Leica IIIc

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Christopher Walrath, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I am a part time WWII reenactor. Well at least I will be next year and I will pose as a war correspondent. I want to be as authentic as possible. I am watching eBay but does anyone know where I might acquire a Leica IIIc w/ a 50mm f/2 lens for next to DIRT CHEAP? I know, 'Yeah, RIGHT!' Anyone? Thank you.
     
  2. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I thought the IIIc was a post war camera. You missed out on a IIIb for sale here. I didn't. :smile:
     
  3. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    How much really is "dirty cheap"?

    Cheers

    André
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    If I were you, I'd get a Russian copy. Not a "snakeskin covered Golden Luftwaffe Leica Copy", but either just a bog standard Zorki or a Leica-engraved one. That's going to look more like a II than a III, but at least it won't cost a fortune.

    That's the only way to get "dirt cheap" and "Leica" in the same sentence.
     
  5. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The IIIC is almost two models WWII and post WWII the serial number turn over is 4xxxxx, from memory!

    A Fed 1 is nearly indinguishable from a leica II and a real photog might have used a II in WWII. just get a Leitz hood as well to look the real thing, the Leitz hood will be as much $ as the Fed, but the cache value to experts real big! A f2 lens would be more difficult.

    Noel
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I believe the IIIc was made from 1940 to 1951, and would be authentic for the period if it was available during the early part of the war. It likely would have come with a 50mm f/2 Summitar which was made from 1939 to 1945. The 50mm f/2 Summar was discontinued in 1940, but was probably used where the newer lens was unavailable. During the war photographers used whatever they could find. I knew one GI who found a lens and shutter, and made a camera body for it.

    Eugene Smith used at least a Contax and a 6x6 Zeiss folding camera in combat. When he left the States as a war correspondent in 1942 he insured the ten cameras he carried. On one assignment aboard ship in 1943 or 1944 he carried three TLRs, a Kodak Medalist, a 4x5 Graflex, two Speed Graphics, and a Contax with five lenses. Not all photographers were so well equipped. The Army contracted for rather basic 35mm Kodaks for some photography.
     
  7. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    Some IIIc has shark skin body cover that is used in replacement for rare vulcanite materials during the wartime.
     
  8. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    Yes, IIIC started in 1940. After waking up, I realized I should have been thinking the IIIC was the first re-introduced when the war ended.
     
  9. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    The Leica IIIC models made during WWII were generally made of inferior materials and are now in many cases worn-out junk incapable of being repaired. Unfortunately the poor materials extend to the chrome finish and they look really bad! I had one once which I bought cheap, tried and failed to get fixed and sold in the end for around £100, which is dirt cheap by Leica standards.

    Many Russian fakes seem to be based on the Leica II (speeds 1/20 to 1/500, no slow speeds). Many of these would still have been in use in WWII and would thus look authentic. Be sure to buy one which has not been given too much fake engraving and which resembles a real Leica as closely as possible. A real photojournalist would have preferred an f2 lens but an f3.5 (fake) Elmar would also look right.
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Thank you. I'l look at the II's and the Zorki's are much closer to my price range. Thanks for the help.
     
  11. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    Yes, I remember mine. It has some pitting (english?) defect in chrom plating. A Leica maniac told me that's because the electric supply was unstable for electroplating process due to bombardment of the Allied. Believe or not. :smile:
     
  12. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    I have one such IIIc, with a serial number is just shy of the range of the more valuable IIIcK cameras. Got it in almost scrapped state, but otherwise complete, and with an uncoated Summitar 50/2. The vulcanite was gone, and shutter had totally melted into the rollers. I put red blinds in it and pigskin covering. Repair wasn't too complicated, and now its working fine. The chrome finish looks poor compared to earlier/post-war Leica. But otherwise the camera functions just like any other Leica made in better times.

    It's been said that the chrome finish in cameras from the war period was poor because the good chrome grades went to arms factories for guns, bullets, and missiles.

    The earlier (wartime) IIIc had some features which make it a bit different from the postwar IIIc. There was an extra screw right over the left strap lug (when camera is viewed from the front) which fixed the top-plate to the body. The Rewind switch was raised. The diopter control for the rangefinder had a raised stud. The shutter button used the smaller collar found in the ealier cameras.

    [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  13. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Do internal reflections from the red curtains affect color film?
     
  14. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Not at all. I've run lots of colour film in it with no red getting into the pictures. The side of the shutter blinds facing the film is black.

    Jay
     
  15. JACOB

    JACOB Member

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    Hey Chris how much are ya willing to spend I have a nice clean one don't really ever use it the only problem is I put my ss # number on the bottom other than that it's nice shot some tri x a few months ago still takes some great pics It's to slow for what i shoot I'm into night stuff and street photos
     
  16. getalifeagain

    getalifeagain Member

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    I have a iiib in nice shape. Contact me if you'd like.
     
  17. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Try a Contax RF. Then at least you'll be carrying the camera of one of the best, Robert Capa. Just finished-up this one yesterday.

    [​IMG]

    1938 Contax II, CZJ 5cm 1:2 collapsible Sonnar
     
  18. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Lets face it, how many people, except for a few real Leica buffs, can tell the various Leica III models apart from a quick glance? I couldn't and I'm a regular IIIa user. OK maybe that's not really in the spirit of the thing but....

    David.