Optics: Excellent condition. Just a few very fine cleaning marks, looks excellent for its age. No haze or fungus.
Aperture: Clean and oil free.
Mechanics: This is a lens that was originally made in Rochester, NY for the Fastax mount. The lens was designed for super35, yet almost covers the full frame in reality.
To get this lens adapted over to Leica RF, we used a donor Canon 35mm LTM helicoid lower to start with. A few custom brass and aluminium parts were fabricated to ensure the optical block was held concentric and collimated correctly inside the donor helicoid. Then, a custom chrome plated brass exterior shell was made, to close the gap between the Wollensak aperture ring and donor helicoid rear. Black leatherette was added to give a hint of uniqueness.
The optics “barely” cover the 35mm full frame. There is about a 5% corner clipping at infinity, since this lens was originally made for half frame. At closer distances, the corner clipping is mitigated, and appears to look more like heavy vignetting. Cropping to 5:7 or 3:4 aspect ratio mostly solves the vignette issue.
Even still, the vignetting can be seen as an artistic feature of this lens, which has the uncanny ability to isolate subject matter in the central image while slowly transitioning to darker corners as the frame edge. Some image samples taken with the lens on a Leica M240 are provided in the lens gallery, shot at f/2 wide open.
The colours from this lens are extremely accurate, to the best of my observations, the optics appear single coated (light blue hue reflection). They remind us of the single coated Jena lenses from the 1940’s, and single coated Leica lenses of the late 1950’s. The lenses rendering appears to be a mixture of the Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron (8-element) and 35mm f/2.8 Jena Biogon, atleast this is our observations/ impression.
It’s a beautiful vintage and rare 35mm lens, that would work perfectly on Pixii or a Leica M8. Equally, accepting the vignetting limits within the far edges, it would be an ideal artistic lens on the Leica M2 thru M10..etc.
Lens contains a front and rear cap.