Canon LTM Lenses for Leica Cameras

Canon LTM Lenses

Canon LTM Lenses for Leica Cameras

This post and embedded YouTube video introduces the concept of using vintage Canon LTM lenses on Leica cameras. The video includes the Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM, Canon 35mm f1.8 LTM, Canon 28mm f2.8 LTM and Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM. Leica cameras featured iinclude a vintage Leica iiia, Leica M3, Leica M6 and Leica CL mirrorless camera. The video explains what lens adapters you need to mount LTM lenses on a Leica M camera. You can also mount LTM lenses on Sony, Fuji and Micro 4/3 cameras. I use the LTM lenses on my Lumix GH5 M4/3 camera.

YouTube: Vintage Canon LTM Lenses on Leica Cameras

LTM Cameras

My appreciation of LTM cameras started when I bought my 1930s Leica iiia. Other examples of cameras which I own with the Leica screw mount include Leica iiig , FED2, Zorki C and Nicca iiis. There is also the more modern Voigtlander Bessa L with the same LTM mount.

Leica Thread Mount (“LTM” Mount)

For those that are not aware of the term LTM it stands for Leica Thread Mount. To confuse thinks further it is also called Leica screw mount, L39 mount and in terms of screw thread diameter M39 mount too.

Vintage Canon LTM lenses

The vintage Canon LTM lenses date back from the 1950s where the cameras they were designed for had the LTM mount. At that time many cameras used the same mount and not only Leica despite the LTM name. These means there were many lenses made with the Leica screw thread design. Canon LTM glass is among some of the best from that period. The sharpness of some Japanese lenses from the 1950s out performed some Leica lenses of that era. The Canon 50 f1.8 LTM is much sharpen than my Leica Summitar 5cm f2 LTM for example (wide open).

What Canon LTM lenses I use

  • Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM
  • Canon 35mm f1.8 LTM
  • Canon 28mm f2.8 LTM
  • Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM

Canon 50mm LTM Portraits

Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM
Potsdam 100 Portrait
Ilford Pan 400 Portrait
Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM
35mm Potsdam 100 Portrait
Ilford Pan 400 Portrait
Leica + Canon LTM Portrait

LTM lens adapters (LTM to Leica M adapter + Others)

Part of the Canon LTM lens video explains what LTM lens adapter you need to mount a LTM lens on a Leica M camera body. You need to be careful to buy the correct adapter for the lens focal length you will use. The adapter for a 35mm LTM lens is different to the adapter needed for a 50mm LTM lens. This is because these vintage LTM lenses do no trigger frame lines in a Leica M camera. You need to buy the respective LTM adapter to activate the framelines you want to see in the Leica M viewfinder. These LTM adapters normally give a pair of framelines.

There are 3 LTM adapter versions available:
  • 28mm/ 90mm framelines
  • 35mm/ 135mm framelines
  • 50mm/ 75mm framelines

Amazon lens adapter links

LTM-M adapter: (US) https://amzn.to/35v7ceN / UK) https://amzn.to/2SAdFjt

LTM lenses on Sony, Fuji, Micro 4/3

You can also mount LTM lenses on Sony, Fuji and Micro 4/3 cameras (via an adapter). The video features the LTM adapter I use to mount Canon LTM lenses on my Lumix GH5 M4/3 camera. Some of my previous YouTube videos were recorded with the Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM.

YouTube: Vintage Canon LTM Lenses on Leica

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Author: matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.

4 thoughts on “Canon LTM Lenses for Leica Cameras”

  1. A good first shot at the Canon LTM lenses. I have been using them for some time. My kit runs from the 3.5/28 through the 3.5/100 (which is an amazing performer). Lenses you may want to look for include the 1.5/50 (a Sonnar) and the 2.2/50 (a tiny double gauss lens with loads of character.

    I use mine on primarily on a Canon P rangefinder, and will start using a Canon V L2 when I get it back from a CLA. They all work beautifully on my full frame and crop Sony bodies.

    I like how you are casting these videos as starter vids for inexperienced photographers. I would recommend that you also warn people that not all cameras that used the M39 thread mount were built to use the Leica flange distance. Early Soviet Zenit SLRs used the M39 mount but had a much longer flange distance. The same is true of the Braun Paxette cameras. Lenses for these cameras (among others even more unknown) will fit fine on a Leica or Leica copy rangefinder but they will not focus properly.

    1. Thank you Steve! Yes good point to mention regarding the flange distance. This is mentioned in a future video when I talk about Soviet glass on Leica. I have a Canon RF, L2 I think. Not tried it yet but I must. Thanks for mentioning to 2.2 especially, good to know. I love the 50 FL. I did look for the 1.5 at one point but settled with my 1.8 and 2.2.

      More lens videos soon! Thanks again. Matt

  2. Hi Steve,

    After watching your videos and having all the lenses you mentioned and more, I would like to share some of my experience with you, I think you should try Canon 100mm f3.5 lens. I know it is not easy to find a clean copy of that lens, but I can guarantee that you’ll love it. It is unbelievably small, sharp wide open, it is a gem. Try to get the first version, second versions had some serious haze problems. Also it is a cheap lens.

    All above except being so small, is valid for Canon 135mm f3.5 too. If you want a fast tele Canon 100mm f2 is excellent but a little bit pricey and big and heavy.

    1. Thanks Can, Someone else mentioned the 100mm f3.5 to me so it must be good. Thanks for your recommendation. Matt

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