Dan Tamarkin here from Tamarkin Camera in downtown Chicago to talk a little bit about early 50-millimeter lenses from Lecia for the Leica M system. We have here a couple of examples: One for a screw mount camera for point of illustration. See what we started out with when the M cameras were introduced. These collapsible lenses were fabulously compact When the Leica M3 was introduced
Leica used lenses that collapsed as well. This is a 50-millimeter Summicron lens, collapsible. It happens to be a screw mount lens with an adapter on it. This style of 50 Summicron was made in both screw mount & M bayonet mount.
This is where we started with the collapsible 50 millimeter lens. Then, Leica created the rigid Summicron, and the rigid Summicron didn't collapse like its earlier cousin.
Like the collapsable lens, it has an infinity lock that has to be pressed down in order to bring the lens to focus from infinity, locks at infinity, and then you can focus down to about one meter with this lens. This is a pristine example of the rigid Summicron.
Then, they realized they could do better, and they created the 50 Summicron with close focusing capabilities called the 50 dual range Summicron. The same capabilities as the rigid Summicron, the dual range was packaged with a little ocular attachment, sometimes called goggles, that would fit on the front of the lens that allowed you to see in the rangefinder this close focusing scale. Brilliant design.
The lens has two focusing scales: infinity to about a meter, and then a little tab, and the lens be lifted over the tab and into the close focusing range. Once there, the lens is locked and can't move until this little ball is depressed by fitting on the ocular attachment, and now, you can close focus about 19 inches. The 50 dual range Summicron and the 50 rigid Summicron are about the same size, same imaging capabilities, two different models.
Whether you choose the rigid Summicron or the dual range Summicron, The imaging capabilities are the same. And one important note about these two different Summicrons is because of the close focusing capabilities of the dual range, it cannot be used on the digital M cameras. However, its cousin, the rigid Summicron, can and makes beautiful, beautiful images.