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The DR Summicron will work in near range and normal range on M9
Old 04-16-2016   #1
Richard G
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The DR Summicron will work in near range and normal range on M9

On another thread Raid suggested I give a run down on how I use the DR Summicron on my M9 and Monochrom. I generally only use it around the house and for portraits and the garden and bits of interior. I need to be unhurried and disciplined, especially in the normal range where you can use it but not through the entire focus range.

The Dual Range Summicron features in the M2 instructions and is a wonderful lens. It’s superbly built and heavy. The optics are remarakably good and the rendering on black and white film and slide film is lovely. It is great on the Monochrom. It is said that its manufacture is at a level of obsessionality above other Leitz lenses of its era, perhaps because of the fine tolerances required for use in the close range.

Its fate in the digital era is a sad one: it is either ‘modified’, or butchered as some would have it, by sawing off the close-range brass rangefinder cam, or, perhaps worse, abandoned as a prospect altogether because it is incompatible, can’t be mounted, won’t work etc.

First, the lens will mount on the M9/Monochrom/ME just like any other Leitz/Leica lens. This has to be done carefully. I store the lens at the beginning of the close range and mount it in that focus position. It will mount in the normal range, but there is the risk of focussing the lens too far towards infinity (farther than just 4m) and this will scratch the interior, or worse. There is no particular point on the compass that is a concern with mounting the DR: it is the square black interior housing which will be struck by any too posterior displacement of the close range brass cam as you focus in the normal range towards infinity. The path of the focus cam describes a circle just within the M mount aperture and does not clear that black housing at any point as it moves backwards with focus towards infinity.

With the lens focussed at the far end of the near range it allows for the close-range cam to touch the cam follower rangefinder actuating arm as the lens is inserted, and remain in focussing contact as you rotate the lens into the standard M mount locked position. Looking down on top the of the lens, with the lens front away from you, the square focus ring lug is just to the right of the close-up googles mounting bridge. The lens needs to be in the close range and in that precise position for the goggles to be mounted. The inferior surface of the goggle mount must depress a spring-loaded ball bearing on the bridge to mount properly, and only then will the focus ring rotate into the closer range.

Some users who have posted online have been able to mount the lens and the goggles with no modification. I had to remove the little black plastic back-protruding stabilisation bar that would usually sit on the front edge of the top-cover of the M2. My M9 top-cover is too high and/or too close for this bar to stay on. I do wonder if those who claim they didn’t need to do anything actually have goggles that have already lost this little piece, or whose ball bearing lock no longer works. The whole set up is quite satisfactory without the stabilisation bar.

In the close range the lens works exactly as on my M2.

Now for the scary part, similar to using forbidden collapsible lenses in M5s and CLs and digital Leicas. With the lens focus ring back in the farthest focus position of the close range you remove the goggles. Next you grip the focus ring of the DR Summicron and pull it out and lift the square focus ring key from its position to the right of the google mount bridge (looking down with the lens front away from you) across the front and then it springs back into a position to the left of the goggle mount bridge. Form here you can focus from 1m out to 4m. Attempt to focus any farther and you will be rotating a solid brass cam back into the square black light chamber box of the camera, gouging out a unique modification of your camera that will feel and sound and look terrible and will likely be regretted bitterly, even if it doesn’t cause lasting functional damage to the camera. So this is something to experiment with cold sober and not in company. And I never leave my DR Summicron on the camera unless locked up, and even then, only back in the close range. Mine only has distances in feet, so I set my limit at 12 feet, conservatively. I will one day check with a ruler just how far I can go, but I don’t want to tempt fate.
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Old 04-16-2016   #2
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Richard: Must I have the goggles for the DR to use it as you have described above? My DR came to me without its close-up eyes. I have postponed getting the eyes until I better understand whether I can use the lens or not,
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Old 04-16-2016   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Richard: Must I have the goggles for the DR to use it as you have described above? My DR came to me without its close-up eyes. I have postponed getting the eyes until I better understand whether I can use the lens or not,

You won't be able to focus accurately in the near range without them unless you have a camera with live view like the 240
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Old 04-16-2016   #4
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I am now looking for DR eyes.
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Old 04-16-2016   #5
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Raid, the DR Eyes are necessary to depress the spring-loaded ball bearing on the mounting bridge. That depression frees the focus ring to rotate to the nearer distances. Without the eyes the DR is not useable in the close range whether one has live-view or not.

