Why doesn't E.Leitz reissue GREAT lenses?
Old 08-08-2017   #1
Arthur
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Why doesn't E.Leitz reissue GREAT lenses?

I am thinking, particularly, of the Elcan 66/2 which was manufactured for the US Navy during the Cold War.

It is an amazing lens!
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Old 08-08-2017   #2
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But which framelines would we use then?
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Old 08-08-2017   #3
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But who would actually buy it? A lens with no corresponding frame is likely to be of limited interest to anyone except a collector. The Thambar is another matter...

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Old 08-08-2017   #4
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I do suspect that the area around the 50 frame on my M9 is pretty close to the view of a 66...

The Elcan 66/2 is simply amazing... a more than competent friend thinks it is even better than the Summicron Apo-ASPH 50/2!?
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Old 08-08-2017   #5
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hmmm. Hard to imagine, considering how few 66/2 exist and are in shooters' hands.

Have you seen photos from that lens?

I've only seen a few photos "of that lens" in books.

Apparently one sold in Ottawa years (decades?) ago.
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Old 08-08-2017   #6
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Have you seen photos from that lens?

*****

Yes.

The MTF is remarkable.

*****

Arthur
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Old 08-08-2017   #7
Richard G
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Have you seen photos from the DR Summicron? Like a simple rose? Extraordinary. Use it on my digitals even.
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Old 08-08-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Have you seen photos from the DR Summicron? Like a simple rose? Extraordinary. Use it on my digitals even.
I have one.

Great lens!

Even so, I do wish I had an Elcan 66/2!
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Old 08-08-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
I do suspect that the area around the 50 frame on my M9 is pretty close to the view of a 66...

The Elcan 66/2 is simply amazing... a more than competent friend thinks it is even better than the Summicron Apo-ASPH 50/2!?
Arthur, I found that at a distance of around 12 to 15 feet, the 50mm frameline on my M6 matched the field of view of the 60mm Macro-Elmar on the R6 I had at the time. So it covers only 0.833 of the width or height covered by the lens. And area-wise, that translates to .833 x .833, or 69.44% of the area! That's a big enough error to make me avoid using a 50 on my M6, M7, and MP. I might bring my M2 along just for that focal length. For fans of the 50mm lens, that is enough to justify having an M2, M3, or M4; or if a meter is needed, an M5.

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Old 08-08-2017   #10
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I'd like to see Leica re issue the 35mm pre ASPH Summilux.
Or another classic lens with some character.
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Old 08-08-2017   #11
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Simple, then what else the current optical designers in Leica can do?
We all know that old lenses of Leica are amazing but someone have to make something new.
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Old 08-08-2017   #12
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The 66mm f2 Elcan lens would be a great lens to a a well heeled Asian collector of all things Leitz, but other than its rarity it does not have anything of great interest, unlike the Thambar lens.
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Old 08-08-2017   #13
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Quote:
Why doesn't E.Leitz reissue GREAT lenses?
E. Leitz no longer exists.

But Leica Camera AG did release a Summaron-M 28/5.6.
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Old 08-08-2017   #14
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Do you mean like that 28mm f5.6 Summaron they announced a year ago that's perpetually "new item, coming soon" at B&H and "out of stock" at the Leica store?

If they ever had any interest in that lens from Leica users I'm sure they have killed it by now.
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Old 08-08-2017   #15
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reissues mean special production line, new tooling, and so on. if they could mass market it, i'd be willing to bet the price would be roughly in line with current leica offerings. unique vintage designs are not mass-marketable, and we can therefore expect the price to be exorbitant for what the lens really offers.
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Old 08-08-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Do you mean like that 28mm f5.6 Summaron they announced a year ago that's perpetually "new item, coming soon" at B&H


Yes! It's a lens that dealers will happily back order for you along with your M10.
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Old 08-08-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Do you mean like that 28mm f5.6 Summaron they announced a year ago that's perpetually "new item, coming soon" at B&H and "out of stock" at the Leica store?

If they ever had any interest in that lens from Leica users I'm sure they have killed it by now.
IIRC, it has to be ordered through the dealer. Not generally available otherwise.

