , he have almost everything somewhere. :)

Geeze, that totally slipped my mind, thanks Philippe!

Tom

steverett
12-08-2007, 14:10
I'm probably wrong but I thought that they were originally mainly useful on LTM's to help remove/mount the lens.

On my LTM cameras, I always focus to 1m when I mount the lens, to avoid pressing on the rangefinder cam the wrong way if I don't like up the threads right. Also, on my Industar-22, the focusing tab won't clear the slow speed dial on my Leica III unless it's focused at 1m. So for me a 1m lock would be more useful; I don't see any practical reason to lock at infinity (maybe to prevent burning holes in your shutter, since this only happens when the lens is focused close)

JNewell
12-09-2007, 16:43
The only one I ever warmed up to was the first version 35/2.

pvdhaar
12-09-2007, 22:13
I filed the infinity lock off of my FED-50/3.5.. because it did what it advertised to do, that is it really locked the lens at infinity when mounted on the Bessa-T.

I'd have to take the lens off the body to unlock it.. Totally annoying and very uncool!

peterm1
12-09-2007, 23:13
I find the focus lock most useful when removing and mounting the lens. It allows me to rotate the lens easily especially on an LTM lens.

Krosya
12-10-2007, 01:12
I hate locks, tabs, levers, etc. Thats the reason I have sold many lenses, some that I liked a lot optically, but handling just never became comfortable. Just me I guess...... I'm very happy that most Hexanons don't have those. ;)

richard_l
12-10-2007, 02:17
I can't imagine operating my LTM 3.5cm/3.5 Summaron without the infinity lock.

Richard

ruben
12-10-2007, 03:13
No need. Cut a tiny piece of wood and stick it in the lower lock release (the one that is unlocked automatically by the rim of a lens mounted on the outer bayonet). This has always worked for me. Add a dab of weak glue if you like but no need for epoxy. That way it's reversible.

Cheers,

R.

Then, how do you dis-mount the lenses ?

Cheers,
Ruben

Roger Hicks
12-10-2007, 04:18
Then, how do you dis-mount the lenses ?

Cheers,
Ruben
Dear Ruben,

Lock the wheel with your finger.

Cheers,

R.

iridium7777
12-10-2007, 05:44
i found it annoying on my borrowed summicron this weekend and if all leica lenses have it i'll seriously consider never getting one. i think i can operate my zeiss much faster.

KoNickon
12-10-2007, 06:49
sitemistic is right -- on the C/K/Ns it's more of a pain, since you can easily blunder into locking it (especially if you focus by turning the lens, rather than using the wheel). With the Leica mount lenses it requires an affirmative effort to lock the lens at infinity, which can slow you down if you need to collapse and/or dismount the lens quickly.

Either way, a minor hassle, all told.

Didier
12-10-2007, 07:46
It's depending from the ergonomy whether I dislike an infinity lock or not. The collapsible 50/2 Summicron's and the LTM 50/2 Nikkor's are much easier to unlock than the LTM 50/1.2 Canon's, especially when used together with a grip or a halfcase.

Cool? Don't know. I could live well without it, I just use it because these lenses got it and I'm afraid to modify it not to lock. But after all, its an uneeded feature, except you shoot landscapes at infinity and your lens gets often unfocused while carrying.

Didier

Roger Hicks
12-10-2007, 07:47
i found it annoying on my borrowed summicron this weekend and if all leica lenses have it i'll seriously consider never getting one. i think i can operate my zeiss much faster.
No new Leica lenses have had this feature for decades. (Except maybe the collapsible Elmar -- can anyone confirm or deny this?)

Cheers,

R.

rogue_designer
12-10-2007, 09:23
doesn't bother me all that much - they're hand on LTM lenses, since it makes many of them easier to unmount.

The way I grab the lens to focus pretty much automatically depresses the button for the early canon 50 1.8 style - and it helps me quickly index for focus by feel (ie. 6oclock = 20ft).

The one on the 50 1.2 never really bothered me anyway. I've got a list of destructive and non-destructive ways to disable it if I ever found a need. But I haven't.

