New 75 year old camera

Gary R. Smith

Well-Known Member
At some point there will be an article posted that discusses my ordeal with a "bargain" eBay purchase. Today I made another purchase of the an m645 1000s Mamiya body (since I ended up with a lens left over from my December spree). However, that's not why I'm here. Today I added a Leica IIIc with a Leitz 50/2 collapsible Summicron. I'll put a roll of Ilford HP5+ in it and see what develops.Leica IIIc.jpg
I'm hoping that it turns out to fulfill my expectations. These have their quirks but one thing I'm already impressed with is the ability to magnify the rangefinder window via a lever on the camera top. It makes focusing so much easier.
I have a few of these, and there are some things to note:

* The lever around the rewind crank is dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder
* In common with all screw leicas and copies, only change shutter speed after winding on
* In unserviced cameras, speeds below 1/30 can be a bit lazy
*You'll need to cut a longer leader on the film (about 50% longer than standard) to get it to load properly - I have swiss army penknife with scissors for this purpose.
*I always find film loading a fiddle, and find it easier to do sat at a table

leica 2.jpg

Here's a proper oldie : a Leica 2 from 1933

This has separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows, no dioptre adjustment. No slow speeds, and the highest speed tops out at 1/500
The lever around the rewind crank is dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder
I'm pretty sure that lever throws a magnification into the rangefinder (at least it does on the IIIc). I absolutely love that. It makes focusing so much easier for me.

My 1st roll of 36 is ready to send off for processing. Hopefully I'll get some keepers.
Beautiful piece of machinery. My wife inherited her father's IIIc, which family lore claims it was the first into the UK, bought in France on holiday. I don't know if that is true, but it's a fun tale. I just couldn't see through the viewfinder, which is tiny on the back of the camera, so I'm interested in what you have to say, Gary, about that. And, of course, I look forward to seeing what your first roll contains...
My Voigtländer combines the viewfinder/rangefinder in one window. The Leica IIIc has both side-by-side with minimal distance (2 or 3mm) between them (one of the Barnack's has them separated quite a lot). The diameter for each is relatively small - that's for sure. After I was done with the 36 exposures, I had it down so that I'd go for the rangefinder first, focus and then slide over to the viewfinder to do my final compose. I really like the magnification provided by the lever near the take-up know. I'm not sure how much of an issue the parallax is going to be. One way or the other, my film will be enroute by tomorrow. I'll be using a new lab, so we'll see how long things take.