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Thread: Leitz versus Zeiss

  1. #1

    Default Leitz versus Zeiss

    The design of the lens optics were quite labor intensive.

    The calculations were done on old calculators.

    Some may have included the old ibm card readers.

    The hard lens coatings were never shared with Leitz.

    That was the ultimate drm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    Rambling on here,

    The design elements of Canon tended to be strongly Leitz influenced

    whereas the Nippon Kogaku {Nikon} approach was modeled on that

    of Zeiss.

    A single design philosophy tends to dominate the mechanical structure of the Nikkor optics

    In contrast, the Leitz lens designs are more difficult to repair.

    I suspect there were more design teams at Leitz but each was manned with a smaller

    number of staff.

    At its peak in WW2 the the Nikon factories in Tokyo employed over thirty thousand workers.

    What is odd is that despite the dreadful conditions in Germany at that time

    the process of putting a modern Zeiss coating on a Leitz lens was not shared due to

    patent restrictions.

    After the war, the German patents were nullified.

    Nippon Kogaku adopted the camera body of the Zeiss Contax

    and installed the more reliable focal plane shutter of the Leica

    into the hybrid.

    There are very few original Nikon 1 s around anymore { maybe 300}

    Last edited by lensperson; May 3rd, 2013 at 10:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    missing the 808 in the 202

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    I have some old Zeiss glass that I hold very near and dear.

    Ironically, I shoot Nikon, but, my 3 old school Z glasses mount and function under full manual controls with my D80.

    I picked 'em up at a swapmeet and though I use them rarely, when I DO use them, they are stellar, they match the results of some of the more modern glass that is available today. My 28mm 1.8 is a gem. . . takes a while to get used to, but takes me back to shooting film full time and I LOVE it!

    An email from God:
    To: People of Earth
    From: God
    Date: 9/04/2007
    Subject: stop

    knock it off, all of you

    seriously, what the hell


  4. #4

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    Hello Mr TATT !

    A lens , like a mind, is a terrible thing to waste.

    In roaming through the planet I found an old Zeiss Protar

    for view camera with serial number in the less than 20 thousand realm.

    It is a great lens to this day.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    Lest I forget,

    The origin of Nippon Kogaku was in 1917 .

    Five binocular manufacturers were merged into one corporate structure.

    This was largely because the need was felt to supply optical ordinance

    from onshore sources.

    The Japanese Navy was the major consumer of the optics produced.
    and the push to form NKK came from there.

    The products were designed to be serviceable in harsh conditions

    without a service manual.

    In contrast the Leica camera sprang from the inventive folks at a small

    maker of microscopes.

    Adding another twist are the Topcon cameras and lens options.

    Tokyo Optical were the major contractor for the Japanese Army.

    Old binoculars labeled 'Toko' are sometimes ignored.

    None of the old army stuff was coated.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The external lens coating on the earliest coated Leitz optiks were very soft

    and easily damaged.

    Never try to wipe a lens with a t-shirt or you will ruin that expensive lens.

    Inside the early Leica coated lens' the inner surfaces were soft coated

    from aqueous solution.

    That coating is super fragile.Do not try to restore it.

    The hard coating of optics at Zeiss was done by vacuum sublimation

    of Magnesium Fluoride onto the very carefully prepared lens blanks.

    It may be the case that some of the glass that Leitz obtained was just

    not chemically compatible with that approach.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    Some of the early coatings can be removed without a grinding process.

    The success or failure of such a project depends on the type of glass beneath the coating.

    Sometimes a lens coating needs to be renewed.

    To do that, the old coating must be removed.

    Place the lens element in a small ceramic bowl and immerse it in

    white vinegar and a pinch of boric acid .

    Microwave this for about thirty seconds and the coating will be gone

    in some cases.

    With some glass this will frost the glass,,but sometimes {early Miranda}

    will expose clean glass.

    Caveat emptor.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The best hard coating was done with lens blanks at a very high temperature.

    This enabled the coating to adhere and sink into the glass surface to an


    Magnesium Fluoride deposition onto a cold surface looked nice but was fragile.

    The Zeiss coatings often had two colors, yellow and blue.

    The Asahi Pentax Multicoating added more to this mix.

    More later.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The first super multicoated optics from Pentax were the lenses

    for the Pentax 6x7.

    Great camera. With its own focal plane shutter it is much easier to convert

    for other lenses in contrast to Hassies.

    great cameras, much harder to repair.


    Don't get me started on Bronicas .

    Outside of this mix were the Kowa reflex cameras.

    The fish eye lens for for the Kowa exists but very few are documented.
    Last edited by lensperson; May 14th, 2013 at 11:15 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The Hasselblad lenses each have their own shutter .

    As a leaf shutter design, these will need a full lube and overhaul every three years.

    It is is well worth doing, and no different than checking the oil and

    fluid levels of ones car.

    The Contaflex SLR cameras are an intriguing group of old cameras that

    are usually found in a non functioning condition because periodic maintenance .

    The RB 67 is another cool workhorse. The stock lenses were sometimes made by Soligor.

    had been ignored.
    Last edited by lensperson; May 15th, 2013 at 06:06 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The early Canon rangefinder cameras had Nikkor optics.

    The thread mount of these early optics are close but not the same as the early Leitz thread standards.

    The name Canon was evolved from the name of Kwanon, Queen of Peace.

    In about 1946 some of the Canon lens library began coming from their own various subcontractors.

    Again, before that time, all the Canons had Nikkors.

    Nikon started producing their own cameras in 1946, and they always used Their own optics.

    The bayonet mount of the rangefinder Nikkors is almost the same as the Contax, however the sync between rfdr and lens gets a little blurry at the long end.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    Another player in that arena was Konishiroku..

    Many aircraft cameras were of the mapping type.

    Much later the Konica S blazed into the spotlight.

    Total automation, and a good fast lens, to boot!

    The Konica S2 was next, and a well maintained specimen can still

    create great results.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    The first Nikon 35 mm camera to meet export standards was the

    Nikon S . It produced a standard 24 by 36 mm frame.

    A few hundred were produced during the last days of the occupation.

    All the camera bodies are marked with MIOJ ,usually on the camera metal

    though rarely one sees stamped imprints on the leather.

    One loophole in the export regulations was that the normal focal length lens did not have to be marked as made in occupied Japan.

    The Nikkor rangefinder normal lens range

    is recognised when the lens bezel says Tokyo as opposed to Japan.

    These optics were almost all manufactured during the occupation.

    There were many more Nikon s produced after the occupation. These cameras have

    a knob to wind the film.

    Next came the S2 .Great camera ,and had a lever wind to advance the film.

    A Nikon 1 has recently come up for auction and expected to clear two hundred thou.
    Last edited by lensperson; May 28th, 2013 at 06:41 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Leitz versus Zeiss

    I missed a chance to get one of those Konica cameras.
    I was visiting a friend in Vegas.

    At the huge swapmeet at Broadacres a seller had one of the whole camera and lens.

    I was tempted to buy it , but I wondered how I would get it home.

    I was stupid. I should have taken the chance.

    Hindsight is better than no sight.
    That swapmeet is huge.There were beer carts trundling around before daybreak.

    Vegas is a world unto itself, just ask Maheu et al
    Last edited by lensperson; July 6th, 2013 at 11:28 PM.


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