*shrug*

Dektol Dan
12-10-2007, 09:45
I'm probably wrong but I thought that they were originally mainly useful on LTM's to help remove/mount the lens. On the M's I find them rather a pain - especially on my 35/2 V1. That one I don't think is as easyt to remove or disable as the ones on say the 50's. I do however like the tabs (or spurs as RH calls them) on some lenses.
If they are not primarily for helping remove/mount an LTM lens, I'd be interested in hearing the reason for them
Cheers

Same for M's too. It way easier swap lenses at infinity. The things just fall into place (Surprise! Just like they were designed!). With a DR Summicron on an M6 it's manditory. It's just like learning to march, dance or copulate. Some never get the first step right, those folks can mange but are always a bit klutzy.

Shac
12-10-2007, 09:56
One of the handling aspects of my Summitar I like is that unlike lenses such as the first 2.8 50 elmar & others, I have the option of using the infinity tab or the knurled focussing ring (absent on most other (I think) Leitz infinity-locked lenses).

Vics
12-10-2007, 12:57
I have the Collapsible Summicron with the focusing tab. If that's what you mean, I like it a lot. It's great for "ballpark" focusing. I bought a DR recently and really I wish I had bought the Rigid, same lens but without the near focus feature, but WITH the tab. Maybe somebody wants to trade? I have the goggles.
Vic

rbiemer
12-10-2007, 20:01
For the Kievs, would the 50mm made for the Kiev 5 (Helios 94?) work on the earlier models? You could then put together a kit of all external mount lenses and not have the focus lock to be concerned with. I think. Was there a version of the J-3 made for the Kiev 5?
Rob

Vincenzo Maielli
12-10-2007, 22:53
I don't hate and don't like, i'm indifferent. I own the Leitz Summitar 50 mm f/ 2 and Leitz Summaron 35 mm f/ 2,8 with the infinitity lock and don't find many trouble.
Ciao.
Vincenzo

Mean Panda
12-11-2007, 11:28
thank you for all your votes. After reading all your responses carefully, I think inifinity locks is a useful for some, but some really hate it. My summilux 35 with the lock does not give me any problem, but I am thinking about selling it, because this lens with the lock seems very desirable for collector. I saw one sold for more than $1500. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170172393131
I will be pretty happy if mine can sell it for about 1400, since I brought mine for only 1000 4 years ago.
Thanks again for all your replies.

jky
12-12-2007, 20:03
I had an elmar years ago and I hated the darn things (inf lock).... well, just wasn't used to them. Always forgot to press then turn... missed a few shots 'cause of it.
So... user error I guess.

hans voralberg
12-17-2007, 08:46
It's ok on my summar, actually quite like it. On the Fed is a whole new story those, hate it

Gabriel M.A.
12-17-2007, 09:22
The "clip" locks on the Canon LTM lenses are really annoying if they're mounted on an M-mount body.

Other than that, it's a great design; how else do you think you can quickly and easily unmount that lens!

Andrew3511
12-18-2007, 13:15
I have been out today with the rigid Summicron 50. There's no problem with the lock, you know it's there and put your finger on the button to focus the lens. If the lock is on it does make it a lot easier to change lenses.

One thing about Leica lenses, I have a lot of Zuiko lenses for the OM system and they all follow a common layout, aperture ring end of lens in half-stop clicks, then rubberised focussing ring, release for bayonet and button for stop down always in the same place. Leica M lenses may be inconsistent because of the length of time they were manufactured over but I have some with infinity lock on a spur (rigid summ 50) one with infinity lock on a tab (summaron 35) several with no infinity lock at all and no tab (summi 90, s'lux 75, s'lux 50 Elmarit 135) and one with a tab and no infinity lock (S'lux 35).

I suppose you just have to get used to it. Each lens has it's own characteristics and the handling quirks are part of that?

Tom A
04-20-2010, 13:08
I dislike the infinity locks! You always end up forgetting it and try to focus. Youthen have to grab the lock and depress it and start all over again. There is also a Murphy's law that comes into play. The subject you are focussing on is just at the end of the throw - and suddenly the lock goes "click" as it slides over the cam!
I usually remove it and sometimes grind off the "catch" part - voila - a perfect focussing lens with no "hang ups' (pun intended).

Viktor Sebastian
04-20-2010, 13:33
I was thinking of removing the lock from my Summarit and grinding off the excess metal. But perhaps it is best just to buy a summilux?

Chris101
04-20-2010, 20:25
Annoying and uncool. I am definitely the kind that presets focus to the max for a given f-stop and situation. But then I rarely look through the view/range finder.

dfoo
04-20-2010, 22:04
I hate the infinity locks. I love focusing tabs though! I don't get why anyone would hate the tab actually...

kossi008
04-21-2010, 00:19
I voted "annoying, hate it" as it gets in the way every time I try to focus on something, say, 20 m away or so... it snaps right back to infinity... :bang:

elmer3.5
04-21-2010, 10:26
Hi, the only problme i got was with the rf canon 50 1.2, very distractive so i just flipped the spring to remain always open!