Again, only from what I have read online, I believe that the eyes need to match the lens. Mine has the borderless Leitz Wetzlar script, whereas some have the older enclosed Leitz 'condenser lens' logo on them. Ageing the lens from the serial number might go some way to ensuring the eyes match. Whether this is a real concern or not I do not know, but if you are buying without trying I would insist on a return policy.

See post three in the following thread:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=37720

So the older style Eyes go on any DR and the more modern one doesn't fit on an early one, apparently. But mine seems to be just such a combination with a 159xxxx serial number on the lens (1958) and the distance scale in feet only. The DR was produced from 1956 to 1968.
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Old 04-16-2016   #6
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Of course, if one manufactures a steel foot like that of the Leitz eyes and slide that into position, depressing the ball bearing, then the lens will operate in close range and will be focussable with live-view.
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Old 04-16-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Raid, the DR Eyes are necessary to depress the spring-loaded ball bearing on the mounting bridge. That depression frees the focus ring to rotate to the nearer distances. Without the eyes the DR is not useable in the close range whether one has live-view or not.

That's not quite right. You can just press the ball down with your thumbnail to get it past the range break. It'll focus freely on either side -- the ball is just a lock, and an easily defeated one, preventing you from switching without the goggles. So folks with live view cameras can use it. I also have a rigid summicron so I don't really ever use it on my 240. It lives on my M3. But it was a great disappointment to me that it wouldn't mount properly. I really hoped it would on the full frame ones -- it is a lovely lens.
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Old 04-16-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHutchins View Post
That's not quite right. You can just press the ball down with your thumbnail to get it past the range break. It'll focus freely on either side -- the ball is just a lock, and an easily defeated one, preventing you from switching without the goggles. So folks with live view cameras can use it. I also have a rigid summicron so I don't really ever use it on my 240. It lives on my M3. But it was a great disappointment to me that it wouldn't mount properly. I really hoped it would on the full frame ones -- it is a lovely lens.
Thanks for the clarification. It looks more promising already.
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Old 04-17-2016   #9
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I will have to check the DR lens first to see if it is "old" or "very old"
Thank you all for the useful tips for the eyes.
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Old 04-17-2016   #10
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Be sure to get the correct eyes. There are two types for early and late DR lenses. They are not interchangeable although both will fit either lens, just the image area is different.
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Old 04-17-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Be sure to get the correct eyes. There are two types for early and late DR lenses. They are not interchangeable although both will fit either lens, just the image area is different.
I am puzzled by all this. Mine must be an early DR, 159xxxx, single distance scale in feet, close focus to 19 inches, but the later eyes. How and why would the field of the eyes be different when the lens external dimensions, focus etc are the same?
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Old 04-17-2016   #12
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There was a related article from RFF member Toofy here http://www.rfsg.asia/leica-m8-50mm-f-2-summicron-dr/.
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Old 04-17-2016   #13
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Thanks for the link.

If you own a Rigid Summicron and a DR, what would you do about using the DR with close-focus on the M8/M9? Switch around the optical modules?
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Old 04-17-2016   #14
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My DR Summicron has serial number 157xxxx and the distance scale is only in meter. Richard's DR has serial number 159xxxx, and he sees it as the older model. My DR may be from a batch that was made in 1958. The old model. I need the first model goggles then. There are many sets of DR goggles for sale now, but I am seeing mostly the second model eyes.
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Old 04-17-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Thanks for the link.

If you own a Rigid Summicron and a DR, what would you do about using the DR with close-focus on the M8/M9? Switch around the optical modules?
I can't think of any reason on earth to do that.

The optical module of the DR and the Rigid are the same. Some have claimed that the DR was the more carefully quality controlled lens, but if you put a DR optical module on a rigid mount you have a rigid Summicron, but one that wasn't matched to its mount at the factory. It will not close focus -- that is entirely the mount. Similarly, if you put a rigid optical module on a DR mount you have a DR summicron, and a lens that can't be focused to infinity on a digital Leica, but -- again -- one that wasn't matched to its mount.

