The popularity of the Leica digital M cameras, and the resurgence of Leica film cameras, has encouraged many Leica users to explore the world of Leica compatible lenses. Other mirrorless cameras such as those from Fuji, Sony and Pentax have also encouraged users of these systems to explore older lenses, especially those in Leica Thread Mount (LTM). These older lenses often have a unique rendering to them, and the forums are filled with threads and images illustrating the differences of those lenses compared to the “too perfect” crop of current lenses.
These classic lenses from Zeiss for the Contax, Nikon for the S rangefinder cameras, and Canon in LTM are highly prized. Zeiss made a small number of lenses pre-war in LTM, and Nikon also made lenses for the original Hansa Canon, and in LTM for post-war Canons and for Nicca and Tower cameras for sale in the US by Sears Roebuck in the 50’s. Unfortunately, Zeiss lenses in LTM have always been rare and costly, and being over sixty years old at this point in time, means that finding a reasonably priced lens in good condition is almost impossible. Then there is the problem of the fake Zeiss Jena LTM lenses that come out of Eastern Europe which show up on eBay on a regular basis. Of course, there are the Jupiter lenses made in the former Soviet Union and they certainly are quite cheap, but their quality can be iffy at best. Nikon LTM lenses are a bit easier to find, but they are relatively costly as well.