In the other lenses specially elmar type and so itīs very useful to unscrew from camera.

Bye!

E

ItsReallyDarren
04-21-2010, 11:09
I like the focus tab on the collapsible summicron. The tab stops right at 50ft or so before it locks into infinity which is just the right distance to focus across the street. Pretty handy for quick focusing.

jamato8
04-21-2010, 11:12
My first real camera was the IIIC with a Summitar. I had the locking device and never gave it a second thought. I am neutral, don't care or care, I just used the camera and still have it. :^)

helenhill
04-21-2010, 13:34
on my 1966 35 lux its not a problem...
on the 1959 35 summaron its a PAIN...
:D

Rico
04-21-2010, 13:55
On my '59 Summaron 35/2.8, the infinity lock has a very light action and is disengaged transparently when using the tab. The design allows focus right up to infinity - unlike my Elmar 50.

cosmonaut
04-21-2010, 16:23
Nope, Don't like them.

Innerimager
04-26-2010, 19:23
I have a rigid Summicron that DAG thinks is one of the best he's ever seen. But it has a #!^* infinity lock so for all intents and purposes it is unusable. I don't like tabs and I dislike infinity locks even more.

Yeah Peter. I had a great rigid cron and never got used to the infinity lock. I ended trading it, and missing the look of the lens, I went for a 50 DR in part not to have the dam lock! Love the DR btw.....Peter

250swb
04-28-2010, 00:09
After reading of the shockingly barbaric use of the 'Dremel' on lenses (surely adults should have a responsible child with then to say 'don't do it daddy') I came up with a simple solution to keep the lock open on the 'button' type lenses that I think we can all manage to impliment.

Take a tiny length of insulation (about 2mm) from a fat copper wire in heavy duty mains cable. Slit it down its length so it can open up (don't slit it into two parts!) Push the lock open and with some tweezers wrap the insulation over the shaft of the lock button. The insulation will try to close up to its original round shape, so gripping the locking buttons shaft and bridging the gap so it can't close. The gap created in fitting this small diameter split 'O' ring onto the slightly larger diameter shaft should be nearest the lens body and acts to give clearance over the locking tab. You may need to experimant to find a suitable diameter bit of cable insulation.

Steve

Doug
04-28-2010, 13:54
I like your kind of solution, Steve! No permanent "damage" to the lens, but gets the job done to your satisfaction. I like lens tabs, but am ambivalent about infinity locks... handy sometimes and inconvenient at others. The lock on my v.1 35 Summicron (same as on F2.8 Summaron) is rarely an annoyance because it's so easy to use.

nobbylon
04-29-2010, 22:27
After reading of the shockingly barbaric use of the 'Dremel' on lenses (surely adults should have a responsible child with then to say 'don't do it daddy') I came up with a simple solution to keep the lock open on the 'button' type lenses that I think we can all manage to impliment.

Take a tiny length of insulation (about 2mm) from a fat copper wire in heavy duty mains cable. Slit it down its length so it can open up (don't slit it into two parts!) Push the lock open and with some tweezers wrap the insulation over the shaft of the lock button. The insulation will try to close up to its original round shape, so gripping the locking buttons shaft and bridging the gap so it can't close. The gap created in fitting this small diameter split 'O' ring onto the slightly larger diameter shaft should be nearest the lens body and acts to give clearance over the locking tab. You may need to experimant to find a suitable diameter bit of cable insulation.

Steve

They're a complete pain and this is a nice solution, I'm going to do this on my Elmar later. thanks

B.J.Scharp
05-03-2010, 01:31
I'm considering removing the lock on my collapsible Summicron, mostly because it makes near-infinity focusing harder.

It IS very useful when using the lens on a SOOKY though :-)

SimonSawSunlight
05-03-2010, 01:33
I don't really like it, neither do I see the point. I'd prefer an optional 2m lock for a 35mm.

januaryman
05-03-2010, 03:42
First time I bumped into it, I tried to have it disabled by Mark Hama, who was doing a CLA on my Canon P kit. He forgot to disable it and I'm glad he did. It takes just a quick poke to hit the button and get to focusing, but it aids a great deal when removing lenses and prevents damage to the helix. Now I think it's retro-cool.