In re: 66/2, does it resolve better than the 50/2 APO?
They are separated by 50 years of tech evolution.
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Old 08-08-2017   #18
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The optical properties of old classic lenses won't likely be replicated in the near future or ever, for that matter. Lead, Lanthanum and Thorium glass production was halted as of 2001. For example, the 38mm Biogon in the SWC underwent a slight formulation change due to the new glass restrictions. Most of the heavy metal glasses were phased out in the late 70s and 80s due to environmental and workplace hazards.
So there's one reason.
But as far as Leica goes, they have staked their claim into the digital realm. They can't reissue older designs due to the restrictions of the digital sensors and the very short lens registration. 27.8mm. DSLRs don't have this problem nearly as much since their lens designs force their lenses shorter than about 55mm to be retrofocal, which is a completely new lens design. Leica is heading this direction these days because their superwides on the new digital bodies are no longer flag vignetting. Yes, this is partially a function of computer correction via lens coding but it is also due to Leica designing the nodal point of their new fleet of lenses farther forward so the light rays are more perpendicular to the sensor. Look at that new "21mm Super Elmar f/3.4." They even made the maximum aperture the same as the classic Super Angulon, probably just for nostalgia but the lens is in a completely different class with regard to design. The rear element doesn't project nearly as far and the formulation forces light to leave the lens very perpendicular, as opposed to how the corners of the superlative Super Angulon behave with light rays projecting at very sharp angles onto the film plane. That just doesn't work on digital very well. The same goes for all of Leica's past lenses shorter than 50mm. Without coding, you'll see flag vignetting. If you want the same excellent design, like the Mandler 28mm Elmarit. Version 1 has the same rear element problem, so you can't use that amazing lens on what Leica sees as their future, without workarounds and image compromise.
A 66mm ELCAN could certainly be done but it was a special, rare, niche lens which never was intended for use by the general population. Design, raytracing, tooling, sourcing glass, all would be very expensive and the sales wouldn't pay for the investment.

Phil Forrest
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Old 08-08-2017   #19
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They seem to have reformulated the 28 Summaron for digital without issue. Doesn't seem to be an impossible task. And Leica did imply they were going to release other historical lenses.
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Old 08-08-2017   #20
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In a statement, economic reasons.

Doable? yes

margin for profit?

Outside the collective items market, not really much profit to be expected.

Leica could probably do them, but as a collective, high price item, not intended for general public use, but for it to remain unused for generations just like the commemorative Leica M6 sets.

Just my thoughts.

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Old 08-08-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.liam View Post
They seem to have reformulated the 28 Summaron for digital without issue. Doesn't seem to be an impossible task. And Leica did imply they were going to release other historical lenses.
Considering how slow it is, it has fewer 'legacy' issues of incompatibility on digital than lenses from that era 2-3 stops faster in a similar focal length. I tried one at a Leica Store and was surprised at how decent it was across the frame. Maybe not quite up to modern designs, but nonetheless, it created appealing looking images.

Yes, a re-release of the 35 Lux pre-ASPH, un-tweaked, would be very cool! (And no, I'm not interested in the CV35/1.4 instead)
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Old 08-08-2017   #22
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I've never owned an 85mm Summarex, but it has a reputation for being a special lens, and I don't think too many were made. Perhaps it might be a candidate for re-issue.

There are two old 50's I own and like, and might also be candidates: The Dual-Range Summicron and the Collapsible Summicron. The latter has some special painterly qualities that should be retained, and not lost to some "improved" version.
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Old 08-08-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.liam View Post
They seem to have reformulated the 28 Summaron for digital without issue. Doesn't seem to be an impossible task. And Leica did imply they were going to release other historical lenses.
If they reformulated it, it is not a classic lens. It just happens to have the same focal length and aperture.
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Old 08-08-2017   #24
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If they reformulated it, it is not a classic lens. It just happens to have the same focal length and aperture.
This.
As well as name.
Like Zeiss having Cosina make lenses named Biogon which, at this point, only implies they are wide angles, not that they have anything to do with the actual Biogon formulation.

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Old 08-08-2017   #25
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Quote:
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If they reformulated it, it is not a classic lens. It just happens to have the same focal length and aperture.
It performs very similar to the old one, in fact. IIRC, the optical formula in nearly identical.
As mentioned above, the immutable differences between film & digital sensors necessitates some compromise for the latter.
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Old 08-08-2017   #26
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on the topic:

https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/681...t-your-friends
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Old 08-08-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Do you mean like that 28mm f5.6 Summaron they announced a year ago that's perpetually "new item, coming soon" at B&H and "out of stock" at the Leica store?
I guess he means that 28mm f5.6 Summaron which I have seen several copies of and which I have shot with on my M8 as well as on my Fujis.

