Well here is something that you don’t see everyday. This is the Leica 35mm Summicron that was designed for the legendary Leica M3. Its original code name was SAWOO-MW and it was introduced at Photokina in 1958. It was available with and without the auxiliary windows for the M3 and also in screwmount for the older cameras. There were 11,355 standard Summicrons made and 9,557 more with the attachment for the M3.
When the M3 was designed they gave the viewfinder a magnification of 92% which was great for 50mm lenses but with wide-angle lenses you had no frame lines so this lens had these extra windows to correct for the field of view and so the rangefinder would focus properly. The lens is extremely compact and has focusing scales in both feet and meters. The lens focuses down to 28 inches and stops down to f16. It has a focus tab which I like on all Leica lenses and the tab also has an infinity lock that is pushed in at the bottom of the focus tab. Some of the lenses have a small screw that when taken out allows the bayonet mount to be removed revealing the Leica screw thread mount. This version costs quite a bit more. This version has 8 elements that were reduced to 6 when the lens was redesigned in 1969. A smaller revision was the removal of the infinity lock in 1973. A totally new version of the lens was released in 1980.
Comparing this lens to my favorite 35mm Summicron version 4 you would notice a lot of difference between the lenses. The newer version has more contrast and the images have more saturation. The center is noticeably sharper and this comparison extends to the edges as well. Both lenses reach peak sharpness at f5.6. The older lens is more susceptible to off axis flare. Yes lens coatings have improved over the years. Because of its uniqueness I have kept this lens even though I no longer have a M3. It is such a cool looking lens. It really has a retro look to it.