If you want a classic summicron to use both at infinity and in the near range on a digital Leica, you have to carry around both.
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Old 04-17-2016   #16
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What you say sounds reasonable. I said what I said after accessing the posted link on using a DR on the M8.
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Old 04-17-2016   #17
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I am beginning to think this eyes incompatibility thing is all about nothing:

From the thread I quoted in post 5 above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsm3 View Post
Ok, I knew it, here we go....I have a V1 lens (1532523, 1957, in feet only) and a new set of bugeyes (no border around the Leitz logo).
It fits fine, and locks and won't pull off unless the max focus distance is set in the short mode, just over 32" (in other words rotating tab tight to fixed tab). And it works too, and I can prove it with my biggest tomato shot, but I can't figure out how to attach a thumbnail from my gallery here. Since Steven can't be wrong (that infallibility thing), it must be an anomaly worth $10k.....
This accords with my set up. JHutchins above assures us too that the any eyes will fit any DR but that the field of view differs between the two and needs to be mated to the similar vintage DR. It is difficult to imagine how that could be, other than a slightly wider view of the eariler eyes to allow that extra inch of VF coverage of close focus with the native camera parallax correction at 19 inches. It couldn't matter much.
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Old 04-17-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
I am beginning to think this eyes incompatibility thing is all about nothing:

From the thread I quoted in post 5 above:



This accords with my set up. JHutchins above assures us too that the any eyes will fit any DR but that the field of view differs between the two and needs to be mated to the similar vintage DR. It is difficult to imagine how that could be, other than a slightly wider view of the eariler eyes to allow that extra inch of VF coverage of close focus with the native camera parallax correction at 19 inches. It couldn't matter much.
Sorry, I've been unclear. When I was speaking of the 'optical unit" I meant the cell with the actual glass in it.

A DR summicron has three parts.

1) The optical cell/aperture unit. All the glass is in this as well as the iris diaphragm and the aperture control ring.
2) The mount. The rangefinder cam, focusing ring and focusing helical are in this. Together these make the lens proper and when you focus the focusing helical simply moves the optical cell farther from the film plane or closer to it.
3) The goggles -- these slide over a fitting on the top of the lens mount. They have corrective lenses for the viewfinder and rangefinder windows that allow the rangefinder to be closer in than the near distance it was originally designed for. They also depress a small ball bearing in the lens mount that prevents you from switching from the far to the near range unless it is depressed.

The ball bearing doesn't have to be continually pressed -- once you turn a little into the near range the focusing ring turns freely whether the bearing is depressed or not. But you do have to press it down to get into the near range. So if you have a digital body with live view, you can use a DR summicron in its near range without the goggles, you just have to press the bearing down with your thumb when you first move into the near range. What you can't do is use the DR on a digital body to focus on things farther than a few feet away. The rangefinder cam grounds out on the body (and you risk damaging your body because it's possible to apply a fair amount of force with the mechanical advantage the focusing helical gives you).

The Rigid summicron is also made with a seperable optical cell and lens mount. IF you have a rigid summicron and a DR summicron AND your optical cells have the same measured focal length then you can put the DR cell on a rigid mount or vice versa. Everything should work fine. This allows you to use a DR optical cell to focus to infinity on a digital camera though you can't, of course, focus any closer than your rigid summicron could because the close focusing distance is determined by the lens mount and not by the optical cell. You could also use your rigid optical cell on a DR mount effectively making it a DR summicron. My understanding is that the optical cells are of identical design, and differ only in sample variation.

BUT

There is sample variation. The article linked above says all DR summicrons measure out to 51.9 mm. That is not true. My DR summicron has 49.7 engraved on the optical cell but the serial numbers on the cell and mount match (1942107 for what it's worth -- dual focusing scale with feet in red and meters in black. My goggles are the later type withjust the Leitz written in script and Wetzlar below that in a sans serif face.

You can interchange optical cells and mounts but because of sample variation, you can't do so perfectly.

So far as I know, late goggles will fit on an early lens and work properly but early goggles may not fit on a late lens because of mechanical changes in the goggle mount.
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Old 04-17-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHutchins View Post
Sorry, I've been unclear. When I was speaking of the 'optical unit" I meant the cell with the actual glass in it.

A DR summicron has three parts.

