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03-19-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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Leica screw-mount lenses on a K-3?

I inherited a very nice Leica model IIIF from my father when he passed in 1987. I believe he purchased it in the early 1950s. For its time, it was a top-of-the-line 35mm camera. There were 3 lenses with it, and I've been wondering if it would be possible somehow to adapt them for use on my K3. The 3 lenses were a 35mm, a 50mm, and a 135mm. Leica lenses were, and are, considered to be optically very nice, and it would be really nostalgic for me to apply these lenses from long ago to my modern K-mount digitals.

Is anyone aware of an adapter that would mate these Leica screw-mounts to the Pentax K-mounts? I have scoured the internet for clues, but so far nothing has turned up. Thanks in advance for any help!

John



03-19-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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Unfortunately it's not possible to mate an SLR and a rangefinder lens, because of the different flange distances involved. Your best bet adapting them on digital (no idea if it's worth it, though) is to get a mirrorless camera.
03-19-2014, 01:13 PM   #3
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No, they won't work. The registration distance for the Leica is typical for a rangefinder and much shorter than that of SLR cameras. Your best bet for compatibility is a mirrorless body such as a Sony NEX or Fuji X-Pro 1. The collapsible 50mm may be an issue though, even on a mirrorless.

Or you could just shoot film in the Leica!


Steve
03-19-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Unfortunately it's not possible to mate an SLR and a rangefinder lens, because of the different flange distances involved. Your best bet adapting them on digital (no idea if it's worth it, though) is to get a mirrorless camera.
Thanks for that information. It makes sense.

John

---------- Post added 03-19-14 at 01:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No, they won't work. The registration distance for the Leica is typical for a rangefinder and much shorter than that of SLR cameras. Your best bet for compatibility is a mirrorless body such as a Sony NEX or Fuji X-Pro 1. The collapsible 50mm may be an issue though, even on a mirrorless.

Or you could just shoot film in the Leica!


Steve
What is "film"?

John

03-19-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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The current Fujifilm bodies would be the better choice here. If you don't get the very latest model they can be very affordable, and many are rangefinder style so they're even a good match in terms of shooting style (especially to the popular Leica M series). Fuji has specifically targeted the Leica crowd with a more affordable alternative to the digital Leicas.


I presume you've seen the Ken Rockwell article on this camera? Despite the silly things he's said at times, he has some nice write-ups like this:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/screw-mount/iiif.htm

Last edited by DSims; 03-19-2014 at 01:59 PM.
03-19-2014, 06:32 PM   #6
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Get a 2nd hand gxr with m mount module.
They go for as little as $300 if you are lucky.
It has a very good microlens array that caters for the accute distance between lens rear and sensor.
Also has focus peaking and magnification for easier focusing
03-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #7
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Check this thread there are some mirror less cameras with shorter regestry distances

Camera Mounts Sorted by Register
03-20-2014, 04:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The current Fujifilm bodies would be the better choice here. If you don't get the very latest model they can be very affordable, and many are rangefinder style so they're even a good match in terms of shooting style (especially to the popular Leica M series). Fuji has specifically targeted the Leica crowd with a more affordable alternative to the digital Leicas.


I presume you've seen the Ken Rockwell article on this camera? Despite the silly things he's said at times, he has some nice write-ups like this:

LEICA IIIf (1950-1957)
When the X•Pro•1 came out, the typical set of incompatibility issues with the wider FL rangefinder lenses came up right away. I was interested, having Contax-G lenses. Is the current Mk-II version of the X-trans sensor said to be any better in that regard? As you say, fire sale prices on the older Fuji bodies are out there; and who knows how low they might go, if prices on the older Olympus m4/3 Pens is anything to go by. I have to say, I am very intrigued by their 14mm prime (DA 15 Ltd. fanatics eye me suspiciously... as they stop down their f.4 lenses 😇; and now by the upcoming 10-24mm/f.4 -- the Strobist guy got his hands on one pre-release, and my, my, my...) I suspect you noticed the fast & compact 23mm/f.1.4, DSims!

BTW, Rockwell took his bashing here recently on a thread; but you are right -- some of his write-ups are quite a bit better than just O.K.: I think of his film era "donation" camera reviews, in particular. His take on the Nikon FE (my first SLR) vs. the FE-2 was right on the money -- uniquely so, so far as I've seen; same with his 2012 (!) review of the old Canon FTb[-n], which sure isn't getting much respect on eBay these days.


Last edited by Kayaker-J; 03-20-2014 at 05:08 AM.
03-20-2014, 06:52 AM   #9
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Look through the listing on this site, to get an idea as to what is available: Adapters: One Lens to Another Body This is a very knowledgeable and reputable dealer.
03-20-2014, 08:05 AM   #10
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As a Leica and Zeiss shooter myself (oh, if I could just afford to keep shooting Leica cameras...), the Fuji XE1 was a nice pairing with many M and LTM lenses, and you can get it for a pretty good price now that the XE2 and XT1 are out. The very wide ones can sometimes produce weird results in the photos along the edges, but I shoot with a 40 and 50mm all the time and they are outstanding. Matter of fact, the one in your photo on the camera itself, I use that lens

I still shoot film too from time-to-time and it can be very satisfying. I even develop the negatives in my bathroom and then scan them into my computer, for a bit of a hybrid work-flow. I get a lot of joy out of it.
03-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #11
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the only Leica screw mount lenses that will work with modern DSLRs are those that were specifically designed for the Leica Visoflex reflex adapter. This adapter put the lens much further away from the body (to allow for the mirror) and as such a simple adapter is all you will need.

