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Leica IIIc Camera


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May 28, 2019
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I was recently bequeathed a camera bag with a Leica camera and some accessories. I am after some information and advice on what I actually have.

I think I have a Leica IIIc but it appears to have at least 1 modification that I cannot identify on the top plate and the shutter curtain has a mark different than my investigation suggested it would.

There are 4 other pieces which I am having trouble identifying as they fit onto the camera but were not manufactured in Germany, one is a telephoto lens, another is possibly a flash unit and the third I suspect is a colour filter. The fourth item looks a little like a roll of film but appears to have adjustments and electrical contacts.

Finally what looks like the original camera case, the piece of leather that covers the lens has detached completely from the rest of the case. The stitch holes are there and not torn, the thread just appears to have disintegrated.

Any comments on the condition would also be appreciated.

The modification I cannot identify is the circular attachment that covers the "r" of Wetzlar.


My research led me to believe that the curtain should have a "K" on it but this appears more like an "M" to me. Is there an easy way to determine if the curtain has ball bearing mounting?




I am just after further information on what these 4 items are and general information about them.

Only the lens cover portion has bad stitching the rest is OK.
Hell and welcome, interesting looking gear...........
1. E Leitz New York lenses were made in USA, mostly by Wollensak, I believe. They are not as sought after as the German lenses.

2. A viewfinder

3. A filter

4. Reloadable film canister.
Regarding the small circle of metal and connection that covers part of the Wetzlar--that looks to me like a flash Protor-Compur aka "PC" outlet, was added at some time.

See: Flash Sync Speed on IIIc

My guess is that the added flash PC outlet is _not_ a factory mod, but a third-party modification.

Top flash speed is likely 1/20 to 1.30 second...guessing..Leica has had a slower-than-normal flash sync maximum for literally _ decades_.

Regarding the film cassette, and it is a cassette, a re-loadable, special film holder: the 135 factory-load was not always the standard. Special factory-made cassettes were how 35mm film was used. As I understand it, the 135 factory-load format was introduced by Kodak in 1934.
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Thank you for your replies gents.

Re the film cassette, do you know if the film is installed around that cylinder on the outside or somehow put inside the cylinder?

I believe the PC was added prior to about 1950 so I assume it is for use with a bulb flash.

The "shoe", on the camera body, that the rangefinder fits into is replicated on the top of the rangefinder so I assume a flashlight would sit on top of the rangefinder. The flashlight is then connected to the camera modification port by some type of wire (electrical) or is it some type of mechanical connection?
The film goes inside.

More info here:
Leica IXMOO Variations – Brass Reloadable Cartridges – David Knoble

It's not a rangefinder. It's a viewfinder. The camera has a built-in rangefinder. An accessory viewfinder shows the correct view for lenses wider or longer than the normal 50mm. There are wide angle viewfinders, tele viewfinders and variable viewfinders.

Flash connection would be via a sync cord.
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If something covers the name then probably as Derrel said it was added later, not done by the manufacturer. It's not a flashlight, it's a flash, and yes it was probably a bulb flash and would have a small cable that would attach the flash to the camera (to fire the flash when the shutter was released to take a picture).

To load the film cartridge you would get - a bulk film loader (at least I don't know another name for one!). (edit - That is what they're called; search 'bulk film loader' and you'll get pictures of them.) You would put a large bulk roll of film inside the loader, crank it and it would feed film into that cartridge. I'm not sure how exactly it was done to know how it was determined what amount of film was loaded, and then it would have needed to be cut. So people could refill their own cartridges, shoot the roll of film, then develop it.

The yellow filter looks like it's had some loss of the coating and to me doesn't look usable (or would be iffy). Those are for shooting B&W film to filter light on the red/orange/yellow end of the color spectrum; that would enhance the blues and make those more gray to give sky more contrast (against some nice white fluffy clouds if you have such a sky).

The condition would affect value but it still would have value. I'm not sure but expect that since it was modified that might lessen the value?? This looks quite well used but there could still be interest in it.
I don't know about the mark on the shutter curtain... I'd have to go look at mine, I never noticed anything. To me it looks like someone marked it by hand but I don't really know. Back then, I don't know if/when shutters may have been marked, and I suppose it's possible the company marked them by hand, I never ran across that before.
OK so I am making some progress, the film cartridge seems to be a FILCA 1B and I have discovered how to disassemble it. I will make the assumption that the viewfinder is used in conjunction with the telephoto lens (probably bought together). The filter was a bit dirty but after a clean I discovered there is a big scratch on it as well making it pretty worthless. The information I got on the shutter came from
Leica IIIc K Gray

Do you know how to tell if it uses ball bearings?

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