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Early vs. Late Serial #s Leica R lenses: Major differences?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject: Early vs. Late Serial #s Leica R lenses: Major differences? Reply with quote

So I've found some pretty good deals on the 50mm and 90mm Summicrons. They're in respectable condition, have clean optics, are 3-cam and the latest/2nd versions of the lenses, but have very early serial numbers (278xxxx and 283xxxx respectively).

According to this wiki: https://www.l-camera..._x_Focal_Length it would appear that those were in fact the first production year of the 50mm and 90mm summicrons making the ones I want to buy from 1976 and almost 40 years old.

So I was just wondering if people have ever noticed or if it's ever been reasonably inferred that the higher/later serial numbers of these lenses were improved over the years or had higher contrast, improved sharpness, etc.? Or if the the look and optics for the Leica R lenses were pretty consistent across their entire production span. Besides the addition of ROM contacts, I assume no optical changes were made to the latest version of R lenses, but sometimes the dedicated lens community will notice otherwise.

For example, it was well documented that certain Contax Zeiss lenses that were made in the 90s which had later serial numbers were noticeably sharper than the ones that had earlier serial numbers from the 70s-80s (I'm not talking about AE vs. MM; merely certain lenses like the 50mm f/1.7 got sharper over the course of it's production life).

I just want to make sure that regardless of the serial number for theses lenses, assuming the optics and body are in good condition, that I will be able to get the same image quality from an early serial numbered lens as a late one. So basically, assuming you had a mint copy of a 50mm summicron from the 70s and a mint copy from the late 90s, pictures taken with the two lenses should look practically identical in terms of color, sharpness, CA, etc.?

Thank you!!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I think this is the first time I've posted in this thread and nobody knew the answer lol

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google is your friend:

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe this will answer your questions: