Heads up: Mash SF is sold out of the Lens Spacers until sometime in May 2017. Check back through the link embedded below.
I'm a firm believer that the details, big and small, really do matter. That's what this whole site is about. Heck I even put it in the name!
One of my favorite things is discovering one of those really special details and then sharing it with others. That's why I have to tell you about the Mash SF Lens Spacers. But first, who are Mash SF? For those who don' t know them, Mash SF are part of the cycling bedrock in both the San Francisco and global bike messenger communities. Their brick and mortar store is a mandatory stop by whenever you're in town. The small store front is a hub to the local community and its walls are packed with eye candy. But don't worry, you don't have visit San Francisco to get your hands on some Mash SF swag. They have one of the better eStores and one of the best shipping times I've come across. And that's where I acquired the Lens Spacers.
The Mash SF Lens Spacers are two 5mm Black 1 1/8 inch headset spacers printed to look like a camera lens focus rings. They make great use of an often overlooked part of the build. Any photographer/cyclist will immediately be drawn to and appreciate this creative carryover. While they add a lot of personal taste to your build, they don't add any negative weight, unless you're swapping out carbon spacers. But even then we are talking single digit grams. If you ask me, it's all upside gain. I immediately swapped them into my Mosaic RT-1 as you seen in the photos.
The particular markings hint that they are a replica of a fast F/1.2 lens. But which one? This question sets of my OCD tendencies and I have to know. The problem is I can't really and definitively determine which lens the indicators are based off of. The second clue is that they are definitely from a film lens. This helps further narrow down the options. The visual style is akin to a Leica lens but to my knowledge they never made a f/1.2. The closest would be the Leica 50mm f/.95 Noctilux or its f/1.0 version, but the markings are inconsistent and the apertures are not right. Hmmm.
Mash SF had at one point in time also made a matching *Zeiss top cap, so I chased down that path. *It's mentioned on the Lens Spacer page but the store listing for the top cap is gone. There is a Carl Zeiss Planar f/1.2 but the indicators are clearly different. Another dead end. Hmmm again. I also looked into other super fast film primes I know of like the Nikkor 55 F/1.2 but the markings are not even close, or as colourful. Maybe the most similar would be the SLR Magic Cine 35mm f/1.2. But still not a match. Does anyone else have any ideas? My OCD is in overdrive. I'm starting to suspect that either they are not an exact copy or they were purposely changed to avoid any infringement.
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter which particular lens the markings come from. The point is that whole idea of these film lens inspired spacers is brilliant. They only cost a few bucks and they are awesome. Buying them supports a local bike shop who contributes positively and endlessly to the local and global cycling communities. If you're going to pick up a set, check around their eStore. There's a lot to add into your cart. Such as the film bidons that pop up now and again. For any Leica fans, they have a Leica cap and patch. They've had Leica bidons in the past too.