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Friday, 16 April 2021


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" It used to be well known among old-time newspaper guys that if you wanted to play a practical joke on a newspaper staff, mess with the masthead, because nobody ever proofread the masthead."

I understand (but I'm not sure of this) that what the British call a "masthead," we Americans call a "nameplate," that is, the name of the publication as printed on the front page. "The Herald," "The Times," etc. In America, the masthead is the list of editors' names that usually runs on the editorial page or on a page toward the front of the publication. And it's not only the masthead that gets messed with. The British paper The Guardian is fondly known to many of its readers as the Guarniad, because of unfortunate nameplate proof-reading. Could possibly be apocryphal, because on most papers, the nameplate is one piece of metal. Or used to be. Maybe you could mess it up in cold type. I don't know what they call the masthead in Britain, or even if they have them.

No, I can't believe it. It must be fake.

Her's a link to the real thing on Google photos:

Someone on one of the Leica fora recently reported receiving the new 28 SL Summicron, but it was badged as a 35 (the SL primes use a lot of identical components, including the lens barrels, so I can see how that might have happened). He was advised to place that copy in a safe deposit box and buy another copy. I don't know about that - it's not exactly the "inverted Jenny" of lenses. But what do I know? I thought it was idiotic for someone to bid millions of dollars for a one-off JPEG.

Acht! I have this exact model Leica C 40m lens (sn 2708541). Upon seeing this I, of course, rushed to see if mine had any such a birth defect. No luck. Mine's perfect. That really is a boo boo, too, since that lettering is actually engraved and probably even hand painted. Must've been a Friday batch.

(This is one of those little lenses that isn't really well suited for today's digital M; low contrast, etc. But I just like having it around to clown around with every once in a while. It's a lovely bit of old school tech!

I find myself wondering about the mechanism by which such markings are applied (or were then), if it's an honest mistake rather than a prank or whatever (could extend to actual fraud).

Are those usually embossed with some sort of metal stamp, then filled with pigment and squeegeed off level? Or just sprayed or stenciled on the surface? The embossing might miss a letter, I guess, maybe?

And, if they're embossed, just cleaning off the paint from the surface won't do it, whereas if they're stenciled it would.

A person good with finishes could probably put a layer over one letter that looked right, at least in a photo, and maybe even take it off afterwards without damage.

Or of course it could be only the image that has been altered, that's easy enough.

Looks to me, by the spacing, that all that was done was they edited out the "W" in Wetzlar.
Running the image through https://fotoforensics.com/ and it becomes pretty obvious.

Marktplaats is not only the favorit second hand stuff website in Holland, but in the rest of the Netherlands as well.

I have an old "ZUKO" macro lens. I noticed the missing "I" after I received it from an eBay seller. It came in the original box, in true like new condition, and I paid an amount that at the time felt somehow below the then going prices. I have been wondering since what might have been this lens history.

Regarding the Grauniad (as we usually call it, I think it was a Private Eye joke), it suffered from typos throughout the paper at one time, I don’t know if the “masthead” was ever misspelt.

On David E. Davis threatening his employees, it probably never did happen again but equally probably they wasted a lot of time checking the front cover and were so distracted they made mistakes elsewhere. I think it shows ignorance of how how perception & reading work — people ‘see’ what they expect to see and also they don’t ‘read’ words but ‘ziz’ (ornithology) from the general shape, context etc.

There is no way that lens is real. It wouldn't have gotten past Leitz's quality control.

Here is a contemporary video about Leica lens manufacturing. The numbers and letters on the lens ring are engraved by a CNC (computerized numerical control) engraving drill. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the engraving machine would likely have used a steel stencil template to guide it.


In short, no way.

I have a 40mm Summicron-C. This one looks legit…apart from the missing W. If it's a fake it's far too good to spoil via such an obvious mistake. More likely the pic has been messed with.

I use mine on both film- and sensor-based Leicas. Contrast is on the low side by modern standards, as another commenter has noted, but I don't find it an issue. It draws in a gentle, pretty way IMO.

I actually once owned a Plabel Makina 67 which had engraved on the from PLAUBE. Always wondered how many copies there exist of this mistake. Great camera, I still regret selling it.

I remember a letter to the editor in a long-ago issue of Modern Photography, on the "Too Hot to Handle" page, in which a reader reported that his new Booster T Finder for the Canon F-1 was missing the letter e in the word Booster from the prominent white paint-filled engraving on top of the viewfinder. The reader asked if the misspelling might make the finder more valuable. The editor replied that no, it didn't, and that mistakes of that nature are more common than one might expect.

Ahh! The e was missing from the word FINDER.

The record is corrected.

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