Showcase Leica 50mm f/1.5 Xenon

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Mount Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by Mr_Flibble, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I got this lens in the first months of this year. It was advertized as "UG" at KEH, The entire lens unit was loose and turning in the mount and both ends were full of cleaning marks.
    It took me a while to figure out how to properly disassemble and reassemble it, but I managed to tighten up the focus.
    Recently the cleaning marks were polished out. The lens is still prone to flare, but not as badly as it was before.

    A little over 6100 Xenon lenses were manufactured, it is assumed by Schneider-Kreuznach for Leica. To sell them overseas the lens had to be marked as Taylor,Taylor & Hobson Xenon lenses because of the running patents on the lens design.
    The lens never sold well over the years it was offered (between 1936-1948). Mine is from a batch of 1500 numbered and sold in 1937.
    Eventually it was replaced by Leica's own version of the lens, the Summarit. Which is, I'm told, basically the same lens formula with (better) coating.


    Examples from a recent roll of Agfa Superpan 200. The lens was used with a vented sun hood.

    MDW1308.

    MDW1309.

    MDW1310.

    MDW1313.


    Older (pre-polish) sample, with Lucky B/W 100, where the lack of anti-halation makes the glow even worse
    [​IMG]


    It's definitely not a lens you use for say Landscape photography, but the softness at wider aperture certainly has the ability to create pleasing portraits.
     
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  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Thankyou for posting these- they look good to me, the polishing made a big difference.

    When the lens was apart, were there any focal length indications scribed on the inner barrel? I've taken 5 Summarits apart, all were scribed "51.1". This explains why the Summarits front-focus at F1.5 but are at sharp at infinity.
     
  3. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I recall there was some pencil markings on the ring that holds the lens unit in place, but I can't say for certain what it was. If the lens comes loose again I'll remember to check for the number.

    Here are a few from a roll I shot last weekend in the Ardennes. Agfa Superpan 200. I need to finetune the curves/contrast in post-processing one of these days.

    1. Historic town of Durbuy
    CH130931.

    2. Brothers
    CH130932.

    3. Outgrown
    CH130938.

    4. More alleyways
    CH130939.

    5. Texas hold'em
    CH130946.


    I'm really starting to like this lens ;)
     
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  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Another lens for the list to look for...

    I believe that the Summarit was slightly modified from the Xenon, more than just coatings. I really liked using it with C-41 process Black and White- the Summarit tamed the contrast of that film.
     
  5. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    More Xenon and Superpan 200 (and Yellow 1 filter)

    Our small study group portraying Doughboys of the 32nd Infantry Division in 1918.

    61dfccafd3ee79b00ba60d4f4f005bf5.

    c5950602cfd4f4cdd1decd40363ce2ae.
     
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  6. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    And some more from a shoot at the Abbey at Villers-la-Ville.

    Leica M3 DS with Xenon and Yellow 1 filter

    AV131072.

    AV131074.

    AV131085.

    AV131094.


    Sorry for spamming this topic ;)
     
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  7. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Xenon 50mm f/1.5 on Leica IIIc with cheap expired Agfa HDC 400+, Royal Dutch Engineer Museum

    501fe9ee1bcb4fc25c3e3647c96205c2.

    8f9074db85a974c8e5d97d68582e6e7f.
     
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  8. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The color in the last shot looks like original Kodachrome- Love it.
     
  9. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I agree it looks somewhat better than the rolls of expired Konica VX100 I got in this lot of film too. But for my Kodachrome look I like Ektar 100 better ;)
     
  10. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    Forgot to share these from earlier this year



    Rosmalen Oldtimer Fair with Agfa Superpan 200 film
    AT140203.

    AT140211.
     
  11. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    well- this thread stuck in my mind, and I just won a very late Xenon on Ebay. Will post some pictures with it, it is factory-coated, must be made just after WW-II.
     
  12. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I recall reading one theory that the lenses were all produced in 1936 but were sold in batches until 1948. The serial numbers were added when the batches were readied for sales.
    Is yours marked Taylor, Taylor & Hobson for the American Market? Or is it 'European' one?
     
  13. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    It does not have the TTH markings on it- interesting. It is from the last batch. The Leica WIKI states that the SN batch was assigned in 1939. I suspect they were completed in small numbers during the war and after. With the Zeiss lenses, Thiele shows when the batch was ordered and when it was finished. Same with Nikon- the early SN showed when the batch was ordered. With the LTM Nikkors, the focus mount has a separate SN showing the date.

    I want to compare the coated Xenon with my Summarits. The Summarits were made to 51.1mm focal length, I will look for marks on the Xenon.
     
  14. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    If you are going to disassemble it. the locking holes for tightening the lens tube sections to eachother in the focus mount are hidden under the knurled focus ring. There was one locking screw that holds the focus ring to the mount. Ring then unscrews.
    I recall mine had pencil markings with the focal lenght on the side of the lens tube, but can't remember what it said.
     
  15. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Thanks for the tip! Sounds like the Summarit is similar. If you took any pictures, please post them.
     
  16. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    What is current market value for a Xenon?
     
  17. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    444
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I think they start at around $400 most of the time.

    Brian, you can use the Summarit's (dis)assembly guide to take it apart and to rebuild it. Only difference is how those service openings are hidden like I mentioned above. :)
     
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  18. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    should be in this week- This is a lens that has me curious, I would like to know if it and the Summarit are the same optically.
     
  19. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    HELP!

    This is a late Xenon. The large screw on the three-ring focus comes out, but the ring does not budge.

    Small screws up top come out, allow the F-Stop index to be rotated. I dod not try the screws on the aperture ring- this could cause some real problems on some lenses, as in blades falling out.

    Any pointers will help, the glass is nice- but some haze.

    I've readjusted spacing of elements in my Summarit, but this Xenon - may go to Youxin...
     

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  20. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Did you get it this week?