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Ultron 35 1.7 ltm - prone to haze?!
Old 02-16-2018   #1
retinax
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Ultron 35 1.7 ltm - prone to haze?!

Hi folks,
In the last weeks I've bought two specimens of the Ultron 35 1.7 ltm (a different lens from the M-mount one still manufactured). I had to return both to the sellers because they had haze on several internal surfaces. What is it with this lens? A manufacturing mistake? Wrong grease or lacquer or glass? Should I give up on finding a clean one?
And why doesn't the internet know about this? There are several reports on flare problems with this lens, but none of them traces it back to haze. It's only visible with a flashlight, but then very clearly so.
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Old 02-16-2018   #2
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Mine's clean as a whistle.
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Old 02-16-2018   #3
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Could be this issue is just starting to show up not that the lenses are gaining some years.
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Old 02-16-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Could be this issue is just starting to show up not that the lenses are gaining some years.
I was considering one of these for my Canon VT. My only other LTM is a canon 50/1.4 and Summaron 3.5/3.5. I wanted a faster 35mm. I guess i might have to give up on this one and just use the Summaron in bright situations.
I also read that this LTM was built less sturdy than the more modern M mount version. So with time they will deteriorate even more? I.E. aperture and focusing etc...
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Old 02-16-2018   #5
Erik van Straten
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It is a fine lens. I have mine for many years. It is nicely finished in black paint.

One aspect of the lens I did not like: the word ASPHERICAL on the front ring in red. However, it is easy to remove the red paint and to apply white paint instead.

No haze in mine.

It seems that they are not easy to find.

Erik.
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Old 02-16-2018   #6
Larry H-L
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No haze or wobble on mine, and it was an early production version, probably more than 20 years old.

Perhaps haze has to do with how and where it was stored.
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Old 02-16-2018   #7
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggieo View Post
Mine's clean as a whistle.
Great to know. Have you checked with flashlight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex1416 View Post
I was considering one of these for my Canon VT. My only other LTM is a canon 50/1.4 and Summaron 3.5/3.5. I wanted a faster 35mm. I guess i might have to give up on this one and just use the Summaron in bright situations.
I also read that this LTM was built less sturdy than the more modern M mount version. So with time they will deteriorate even more? I.E. aperture and focusing etc...
There were reports about wobble, but it's an easy fix. The two I held felt great mechanically, silky and precise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It is a fine lens. I have mine for many years. It is nicely finished in black paint.

One aspect of the lens I did not like: the word ASPHERICAL on the front ring in red. However, it is easy to remove the red paint and to apply white paint instead.

No haze in mine.

It seems that they are not easy to find.

Erik.
Your verdict about this lens encouraged me to look for one, Erik. The look doesn't bother me too much, but I understand the desire for more classy look on a vintage camera.
Have you checked yours with a flashlight?
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Old 02-16-2018   #8
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Have you checked to see if your flashlight is prone to haze? :/ I've never seen a hazy 35/1.7 Ultron LTM or M.
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Old 02-16-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post

Your verdict about this lens encouraged me to look for one, Erik.
Thank you!

Leica III, Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/1.7 LTM, Leica III, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

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Old 02-16-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_designer View Post
Have you checked to see if your flashlight is prone to haze? :/ I've never seen a hazy 35/1.7 Ultron LTM or M.
That's encouraging. Sounds like you've seen a few? It's not super obvious haze, but such that the light beam of the flashlight is clearly visible on several surfaces, most of which have a very finely dispersed mist, but one seems coarser in the last lens. As the lens isn't very old, I think it may get worse. I mean I can make out some surfaces in other lenses because there's more or less dust on them, but this is different.
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Old 02-16-2018   #11
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I have owned two of these and they were both clear with no haze.... and I always check thoroughly with a flashlight.
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Old 02-16-2018   #12
Erik van Straten
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The Ultron 35mm f/1.7 is in my opinion a better choice than the Nokton 35mm f/1.4 for two reasons: 1. the lens can also be used on LTM cameras and 2. the lens is practically free from distortion.