Mablo
05-03-2010, 05:20
One lens where the lock bothers me a little bit is the Canon 50mm/1.2 which does have an infinity lock but no focusing tab.

jmooney
05-03-2010, 07:43
I despise the infernal things. I feel the same way about focusing tabs as well.

I have knackered fingers due to RA so they are both an impediment to me enjoying the cameras. I wish Leica made a 35 like the early Summiluxes that just had a big beefy ring. I know the Ultron et al are available but I want a Leica branded one.

Oh well so I'm going to have to become a 50mm guy and my new to me collapible 'cron has the infernal lock...

Off with it's knob!

jsrockit
06-22-2010, 12:13
hate it....

john battaglia
06-22-2010, 12:28
it doesn't serve a purpose for me, but when I hit infinity my fingers kind of just know to hold it down so it doesnt get locked in.

with that being said it is on my summicron rigid, which i think has some of the best ergonomics a lens can have.

i guess i love it?

Brian Atherton
03-10-2014, 06:42
Focussing tabs: Yes. Infinity Lock: Yuk.

Hate 'em.

dreamsandart
03-10-2014, 18:06
When the Leica mount was LTM only it was very useful for mounting and taking the lens off. With smaller wide angle M-lenses for me this carried on. There isn’t much to hold on to [or easy/natural] when mounting and taking the lens off on some, and the lock/tab helps. I think the main reason it was discontinued was not because it was a useless feature, but because of the added cost in production (like the 35 Summilux going from metal moving parts to a plastic tab).

For some lenses like the early 35 Summilux and 35 Summicron personally my ‘focus finger’ fits right where it should in the tab, and the lock lever is released naturally when needed. Also never had a problem with these lenses as the lens is focused near infinity as the lock is always depressed while I’m focusing.

For larger lenses like the early rigid 50 Summicron I agree its not the most useful - size/shape - and there is a nice focus ring, but then Leitz didn’t make a fixed grooved grip on the lens mount for helping mount either. One of the reason they went to a lens mount grooved ring on the v3 50 Summicron.

I believe the reason the v4 Summicron has its problems with the glued front element assembly coming loose is that many users find a lens grip for taking the lens on and off difficult (or not natural) and turn the lens with the square ‘convenient’ to hold hood.

BTW; the new metal tabs on the ASPH lenses are not my favourite. Unlike the earlier tabs they are not as ‘rounded’, OK but not as comfortable. And, I actually like the plastic tabs of the v2-v4 Summicron and pre-ASPH 35 Summilux, ’soft’, and with ’shelves’ on each side for a push and pull effect to focus. Favorite; the focus ring and tab combination like on the 50 Summilux ASPH and 1st 2-aspherical element 35 Summilux, the best for grip and tab use together.

mdarnton
03-10-2014, 18:35
Totally don't understand what the problem is. It keeps the lens from being stressed in ways that will eventually make it wobble, it only affects the tiniest bit of the focus range, at one end I almost never use, it's an instant indicator of approximately where the focus is if you have to work fast and prefocus. No problem with it at all. It was a brilliant move on Leica's part, and I wish there was something like it on my Nikon lenses.

redhawk
04-27-2014, 21:28
I first encountered one of these when I got a Rigid Summicron from Adorama. I found it annoying then but I didn't keep the lens for very long (and not because I disliked the lock). Then back in January I bought another one to go with my M3. After a couple rolls I got used to it and actually found the tab useful for focusing and pre-focusing, a clear precursor to the more evolved tabs on the later lenses. There is that tiny bit of travel between the lock ramp and when it fully engages that can be an annoyance if you're trying to achieve critical focus but if you just keep some pressure on the button it rolls through it smoothly.

The insulation idea is good. I might have to try it but now that I've gotten used to it the way it is, I no longer think about it. It may just stay stock as it was intended.

Doug
04-27-2014, 23:56
... but if you just keep some pressure on the button it rolls through it smoothly.
...
I think this is the key to low-annoyance use of the infinity lock. Use the tab for focusing and keep some finger pressure on it. Any more I don't even notice the lock on my v.1 35 Summicron or f/2.8 Summaron.

Takkun
04-28-2014, 00:14
On a bayonet-mount body, I don't really find much use. I could see it being far more useful for unscrewing lenses from LTM bodies, but on my Canon lenses with generous focus rings, it just gets in the way. Not enough to remove it, though.