Leica

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Time to Get Moving, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Time to Get Moving

    Time to Get Moving TPF Noob!

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    Well, my grandma has just given me a Leica for my birthday, but as it is old does not have the manual for it. I've done some minor searches for a manual or something for it, but I really don't know the real facts on this thing. All I have found after a couple sites is that it's a 'Leica II' then I guess there is another model letter. If anyone could point me in a direction, and maybe tell me what all the knobs do and whatnot, I'd give you a hug.
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    I've never shot with a all manual camera, just with this OK digital camera and my grandma likes my eye and wants me to have this. I've been reading a book on general on cameras and everything and what everything does, but I don't know what things to press on the camera to figure it out. After searching this forum for a while it looks like it's filled with a bunch of neat insiders on photography and I hope my stay will be long.
     
  2. spiralout

    spiralout TPF Noob!

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    Hmm...looks defective. You might just have to send it to me to check it out. :twisted:
     
  3. Time to Get Moving

    Time to Get Moving TPF Noob!

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    Haha, she got it checked out and everything is in perfect working order. He said it should be in a museum.
     
  4. spiralout

    spiralout TPF Noob!

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    You shouldn't really need the specific manual to figure out how to work it. Just go pick up an Idiot's Guide or some other basic 35mm book from the bookstore and you should be able to figure out the function of all those crazy knobs. Have fun and PLEEEEASE take good care of that camera. I envy you!
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Let's see... film advance knob, rewind knob, release lever, shutter speed dial, film counter... all the knobs and dials are there :wink:

    The link here might be some help

    http://www.nemeng.com/leica/002d.shtml
     
  6. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    NAW. That's a great camera there... a IIIc and it seems
    to be in great shape too!
    The fast shutter speed dial is on top, the slow speed dial
    is in front. The film leader needs to be cut in a special way,
    and the viewfinder and rangefinder are two different
    'windows' in the back. Anything else is like on any other
    camera.

    The lens is a 50mm f2 Summitar and should give you excellent
    results.
     
  7. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    Can she be my grandma? :)
     
  8. yaji

    yaji TPF Noob!

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    lol, no joke... that thing looks expensive... an antique leica? sounds expensive to me.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Read everything you feel you need/want to on photography, and most important - always be nice to your grandma. You got a kicking present, trust me. :wink:
     
  10. railman44

    railman44 TPF Noob!

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    Very cool gift! I'd check eBay for a leather case for it if one didn't come with it. Not many of us will ever experience such a fine gift...
     
  11. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    Yup - that's a Leica III(c or d?) designed by the incredibly famous Oskar Barnack - the so called Barnack cameras. Come on guys and gals - where've been been for the past 5 years?! Leica vintage cameras outstripped digital sales and film is sexy once again. Oops. Not at all true. The last bit that is ;)

    What do you want to know about your camera? It isn't a 'I' and it's not a II. There are two windows; on the user side: the one on the left is for focussing (an image + a ghost image which you align to get the focus). Your viewfinder is for a normal perspective only. I.e. 50mm. Just like your Summitar f2 lens. It isn't the latest lens; it came after the Summar, and before the Summicron. It's a good lens for its era, but not the sharpest by any stretch. In the history of photographic giants, Zeiss Ikon and Voigtlander produced some of the best interwar lenses before Leica ever caught up.

    It's a nice camera, but don't get too excited. These sell for around $300-$600 depending on condition and lens but why would you want to sell it if grandma gave you the heirloom? Look what happened to Esau when he sold his heritage - his nose grew hairs, unlike Pinnochios. Hey! My nose is growing longer just like Barry Manilows! It's still growing as I type! Bad dream, eh?!

    Ok. The business. Here's what your dials do. On the top plate from left to right;

    The one with a knob and an arrow is your rewind knob. Knobs were better than piddly levers; Barnack designed great knobs. You'll get a handful of knobs with this camera and no piddly levers. The slide under the knob is for your film tension. Beside your number No. 474837 you have a flash bulb mount. This isn't synched to your camera - you need to check if your camera has a little socket for a flash lead on the side. Flash bulbs are a great way to look cool. The chicks loved Barnack for that reason. Guys...just loved his cameras which were great for fondling. Thus the era of the 'Leica fondler' - just about every guy who owned a camera in post-war Wehrmacht yearned to have his German made Leica I or II camera. The British were distraught; Leica wouldn't export to them because they were in middle of a war, and Hitler invaded Poland. So they made a Leica copy (enter the era of the Leica copies.....Corfield Periflexes...and later Russian clones like FEDs, Zorkis etc etc etc!).

    Back to your knobs. The knob with the numbers 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 is your main shutter speed selector. It goes from 1/25th second - 1/1000th second + B(ulb) setting. You can get the slower shutter speeds by setting 1/25th sec. and selecting a lower speed on the FRONT dial with the numbers 2, 5, 10, 15, 25 (1/2sec, 1/5th sec, 1/10th sec, 1/25th sec).


    The 'R' lever is your rewind button. Don't ever rewind film without pulling the lever up. If you do, you've had it and will rip your film inside the camera. Why is that so bad? Because your camera loads from the bottom up (like all good things German). You'll struggle to get the shredded film out without damaging it.

    The far right, you have nationalism, nazism which should be stamped out. On your Barnack, none of these exist. There is a numerical dial from 1-39? for exposures. You set it manually by rotating it to zero when you start.

    Ta da! Easy, huh?

    Enjoy loading film...that's the fun bit ;)


    "Haha, she got it checked out and everything is in perfect working order. He said it should be in a museum."

    Which?


    Ok - tongue out of cheek. Thank your grandma and don't put it in a leather case: those original Leica cases are so old their straps just snap easily and then the camera drops to the ground and incurs a big dent.

    Enjoy your gift.
     
  12. Time to Get Moving

    Time to Get Moving TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for the help. I've been reading a couple different books on all different types of camera's and everything and I'm learning quiet a bit. Now that I know what everything does, I will be able to read on what things do(I already have general knowlage) and I will go experimenting. My grandma got me a pretty nice light meter. What is better to use though, incident light or the reflected light(one is from the camera to subject and the other is vice versa)?
     

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