Summilux 35mm Pre-ASPH V2 close focus mod


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Jul 17, 2016
Summilux 35mm f/1.4 Pre-ASPH V2 close focus mod

In terms of minimum focus distance only, as far as I know, the Summilux came in two variations.
  • Non-goggled versions going to about 1.0m
  • Goggled versions going to about 0.65m
I've always found it kinda ironic that the goggled version intended for the M3 has a close focus range that can't be used by unmodded M3s (no coupling between 1m and 0.65m). I've seen at least one goggled steel rim with the goggles machined off, I assume by someone wanting to use the close focus range on a post-M3 camera.
I'd previously borrowed a Summilux V2 from my boss and quite enjoyed the "two lenses in one", flipping between f1.4 and f1.8, but the 1 metre minimum focus was quite annoying on a 35mm lens. So I ended up with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 VM II for a while. I got my hands on a cheap Summilux V2 recently and I figured I would try this close focus mod.


Disclaimer: this is not really a tutorial, more just documenting what I did in my case. I'm sure there are better way to do things. Happy to elaborate and answer questions, but if you try this it is at your own risk. There are many tiny grub screws which are easily stripped/rounded. I had to drill out a few screws ruined by the previous owner and cut new threads for my own 1.6mm replacement screws. Please use the correct size of screwdriver and don't force things.



There's a few ways to go about performing this modification, with varying difficulty, risk, structural compromise, and minimum focus distance. I tried the following in order.

1. ~0.72m min. focus with no hard stop
  • This involved removing the close focus hard stop (the one screwed in to the left of the "Lens Made in Canada") and filing the rear element shroud.
  • You need to unthread the optical block from the focusing mech and remove the focus ring to expose the hard stops.
  • In lieu of the hard stop, the rangefinder cam helicoid instead interferes with the focus helicoid key to stop focus at about 0.72m.
  • The brass key is *probably* sturdy enough to be used like this as there is little leverage and is a small tensile stress, but obviously don't slam into the close focus stop too often.
  • The cutout part of the rear element shroud needs to be filed down, otherwise it will stick out further than the rangefinder cam and throw off your rangefinder coupling.
  • The only benefit I see is that it leaves the lens' exterior intact.
2. ~0.75m min. focus with hard stop (this one I didn't try but you can imagine what the results are like)
  • All the same as #1 but you reposition the close focus hard stop to stop focusing just before the rangefinder cam touches the focus helicoid key.
  • This involves drilling a 1.5mm hole and a 2.0mm countersink for the screw.
  • This obviously is a permanent change to your lens' exterior but the benefit is that there are no internal parts interfering.
  • I'd recommend doing this level of the mod if you want to try it.
3. ~0.68m min. focus with no hard stop
  • All the same as #1 but the focus helicoid key is filed a tiny bit to allow closer focus.
  • I wanted to reach 0.65m like the goggled version but I wasn't sure if all M cameras can couple down to 0.65m and stopped at 0.68m.
  • Don't recommend this. Turn around, go back hahaha
4. ~0.70m min. focus with hard stop
  • All the same as #3 but with hard stop relocated to just before the rangefinder cam helicoid touches the focus helicoid key.
  • This is where I ended up at.


Did it work? Yes. Was it worth it? For me it was. Should you try it? Depends how willing you are to pull apart and permanently modify a Summilux. 1m close focus or a Voigtlander might be good enough for you.
Thank you for reading!


Next on my mod list is an E39 threaded front ring replacement part for the Summilux V2. Simple replacement with 3 grub screws. Compatible with original clip on hoods. Currently in the works, along with an alternative steel rim esque front ring that has a larger focus thread.


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