Erik.
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Old 02-16-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The Ultron 35mm f/1.7 is in my opinion a better choice than the Nokton 35mm f/1.4 for two reasons: 1. the lens can also be used on LTM cameras and 2. the lens is practically free from distortion.

Erik.
Yes, these points both are important to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mjd-djm View Post
I have owned two of these and they were both clear with no haze.... and I always check thoroughly with a flashlight.
Maybe I was just unlucky then. But what are the odds to get two bad ones!?! Maybe, as jsrockit said, this issue is just starting to show in some or many of these lenses.
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Old 02-16-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
That's encouraging. Sounds like you've seen a few?
Aye, I've owned two of the LTM version (one early production, one late) and have borrowed two of the VM versions to see if I wanted to grab one or not.

Great lenses.
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Old 02-16-2018   #15
Erik van Straten
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Leica M2, Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/1.7 full aperture, Tmax400.

Erik.

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Old 02-16-2018   #16
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Retinax, like you I asked Erik about his, and purchased a used mint one for my IIIF and IIIG 3 years ago. Absolutely clear, and a very capable lens. Luv it! I also purchased the M adapter, and also use it on my XE3 and XPro 2 with there adapter.
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Old 02-16-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Hi folks,
In the last weeks I've bought two specimens of the Ultron 35 1.7 ltm (a different lens from the M-mount one still manufactured). I had to return both to the sellers because they had haze on several internal surfaces. What is it with this lens? A manufacturing mistake? Wrong grease or lacquer or glass? Should I give up on finding a clean one?
And why doesn't the internet know about this? There are several reports on flare problems with this lens, but none of them traces it back to haze. It's only visible with a flashlight, but then very clearly so.
two lenses does not make much proof.
I've had about six sent in for loose lens barrels which needed screws tightened.

never had one sent in for haze that needed element cleaning.

Stephen
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Old 02-17-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
two lenses does not make much proof.
I've had about six sent in for loose lens barrels which needed screws tightened.

never had one sent in for haze that needed element cleaning.

Stephen
Of course not. In fact I'm not trying to prove anything. I hope that these two were the exceptions, because I'd like a clean one, but there likely are others. The question is how many, will it get worse, and if it's going to happen to those that are clean now.
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Old 02-17-2018   #19
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Here's what the worse one looked like. Any ideas as to what may have caused the lines?
The haze in the other one is more subtle, harder to photograph.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180209_113735.jpg (13.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 02-17-2018   #20
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There's the remote possibility that the travel in the cold delivery van could have caused this. But both lenses were well packaged and I let them warm up inside the plastic bag. Anyway I've never experienced or heard of water vapor condensation inside a prime lens. Or does anyone here think that's it?
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Old 02-17-2018   #21
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This picture looks more as if the front lens is dirty.

The front lens is concave. When you look into the back of the lens, the front of the front element looks surprisingly close, so maybe it is not the inside of the lens, but the front that is a bit dirty.

Erik.
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Old 02-17-2018   #22
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
This picture looks more as if the front lens is dirty.

The front lens is concave. When you look into the back of the lens, the front of the front element looks surprisingly close, so maybe it is not the inside of the lens, but the front that is a bit dirty.

Erik.
No no, definitely not the front lens. I looked from both sides, with aperture closed a bit etc. This surface is near the diaphragm.
This pic was taken form the rear. The little bit of dirt on the bottom left I think is on the rear surface, but the haze further inside.
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Old 02-17-2018   #23
Erik van Straten
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Well, then I wonder what happened to the lens. Maybe an earlier owner opened it for some reason. This kind of dirt will not enter a lens all by itself.

Maybe you can send it to Stephen Gandy to have it cleaned.

Erik.
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Old 02-17-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Anyway I've never experienced or heard of water vapor condensation inside a prime lens. Or does anyone here think that's it?
I've seen water condensation marks in several Nikkor RF prime lenses (and got them repaired by Nikon who replaced the affected optical group). The photo you posted shows haze IMO, not water condensation marks. If the lens is stored in a poor environment, haze can happen quite easily.

I think you were probably just unlucky with the two Ultrons you ended up with.
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Old 02-17-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Well, then I wonder what happened to the lens. Maybe an earlier owner opened it for some reason. This kind of dirt will not enter a lens all by itself.

