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Schacht Travenar Lenses

Joe Lee , Sep 10, 2002; 11:36 a.m.

Hi, I learnt that during the 60's Schacht Travenar produced three M39 lenses with Leica's permission - 35mm/3.5, 90mm/2.8 and 135mm/3.5. My friend bought a set recently and with the adaptors he used them on his M, the photos that he shown me were stunning.

I am tempted but before I commit I wish to have some comments about Schacht optic from you guys. Thanks a lot for your help.

BTW, please spare some time and visit my gallery at www.1388.com/photogallery which I have added many new images lately. 80% of the photos were using Leica.

Cheers!

Responses

Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Sep 10, 2002; 11:52 a.m.

Schacht also produced an 85mm f/2.8 many, many years ago that I tried out in the early 60's when I was young and poor. It was a dog! I recently picked up a 135/4.5 Schacht Culminar on Ebay for $31 + shipping. It looks close to new and came in the original plastic case. It's a tad soft wide open, useable at 5.6 and pretty good at 8 and 11. It's extremely light, about the lightest 135 I know of, which is the reason I bought it. There are times I want to have a 135 with me "just in case" and don't feel like carrying my 135/2.8 Elmarit. The downside of the lens is the lack of any filter thread so I have to look through my junk box for a push on adapter that fits because I really want to put a hood on it! If you have to buy a new M adapter it's no longer the great bargain, considering that M mount 135 Hektors aren't all that expensive on Ebay. I already had the adapter.

Joe Lee , Sep 10, 2002; 12:13 p.m.

Thanks Al,

I use 135mm very, very frequently, around 50% of my photos posted on my gallery were taken with 135mm, either Tele-Elmar or Elmarit, both are great!

I am interested in Schacht 90mm/2.8 as I do not have a 90mm lens. I saw one available in www.leicashop.at in A/B condition asking for 440 EUR, plus postage and adaptor will probably come up to US$450~500.

A bit irrational, isn't it? Should consider an earlier 90mm/2.8 Elmarit...

Jay . , Sep 10, 2002; 12:28 p.m.

>>I am interested in Schacht 90mm/2.8 as I do not have a 90mm lens. I saw one available in www.leicashop.at in A/B condition asking for 440 EUR, plus postage and adaptor will probably come up to US$450~500. A bit irrational, isn't it? <<

A *bit*??!! For US$320 or thereabouts you can get a brand-new Voigtlander 90/3.5 APO-Lanthar, which even Erwin Puts rates as better than any older Leica 90 and close to the current Elmarit.

Dave Jenkins , Sep 10, 2002; 12:44 p.m.

I had an 85mm f2.8 about 10 04 12 years ago. It was a sorry piece of glass.

Jerry Lehrer , Sep 10, 2002; 01:04 p.m.

Joe

The first long lens that I bought in my poorer days was Schacht Travenar.I used it for sports car race pictures. It was a dog too. I found what a real lens was with a Tele-Elmarit.

We all have different standards and expectations. YRMV.

Jerry

Ed Balko , Sep 10, 2002; 01:56 p.m.

The three lenses which you mention were available mail order for about $25 apiece. One ad in the back of Modern Photography offered them for several years at that price.

I bought the 35mm in my student days. It was OK for the price but nothing special in performance.

Joe Lee , Sep 10, 2002; 09:22 p.m.

Thanks to you all! After reading all yours negative feedbacks I have decided to drop the idea.

I will take Jay's advise and consider a brand-new Voigtlander 90/3.5 APO-Lanthar.

Cheers!

James Elwing , Sep 11, 2002; 10:19 a.m.

Nobody ever had anything nice to say about Schacht lenses for LTM except Leica Fotografie who were pleased if anybody German was prepared to make LTM coupled RF lenses when Leitz ceased production. As far as weight in 135mm LTM lenses was concerned, nothing could be much lighter than a nice Russian Jupiter11 135 f4, it almost floated away on aluminium wings. I think this was OK optically, as I had one to fit the LTM SLR Zenit3M (etc)in my youth, and it was OK, but the LTM coupled RF version wobbled around something fierce, when focussing, but (i) thought the coatings were pretty.

Eric Chan , Nov 29, 2002; 06:22 p.m.

I wanted an inexpensive 90mm screwmount for my Voigtlander Bessa-R for street photography in Mexico or somewhere else that didn't warrant a 'real' Leica camera. Hence I found that Central Camera in Chicago is listing a used Leica screwmount 90mm Travenar for $295. I visited their store in mid-November and looked at it closely - its in very nice cosmetic condition. The salesman told me its a sharp lens and that it was better than am Elmar f4 90mm lens. He also said that $250 WAS THE BEST PRICE he could offer me, because they had to recover what they paid for it. After reading the comments on this thread, I've decided to steer clear of these Schacht lenses even though they were made in Ulm, Germany. This thread has saved me from throwing money away! THANKS!

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