For a Lens that is approaching 72 years old, my Leica 135mm f4.5 Hektor gets serious admiration from me. It is quite sharp, has good contrast and a lovely older style look about the photos. Here’s a few sample shots when I was kicking around the neighbourhood.
Interestingly this lens was made in Germany in 1940, and its serial number places its date of manufacture just before Hitler was about to invade Finland and Denmark. For this reason it was probably initially destined for the local German market, which can also be shown by no “Made in Germany” markings, just “Ernst Leitz Wetzlar”. The focus distance is marked in metres and it uses the old style aperture calibration – f4.5, f6.3, f9, f12.5, f18, f25, f36.
My copy is a black lens with LOTS of brassing, suggesting a lot of use in those intervening years; and if it could talk, I am sure it would have quite a few stories to tell.
Surprisingly these lenses can be found quite cheaply. Sure, they’re not fast lenses (two and a half stops slower than my Nikon 135mm f2), but you could probably find a copy nicer than mine for under a $100, and at that price it’s a steal.
As a footnote, the shot with fall leaves had a little contrast added and brightness reduced, as did the basketball ring shot. The bottom photo is straight out of camera, and I love the kids getting out of the car.