Throwing Shade: XOONS, SOOPD, FISON, FIKUS & Other Made-Up Words

As a user of a modest pile of vintage thread mount Leica lenses, I’ve found that shooters often skimp on using shades with these little wonders.  Sadly, some of these lenses get a bad rep as a result of what is essentially, improper use.

The driver is most certainly, cost.  Perhaps not surprisingly, vintage Leica shades in good nick can sell for disproportionately high sums.  Often they fetch more than LTM lenses and bodies themselves!

I’m here to testify, however, that while you can usually get by without a shade for modern, multi-coated lenses, these early uncoated and single coated lenses flare at the drop of the proverbial hat.

So if you’re not a “Leica Lomographer” and you want to squeeze every drop of performance out of your vintage Leitz, in addition to normal servicing, it needs a correct, properly fitting hood.  Just by looking at photos of them., Leica shades may not seem worth their price.  But, like all things Leica, they are made exceptionally well and you’ll know it when you handle them!  If you’re like me, you might just find yourself enchanted by their precision and thoughtful design.

img_1106

The correct shade for a 5cm f2 Summar is the Leica SOOMP.  It’s a rather unrefined looking, large, boxy, clamp-on box with a viewfinder cutaway.  I’m sure it works wonderfully but, I’ll be honest, I just think that SOOMP looks ridiculous.  I’m not even going to post a photo of it here!

Maybe the silly looking hoods are the OTHER reason, besides high costs, that drive people to leave them off their vintage Leitz lenses!

I have chosen to use a black FISON with my Summar.  This hood is designed for use with 5cm f3.5 Elmars so it does not cover as well on the faster Summar lens.  But I am quite taken with it’s style and FISON does quite a good job on the Summar.  I like that its diameter is the same 39mm as the diameter of the front of the lens so that I can put my lens cap directly on the hood.  Presumably, it was designed for the “Elmar 5cm” script to face upwards.  This makes the set-screw stick out on the side.  I find this cumbersome to adjust aperture on the Summar so I simply face the set-screw to the bottom of the lens and it works out beautifully.  The chrome FISON is much cheaper than black, if you’re in the market.

img_1120

img_1121

One of the few prudently priced lens shades I recommend to anyone with multiple LTM lenses is the FIKUS.  It is a circular hood that telescopes to three different focal lengths, alleviating the need to carry three different hoods for your 5cm, 9cm and 13.5cm.  FIKUS also happens to be pretty cheap, usually well under $100.  My only complaint is that it does not lock into each lens length setting so it’s not fast to change.  But it fits the lens barrel nicely with minimal, if any, finder blockage and is very compact and handsome in appearance with a black-chrome-black motif.  FIKUS fits at least one of my other lenses but is usually companion to my 9cm Elmar.  The 9cm Elmar is a fantastic performer that is aided by use of a shade, though it does look a bit Pinochio-esque!

img_1124

img_1122

Hey, Stupid, use a SOOPD!  One shade that doesn’t get much time off the bench but I find absolutely beautiful is the SOOPD, for 5cm f2 Summitars.

img_1114

I bought this hood for my Summitar, not really realising how large it is.  I really feel silly using it but I haven’t had the heart to hock it because it’s just so goddamn marvelous.  It has black crinkle finish paint on its rear panel and front panels have a silky smooth matte finish with big, proud engraving.  There are two major versions of the SOOPD but I think they both carry the same name; a push button pressure fit mount, which is very common and a rare clamp-on type.  Anyway, what’s amazing about these hoods is that they fold flat with remarkable ease and precision.  Open or closed, there is very little, maybe zero play in SOOPD, an excellent example of Leica’s manufacturing panache.  SOOPD also goes by the name SOOFM.

img_1115

img_1113

Call me SOOPD (haha, I could do this all day) but I have resigned to using a far less cool but, I think far less silly looking Chinese knock-off screw-in Summicron-style shade on my Summitar.  This requires a 36.5 to 39mm step-up ring, preferably the official Leica one, code name SNHOO or 13078Y.   The Chinese adapter and shade are made of aluminum or some such junk but the shade’s vented and is quite effective.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO CROSS THREAD the Chinese adapter and/or shade.  This is very easy to do and not very easy to remove.  If you want to use a lens cap without removing the Summicron-style shade, a modern plastic clip-on cap will work well albeit reduces cool points even further.  Leica seems to have made a point of over-engineering their 50/2 hoods, considering how well this and that FISON work on these lenses.  If you’re interested in more lens hoods for Summitar and early Summicron lenses, please have a look here.