Michael
03-20-2014, 08:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I presume you've seen the Ken Rockwell article on this camera? Despite the silly things he's said at times, he has some nice write-ups like this:

LEICA IIIf (1950-1957)
QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
BTW, Rockwell took his bashing here recently on a thread; but you are right -- some of his write-ups are quite a bit better than just O.K.: I think of his film era "donation" camera reviews, in particular. His take on the Nikon FE (my first SLR) vs. the FE-2 was right on the money -- uniquely so, so far as I've seen; same with his 2012 (!) review of the old Canon FTb[-n], which sure isn't getting much respect on eBay these days.
I too have enjoyed reading his film camera retrospective reviews, but the Leica IIIf review in the link is totally tongue-in-cheek. The sarcasm is so thick you can cut it with a knife. I particularly enjoyed the part about the "f" in the name standing for "flash" and the perfect sync at all speeds.


Steve
03-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
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I'm going to have throw in for the Sony e-mount. The A7 is a bit more costly than most of these crop bodies mentioned but handles legacy glass very well (the A7r a little less so) and Sony offers an in-camera app that will do custom JPEG correction for vignetting and CA aberration. I shoot with a screw mount voightlander 15mm all the time on my A7. The NEX 5N is also a good, cheap option though the 24mp NEX-7 has a tough time with Leica wide angle primes. The viewfinder on the A7 is very helpful for manual focus lenses.
03-24-2014, 10:41 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelR Quote
I'm going to have throw in for the Sony e-mount. The A7 is a bit more costly than most of these crop bodies mentioned but handles legacy glass very well (the A7r a little less so) and Sony offers an in-camera app that will do custom JPEG correction for vignetting and CA aberration. I shoot with a screw mount voightlander 15mm all the time on my A7. The NEX 5N is also a good, cheap option though the 24mp NEX-7 has a tough time with Leica wide angle primes. The viewfinder on the A7 is very helpful for manual focus lenses.
I'd be very interested to learn the specific lenses, especially wide angles, you have found to work without issues of any kind on the A7. Since I have C. Zeiss lenses for the Contax G system at present, I'd also be curious to know what you may have read about success with the 45mm and 28mm G-lenses elsewhere to date. I'm assuming the 21mm G is still out of the picture with the full frame sensors. Have you tried any retrofocus 21's or 24's for SLRs yet on the A7, not that I hold out any optimism for really useful results?

Finally, I just went for APS-C and a new K-3, having seen examples of the LP-filterless 24mp K-3 and Nikon D7100 cameras apparently out-resolving the FF D600/610 in a majority of shot comparisons on multiple sites (FWIW). I thought that the cameralab.com comparison between the D7100 and the D600 was the most convincingly documented and most credible. I am not in any way denigrating the FF advantages, which need no repeating here. But for me, until I see a clear-cut advantage in good light for the likes of landscape work (and considering the system as a whole), I thought the K-3 was simply the best and most versatile picture making machine I could find in the vicinity of a thousand bucks or so, new or used. I hypothesize that the LP filter which still seems to be thought necessary for 24mp FF sensors is holding the affordable FF option back at present. What are your thoughts on that? Still, I think a well-executed, fully competitive Alpha body with a solid core-lens (primes) choice and a decent DSLR back-up would probably suit my needs best overall.
03-26-2014, 08:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
I'd be very interested to learn the specific lenses, especially wide angles, you have found to work without issues of any kind on the A7. Since I have C. Zeiss lenses for the Contax G system at present, I'd also be curious to know what you may have read about success with the 45mm and 28mm G-lenses elsewhere to date. I'm assuming the 21mm G is still out of the picture with the full frame sensors. Have you tried any retrofocus 21's or 24's for SLRs yet on the A7, not that I hold out any optimism for really useful results?

Finally, I just went for APS-C and a new K-3, having seen examples of the LP-filterless 24mp K-3 and Nikon D7100 cameras apparently out-resolving the FF D600/610 in a majority of shot comparisons on multiple sites (FWIW). I thought that the cameralab.com comparison between the D7100 and the D600 was the most convincingly documented and most credible. I am not in any way denigrating the FF advantages, which need no repeating here. But for me, until I see a clear-cut advantage in good light for the likes of landscape work (and considering the system as a whole), I thought the K-3 was simply the best and most versatile picture making machine I could find in the vicinity of a thousand bucks or so, new or used. I hypothesize that the LP filter which still seems to be thought necessary for 24mp FF sensors is holding the affordable FF option back at present. What are your thoughts on that? Still, I think a well-executed, fully competitive Alpha body with a solid core-lens (primes) choice and a decent DSLR back-up would probably suit my needs best overall.

I'm not sure the LPF is needed even at 24 MP FF (RX1r, Leica M, etc) but Sony chose to include a weak one on the A7. My experience is very good with the Contax G 45mm and longer RF lenses. I have a G 28mm and CV 15mm. Depending on distance, focus, etc the corners can be soft (more on the 15 and this really does vary) and there is vignetting (always but often not an issue with the Sony sensor's great latitude). At times there is some color shift which correctable via the Sony app and fairly well in RAW conversion (my limitation there is more Aperture than the camera).

So with symmetric wide angles there are some issues but I find they are greatly exaggerated be the internet echo chamber. I have found no issues with any retrofocal/SLR wide angles. Really I think the A7 is the lens adapters dream body. The sensor is about as forgiving as they come these days while still having a lot of resolution.
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