Paul Sindel

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50mm f/1.2 Noctilux "Designed by Helmut Marx and Paul Sindel. It features six elements (two of them being aspherical), exterior of lens mount in black anodized aluminum and internally sporting bronze and stainless steel to ensure a smooth operation, apart from boasting the elegant scallop of the focusing ring typical in older M lenses. For the first time in Leica History, its optical formula included two aspherical elements which had to be ground manually, with huge difficulty and needing tremendous knowledge (only Helmut Marx and very probably Walter Mandler -if he would have been in Wetzlar then- were the only persons able to carry out this task), because 42 years ago there weren´t the current machines making the computer controlled polishing and grinding, and they were always on the brink of the impossible, with a high rate of errors and having to throw a lot of quantities of expensive glass until getting the necessary precision. This way, the Leitz Wetzlar designers of lenses were bound to implement tremendous narrow tolerances and huge accuracy during the making of the aspherical surfaces to grind them perfectly, and the same happened in the phase of assembly where a similar brutal thoroughness and almost zero tolerances were needed to properly mount all the elements and groups inside the lens barrel, apart from trying to accomplish an impeccable centering, which Leica has always deemed to be a key factor (among others) to get the best possible image quality. All these aspects brought about that each lens had to be manufactured nearly 100% in a completely unit per unit craftsmanship way, investing a very high number of hours and special attention to each sample, so the production cost was rather lofty and very expensive the final price for customers, apart from posing a very hard challenge for the Leitz factory in Wetzlar. On the other hand, this was the first 50 mm in history with a full aperture f/1.2 not stellar because of pure physical reasons, but usable with good quality and contrast at full aperture, which was an impressive optical feat in that epoch. It was produced until 1975."

Source - José Manuel Serrano Esparza

E. Leitz Photographic Patents by Paul Sindel