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Thread: Leica LF lens (?) :)

  1. #1

    Leica LF lens (?) :)

    So I was cleaning a new to me Leica 135mm f/4.5 Hector and to my surprise the entire lens group unscrews from the lens tube. My first instinct was, I wonder what the image circle is now that it's looking more like a LF lens. Upon mounting it to my Deardorff 810 I was blown away, it projected an IC of 8 1/2" with a mechanical cut off meaning the IC is even bigger without the limitation of the housing. Have anyone else made similar discovery and actually shot with the lens on sheet films?
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  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    The Hektor was issued in a few different configurations, (number of aperture blades and coating) none of which changed its coverage. Good for your experimentation.

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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by fuegocito View Post
    So I was cleaning a new to me Leica 135mm f/4.5 Hector and to my surprise the entire lens group unscrews from the lens tube. My first instinct was, I wonder what the image circle is now that it's looking more like a LF lens. Upon mounting it to my Deardorff 810 I was blown away, it projected an IC of 8 1/2" with a mechanical cut off meaning the IC is even bigger without the limitation of the housing. Have anyone else made similar discovery and actually shot with the lens on sheet films?
    The lens head could be removed for use on the Visoflex reflex housing. That made it into a short mount Leica lens.

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    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    The very best part of this forum is its soul, working with tools within a history ignored by contemporary marketing. We are good.

    Yeah, I'm multiple platform friendly with every tiny Leica and a blessed collection of largely abandoned or forgotten MF.

    LF rules.

  5. #5

    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    The lens head could be removed for use on the Visoflex reflex housing. That made it into a short mount Leica lens.
    That makes total sense. I still can't get over how big the IC is though. I was anticipating it to be somewhere covering 67 or just a touch bigger but not this big. Obviously how well it resolves in the outer circle is another story.

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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    Is the Hektor not similar to a Tessar formula lens? Certainly it's not a telephoto design. This wouldn't be the only Leica lens like that- I once had a 90/2 Summicron in M mount, and I found later that the same optic was used on 70mm aerial cameras.
    This Hektor sounds like a good candidate to put on a Speed Graphic.

  7. #7

    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    https://kenrockwell.com/leica/135mm-f45.htm

    According to Mr Rockwell it's 4 elements in 3 groups lens?

    By how Mr Rockwell is describing the characteristic of the lens, it certainly sounds like a typical Tessar. I can't wait to shoot a couple sheets of film to see how it works on LF


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Is the Hektor not similar to a Tessar formula lens? Certainly it's not a telephoto design. This wouldn't be the only Leica lens like that- I once had a 90/2 Summicron in M mount, and I found later that the same optic was used on 70mm aerial cameras.
    This Hektor sounds like a good candidate to put on a Speed Graphic.

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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    I vaguely remember that it's not a straight Tessar - more like a triplet variant with a negative cemented doublet in the middle. I believe the diagram here could be correct: http://vincent-deng0125.lofter.com/post/d3ae6_91fd58f – but can't say for sure.

    In its early days, Leitz supplied lenses to some now mostly forgotten cameramakers (Nagel, Welta...). I've seen claims that their 13,5cm lens was originally created for 6x9cm folding cameras and the same lens was simply offered in a different mount for the new 35mm Leica. Can't find the source now...
    Leitz also produced a line of macro lenses – I believe the longer focal lengths (like the 12cm Summar) were intended for 4x5.

    The Hektor isn't a very high performance lens in terms of resolution but has a pleasing way of rendering out-of-focus areas. I've been meaning to try mine on 4x5, but haven't found a good adapter piece to fix the lens head to a lens board – wouldn't want to damage the threads. It would surely be special purpose only on LF – I have little doubt that a similarly sized and priced 135/4.7 Xenar (commonly found on press cameras) is a much better lens in practice.

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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    For what it's worth, the 9cm Elmar (screw mount and early rigid M mount) also has a detachable lens head with very little mechanical vignetting from the mount itself. Should be a more or less straight Tessar design – probably covers 6x7cm in half-decent fashion and could be used for macro experiments on 4x5.

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    Re: Leica LF lens (?) :)

    I vaguely remember that a Hector was sometimes supplied in a small Compur shutter you would rarely see on a 20's SG, so maybe it is the same lens type...

    I think the designer was Berek, his early designs were revolutionary for size, resulution, and speed, but correct this was a new design... (There were also the Elmars, which were an overall better lens, and they evolved into the more modern Elmarits...) The name came from Berek's favorite dog, Hector...

    I use some older and later Hectors on Viso's and adapted a focusing short mount to a Nikon, and enjoy their look for B/W, and matches very well to the Viso II and bellows that focuses from 1:1 to infinity, with the bellows compensation/mag scale right on the side, and a nice compendium shade... Has a smooth LF old world look with slow and medium speed films...

    Though the coated later ones are quite soft wide open, where the older uncoated one is normals wide open, but the later model is almost semi soft focus wide, so an effect...

    I think I have one of the short extension tubes that I think I remember screwed into some shutter, as I used it for shooting an eclipse or something that required many multiple exposures, but I'm not sure right now...

    The hot tip with these is the peak resolution is at f9, and you will use it at a single f stop most all the time... ;-)

    Steve K

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