Leica III

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Battou, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm sitting here debating on wether I have the money to buy the thing or not.

    I am fairly certain it's worth the money that is being asked for it but I am just not certain as to how much I'm gonna use it.

    I am not exactly a Rangefinder guy but this is not my $17 (USD) Signet 40.


    The name on it alone is worth the price tag, but I am curious as to how it stacks up to other Leicas as far as use goes. Any one around here have one of those Gen 1 Leica IIIs so I can see what it can do?

    Is it worth it to spend a few hundred on it just to have and maybe use it or should I just wait for the next good oppertunity and get more reasent Leica that I am sure I am gonna use?
     
  2. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I've got a IIIc that I bought from a pawn shop in Klamath Falls, Oregon for $75 last spring. It's a blast to use. Mine's got the standard Elmar f3.5 50mm lens, which is great for outdoor photography but a drag for low-light situations because it's so slow.

    Let me tell you this: I'm not sure what the asking price is, but using a Leica is a joyful experience. The sound of the shutter. The feel of the camera in your hands. The simple film-advance knob. The esoteric looking speed settings. If you've got the money for it, I'd really consider it.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First question...

    Will this be your first Leica?

    Second question...

    Are you knowledgeable enough about the old screw mount Leicas to spot a fake? (there are a lot)

    Third question...

    Going to use it or just collect it? (I know you asked that as a question but only you can decide)

    Fourth question...

    You don't have to answer this one.. just think about it. I've never known anyone to just dabble in Leica... they either dive in or stay away (for various reasons). What will happen if "G.A.S" hits (if it does)?? EIther for collecting or for using.. Leica is expensive (and can be a money pit too). CLA on old there old cameras are expensive and can take months to make the round trip back from Solms, Germany.

    My Tri-Elmar went there for a CLA... estimated time to repair... 4-6 months.



    Personally.. for use... I find more joy out of a good M3 or M2... even the Voigtlanders are fun too on a more reasonable budget.


    BTW... some of the fakes I've seen... are pretty darn good. Just because its a fake doesn't mean its a bad camera. The russian copies just have spotty quality control.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    btw..

    On ebay... the estate reseller under the name "justkidsnostalgia" seems t have acquired an estate of a camera collector. He just listed a bunch of Leica screwmount bodies all started at 9.99 with no reserve. Not involved with this fellow in anyway but it might be something to watch (assuming you even look at ebay).
     
  5. Wot usayit said.

    Get an M Leica if you're starting with Leica Rangefinders. Chances are you can sell them for what you bought them for...

    Muahahahahahahaaaaa

    Nefarious laughter.

    He's OURS now, usayit.
     
  6. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Beware of fake Leica III's. Most were made in Russia or thereabouts.
     
  7. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a IIIa and also an M6. The IIIa is really a nice shooter, but you have to trim the film leader with every roll, shoot without a meter and focus in one finder and compose through the other. I love mine and use it all of the time. It is a great little shooter but can be a pain and isn't the fastest camera to shoot with. It takes practice and love. I wouldn't fool with e-bay but look in the classifieds at www.rangefinderforums.com. You should be able to pick one up there for under $300.00 and it will be CLAed more than likely. You can also pick up a Voigtlander lens for it later.
    There is something about the Leica's that you just have to find out for yourself. Once you get one you will be hooked and hunting an M series before you know it. Just be prepared.
    Oh and yes. They are worth it. My IIIa is 75 years old and is in better shooting shape that my Bessa R. A Leica is a camera for a lifetime.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    << insert evil laugh here >> :fangs:
     
  9. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You also might look at Adorama or KEH. Theirs will have a warrenty. Here is my IIIa and the first picture I took with it. Hand held.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A good starter.... IMO...

    M2 (35-50-90 frame lines)
    +
    Voigtlander VC II cold shoe meter
    +
    35 Summicron
    +
    A few rolls of B&W

    It is all over after that... brings you back to the core of 35mm photography.... the way it was meant to be...

    * You can substitute M3 instead of M2 (like I did) but you'll have 50-90-135 framelines instead...
    * A recent friend CLA'd his shutter-jammed M3 for about $275 (range is $200-$400 depending on condition). The work was done in Leica-USA in New Jersey. Turn around was a couple months. Work was first rate..
    * None of the M-bodies prior to M5 have metering. The Voigtlander I recommended is just plain nice... simple.. quality.. compact: http://www.cameraquest.com/voivcmet2.htm
    * KEH is probably the best online place for used leica stuff. Don't be afraid to check out BGN quality stuff... KEH is pretty conservative with ratings.
    * The coverings are usually deteriorating with camera's this age: www.cameraleather.com will provide DIY covering kits.
    * Don't forget Voigtlander lenses... much cheaper and pretty darn good. www.cameraquest.com


    Speaking of the M5.... its considered the "black sheep" of the M-line but it is also wonderful to use and easily obtainable for less money. High quality but a bit larger in size.
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Before switching to M6s and M7s I started out with an M2, a Canadian 35 mm Summilux (f/1.4) and an MR-4 meter, and I never regretted getting them. That lot cost me GBP 250 in the mid seventies. The difference between that Summilux and the Nikkors I had been using was remarkable.

    I've also had the CL and CLE, which are both nice cameras but with some failings. If I was going to buy a small M camera again, I'd buy the CL.

    If I consider the amount of money I have spent on Leica equipment over the past thirty years and the use I have had from it, the annual cost has been quite reasonable.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First question...

    Yes, it will be my first Leica, but despite that I have been aware of Leica's pressence since before I even joined this site.

    Second question...

    I am going to say no. However the vender selling it is an extreamly knowledgable individual who has proven trust worthy on these things, I can almost be positive it's legit, bout 98 percent positive.

    Third question...

    This is the whole point of asking right there. As far as using it goes, I don't know. My definition of "use", is to make use of something regularly. That said I will run atleast one roll of film threw every camera I buy (with one exception, my Ziess - Ikon, Box), I am just not sure if I will me going beyond that.
     

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