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135mm f28




Has anyone used the 135mm f2.8 "goggle" M lens? While I like my 90mm, I'm gravitating towards focal lengths that are getting further away from the 50mm, which is still the lens I use the most (on the wide side, I went from the 35mm to the 24mm).

I'm interested in the older, f2.8 with goggles, so that the goggles can magnify the viewfinder. I use only B&W for most of my work, and colour neg for my happy snaps, so I'm guessing the optical quality is fine.

What I'm really interested in is how the goggles affect the viewing. Is it acceptable, terrible,...?

Have used it, and from what I remember it was a fine lens. Since my tendency is towards medium/moderate telephotos (70mm to 180mm) I ended up using R series bodies for lenses longer than 50mm because the viewfinder 'feels' gives me 'full view'.
Marco, Owning a 135mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M forever, I can tell you in practical photography it is an excellent lens. The "eyes" do magnify the viewfinder, with an .72 viewfinder you get a life-sized image and with a .85 or M3 finder about 1.4x. The biggest problem was the earlier lenses is the alignment of the eyes. The early versions have a scalloped focus ring and the 'eyes' are attached with screws to the mount. The later version with the milled focusing ring the mount and eyes are one piece construction and I think but do not know for sure, the metalurgy is better. I have never knocked the 'eyes' out of alignment on my version two lens. The lens is very heavy which I think is its biggest problem. View is easier since the image is magnified. Some people have said the image is dimmer, but I've never really noticed it.
Happy Snaps,
Hey Bob;

Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to stay with the rangefinder system & not carry an SLR too, hence my question on the 135 google lens. But you're right - if I got into telephotos more (esp. something like a 180mm) an R series body would be ideal.

Interestingly, I worked with two Leica rangefinders & a Nikon FM2 with an 80-200mm about 10 years ago. I know Leica M bodies & Nikon F bodies are suppose to be a classic combination, but wow, was it ever frustrating to have the lens controls go in opposite directions with the two makes! Another reason to go with an R body if I ever go past 135mm.

Hey Sal;

Thanks for your comments. I didn't know about the eye alignment problem on the scalloped models. I'll look around & see if I can find the version two instead.

By the way, I'm using an M3, so I'm looking forward to the large image size. I just had my finder cleaned, so currently, the view is very bright & clear.

Thanks again to both of you for the feedback.
- Marco
Dear Marco,

The later lenses were optically identical to the 1:2,8/135 Elmarit-R.

I endorse all the above comments.

Here is a photo taken with mine.

All the best,

Marco, This is the only 135mm I use with the M6
I've used it for many years with Kodachrome 25 to Velvia and have no complaints regarding contrast or sharpness.
This lens is great. Besides the comments by others, the head works very well for macro work with the Visoflex III and bellows.
Justin, Colin, Lawrence;

Thanks for all the feedback. Sounds like I'd do well to find one of these lenses. While I'm sure the current 135 f3.4 is a superb lens, from all of your comments (and your enclosed ex&le, Justin) it's obvious that the f2.8 is no slouch either - plus it has the benefit of the magnified view.

I'll look in my hometown first to see if I can find one; if not, I'll do the usual web searches.

Thanks all,

I have one of the later series lenses that I really only use from a sense of guilt from otherwise not using it! Feel free to e-mail me at gmb@cyberone.com.au if you do not find anything suitable in your local area. I would be happy to sell it for a modest price if you are interested. Regards,

Hey Gary;

Thanks for the notice! Currently, I have my local Leica guru, Reinhold Mueller, searching for me. If he doesn't find anything in the next few weeks, I'll contact you.

Thanks again!