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Shaving my Leitz Leica-R lenses


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I bought a MetaBones SpeedBooster for use with my Sony NEX-5N and my Leitz Leica-R lenses. Most of them work fine right away, but some can't focus to infinity because the protection around the back element hits the glass on the SpeedBooster. On a full frame camera, it would hit the mirror as it goes up to take a picture.

After a bit of research, I found this guide on how to shave that bit. I did it today on my Elmarit-R 35mm f/2.8 and my Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4. (the Elmarit-R 24mm f/2.8 had already been shaved when I got it; and the 50mm I just shaved it because I was doing the 35mm: the protective bit goes even farther than that of the 35mm but it is wider and somehow manages to not hit the glass; it would probably hit a mirror in a real FF camera so, away it went).

The guide already explains the most important bits. I just wanted to add a few comments:
* This was quite easy. It took me about half an hour to shave two lenses.
* Instead of lots of cotton and a bit of paper, I used a bit of cotton (just to protect the back element) and a lot of gaffer tape (to seal the lens and avoid metal bits going inside). After I was done with the file, I vacuum-cleaned the lens, got the gaffer tape out, vacuum-cleaned again, brushed while vacuum-cleaning, and I was done.
* I expected that, since the protective bit is made of metal, grounding it down would take a lot of time and effort, and it would be risky. It turned out to be extremely easy on the 35mm (the bit is made of soft metal that is black on the inside; it took me less than a minute to take nearly 2mm out of this one, so the risk here is that you may overdo it and scratch the back element; as soon as the file starts hitting the gaffer tape, stop!) and not really difficult on the 50mm (the bit is made of much stronger metal, that is silver-colored on the inside; still, it took me just about 5 minutes to get over 1mm out of it; the risk here is that if you're not patient and use too much force, you may damage something; so take your time, this is an expensive lens).

Scroll down to see some pictures of the process.

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