1) The optical cell/aperture unit. All the glass is in this as well as the iris diaphragm and the aperture control ring.
2) The mount. The rangefinder cam, focusing ring and focusing helical are in this. Together these make the lens proper and when you focus the focusing helical simply moves the optical cell farther from the film plane or closer to it.
3) The goggles -- these slide over a fitting on the top of the lens mount. They have corrective lenses for the viewfinder and rangefinder windows that allow the rangefinder to be closer in than the near distance it was originally designed for. They also depress a small ball bearing in the lens mount that prevents you from switching from the far to the near range unless it is depressed.

The ball bearing doesn't have to be continually pressed -- once you turn a little into the near range the focusing ring turns freely whether the bearing is depressed or not. But you do have to press it down to get into the near range. So if you have a digital body with live view, you can use a DR summicron in its near range without the goggles, you just have to press the bearing down with your thumb when you first move into the near range. What you can't do is use the DR on a digital body to focus on things farther than a few feet away. The rangefinder cam grounds out on the body (and you risk damaging your body because it's possible to apply a fair amount of force with the mechanical advantage the focusing helical gives you).

The Rigid summicron is also made with a seperable optical cell and lens mount. IF you have a rigid summicron and a DR summicron AND your optical cells have the same measured focal length then you can put the DR cell on a rigid mount or vice versa. Everything should work fine. This allows you to use a DR optical cell to focus to infinity on a digital camera though you can't, of course, focus any closer than your rigid summicron could because the close focusing distance is determined by the lens mount and not by the optical cell. You could also use your rigid optical cell on a DR mount effectively making it a DR summicron. My understanding is that the optical cells are of identical design, and differ only in sample variation.

BUT

There is sample variation. The article linked above says all DR summicrons measure out to 51.9 mm. That is not true. My DR summicron has 49.7 engraved on the optical cell but the serial numbers on the cell and mount match (1942107 for what it's worth -- dual focusing scale with feet in red and meters in black. My goggles are the later type withjust the Leitz written in script and Wetzlar below that in a sans serif face.

You can interchange optical cells and mounts but because of sample variation, you can't do so perfectly.

So far as I know, late goggles will fit on an early lens and work properly but early goggles may not fit on a late lens because of mechanical changes in the goggle mount.
Thanks very much. Interesting about your 49.7. Each single instance is another important piece of the jigsaw.
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Old 04-17-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Thanks very much. Interesting about your 49.7. Each single instance is another important piece of the jigsaw.
You know, I said that, but looking again, it's certainly possible that what I'm interpreting as 49.7 could be a 19 with some inscrutable cipher scrawled after it -- the german hand scratched 1 has such a long cap that what I take for a 4 could be a 1. So it'd be a presumptive 5 in front and therefore a 51.9 which agrees with the authorities.

My rigid summicron is definitely a 51.9
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Old 04-17-2016   #21
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No point in using it on the M9. Get a Rigid and keep the DR for film Ms. I love this lens, btw.


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Old 04-17-2016   #22
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Looking online I see 19 written along the axis of the lens after the m of meter in collapsibles and later Summicrons, but not the DR. Maybe it's written elsewhere. Or maybe it was superfluous precisely because they did make them all 51.9 in focal length. Is the barrel of the DR lens unit scribed like I've seen with the Rigids online? All the 50mm lenses I've seen just now are all 19 (51.9). On the barrel of the lens unit of the Rigid it is scribed by hand in full 51.9.
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Old 04-18-2016   #23
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Since my DR is an old version DR from 1958, I could then buy any DR goggles. I think that this is correct based on what has been posted here. Of course, the issue of using it on an M9 is up for debate.
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Old 04-18-2016   #24
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Ralph Gibson is a fan of the DR and close-up with the Monochrom.

http://lfi-online.de/ceemes/en/news/...v-1000917.html
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Old 04-18-2016   #25
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Thanks for the link, Richard. Very interesting use of the DR.
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Old 10-21-2016   #26
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How rare and expensive is the black Dual Range Summicron?
http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-..._f%3D_5_cm_1:2
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Old 10-21-2016   #27
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Here's a shot using the Summicron DR on the M9 in close focus mode. I didn't do significant testing, but the setup worked fine for me, with the eyes. As I recall, I think I mounted it with the lens already set to close focus mode.

the closer focus - 50mm Summicron DR by Jordan Dickinson, on Flickr
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #28
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It is 2019 today.
I still have not purchased the close focus unit for the DR.
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