Schneider-KREUZNACH PA-Curtagon 35mm F/4 for Leicaflex (Leica R)

Shift lens • Film era • Discontinued

PA Perspective control lens.

Leicaflex

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1965
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:No
Dimensions:148x97x57mm
Weight:770g

Leicaflex SL

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1968
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:148x97x57mm
Weight:770g

Leicaflex SL2

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1974
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:148x97x57mm
Weight:770g

Leica R3

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1976
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:4 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:148x96.5x64.6mm
Weight:780g

Leica R4

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1980
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138.5x88.1x60mm
Weight:630g

Leica R4S

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1983
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138.5x88.1x60mm
Weight:630g

Leica R5

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1986
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:15 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138.5x89.1x62.2mm
Weight:625g

Leica R6

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1988
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:138.5x89.1x63.5mm
Weight:625g

Leica R-E

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1990
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:15 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138.5x89.1x63.5mm
Weight:625g

Leica R6.2

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1992
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:138.5x89.1x62.2mm
Weight:625g

Leica R7

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1992
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138.5x94.8x62.2mm
Weight:670g

Leica R8

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:1996
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:158x101x62mm
Weight:890g

Leica R9

35mm MF film SLR camera

Announced:2002
Mount:Leica R
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:158x101x62mm
Weight:790g

Designed for

Features highlight

Shift 0..7 mm
Lens rotation
Manual
MF
Compact

Specification

Production details
Announced:1969
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:11202
Original name:SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH PA-CURTAGON 1:4/35 FÜR LEICAFLEX
SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH PA-CURTAGON 1:4/35 FÜR LEICA R
Optical design
Focal length:35mm
Speed:F/4
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Leica R
Flange focal distance:47mm
Diagonal angle of view:63.4° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction:7 elements - 6 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:5
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.3m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:6 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Tilt and Shift mechanism
Shift range:0..7mm
Tilt range:Not available
Lens rotation:Yes
Tilt/Shift rotation:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:290g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀70×51mm
Accessories
Filters:Series VIII
Screw-type 60mm
Lens hood:12509
12514

Manufacturer description

This is a special wide-angle lens with parallel displacement to avoid converging verticals. It gives the LEICAFLEX some of the scope of a viewfinder camera with lens displacements and is, therefore, particularly useful for architectural photography and similar applications. It is, in fact, a lens with a built-in "rising front" in any direction.

The optical "secret" behind the PA-CURTAGON-R is that the lens has been corrected to cover a larger angle than required for normal 35mm lenses. With this extra coverage, the optical axis of the lens can be decentered in any direction up to 7mm. You mount it on the camera like any other interchangeable lens; then the front part can be moved up, down or sideways. In this way, the LEICAFLEX can take in tall buildings without having to tilt the camera, while you avoid converging verticals and eliminate undesirable foreground subjects. In effect, it is an ultra-wide angle lens with an even bigger angle than the 28mm ELMAR IT-R; you cover any part of the ultra-wide angle view you want to by laterally moving the lens.

In addition to architectural and industrial photography, this displaceable lens also offers many possibilities for perspective control. The field of view, including the change in the image field obtained by displacing the optical axis, is directly observable through the LEICAFLEX viewfinder. With its focal length of 35mm and an image field of 57mm diameter, the PA-CURTAGON-R has an effective image angle of 78°. The optical system is built into a helical focusing mount to cover distances from infinity to 12", measured from the film plane!

From the editor

The first shift lens for the Leica. Leitz had started to design a 35mm f/3.4 PA-Elmar but in the end went to Schneider for this lens.

For additional information about features of this lens, please refer to the manufacturer description for the Schneider-Kreuznach PA-Curtagon 35mm F/4 lens.

Series VIII filters are kept in place by the lens hood. The lens also has internal thread for M60 x 0.75 filters.

Comments

David Murray

I’ve been using this lens for three years and am really very pleased with it. I have a pair of Leicaflex SL bodies with dud meters so the cams issue does not affect me at all. I meter with handheld meters. I do not find the stopped-down aperture problematical at all. Most of my shots in the U.K. are around f5.8-8 so the viewfinder is rarely dark. The finder in a Leicaflex SL is very bright anyway, certainly compared with some Japanese cameras. The results from the P.A Curtagon are excellent and that includes colour. Mostly I use Tri-X though.
I was fortunate to obtain the correct lens hood when buying this lens as it holds the series VIII filters in place. I’ve been collecting them for mono work -orange/red/green/blue and polariser. There’s a small rubber wheel in the hood to adjust the polariser. These guys really thought everything out. I don’t use the shift aspect of the lens as I’m not into architecture. I use the P.A for street and general reportage. One gripe though, I’ve added a 90mm f2.8 R lens to my outfit, but that’s a series VII filter job. Pity we could not have standardised somewhat. So I’ve been considering the purchase of duplicates for the 90. The build quality of this gear is amazing. The bodies are not too expensive if you buy one with non- working meter. Of course the correct battery is not available and has not been for at least 20 years. It requires the PX625 mercury oxide cell @ 1.35v. The alkaline PX625 @ 1.5v is not suitable as the initial voltage is too high and then it starts dropping. An unstable voltage is useless for a camera meter. My pair were £65 each, the 35/4 was £225 and the 90/2.8 R was £149. Meters and bag I already had. We will not see quality like this again. Every time I venture forth, I find some guy looking at my camera. Often he speaks and I spend 10 minutes explains the history of the Leicaflex- the diesel Leica.

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best shift lenses

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Series filters

A filter mounting system developed in the USA and used from the 1930s to the 1970s. The filters were round pieces of glass or gelatin mounted as a rule in metal rims with no threads. The filter is inserted into the screw-in or slip-on adapter ring mounted on a lens and then held in place with threaded retaining ring. A lens hood sometimes acted as an adapter or retaining ring.

Filter type Filter size
(inch — mm)
Retaining ring size
(inch — mm)
Lens diameter, mm
Series IV / 4 13/16 20.3 15/16 23.8 16-18
Series V / 5 1 3/16 30.2 1 5/16 33.3 19-30
Series VI / 6 1 5/8 41.3 1 3/4 44.5 31-42
Series VII / 7 2 50.8 2 1/8 54.0 43-51
Series VIII / 8 2 1/2 63.5 2 5/8 66.7 52-67
Series IX / 9 3 1/4 82.6 3 7/16 87.3 67-85
Series X / 10 4 1/2 114 4 5/8 117 86-114
Series XI / 11 5 7/16 138 5 9/16 141 115-138

Shift lenses

Shift lenses are high-quality lenses, usually wide-angle, that provide a parallel shift facility like the sliding lens panel of professional large-format cameras for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating the perspective especially for use in architectural and product photography.

Whereas normal lenses designed for 35mm full-frame cameras have an image circle diameter of 43.27mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle, shift lenses provide much larger image circle (60mm or even more). Decentration of the lens is possible within this area.

Vertical shift is the most popular: upward when photographing high buildings, and downward for product shots, so that the camera does not have to be tilted. When the camera is tilted either upward or downward, perpendicular lines are not imaged as perpendicular, but rather converge upward or downward, which is very pronounced in wide-angle shots and can be very irritating.

Lens rotation

By using rotation, the direction of the entire lens can be switched.

Tilt/Shift rotation

By using Tilt/Shift rotation, the relationship of the tilt and shift operation directions can be switched from right angle to parallel.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.