Leitz Hektor f: 2.5 / 50 mm - how good are they ?
Old 03-18-2008   #1
Luddite Frank
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Leitz Hektor f: 2.5 / 50 mm - how good are they ?

I'm thinking I would like to get a nickel f: 2.5 Hektor 50mm to go with my black Leicas...

I know this is an early "fast 50" in Leitz-world...

Has anybody shot with one ?


Are they worth having on the camera or are they more useful as a paper-weight?


Thanks,

Luddite Frank

Last edited by Luddite Frank : 03-18-2008 at 11:56.
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Old 03-19-2008   #2
John Shriver
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Unit-to-unit variance was one of the problems of the Hektor 50/2.5. So not only are you paying collector prices, you don't really know the performance of the one you're buying.

There's a reasonable discussion in Erwin Puts' Leica Lens Compendium (available free online). It's better than the Elmar in some ways, worse in others. Hektor has more focus shift, more vignetting.
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Old 03-19-2008   #3
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I don't own one, but recently saw a comment somewhere to the effect that they flare rather much. Aside from that, Tom A. wrote a nice article in the LHSA Viewfinder a few issues back. It is worth reading, although it will probably make you want one! And in that case, be prepared to spend some $$ as they seem to be enjoying a run of popularity just now--judging by eBay prices. My take on it is that it is a lens you might buy for a retro look in your photos, ot just because you want one--but probably you would not seek one out just for its optical quality. There are better lenses for less money, I'd say.
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Old 03-19-2008   #4
xayraa33
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It is a good thing that this lens, till now, is not hyped much on this forum.
unlike some other lenses.
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Old 03-20-2008   #5
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The Hektor 50 was one of the least successful of the Leitz lenses. I doubt that many people now buy it for use.
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Old 09-05-2008   #6
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if there is something called King of Glow, Hektor sure is the best candidate. Unit-to-Unit variance is the major problem for many lenses during that era i happen to have 3 Hektor 28 6.3 which only one of them had very crispy images the other two where blurry abit more.
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Old 09-05-2008   #7
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To those who've used both, would a Summar be a better user when the 'vintage' look is desired?
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Old 09-05-2008   #8
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I've worked with an uncoated Hektor 50mm f2,5 for some time. At about f6,3 it's a perfect lens, rather soft, but for b&w very usable. The wider f-stops are good in the center, but the edges are unsharp. The f2,5-stop is fine for distances from 1-4 metres. The lens can flare a lot when shooting against strong light. Use a Fikus-hood for best results.
The character of this lens is quite different from the Summar. The Summar under perfect circumstances is far superior, but the Hektor has it's own distinct character. Look for an example with perfect lenses, as this lens has six elements in three cemented groups. The condition of the cement after 70 years is often less than perfect. A fine example of this lens is surely an instrument to create expressive images nowadays.

Erik.
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Old 09-05-2008   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m View Post
To those who've used both, would a Summar be a better user when the 'vintage' look is desired?
My two bits, when wide open the out of focus areas can get more funky on the Summar, but otherwise (with my Hektor) they are both reasonably sharp on center and less so on the edges. Slightly more contrast on my Summar (but it was coated at some point).

Stopped down to f5.6-f8 and they are as sharp as just about anything else I've used. Sun at your back with both unless you are trying to get a look. If price or quality issue is a concern, I'd definitely get a Summar.

I only have a Hektor since it came with a 1931 Standard I got from a local garage sale. Even though the glass is perfect, I was expected the Hektor to perform badly after reading the internet chatter.

Awhile back I borrowed some lenses from friends and took the same image using a Rigid, Summilux, current Summicron, Hektor, and Summar. I shot all of them wide open. I sent the images out to local RFFers and Jan, and it was difficult for most to determine which was which. Ferider was the only one that got them all right. I thought differences would be more evident wide open, especially with sharpness. My conclusion was that if my lenses are in good shape and collimated, they are sharper on center than I'll probably ever need for the size I print with 35mm. If you are taking images of walls or something where you want everything sharp across a plane, than you have to pay for it. Otherwise it's about contrast and flare and, when opened up, how distracting backgrounds can be to an individual.

