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Thread: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

  1. #1
    edhohoho
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    Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Hi,

    I am an amateur and newbie to rangefinders but am really enjoying the use of my rangefinder camera and have recently been interested in some lenses that are no longer in production. Specifically, I am looking for the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M pre-ASPH E46 and Leica 35/1.4 Summilux-M pre-ASPH in mint condition with original packaging and accessories. I have been trying to find them on the usual places like eBay, rangefinder forums, and some online stores but with no luck.

    Do you have any recommendations on other places or people I can try? Is it just a matter of timing? I'd be interested in tips that collectors might have. Although I am by no means a collector, I appreciate having things like lenses in nice condition because they are so expensive as it is and I like to use them while at the same time take good care of them.

    I'm located in the US, so I would prefer to deal domestically although I am certainly open to reputable sources abroad.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and recommendations.

    Sincerely,

    Edmund

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Unless you are a collector and want to pay collector prices, I would forget about the box, papers, case. I have not gotten one of my vintage lenses with all of the above. I have been lucky to find a couple of lenses in excellent condition and a couple of mine are users with good glass. I always try to find one with caps included. I think you might be missing out on some very nice opportunities by requiring the box, papers, case...those things tend to be not so important to some people along the way.
    Some of the usual places to look are Camerawest, Adorama, KEH, Kurlandphoto, PhotoVillage, Ebay and Rangefinderforum. It takes patience.

  3. #3
    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Edmund:

    I would try Camerawest. They tend to have a large selection of used lenses at fair but not inexpensive prices. If they don' have what you are looking for listed, call them, as they may not be up to date on their web site and also get new items all the time.

    http://camerawest.com/categories/use...ts/11918/#LENS

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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by edhohoho View Post
    Hi,

    I am an amateur and newbie to rangefinders but am really enjoying the use of my rangefinder camera and have recently been interested in some lenses that are no longer in production. Specifically, I am looking for the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M pre-ASPH E46 and Leica 35/1.4 Summilux-M pre-ASPH in mint condition with original packaging and accessories. I have been trying to find them on the usual places like eBay, rangefinder forums, and some online stores but with no luck.

    Do you have any recommendations on other places or people I can try? Is it just a matter of timing? I'd be interested in tips that collectors might have. Although I am by no means a collector, I appreciate having things like lenses in nice condition because they are so expensive as it is and I like to use them while at the same time take good care of them.

    I'm located in the US, so I would prefer to deal domestically although I am certainly open to reputable sources abroad.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and recommendations.

    Sincerely,

    Edmund
    Ed

    Chuck Jones has one for sale right here on the buy and sell thread. (50 lux pre-asph) A number of us on this forum have that lens and absolutely love it. It is very special.

    Woody

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Ditto Camera West --- a great store with knowledgeable and professional staff, plus a large stock of Leica items properly graded at reasonable prices. Doesn't get much better
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  6. #6
    edhohoho
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Thanks for all your responses. They were really helpful in broadening my search. I guess I should be in the market for some patience first!

    Oh, and I did see that ad by Chuck Jones and PM'd him, but so far I haven't heard back from him yet.

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by edhohoho View Post
    Thanks for all your responses. They were really helpful in broadening my search. I guess I should be in the market for some patience first!

    Oh, and I did see that ad by Chuck Jones and PM'd him, but so far I haven't heard back from him yet.

    Thanks again!
    Ed

    Chuck lives in Navajo Dam N.M, a town that has little to no internet coverage. So Chuck goes into town a couple of times a week and gets on the net and answers his mail. So don't worry, he'll get back to you

    Woody Spedden

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Your patience will be rewarded if you get either of those lenses on your list.

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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    I bought Chuck's 35/1.4 ASPH a little while ago and he was an absolute gem. Your patience will be rewarded!

    Quote Originally Posted by edhohoho View Post
    Thanks for all your responses. They were really helpful in broadening my search. I guess I should be in the market for some patience first!

    Oh, and I did see that ad by Chuck Jones and PM'd him, but so far I haven't heard back from him yet.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Leica Shop in Vienna has always again such lenses - see:

    https://www.leicashop.com/index.php?lang=en

    And I guess they also ship worldwide

  11. #11
    edhohoho
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Thanks for your responses. Nice to hear that there are so many good people to deal with on this forum. And after seeing the work of Cindy and other members of this forum using the 85/1.5 Summarex, there may be even more reason for me to be patient as the list grows!

