Friday, November 26, 2021



By Heinz Richter

A short while ago I received an email from a reader asking my advice on a lens he has.  He wrote: 


“Hello Heinz, 

I have a question about my lens that I hope you can help me with. 

I have a Leica Summaron 3.5cm f2.8 screw mount (sn 1227414), I include some photos for your reference. The other lens is a Leica summaron 3.5cm f3.5 M mount (sn: 1177110) for size comparison, as you can see the 3.5cm f2.8 is much smaller than the 3.5cm f3.5, I can't find any information about the 3.5cm f2.8cm this small. I have asked Mr. Erwin Puts, and he has never seen this lens before. 

If you have any information about this lens, I would appreciate it.”

This lens went beyond my knowledge as well.  I never had seen an example like it either.  I suspected it to be a prototype.  So, I contacted Lars Netopil of Lars Netopil Classic Cameras and Wetzlar Camera Auctions as well as Stan Tamarkin of Tamarkin Camera and Tamarkin Auctions in Chicago to get their input.  


Both confirmed my suspicion that the lens in question was a prototype.  Lars wrote:  


“The Summaron 3.5 with screw thread connection came out in 1949 with a light intensity of 1: 3.5. The version was typical of the time, with a front diameter of A36 mm. 

In the series, a Summaron 3.5 cm with the higher light intensity of 1: 2.8 was only introduced in 1957. These series versions were available with screw thread as well as M bayonet connection. It was already the current version with A42 front diameter, for E39 screw-in filter. 

As a test sample, a few copies of the Summaron 3.5 cm f / 2.8 were made in an A36 version. The lens with the number 1,227,417 is one of them. Typically with aperture setting scale and depth of field scale up to f / 2.8. 

In any case, it is a rarity. If your contact person is thinking of marketing, I would be extremely interested in a purchase in EVERY case. This lens would certainly also be suitable for our auction!” 


I conveyed this information.  It will be interesting to see if it shows up on any of Lars Netopil’s or Stan Tamarkin’s auctions in the future.

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