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Leica 60mm Elmarit and 65mm Elmar

Ken Lai , Sep 18, 2002; 01:44 a.m.

I am thinking of buying either the 60mm Elmarit for my R or 65mm Elmar for M Viso. I will be using the lens mainly for macro work but occasionally also for portrait and even landscape. Does anyone here have experience with both lenses? How do you compare the two?

Responses


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Jay . , Sep 18, 2002; 07:09 a.m.

The 60 Elmarit is head and shoulders above even the black version 2 65 Viso lens. In fact the 60 Elmarit is a better all-around lens than the 50 Summicron-R if the speed isn't an issue. As a bonus, the 60 Elmarit will cost you about the same as a black 65, which then needs either a bellows or the short-mount helicoid plus the Viso. IMO it's a no-brainer if you've already got an R body.

Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Sep 18, 2002; 09:06 a.m.

I've been using the 65mm Elmar for closeup and copy work for 30+ years. During that time it's been used on a Visoflex II, Leicaflx SL, SL2, Leica R4s, various Pentax screw mount bodies, and a Minolta X-700. It's been able to infinity focus on all. Since getting rid of most of my reflex stuff it's now back on the Visoflex. It used to be said that this was probably the sharpest, flattest field 4 element lens ever made.

The Visoflex offers a chimney magnifier for right-angle viewing, and the option of mirror pre-release and lock-up. The 65 Elmar's focussing mount accepts the heads of the older 90 Elmarit, the 135 Tele-Elmar and with additional tube, the Elmar and Hektor as well. For macro (or long tele) work in controlled situations it is a fantastic system. For portraits use a auto diaphragm 90 on your R.

robert hitt , Sep 18, 2002; 09:37 a.m.

60mm Elmarit or/and 65mm Elmar

When I bought my first R-series camera the 60mm Elmarit lens was one of the reasons. I found that it was on the camera more then any other lens. Turn the camera vertical and keep both eyes open and the frame superimposes itself on the natural view in front of you. Stopped down it's a very sharp lens. But I found as I have said in another post just recently that and R-series seemed to be sitting too much after I stopped working in photography, and my M-series was the camera I picked up to take with me more often.

Back to a reflex camera with the Leicaflex SL I bought a few years ago the 65mm Elmar came to mind. I love that 65mm view, and along with a 35mm it is my ‘ideal’ 2-lens outfit. Chrome on a black paint body seemed a nice ‘classic’ outfit too. Along with the 14167 adapters to mount the 65mm Elmar and its focusing mount on the Leicaflex SL it works very well. Photography is more ‘thoughtful’ as you need to work through the mechanics of exposure and focus. It is not a ‘snap-shot’ outfit.

The 65mm Elmar is sharp, but not a ‘high-contrast’ lens. This can be an advantage or not, depending on your view of photographic images. I’ve tried the newer high-contrast positive films with low-contrast lens – like the Elmar and Summar – with interesting results. And with Black and White it is another story, ‘classic imagery’ is a way to describe it I think.

You can’t go wrong with either lens, maybe have both, or buy one and use it for a while, sell it, and try the other? I think you’ll find the used market price on either lens is about the same. You see the 60mm Elmarit more often, but the 65mm Elmars are still out there. Enjoy!

Eliot , Sep 18, 2002; 04:54 p.m.

The 65 mm/3.5 Viso lens was corrected for close-up applications and is an outstanding lens. It came in two versions, earlier (chrome, made by Leitz Canada) and later (black, made by Leitz Wetzlar). The black version was said to be a different formula with higher contrast, but in practice the chrome version is quite good and delivers corner to corner sharpness and flat field.

I doubt if the 60/2.8 Elmarit is any better, but if you are going to use an R camera it is more convenient. You can mount a 65/3.5 Elmar on an R camera with the above mentioned adapter, but there is no autodiaphragm, so you have to do stop down metering.

Bear in mind if you buy a 65/3.5 Elmar, the lenshead was originally sold separately from the "universal" focussing mount, so you have to make sure to get the mount (I believe it's called OTZFO or 16464, I'd have to check). Sometimes the lenshead is sold with the mount and sometimes not.

Ken Lai , Sep 18, 2002; 09:00 p.m.

Thanks guys for all your replies. I have both R and M cameras but no Viso stuff yet so I have no idea how that works. If I want to mount the 65 on the R, what do I need? Al mentioned I need an auto diaphragm 90. What is that? I search in ebay but didn't come up with anything. On the other hand, for viso, what do I need, apart from the Viso? I assume I only need the 65 lens head with 16464.

Now back to the lenses. I would prefer not-hash, lower contrast lenses (in my opinion, the 35 summicron asph or the 180 elmarit apo are usually too hash and contrasty for stuff I do). My favorite lenses are the 80 summilux, 75 summilux and summarit and actually the other lens I am thinking of buying is the 35 summilux pre-asph. I assume both the 60mm and 65mm are sort of in the same league as the 80 and 75 summilux? Now given that I prefer not- hash, lower contrast lenses, which one would you recommend?

Once again thanks very much for all your help.

Mark J. , Sep 18, 2002; 10:01 p.m.

Ken: The 65 Elmar requires BOTH a focus mount and a 14167 adapter to be used on an "R" camera. You do not need the 14167 for use on the Visoflex. The 65 will focus to infinity with the universal focus mount when used with a Visoflex II or III, but not the Visoflex I. The 65 Elmar does not have an auto diaphram for any application. This means focusing and shooting at a stopped down aperature, or opening up, focusing and closing down the aperature prior to shooting.

The 60 Elmarit is made in two version as I recall. Both versions focus from infinity to 1:2 as they come. I do not know the optical differences between the two lenses. The early one used a 1:1 rear tube that was special for that lens. The later one, the tube could be used with other lenses as well. I have the 60 Elmarit, but not the 65 Elmar. I would think the 65 Elmar to be lower in contrast than the 60 Elmarit.

Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Sep 19, 2002; 01:10 a.m.

I didn't say you need an auto 90! What I said was that the focussing mount was threaded for the 65mm Elmar, the lenshead of the old "long" 90mm Elmarit and the 135mm Tele-Elmar. The previous 135mm Leitz lenses were the f/4 Elmar and the f/4.5 Hektor. These were long focus lenses and required a tube between the lens head and the focussing mount, probably next to impossible to find. A focussing mount was also available for the 90mm f/4 Elmar. Still another accepted the heads of the f/2.8 135mm Elmarit as well as the older model of the 90mm Summicron. The 90mm Summicron could be ordered with a preset diaphragm, and these sometimes show up on Ebay with a dedicated short focussing mount that has distance callibrations like the rangefinder mount version. The "universal" focussing mounts aren't callibrated for focussing distance.

To recap, there were 4 short focussing mounts:

1.)90mm Elmar 2.)90mm Summicron, dedicated

3.)universal for 65 Elmar, 90 Elmarit and 135 Tele-Elmar,plus Elmar and Hektor with tube

4.)universal for 90 Summicron and 135 Elmarit

Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Sep 19, 2002; 01:17 a.m.

Ken, I misread both your and my letters. Sorry! What I suggested was to use a 90mm on your R for portraiture. Both the 90 Summicrons and 90 Elmarits made for the R have automatic diaphragms.

Douglas Herr , Sep 19, 2002; 04:16 a.m.

I do not know the optical differences between the two lenses.

There are no optical differences in the versions of 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R, only filter size and metering cam differences. Here's an online review of this lens.


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