  12. #12
    New Member DaveB's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Two or three times a year Skinner Auction House in Massachusetts holds a Science & Technology auction. In addition to antiques it usually includes a good number of high end cameras and lenses. Their August auction, and the one last year, had quite a few Leica items, perhaps a hundred or more. I managed to snag a noctilux a year ago from there. It gave me an opportunity to eyeball the cameras and lenses at my leisure prior to the sale so I felt comfortable about the merchandise I was bidding on. They have quite a few internet and phone bids it appears. I'm in the area, but found out about the sale while searching eBay. I've been keeping an eye on them since. During the auction I sat next to a Japanese fellow who was snapping up all the lower priced Leica stuff he could. "My sister has a shop in Tokyo," he explained. "She'll sell anything that I send her."

    http://www.skinnerinc.com/content/sh...15&type=latest

  13. #13
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Well, I just got a 1938 50/3.8 Elmar which works fine in a 22 dollar box of camera junk at an estate auction. Lenses are like gold in a lot of ways. It's where you find it.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  14. #14
    edhohoho
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    DaveB, thanks for the link to the auction company. I'll have to contact them about their auction catalog.

    I have heard about all these estate sales and potentially finding treasures, but I have the worst luck. Just last night I missed a classified ad for one of the lenses I was looking for by a few minutes. And I had posted a WTB ad on that forum for a few weeks now.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    If you want to pay these people will most likely have it.

    Photo Arsenal

    Kevins Cameras

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  16. #16
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Those Photo Arsenal prices are really something.
    I have bought from Kevins Camera before and he is quick to answer emails and ship. I told him that I was looking for a user lens with good glass and he found one for me at less than collector prices .

  17. #17
    Mango
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    I have bought gear from Igor Reznik, he's good to deal with, and has the two lenses you are seeking:

    http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_lenses.htm

    http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_cameras.htm

  18. #18
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    You can also try http://www.ritzcam.com/

    They are Collectible Camera here in Phoenix and specialize in non-current production stuff, especially Leica.

    Ask to talk to Sandy Ritz. He is a great guy to work with.

  19. #19
    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by harmsr View Post
    You can also try http://www.ritzcam.com/

    They are Collectible Camera here in Phoenix and specialize in non-current production stuff, especially Leica.

    Ask to talk to Sandy Ritz. He is a great guy to work with.
    Great place to buy from. I got both my DMR and M8 from Sandy.

    Robert

  20. #20
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    I have bought gear from Igor Reznik, he's good to deal with, and has the two lenses you are seeking:

    http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_lenses.htm

    http://www.igorcamera.com/leica_cameras.htm
    I second Igor as good to deal with and he is sometimes at camera shows.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  21. #21
    edhohoho
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    I e-mailed Igor last week and got no response. Looking at forum threads from some people who have dealt with him in the past, for the most part they say he is good to deal with, but I have also seen a few comments about his grading of the condition of his items as being a bit on the generous side (the condition is actually worse than the assigned rating) as opposed to conservative (the condition is better than the assigned rating).

    I think everyone I tried to contact from the above list of people has sent some kind of response, and relatively quickly at that. Perhaps I will try once more.

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    A while back I sold my 50 f/1.5 summarit to a guy in HK. I had been looking for a replacement summarit with better glass for a while, when one came up on RFF. I questioned the seller about the glass. He said that he was not a photographer, but that it looked good, and he promised me a return if it did not pass my inspection. Now this same seller is selling an original 1957 chrome MP that was with my summarit. Read down to his explanation of where it came from:http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...1/limit/recent

    The summarit that I bought from him is a beauty and the glass is in very good condition.

  23. #23
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Cool story.

  24. #24
    edhohoho
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Cindy, you mentioned that you were able to find lenses with glass in nice condition such as the Summarit and Summarex, but how did you find them since it is so hard to find old lenses like these in such condition? Did you let go of the lenses you didn't want first, or did you hold onto them until you found an adequate replacement?

  25. #25
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    Ed,
    I did get a bad Summarit the first time, but I kept it for about 2 years thinking that I would just get it re-coated (but didn't get around to it.) I was lucky with the second Summarit (read above...from the junk pile on an original MP.)
    I bought a Summarex from ebay (with a guarantee of a return) and it turned out bad. It had haze and fungus, so I returned it. I bought the second Summarex from a dealer and had his assurance of good glass (of course, that costs).
    I bought my 50 lux pre-ASPH from a friend and foolishly sold it and bought the ASPH version. When I realized my mistake, I was lucky that the buyer, (a nice member here ), sold it back to me.
    My 35 lux pre-ASPH came from RFF. It was a lucky find.
    I have learned to worry about the glass and not the body (but I have been pretty lucky there, too.) I don't worry about boxes and cases...that puts them more in the realm of the collector and I don't have the money for collector items. It has taken a lot of time and I have made a lot of mis-steps, but it has been fun and I enjoy using them all.

  26. #26
    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: Where do you go to find those rare, hard-to-find Leica M lenses?

    http://www.matsumoto-camera.com/

    This Japanese site is my favorite ....... I never purchased anything from them ..... but it certainly is worth a look ....
    They have lenses I never knew existed .......
    Last edited by ShiroKuro; 22nd September 2008 at 23:22.

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