Maybe you can send it to Stephen Gandy to have it cleaned.

Erik.
This went back to the seller because I had bought it as clean.
The second one I bought has more subtle haze without this sort of traces that may come from a failed cleaning attempt (also going back). Maybe that's what this one had before and someone tried to clean it. On the second one, it's on several surfaces. Stronger on one in front of the aperture, slight mist among others on the inside of the very last element.
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Old 02-17-2018   #26
Erik van Straten
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Maybe you were just unlucky, as Jon says, but this says more about the sellers who want to get rid of their damaged gear. What a people.

Erik.
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Old 06-27-2018   #27
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I've just handled today one of these 35 ultron ltm. Same deal, haze inside and it cannot be cleaned not without splitting some of the cemented elements.

Apparently the lens performs fine nevertheless.

Similar case with a 90mm 3.5 lanthar...
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Old 06-27-2018   #28
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Originally Posted by rangefinderlove123 View Post
I've just handled today one of these 35 ultron ltm. Same deal, haze inside and it cannot be cleaned not without splitting some of the cemented elements.

Apparently the lens performs fine nevertheless.

Similar case with a 90mm 3.5 lanthar...

Too bad. How do you know it's in the cement? That's exactly what a repairman told me on the phone. He must have seen it before (maybe on other CV lenses, seems like the 90/2.5 and 28/2.8 are somewhat notorious for haze).
As to performing nevertheless, sure, that's what the sellers told me, too. No doubt the effect of haze is not that noticeable unless you shoot against the light, which I like to do. The lens does have a reputation for flaring easily, I suspect that's due to haze people may have not discovered. And as these lenses are rather young, it's bound to get worse.

I'm still hoping that not all are affected and waiting for another one to show up from a shop where I can return without hassle, no more private sellers with this lens, that was too annoying last time around.
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Old 06-27-2018   #29
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Maybe we can start a list of numbers of the Ultron LTM to determine batches that are affected.

Mine is number 9450560, not affected.

Erik.
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Old 07-19-2018   #30
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I purchased a VC 50mm/1.5 in Nikon S mount on that auction site, and I was surprised to find haze in the rear element for such a "new" lens. I always associated haze with old, circa 50's and 60's lenses.

Apropos at this point to give kudos to old Nikkors, which tend to be relatively haze, fog resistant.

The postscript is that only later did I discover that Steve Grady still had these 50mm lenses in stock. I was under the impression that Camerquest sold out of these Nikon mount Voigtlanders, but apparently he still has some in stock. Which just goes to show how finite is the Nikon rangefinder crowd.
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Old 08-09-2018   #31
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Listing on ebay as "very good" but haze is awful.


sn: 9930244

This one is also listed with fog

SN: 9960135


This one listed as "I can see cloudy."
SN: 9940495

This one listed with haze

SN: 9940017
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Old 08-09-2018   #32
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Awful, this haze. It is such a fine lens when clear. There are not many affordable 35mm LTM-lenses out there.

So: if the serial number starts with "99XXXXX", watch out.


My VC lenses for Nikon S, 21mm f/4, 50mm f/2.5 and 50mm f/1.5 are all clear as a bell.


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Old 08-09-2018   #33
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Mine is a 9960xxx, but crystal clear. Maybe the issue is fungus, and not “haze.”
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Old 08-09-2018   #34
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My 35mm f/1.7 developed dried-up condensation haze after I spent a few hours in a mild drizzle with it. Taking it apart for cleaning wasn't hard, same as tightening up the lens barrel.
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Old 08-09-2018   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
My 35mm f/1.7 developed dried-up condensation haze after I spent a few hours in a mild drizzle with it. Taking it apart for cleaning wasn't hard, same as tightening up the lens barrel.
Maybe this is the cause of the trouble, and the solution for it.

Erik.
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Old 08-09-2018   #36
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I recall I used an online disassembly guide for it.

Mine also suffered from a rusty click-stop ball bearing at some point, which jammed the aperture ring. Again, not a difficult fix.
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