Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum- M9/M Monochrom with the Nikkor 5cm F1.5 and F1.4

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by Brian, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Went to one of my favorite Museums today, with the Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5 and F1.4 (early) lenses. Took the M9 and M Monochrom- meaning I did 4 sets of pictures and got a lot of walking in today. I wanted a comparison between the two lenses. After going through color and monochrome images all evening, shot with the two lenses mostly wide-open and a couple stopped down to F4: I could not tell the two apart. My F1.4 lens is an early one, same optical formula as the 5005 series and "Tokyo" series. Marked "Japan", it still retains the earlier optical formula. Some time at the 33x run of F1.4 lenses, the formula was changed- all of the optics increased diameter and the fixtures also changed.

    The 1.5 lens, wide-open with the Space Shuttle.

    [​IMG]

    And everyone's favorite- the SR-71.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first time that I've taken the F1.5 Nikkor out on the M9.

    In a little closer, with the Monochrom:

    [​IMG]

    And the Bokeh goes Wild!
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The F1.4, wide-open, on th M9:

    [​IMG]

    Back a little,

    [​IMG]

    "Almost Monochrome" wide-open at F1.4, on the M9.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    And back to the F1.5, wide-open on the M9.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, these are different lenses.... The 5cm F1.5 lens was formulated in 1937 but first made in May, 1949. The F1.4 lens was first made in May, 1950- computed after the war.

    I've read that the 5cm F1.5 lens was a "poor performer" and that the F1.4 lens was much better. The two lenses look equal in performance to me. The glass on my two lenses is in near-perfect condition.

    How things have changed in 10 years since I bought the Nikkor 5cm F1.4... It was $95 at Midwest Camera Exchange. I also have a collapsible Nikkor 5cm F2, $270... With a Nicca III, made in Occupied Japan.
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Another view of the SR-71, Nikkor 5cm F1.5 wide-open:

    [​IMG]

    And with th F1.4, wide-open.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Nikkor F1.5, wide-open on the M9:

    [​IMG]

    and the F1.4 wide-open on the Monochrom:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Nikkor F1.5, on the M9:

    [​IMG]

    and the F1.4, on the M9

    [​IMG]

    And the F1.4, wide-open on the Monochrom.

    [​IMG]

    ISO is set to 320 on the M9, for a direct comparison with the M Monochrom for most shots.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
  8. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Some beautiful birds in there. Surprisingly rich color from those old lenses.
     
  9. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The Udvar Hazy has set up their restoration facility, moved it from Silver Hill. Some last-of-a-kind airplanes in it. A Japanese jet fighter from WW-II is currently undergoing restoration. A couple of trips per year means seeing something new everytime.

    I'll have to bring two examples of a Sonnar with me next time, coated and uncoated.
     
  10. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    709
    Aug 19, 2013
    Hi Brian

    I am a first timer here on this site and was actually referred by another person from another site where I posted a question wondering who was the person I saw at the Udvar Hazy Center last Saturday using a Monochrom. I guess you are that person I saw. You probably will not remember me since I am just another person using a DSLR but I am sure you will remember my daughter. I noticed you had a little smile on your face when you saw my 4 yrs old daughter taking pictures with the Nikon V1.

    Anyway, I saw you again around noon time and was going to say hi but my daughter was in such a hurry to go to the bathroom. By the time I came out, you were no longer there.

    Also, amazing bokeh from those old Nikkor lens.

    Vince
     
  11. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Welcome aboard! I did notice the Dad with a D800e on the Nikon Neckstrap and cute kids with cameras! You looked busy, I was going to show you the Nikon lenses that were on my cameras...

    I was "zipping around" trying to get 4 sets, monochrome with each lens and color with each lens. The Nikkor 5cm F1.5 is rare, only 300 made in Leica mount and maybe 400 in Nikon S-Mount. Not much written about it, and very few comparisons with other Sonnars. Yet, it was THE lens that got the attention of the world through David Douglas Duncan's photographs. The SN of my lens is within 15 of the one he used, so was most likely still in the factory when he made his tour through it. After looking through a few sets taken with this lens, it's every bit as sharp as the more famous F1.4 lens that replaced it.
     
  12. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    709
    Aug 19, 2013
    You know, when I saw your setup, I was trying to figure out what lens you have on that camera. From the quick glance, the condition looked awesome. I assume the hood that you have on that time was not the original hood. For a while there, I thought you might have a Summilux but the finish is just not the right finish. I would love to know how it compares to the Sonnar. I had the C.Sonnar ZM really liked how it render the image. It is also quite light as compare to the 50 Lux Asph.

    Anyway, glad to bump into you. From that encounter, I found another Leica website to fuel my addiction :)

    Regards
    Vince
     
  13. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I am building up a comparison between 50mm lenses on the Monochrom, some one-of-a-kind conversions will find their way into it.

    https://www.leicaplace.com/f12/5cm-50mm-shoot-out-marine-museum-192/

    The 5cm F1.5 Nikkor renders very close to the pre-war 5cm F1.5 Sonnar. The pre-war Zeiss Sonnar was never in regular production as a Leica lens, a trial run of a couple lenses was done in 1934- was just a trial, the design could not be put into production. I have a friend that lent me one. I've converted 30 5cm F1.5 Sonnars to Leica mount, and of course shot with al of them to see how they performed. More deviation between individual lenses than the Nikkor 5cm F1.4's. Zeiss recomputed the F1.5 Sonnar sometime around 1940. The wartime Zeiss lenses are sharper edge-to-edge than the pre-war lenses. My copies are better edge-to-edge than the Nikkors.

    I did some background research on the lens, documented it here:

    https://www.leicaplace.com/f2/nikko...ought-attention-japanese-camera-industry-185/
     
  14. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    This is with my custom-converted 1934 5cm F1.5 Zeiss Sonnar, wide-open on the M9.

    [​IMG]

    Converted using parts from three different Jupiter-3 focus mounts, mostly left overs from broken lenses.

    [​IMG]

    The hoods that you saw were all inexpensive Chinese made vented hoods, ~$5 each. Not as nice as this vintage Walz, but get the job done.
     
  15. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    It's scary to think that a famous maker lens would carry an unjust reputation for so many years, unless there were a great many bad samples.
     
  16. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Looking at "This is War" by David Douglas Duncan, his Nikkor 5cm F1.5 lens was quite good. This lens is "rare", and I suspect the few surviving examples are unused and sitting in collectors trophy cases. I've not seen many people show images from this lens. This lens is over $3,000 from the "usual suspect" Ebay sellers of rare lenses. Mine was half that, I am a collector, but collect lenses that I want to use. Some "in the know" collectors keep information "proprietary" to keep prices down.
     
  17. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    709
    Aug 19, 2013
    While shifting thru the pictures I took during my visit to the Udvar Hazy center, guess what I found, a cameo of Brian

    DSC_8109.
     
  18. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    AAAHHHHH!!!

    Too funny, caught pixel-peeping! and probably the next shot will be the F-105!
     
  19. xdayv

    xdayv Leica Place Veteran

    404
    Mar 31, 2013
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    Brian, those old lenses are a gem, I especially like how it rendered the SR71.
     
  20. abl33

    abl33 New to Leica Place

    9
    Mar 30, 2013
    and here's a couple from the X2 image. image. image.