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adapting Contax RF to Leica M
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:17 pm    Post subject: adapting Contax RF to Leica M Reply with quote

I try to find a working solution to adapt a Contax RF Carl Zeiss Sonnar 5cm F1.5 to Leica M mount. I spend some money but as it stands now it seems I just dumped that money. Are there any other users here that solved this and how?

Here are my experiences so far.

* I bought a 80 bugs Ukraine CRF -> Leica M adapter made from a Kiev camera. Looks ok. BUT it can't focus down to 1 meter. And the worst of all, it has some severe light leak issues. With a lens cap put on you can see the light coming from left and right and reflecting in the chrome adapter ring.

* I bought a 80 bugs China CRF -> Leica M adapter without distance scale. Looks gut. BUT it has no helicoid! You can rotate the lens but can not focus at all. The seller mentioned this with no word. One might use it on a near focus adapter on a Sony Alpha or Nikon Z. But you can't use it on a Leica M body. Or do I miss something?!

* There is a 80 bugs Yeenon CRF -> Leica M adapter. But as I see it it has no helicoid as well. It is intended to be used on a helicoid adapter for mirrorless cameras. Isn't it?

* There is a 370 bugs Kipon CRF -> L39 Adapter. You can use a L39 -> Leica M Adapter to get it to Leica M. After the experience with the China adapter that looks similar to this one I'm hesitating to spend 430 bugs for a solution that might not have a helicoid as well.

* There are those 350 bugs Amedeo CRF -> Leica M adapters too. Beautiful and there is one that even has a reversed focusing direction to match the Leica direction. BUT they are sold out everywhere. You can not buy a single one.

Did I miss something?


PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a similar adapter from Aliexpress in china. This one does focus, down to about 800mm, not as close as I'd like, but acceptable for my use. Link:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002924356562.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.50a24c4dpgNCPW

Is this similar to the one you bought?

If you're feeling rich (and lucky) see if you can locate an Orion adapter second hand:

https://www.cameraquest.com/adapter.htm


PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought this one for under $70. I needed to use black marker to reduce reflections.

https://cameraderie.org/threads/inexpensive-adapter-nikon-rf-to-leica-thread-mount-70.48673/

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284434413650


PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it's better to buy a Jupiter-3 in M39. Most probably no visible difference to the old RF Contax lens and adapter troubles are solved.

BTW, I have one of the war time CZJ 135 sonnars in M39 and testet it against the Jupiter-11 in M39. Not even on my A7R II in pixel peeping mode I could dedect any differences.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alun Thomas wrote:
I bought a similar adapter from Aliexpress in china. This one does focus, down to about 800mm, not as close as I'd like, but acceptable for my use. Link:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002924356562.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.50a24c4dpgNCPW

Is this similar to the one you bought?


It looks absolutely identical to the Chinese adapter I bought. But mine does not focus at all. I disassembled it and it has no helicoid and no way to set the focusing distance of the attached lens. it just lets you rotate the lens... I'm skeptical if I really should buy another of this. The description is unclear and the images are no help too.

Here is the one I bought: https://www.ebay.com/itm/164313777138

I had the crazy idea to disassemble 2 adapters and combine the parts to a working one... The Ukraine Leica M adapter is made in a way that you can not screw in another focusing cylinder and the Chinese one has no thread at all. So no luck with this stupid idea. Very Happy

Is there a helicoid inside the Fotofox adapter? Looks like a cheap copy of the Kipon adapter to me. But the Kipon is 4x as expensive.


Last edited by räuber on Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fotofox adapter that I showed has a helical, and is RF coupled. I am using it with an 8.5cm F4 Triotar.
For 5cm F1.5, I would recommend Amedeo's dedicated internal mount adapter. It has an indexed Cam for precise focusing. That is what I use for my post-war 50/1.5 Opton.

This is with my 1934 CZJ 5cm F1.5 Sonnar on the M9, wide-open.

Warm November day by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

sonnar_1607_4 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

The pre-war CZJ 5cm F1.5 Sonnar is uncoated, and gives a different color rendering from the J-3. Quality of J-3's vary greatly. I've cherry picked mine over the last 18 years and have the best of the best, having handled more than 200 of them. I've gone through 10 Valdai J-3's to get a great one.

L1007938-Edit by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

valdai_on_M9 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

And this one took a complete rebuild including grinding down the mount to move the helical in deeper before it could be used.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eight is Enough.

Eight is Enough by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

1934 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar on the M9, perhaps the first batch that can be converted to Leica mount using a J-3 focus mount.
1935 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, front element is Coated- first Sonnar that I converted to Leica Mount.
1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, uncoated- very sharp same batch as the one next to it.
1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar, all surfaces are coated- a few lenses from this batch were pulled to try out the new coating equipment.
1938 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar T, fully coated and marked with "T" for transparent, Marked F11 but goes to F16.
I converted these five lenses to Leica Mount.

These three are original Leica Thread Mount.
1943 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar "T", recomputed optics, new metal alloy fixtures, original Leica Thread Mount.
1945 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar "T" on the Canon 7, note "black nose" for filter ring, original Leica Thread Mount.
1946 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Spnnar "T", post-war lens, "transition lens" as I call it. I needed to replace the middle triplet on this one, the original was unfinished.

All of these required a complete teardown and a lot of time spent cleaning, lubing, and adjusting. They are cherry-picked from more than 50 Sonnar 5cm F1,5s that I've gone through.

Some pictures of truly strange Sonnars:
https://ibb.co/album/x3TbSB


PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: adapting Contax RF to Leica M Reply with quote

räuber wrote:
* There is a 370 bugs Kipon CRF -> L39 Adapter. You can use a L39 -> Leica M Adapter to get it to Leica M. After the experience with the China adapter that looks similar to this one I'm hesitating to spend 430 bugs for a solution that might not have a helicoid as well.


I bought a Kipon External-Bayonet-Only Contax-RF to Fuji adapter and it's magnificent. The construction quality is absolutely top notch, far better than other Chinese adapters I've used. There's a reason they're expensive.