Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6

Started May 18, 2012 | Discussions
wornleather
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Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
May 18, 2012

This is a lens I've acquired and can't find out anything about it.

The lens states it was made in Canada for Hughes Leitz (which leads me to believe it may be military in origin, it also says the field of view is 163 degrees and the focal length is 17mm with a speed of f0.6.

The attached pic shows it with an old Canon of mine just for scale - it doesn't actually fit the Canon.

It has a flange-to-image-plane distance of approx 27-28mm which means it should fit M mount cameras (but whatever mount that was fitted has been removed).

It weighs 38lbs, has astonishing optical qualities, superb glass and appears to be very fast - placing a light meter behind the lens shows that there is far more light on the camera side of the lens than there is on the image side.

Anybody seen one of these before or know anything about what format or type of camera it belongs to?
Thanks
Mike

ProtonPump
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 18, 2012

wornleather wrote:

This is a lens I've acquired and can't find out anything about it.

The lens states it was made in Canada for Hughes Leitz (which leads me to believe it may be military in origin, it also says the field of view is 163 degrees and the focal length is 17mm with a speed of f0.6.

The attached pic shows it with an old Canon of mine just for scale - it doesn't actually fit the Canon.

It has a flange-to-image-plane distance of approx 27-28mm which means it should fit M mount cameras (but whatever mount that was fitted has been removed).

It weighs 38lbs, has astonishing optical qualities, superb glass and appears to be very fast - placing a light meter behind the lens shows that there is far more light on the camera side of the lens than there is on the image side.

Anybody seen one of these before or know anything about what format or type of camera it belongs to?
Thanks
Mike

I dont know anything about it but I would like to buy that f/0.6 lens from you. just for speeds.

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CelticOdyssey
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 18, 2012

Fascinating, and I hope you get some answers. But where does it say its focal ratio is f/0.6?

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maxnoy
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 18, 2012

Cool stuff! Can you post the image of the back?

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maxnoy
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to maxnoy, May 18, 2012

Must have been made from 1990-1997 to be branded Hughes Leitz - http://www.elcan.com/Our_Company/History.php .

Has got to be a fisheye with that angle of view. I guess fixed focus. Wonder who can machine an M mount for you.

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wornleather
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to CelticOdyssey, May 18, 2012

It says f0.6on the flight case the lens came with which I assume is accurate as it's seems to be the original factory case. Any idea how the intensity is calculated?

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wornleather
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to maxnoy, May 18, 2012

I'll try upload some images this evening

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CelticOdyssey
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 18, 2012

wornleather wrote:

It says f0.6on the flight case the lens came with which I assume is accurate as it's seems to be the original factory case. Any idea how the intensity is calculated?

All I know is that the speed is the distance from the lens to the focal plane divided by the lens diameter. With a compound lens, I'm not sure which lens element.

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Joe Pineapples
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 19, 2012

ELCAN Canada made very fast lenses for X-ray applications; but f/0.6 is getting close to the theoretical maximum for a lens in air...

Joe

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wornleather
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 19, 2012

Here are a few more images of the lens including a very poor and greatly enlarged/cropped view through it, (Sorry it was taken with a crappy Samsung digital - none of my SLRs would focus to 20mm)

I probably should have added these images to the initial post but I didn't know how.

The actual image through the lens is bitingly sharp right to the edges with stunning colour and contrast imo.
It appears to be fixed focus with everything from 5' to infinity being in focus.

Does anybody know what the difference is between a fish eye and an ultra wide angle lens?

I'm tending to the view that this isn't a fish eye as the rectilinear distortion is minimal - is that right?

Lastly some dimensions - The front element is 9' (23cm) across, the rear element has a max diameter of 2.5 inches (55mm) set in a 3 inch (75mm) tube.

I'm leaning to the view that this was an x-ray lens.

Sorry if I sound excited by it but I only paid £70 for it and it is a seriously well made lens with a gobsmacking amount of exquisitely flawless glass.

Now i need an M mount for it.

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WhiteWolfy
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 26, 2012

I'm 95% certain this lens was used for medical purposes. No focus, no aperature.

Still an interesting find though. Perhaps you could simply hold a camera behind the back element and take a few pictures?

-- hide signature --

Edit: It's a projection lens used in cinemas... not likely to be very usable for photography.
---

I know a similar lens which was specifically made for Aurora Borealis research a few decades ago.

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Irakly Shanidze
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to CelticOdyssey, May 26, 2012

right, it does not work for wide-angle lenses.
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WhiteWolfy
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to Irakly Shanidze, May 27, 2012

It's a projection lens actually.

http://bit.ly/pdf_google

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Olaf Ulrich
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Re: Anybody know anything about this lens? Leitz 17mm f0.6
In reply to wornleather, May 28, 2012

wornleather wrote:

Does anybody know what the difference is between a fish-eye and an ultra-wide-angle lens?

A wide-angle lens has a gnomonic projection; a fish-eye has not.

.

wornleather wrote:

I'm tending to the view that this isn't a fish-eye ...

It most definitely is a fish-eye lens. As it has no adjustable aperture, it most likely is not intended for regular still photography. It might be a projection lens for a planetarium, intended to cast a picture into a dome-shaped projection area.

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