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Thread: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Hi,

    I would like to buy a vintage Leica lens that is said to have a "Leica screw mount" to adapt it to my G1.

    I'm confused between all these denominations : Leica M, R, LTM, screw mount

    What kind of adaptor shall I need, and where would you recommend to buy it ?

    TIA for your inputs,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    You can go 2 ways:
    LTM (Leica Thread Mount) + Leica M adapter to M4/3
    That is what I have, because I have some lenses with LTM mount. The good thing about this is that you can use M-mounts directly on the adapter too, if you want to buy them later.
    Or a direct LTM adapter to M4/3.
    You can find them through the first thread on this forum.
    Michiel

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    M mount is the current Leica rangefinder mount

    R mount is the DSLR mount - bigger lenses

    LTM - Leica Thread Mount (a screw mount)

    screw mount - self explanatory

    Now I do believe there was more than one size of screw mount so post the details of the lens you are trying to buy.

    Steve Gandy at Cameraquest has a bunch of different adapters. You can also find adapters on ebay. Again though first tell about the lens so you don't get the wrong thing.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/

    here is the adapter page

    http://www.cameraquest.com/adaptnew.htm

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Thanks, Michiel and Terry, and special thanks to Terry for added even more confusion in my mind, by introducing the idea that there might be more than one size of screwmount

    The lens I want to buy, is a 135mm/f4.5 Leica Hektor, in said screwmount

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    As far as I know, in the Leica rangefinder world there is only one type of screwmount, sometimes abbreviated LSM or LTM. Older Contax/Nikon rangefinders had a slightly different screwmount, but lenses for it are much, much rarer than LTM. Some old Contax lenses were converted to LTM, e.g. I believe that HCB used a Contax lens at one point. I don't think that there would be a problem with a Leica Hektor lens. There are some other screwmounts, e.g. M42, but these are for other kinds of cameras, e.g. 35mm SLR's.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    I have had both the LTM to M4/3 and the M to M4/3 adapter. I would recommend the M to M4/3. You can get a rather inexpensive LTM to M adapter. This will give you the flexibility to add M lenses to your collection without buying another M4/3 adapter later. Once you screw the LTM to M adapter on the Hector, you can forget about it. It will then be like a regular M lens.

    Do a search on the Hector and you can find lots of info. It should make a nice portrait lens.

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Rafael, it's actually really simple. There are two kinds of Leica rangefinder lenses--M and screwmount (also called LTM and LSM). And the screwmount lenses are easily converted to M lenses with an inexpensive adapter. The Chinese ones work fine and they're under $20.

    You want an M-to-micro4/3 adapter. This will enable you to use any Leica RF lens ever made, either directly or with the M-to-LTM adapter. Don't worry about R lenses--they are excellent, but the rangefinder ones are as good or better, and much much smaller.

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Sorry if I was confusing but I thought the really really old lenses were a different size.

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    One word of warning - don't expect to be blown away by the resulting pictures. OK, they may have a certain 'character' but the x2 crop factor and rigours of digital imaging are fairly unforgiving.

    It's worth noting also that most of the screw mount adapers focus 'past' infinity. Not a problem but you can't use distance scales, you must use the live view manual focusing on the camera which is very precise.

  10. #10
    ChrisJ
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Sorry if I was confusing but I thought the really really old lenses were a different size.
    I think your right Terry, Leica thead (the so-called LTM) is an imperial thread on a 39mm diameter, actually it's 39mm X 26 TPI (Whitworth, the international standard for microscopes), which in metric is roughly 0.977mm, this is so close to the standard M39 X 1mm that it will usually fit with little problem. When Fed made the Russian copies they used the standard M39 thread, which has stuck. After the war Canon also used the standard M39 on their rangefinder models. I think Leica later adopted M39 X 1mm TPI, but I may be wrong here.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisJ; 5th October 2009 at 15:35. Reason: Addition

  11. #11
    Abbazz
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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    I thinks others have already replied in great detail concerning the different Leica mounts. Let me just add that the Hektor doesn't have the reputation to be the best 135mm telephoto made by Leica. As 135mm lenses are very difficult to focus on rangefinder cameras, they have shifted out of fashion, so it is now possible to find much better lenses at a bargain price. For example the Elmar 135mm F/4 (not Tele-Elmar) is a superb lens of near apochromatic quality and excellent bokeh, which usually sells for around $100.

    Here are a few pictures taken with an Elmar 135/4 on a Pentax K10d:



    100% crop of preceding picture (taken wide open at f/4):







    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ View Post
    I think your right Terry, Leica thead (the so-called LTM) is an imperial thread on a 39mm diameter, actually it's 39mm X 26 TPI (Whitworth, the international standard for microscopes), which in metric is roughly 0.977mm, this is so close to the standard M39 X 1mm that it will usually fit with little problem. When Fed made the Russian copies they used the standard M39 thread, which has stuck. After the war Canon also used the standard M39 on their rangefinder models. I think Leica later adopted M39 X 1mm TPI, but I may be wrong here.

    Chris

    Yeah, wrong.

    LTM has always been 39x 26 TPI.

    Canon got it wrong and that was 39x1.

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    Re: Adapting a Leica lens to a G1

    One minor point about the Leica R SLR lenses- although the lenses are bigger (as well as some added thickness due to the adapter), they don't have off-center issues at wide angle. So if you really wanted a Leica wide angle lens for whatever reason, an R lens might be a good idea. The R lenses are often cheaper as well.

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