In short, , I'd get a clean Summar for $100-200 than pay the big dollars for the Hektor. Or I'd find a Standard and pristine Hektor for $150 locally.
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Old 09-06-2008   #10
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Thanks, Mike.
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Old 09-09-2008   #11
bankcheck
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Some photos comparing Hektor and Elmar from a Hong Kong forum:
http://hklfc.com/forum/index.php?o=t...=show&id=23379
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hektor1.jpg (33.9 KB, 139 views)
File Type: jpg elmar1.jpg (34.1 KB, 115 views)
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Old 09-09-2008   #12
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More photos from the same link. The front element of the sample looks hazzy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hektor2.jpg (29.6 KB, 90 views)
File Type: jpg elmar2.jpg (32.7 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg hek img.jpg (182.8 KB, 103 views)
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Old 09-09-2008   #13
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The question is not "how good are Hektors" but is "How good are you at taking pictures !"

Gimme an Hektor, and I'm sure I can take a picture with it.
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Old 09-21-2008   #14
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Bankcheck, I'd wager there is little difference between both at f3.5.

I've noticed that most Hektors have a meter scale.

Screwmount experts, are those with a feet scale more rare? Exported lenses?
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Old 09-21-2008   #15
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Back about 1963 when nobody wanted them I picked one up for twenty bucks at a camera store in Boston. It was a horrid lens, lots of flare and way too soft at f/2.5. Five or six years later I found a collector who jumped on it for $100.00. Horses for courses.
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Old 09-21-2008   #16
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Hi Al,
Now, you would have gotten $400 for the lens.
Bigger Horses for same courses. [did I get it right?]
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Old 09-22-2008   #17
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.. and I was concerned using my Summitar with my M 8 !
i love it ! As I do a humble Fed Collapsible which has a '' sparkle '' which my other lesnes lack .
Glad I did not have to get into the Hektor debate !
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Old 09-23-2008   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankcheck View Post
More photos from the same link. The front element of the sample looks hazzy.
You can have it cleaned. Worth the effort. The Hektor should be as contrasty as an Elmar.

Erik.
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Old 10-01-2008   #19
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Had brief use of an M8, and the Summar handles sunlight on the front element better, but otherwise not much difference between my Summar and Hektor. Both are plenty sharp wide open for the crap I produce.
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Old 10-01-2008   #20
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Raid, if I had all the photo "junk" today that I sold way too cheap 40 years ago? But who could have known? Uncoated 50/3.5 Elmars sat in rows at camera stores for $15 each while Summars at $20 did also. Really clean III-A bodies for $29.50 and mint Leicavits went begging for $25. People were dumping their old fashioned rangefinder cameras to jump on the SLR Express. The wave of the future! Sound familiar?
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Old 10-01-2008   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Kaplan View Post
Raid, if I had all the photo "junk" today that I sold way too cheap 40 years ago? But who could have known? Uncoated 50/3.5 Elmars sat in rows at camera stores for $15 each while Summars at $20 did also. Really clean III-A bodies for $29.50 and mint Leicavits went begging for $25. People were dumping their old fashioned rangefinder cameras to jump on the SLR Express. The wave of the future! Sound familiar?

Al,

Of course, you are right. With the new equipment [digital] I doubt it that such equipment will ever increase in value. Just the opposite; it is junk after a few years, and can be thrown away to mess up the environment even more.
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Old 08-04-2019   #22
Erik van Straten
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Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.

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Old 08-04-2019   #23
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Leica IIIc, 5cm f/2.5 Hektor, Kodak Double-X (over developed)

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Old 08-04-2019   #24
Erik van Straten
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The Hektor is a much underrated lens.

Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.

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Old 08-04-2019   #25
Erik van Straten
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Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.

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Old 08-04-2019   #26
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Indeed Erik.


Fomapan 100,
I could probably have squeezed a bit more sharpness out of this scan, but my process flow wasn't particularly optimized around this time in 2016

I've neglected my Leica's a bit over the last month. But got a couple of events coming up in the next weeks. I'm sure the Hektor will get another outing.
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Old 08-26-2019   #27
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Leica III Model F. Hektor 50mm f/2.5. Maco TS Eagle 400
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Old 08-26-2019   #28
Erik van Straten
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Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.

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Old 08-26-2019   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.
Superb!

May I ask when and where was the picture taken?

Best,
Pau


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Old 08-26-2019   #30
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Thanks! It was taken in Belorussia (Bobruysk) in 2001.


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Old 08-26-2019   #31
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Happiness !
by JM__, on Flickr

5cm Hektor - Leica IIIg - Portra 160
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Old 08-26-2019   #32
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Untitled
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5cm Hektor 2.5 on Fujifilm GFX50S !
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Old 08-26-2019   #33
Erik van Straten
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Yes, the bokeh is nice, also for portraits.

Leica II, Hektor 50mm f/2.5, Tmax400/Adox MCC 110.

Erik.

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