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Friday, September 08, 2006

FIRHE - Good things come in small packages

Those of you that own, and use, the Elmar 50/3.5 LTM lens know that changing the aperture on this lens is a royal pain in the butt.
The little tab that allow you to change the aperture settings is small, flat, located very close to the lens glass and - to make it even more fun - it's located inside of where the regular clamp-on filters would go - making it impossible to change the aperture without first removing the filter. An equal amount of frustration can be encountered when using a hood on this lens (unless you use a VALOO (see entry further down) or a FISON-VOOLA combination).

Here's a possible solution though:
The 50/3.5 LTM lens has a small screw-thread and it will accept 19mm screw-in filters.

Leitz produced a number of these filters in the 30's and 40's and each colour got its own Leica product code;
FIXTA: Yellow #0
FIRHE: Yellow #1
FIRMY: Yellow #2
FINUS: Yellow #3
FIORE: UV
FIXIO: Green
FCZOO: Light Red
FIBOB: Medium Red
FDOOH: Dark Red

So..I searched high and low for a couple of months (ok...so I logged a search on eBay, that's about it) until I finally found a couple of 19mm screw-in filters (both FIRHE's). I just received them in the mail a few days ago and they do fit nicely on the lens.

Note: There are other 19mm filters out there as well that may be easier to obtain than the original Leitz ones. Waltz produced a full set of b&w filters in 19mm screwmounts (and the Argus C-3 used the same filterthread as well). If anyone has more information about what other 19mm filter brands there are, please do let me know.


Edit: Jerevan added this piece of information:
"As you may already know, my filters are Kenko filters, designated "21,5" (which is the outside diameter). They work very well within the constraints of the Elmar and its design. They seem to be a bit younger than yours, guesstimated at late '40s or early '50s. "

I'm looking forward to trying out this setup this coming weekend and until there are photos taken with it - here are some photos of it:

Filter with a mounted VALOO hood


Filter without a hood

Close-up of the filter mounted on an Elmar 50/3.5 lens

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jerevan said...

As you may already know, my filters are Kenko filters, designated "21,5" (which is the outside diameter). They work very well within the constraints of the Elmar and its design. They seem to be a bit younger than yours, guesstimated at late '40s or early '50s. I only use my yellow filter but I have a green, red, blue and a sky filter too, all of the same brand.

September 10, 2006 12:45 PM  
Blogger Rich Silfver said...

Thanks for that information Jerevan

September 17, 2006 10:55 PM  
Anonymous fabrice said...

Do you know if those filters gonna work on a LTM summaron 3.5/35?
I got a brand new one without scratches or haze and i want to protect it.
Would those filters can cause vignetting with a 35mm?

September 24, 2008 5:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These filters don't fit the 35 A36 Summaron. The Leitz 19mm filters do fit work without vignetting on the 35 Elmar, which I use with a little A36 Actina (English) lens hood, Enjoy the Summaron, it's my favourite lens.

September 30, 2008 7:24 PM  

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