img_1117

While any vintage LTM lens will elicit compliments, I get the most when sporting my go-to 50 and it’s proper shade.  Even the salesmen with daily haircuts at the SOHO Leica Store were intrigued by this rig.  The XOONS shade is made specifically for Leica’s first superfast lens, the 5cm 1.5 Summarit.  It’s a beautiful crinkle finish black, clamp-on hood with the familiar precision, white paint-filled engraving.  My copy is generously brassed in photojournalist chic and gets all the double-takes from jealous gawkers.  I’m KINDA joking.  😉

img_1110

It’s large, but not awkwardly so.  It’s rectangular, but features angled corners.  And like all real Leica shades, the brass is perfectly rigid.  There’s a little cutaway to alleviate the slight finder blockage.  You can reverse mount XOONS for storage on your Summarit if you wish.  I don’t like to use this lens/shade on LTM bodies but wow does it balance and handle with beauty and grace on my M6 TTL.  The Summarit/XOONS designers must have been peering into their crystal ball.  XOONS doesn’t fold up or fit other lenses (that I’m aware of) but it’s just a good looking, tough little hood that has been nothing short of lovely in form and function on the Summarit.

img_1141

So listen, XOONS, SOOPD, FISON, FIKUS, whatever, DON’T SKIMP ON THE SHADE!!!  It’s important!  At the very least, a nice shade will dress up an already hip optic and offer some front element protection.

Take good care of those vintage Leicas, fellas.  Thanks for reading!

Follow, Favorite, Like, Add, Contact Johnny Martyr 

      

25 thoughts on “Throwing Shade: XOONS, SOOPD, FISON, FIKUS & Other Made-Up Words

      1. I have the late 1940s (1949 I think) Summitar 5cm f2 and although the sunshade that I have didn’t come with this lens the shade I do use is the one that’s only marked Summitar (like the one you have pictured). I’m thinking that the first shade was designed for the Summar and the one I have can be used on the Summitar and Summicron and it’s catalog code is SOOFM vice the original SOOPD. Believe me, I’m far from knowledgable on this stuff down to the smallest details so I may be wrong to call mine SOOFM.
        Who knows, maybe Leitz gave it a dual code of SOOPD / SOOFM.
        Good stuff.
        Chris

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you’re right. SOOPD appears to only be associated with the Summitar and SOOFM with both Summitar and early Summicron. Additionally, I have also seen early SOOPD hoods that clamp onto the lens via a small thumbscrew like FIKUS, XOONS, etc. And there were silver paint versions too. This early Leica stuff usually comes in a few flavors! Summar has a smaller diameter so these barndoor hoods don’t fit it. Anyway, sounds like you have a nice setup!

        Like

  1. I have a 9cm Elmar LTM and a FIKUS hood. It fits perfectly on the 5cm Elmar f3.5 but there is no way that it fits on the end of the 9cm lens. These items were from 1957/58 Is there a spacer ring that screws in the front of this lens that reduces the diameter allowing for it to fit properly?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ofey, does your 9cm Elmar look like mine? There were a number of different barrel designs over the years but for most years, the FIKUS is the correct hood. It is marked 5, 9 and 13.5cm.

      Is your 9cm Elmar too small or large for the FIKUS? Can you measure the diameter of the front lens ring or post a photo of the lens?

      There is no “spacer ring” or similar.

      Like

  2. I’ve got a puzzle that no one wants to answer on the Facebook Leica groups. I’ve made a lens hood for my 1936 Summar out of a plastic tablet bottle (Centrum vitamins to be exact.) It fits perfectly and have put a mat black plastic sleeve inside it (as the bottle is white plastic, which I’ll finish later either with silver or black paint.)
    Can anyone tell me how long the lens hood needs to be for the 5cm Summar? I’m guessing if someone could measure on the FIKUS that would be great. I’ve also got a 9cm Elmar so could use it on that as well at a push. Out of interest, what fits the 5cm Elmar f2.8?
    Many thanks, and great article btw.
    Rhys

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Rhys, I actually saw your request for this information but didn’t have my FISON hood in front of me at the time. Yeah, not many Leica shooters are cutting apart vitamin bottles to make hoods and are going to be a little snobby about anyone doing so! Good for you for using your brain!

