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Schneider Kreuznach 180mm 5.5 for M39?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:40 am    Post subject: Schneider Kreuznach 180mm 5.5 for M39? Reply with quote

I would appreciate some insight. I am in the process of "exploring" a new (potentially deep and expensive) "rabbit hole" in terms of lenses: Leica M39 mount.

My eye just fell upon a Schneider Kreuznach 180mm 5.5 that claims to have an M39 mount. The pictures do show a screw mount. Can't tell if it is M39, M42 or something else (I can deal with both). The seller is a camera store so I assume they know what they are talking about. The serial number as far as I can tell by the lists puts it around 1940 - 1941.

It is my understanding that rangefinder camera's can't use lenses longer than about 135mm because of a limitation with the focusing mechanism? So how can they squeeze 180mm in? Or is this something non-standard that won't work on a Leica M39 adapter?

Regards, C.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps answering my own question, could this be a lens for M39 Braun Paxette?

EDIT: judging by this page: https://camerapedia.fandom.com/wiki/Braun_Paxette_series
the Braun Paxette didn't arrive until 1951. With the serial of this lens dating it to 1940-ish, that would suggest it is indeed a Leica M39 with 28.8mm flange distance. Which leads me back to my original question: How do you get a 180mm lens onto a rangefinder if there is a focusing limit around 135mm?

Regards, C.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is 150/5.5 pre-war with M39 mount

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

m42 version (if correct)

From the fifties

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recently grappled with exactly this issue with exactly this lens. I agree it is unlikely to be for a Leica LTM camera both because of the focal length AND because the lens is not designed to support rangefinder focusing - there is no focus follower in the lens to convey the lens position to the camera's rangefinder. Here is the background to my explorations of this issue and what I found.

Some time ago I bought this lens which was advertised as having an exacta mount. When I received it, it transpired that it had a 39mm mount with a 39mm to Exacta adapter on it (although it took me some time to realize this as the exacta adapter was high spec and looked as if it was a normal factory fitted mount for that lens).

I also already owned a 105mm f3.5 Schneider Tele Xenar and the 180mm was about the same physical length or slightly shorter. So I initially operated on the possibility that the 180mm lens may have been shortened by someone and given a 39mm mount in order to use it with perhaps something like a mirror box and that the addition of the 39mm - Exacta adapter was just an anomaly added by a later owner. My explorations covered a few months on and off, but did not work out and eventually I put the lens way for some months.

Long story short. Eventually I was able to establish that there was a simple answer - the lens was made by Schneider for the Zenit mount (which is M39 and very similar in appearance to the Leica version though of a slightly different pitch I believe). I had not thought this likely earlier on as Schneider seemed to me to be a company that mainly made high end and expensive lenses for high end and expensive German cameras and I regarded the Zenit as being an unlikely "suspect" given it provenance. Although it took me months to reach this conclusion the good news is that all I had to do then was to buy a 39mm - 42mm "collar" (available on ebay for a few bucks), and mount this on the lens after which the 39mm screw thread effectively became a fatter 42mm screw thread meaning I could then mount the lens on an M42 to Sony E mount adapter for use on a Sony E mount full frame camera. As the Zenit flange distance is almost identical to the M42 flange distance (45.2 compared with 45.46) this is an entirely workable solution - the lens focuses slightly beyond infinity but this is not an issue on mirrorless digital and could if I wished be adjusted by placing a thin "shim" on the lens mount to pack it out. In practice it is not worth the effort. Oh and by the way, the 39mm - Exacta adapter was just just as I suspected, an anomaly added by a later owner or perhaps by the seller to make it more saleable.

I suspect therefore that the lens the OP posted about could be for a Zenit camera in which case the solution is as above. [/b]

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I didn't know that Zenit was also an M39 lens. To me that says that the M39 mount is a bit of a tricky situation with various flange distances and even thread pitches.

I have since then acquired that 180mm 5.5 in exakta mount. Judging by the serial number it was built around 1940/41-ish. Glass looks good for being some 80 years old, but the aperture blades are quite oily. Not sure what precautions to take there. I keep the aperture wide open to keep things contained a bit.

I find it to be fairly sharp wide open. I suspect it is totally uncoated because stray light completely washes out the image. Front heavy.

Historically, I am wondering. It is my understanding that Schneider created a new company, ISCO, for the military contracts? Which might suggest that Schneider labeled lenses are not military. On the other hand, would they be producing lenses for the consumer market in 1940/41? That was still the early part of the war, but still. Just curious.

Regards, Christine

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correction. When mounted on the M42 adapter the Zenit lens in theory should not quite reach infinity, not the other way around. (Not sure what I was thinking). But in practice I have found it is not actually a problem. I retested my lens this am and found that even when I focused on a tall tree as far away as I could find (at max aperture) - well over a mile - I was still focusing beyond it. In any event when stopped down a little the DOF should be such as to cover any discrepancy too.