The early version of this lens, up to a serial number somewhere in the range of more than 1250000 and less than 1350000, has a filter mount and the front lens very close to the front end of the barrel. The aperture blades of this version frequently show signs of use (chafing of the blades against each other). This version has a red V to indicate the coating, but no other quality marking on the front ring. Like the early (most often black) brass version of the biotar it does not have a focus ring with identures, thereby keeping its slim appearance. The earlier version is smaller, sexier, and harder to find in good condition.