Leica rangefinder lens compatibility

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Richard Madrid, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Richard Madrid

    Richard Madrid TPF Noob!

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    I'm hoping to buy an old Leica, perhaps a 111. I've little knowledge of how the rangefinder system operates with different focul lenth lenses. I've seen you can get an additional variable length viewfinder that slots into the flash shoe but does the rangefinder work the same for other focal lengths than 50mm? If so, does anyone know if the cheaper Russian lenses (like Jupiter)also operate correctly?
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They should be working alright. But... The Russian lenses are notorious for their differences in quality. You might find a great Jupiter in one batch of 10-20 lenses, all the rest being sub-mediocre. That's due to their Quality Control soviet-style, where they mass produced but couldn't care less about superior quality. However, that being said, I have seen results from a Jupiter which are very, very close to a Leitz glass. A matter of luck, if you ask me.

    If your're in the market for a Leica III, look for a IIIf or IIIg. The IIIf with black dial is less expensive than the IIIf with red dial. I have seen a IIIf on Ebay about 5 minutes ago going for $295.00 Buy It Now price. The IIIg is probably the best LTM camera made to date. But it's also expensive.

    The other III series are the IIIa and the IIIc. If you were to pick one, pick the IIIa for it was made from better materials than the IIIc (due to war time restrictions).

    As for the finders, the rangefinder will work in finding the right distance to subject, the correct framing for each focal length will be made with an adjustable finder like the VIOOM (code name for universal finder).
     

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