Leica M3 and lens deal with broken rangefinder

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Inayat Noor, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

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    Today I was at my local camera store looking at the used equipment. Last week I bought a Rollei 3.5F and looked in the used display case today. There was a M3 DS and 5cm lens for $500.00. Everthing was in excellent condition except.

    The camera had been dropped and there was a dent in the front corner next to the rangefinder/viewfinder window. Looking through it the rangefinder function worked but the glass had been cracked making it difficult to see the object. Since the rangefinder worked, a brightline finder in the hot shoe could be used to view the scene.

    I feel this is an excellent deal for someone needing a Leica user. However, can anyone tell me if the interior rangefinder/viewfinder can be replaced and how much it may be?

    Thank you
     
  2. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    BAD IDEA!

    If you are patient you can find user Leica M3 bodies without broken rangefinder windows, etc on Ebay for that price.
     
  3. vanspaendonck

    vanspaendonck Member

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    New parts for the M3 rangefinder/viewfinder are no longer available. A repair would be much more expensive that the repaired body would be worth.
    This Leica has unfortunately been reduced to a box that holds film, with a schutter and a winding mechanism. Someone looking for that would be better off with a Voigtländer Bessa L, which you can buy new for less that $ 100 and it has TTL metering too.
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Third-party parts are still available. I recently had a new rangefinder prism fitted to a Leica IIIc, it cost £60 when done with other work on the camera.
     
  5. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    You can replace the M3's rangefinder/viewfinder assembly with a current-production MP/M7 viewfinder. DAG and Sherry Krauter will do this, but it's not cheap, probably costs about $400.00. If you go this route, you should probably opt for the 0.85 viewfinder, which is the closest you can get to the 0.91 magnification of the M3.

    Jim B.
     
  6. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Rangefinder assembly is the most expensive and hard to repair part of M3 (and probably of any Leica or RF camera). I would not hesitate to pick a mechanically abused M3 to get one revived by any of Leica repair masters (Youxin, Sherry or DAG come to mind in US, others in Europe), but once RF is seriously flawed - that puts one out of question.
    You may easily pick a good one for about 600 US$ online, make one through a good CLA (Youxin ranges from 80 to 250 US$ is a major replacement needed) and have a perfect, reliable M3 to run for another few decades...