The lens exists and it is in the hands of users.
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Old 08-09-2017   #28
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While Leica is at it, why not a few lenses for those of us who still shoot screw mount cameras? I know they have done a 35mm Asph Summicron and a couple of others, but how about smaller, lighter lenses with the Elmar or Hektor designs?
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Old 08-09-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Do you mean like that 28mm f5.6 Summaron they announced a year ago that's perpetually "new item, coming soon" at B&H and "out of stock" at the Leica store?

If they ever had any interest in that lens from Leica users I'm sure they have killed it by now.
Plenty of people using that lens and posting images on LUF.
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Old 08-10-2017   #30
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"A 66mm ELCAN could certainly be done but it was a special, rare, niche lens which never was intended for use by the general population. Design, raytracing, tooling, sourcing glass, all would be very expensive and the sales wouldn't pay for the investment."

A techie friend did an MTF study with it...

It was the sharpest lens he ever tested... 400 lpi!

We casually compared my Summicron Apo/Asph 50/2 with his Elcan 66/2 and...

...the Summicron Apo/Asph had "color fringing" that was absent in the Elcan 66/2.

?
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Old 08-10-2017   #31
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I found Phil_F_NM comments compelling.

Another issue could involve internal flare. The sensor-assembly cover glass is significantly more reflective than film. Contemporary lens coatings and internal baffle designs may suppress reflective internal flare.

It's also possible the M-mount flange focal distance is less susceptible to flare than other mirrorless systems where reflective flare is a known issue.

It's obvious people enjoy excellent digital images with M/LTM lenses designed before the digital imaging era. This doesn't necessarily mean there's a difference in flare levels between film and digital usage. Flare is difficult to evaluate because it depends on many variables. For instance, a very small difference in angle can make a large difference in internal reflective flare,
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Old 08-28-2017   #32
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"Why doesn't E. Leitz reissue GREAT lenses?"

Mainly because E. Leitz hasn't been in business in over 40 years!
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Old 08-28-2017   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
While Leica is at it, why not a few lenses for those of us who still shoot screw mount cameras? I know they have done a 35mm Asph Summicron and a couple of others, but how about smaller, lighter lenses with the Elmar or Hektor designs?
Mainly because there a lots of those on the used market. Not many (but some would do) would pay a premium to have a newly issued lens with same classic design than one you could have cheaper on the used market. Market no big enough to turn off a profit so they wont do (probably).

Marcelo
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Old 08-28-2017   #34
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Elcan was a military lens & government will pay anything for what they want. I doubt
we can afford one.

Most classics were good only when compared with their contemporary lenses and can not compete with current offerings. 50 1.4 Lux being one example. I never could find one that would make anyone but a Leica stockholder happy.
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Old 08-30-2017   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBlackwell View Post
"Why doesn't E. Leitz reissue GREAT lenses?"

Mainly because E. Leitz hasn't been in business in over 40 years!
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
E. Leitz no longer exists.
........
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Old 08-30-2017   #36
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I find it interesting Leica hasn't started re-make R-lenses for other cameras like Canon and Nikon. all those designs are ready and awaiting to be used, without big R&D costs.
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Old 08-30-2017   #37
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Indeed, or even mirrorless versions.
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Old 08-30-2017   #38
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Leica will only re-market lenses which are "real classics" and which do not have an equivalent, neither in the Leica line-up nor in any other one.

Why should they bring back a series IV Summicron 50 or a pre-Asph. Summicron 90 (which are my personal favourites, I seem to like Mandler desings a lot)? They would just canibalize their more modern versions.

The 5.6/28 fits a niche. So would an Elcan 2/66, yes, but this lens never really had any market relevance.

Perhaps a Summaron 3.5/35 would be pretty nice. That is far enough away from present 35mm lenses and it also had a special rendering.
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Old 08-30-2017   #39
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Quote:
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They seem to have reformulated the 28 Summaron for digital without issue. Doesn't seem to be an impossible task. And Leica did imply they were going to release other historical lenses.
I am not a lens designer, but I would think designing a 28mm f5.6 lens would not be a Herculean task.
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Old 10-30-2017   #40
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Been thinking about what lenses I would like to see reissued;top of my list would be
The amazing 21mm F3.4 Super Angulon - with a filter thread usable with currently available brands - 49mm sounds ideal. Unless Leica created a matching UV.,2x yellow and 4x orange in the original 48mm
This is an appeal for all you film users out there including moi.
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