      Listen, as this blog is about though, I don’t use the correct hood for the Summar, which is a SOOMP that is more box-like. I use a FISON. FIKUS does not fit the Summar as it’s too narrow a diameter. FIKUS is made for the 5cm, 9cm Elmar and 13.5cm Hektor.

      FISON which is a simple barrel like you’re describing and is the proper diameter is a total of 3/4″ inches. However, the first 1/8th” is what clamps onto the lens. That leaves 5/8″ of the hood that extends beyond the front element.

      I hope this works out. I’d love to see your finished product!

      Like

  3. Good information for Leica vintage lens user. I have a question asking to help. I know every one told me that the FIKUS used for SM and the IUFOO used for M mount 90mm Elmar/135MM Hektor. Is it true. Can I find a way like you did on Summitar by using others to replace the KIKUS or IUFOO. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patrick, in order to find alternative hoods, one simply needs to find the inner and outer diameter of the lens and then find hoods that fit either of those diameters. After that, it’s a matter of if the hood itself is long/wide enough to block flare or not for that length. There are a lot of options for 50mm lenses because there are are lot of 50mm lenses. But I don’t think there are nearly as many for 90 and 135’s because there were only a few of these. Anyway, no, this comment about FIKUS vs IUFOO is not true and have not heard it before. Both of these hoods have the same 36mm inner diameter. The difference is simply that that FIKIS clamps on and telescopes to fit each focal length specifically whereas the IUFOO is a newer clip on design and does not telescope. The FIKUS can be used on the 90 at a smaller total size, whereas the IUFOO is the same size on both the 90 and 135. Maybe the idea that IUFOO is correct for M 90’s is just that it’s contemporary to them in age/design/style, whereas the FIKUS is quite an old design/style.

      Like

      1. Thank you Johnny for your response to my question. It’s very informative. Since you have enough experience and wide knowledge about photography. From your explanation the only difference between the FIKUS and IUFOO is that FIKUS could use for various lens (telescope) from 50mm to 135mm. Since I only intend to use it with 90mm mostly or occasionally 135mm as well. So in that case I could use the IUFOO so are all 90mm/135mm with the same outer diameter (?) while inner diameter is same as 36mm. Why I said this because I like the IUFOO’s look more than the look of FIKUS and besides, the FIKUS is much heavy than IUFOO. Thank you again and have a nice day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, that’s true, the FIKUS is heavier than IUFOO and a bit fiddly to adjust. I’d have to know exactly which version of the lenses you have to verify but I believe they are all compatible. The Leica Manual is a great resource for learning about accessories.

        Like

  4. Mine is a 1935 LTM Elmar in black and a 1936 LTM Hektor also in black. The IUFOO seems fit for SM (A36mm) and IUFOO seems fit for M mount (E39mm) but in Wiki Leica, it stated for Elmar’s hood is both FIKUS and IUFOO. KEH also said so. That’s why I asked people everywhere to id the outer of both hoods. No one seems to know so far. I am hoping that IUFOO also fit my lenses since like I said, I like IUFOO more than the FIKUS. Thank you anyway for your help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, sorry, I understand now and spoke incorrectly earlier. I apologize for the confusion. I don’t have a 13.5 Hektor or IUFOO hood so I don’t have any first hand knowledge of them.

      What you have read elsewhere is correct.

      The IUFOO hood clips on rather than clamps on. The 9cm and 13.5cm LTM lenses do not have the groove around the front ring of the lens for the IUFOO to clip into. So no, you cannot use an IUFOO on either of your lenses. Officially, the FIKUS is your only option.

      That being said, if you can find another hood with a 36mm outer diameter that clamps into place and has a big enough hood piece, this would work.

      My apologies for the confusion but it seems that you knew more about this topic than I did!

      Like

      1. Thank you very much and after clarification, I decided to go with the FIKUS instead of IUFOO although I like it much more.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s