Old Leica Kit

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by rwreich, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    Hello friends,

    Tonight, I witnessed one amazing Leica kit that has been in my friend's family for decades. He's really not a photographer, but wants to see if he can use the equipment, minimally at least.

    I do apologize for not being able to remember all the details. I'm posting this list from memory and can't think of the various descriptor names.

    He has:

    Leica iii f/g (I'm not really sure which, but both manuals were present.)

    28mm f/5.6
    35mm f/3.5
    50mm f/2
    85mm f/4
    135mm f/4

    All lenses were of the same vintage as the camera body and each lens had the silver-colored finish.

    He also had various view finder attachments and other items.

    So, the question is: How how difficult would this kit be to use, practically?

    To whom would you send something like this for CLA?

    And, how much might the whole kit be worth?

    I'm not a Leica expert, but it was a beautiful sight and I did tell him that he had something that was very valuable.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Someonenameddavid

    Someonenameddavid Member

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    Chances are the 85mm f4 is not Leica.... Or maybe it's all Russian dressed up to look like Leica. If the camera body screws look rough and the focus following arm is a curved wedge, then you have FED or a Zorki

    David
     
  3. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I've heard Youxin Ye recommended highly. I'm planning on sending him my IIIc for CLA and a new mirror for the RF.

    Dan
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    it wouldn't be hard to use at all -- loading screw mount leicas takes a bit of practice -- 5 minutes -- and you have to know how to trim the film leader so the tongue us about 4 inches long -- 10 seconds with scissors -- but other than that it's pretty normal -- if you have the manuals, match the camera to the manual and read it all the way through. practice loading with a roll of film and go take pictures.

    value depends on condition -- a IIIf in good user condition is around $400 and maybe more if it has a self-timer, a IIIG is about $800. The lenses you list depend on maker and condition -- hazing and so forth, but in good usable condition several hundred dollars each, easy, probably more.

    quite a nice kit. so, in good user condition, not mint, not badly worn, a coupla thousand dollars for the whole mess.
     
  5. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I carry the older IIIc with me and shoot it several times a week. The IIIf is newer, from the 1950s. I'll toss out a value of $1,800 on the bunch, depends on if the lenses are really Leica or not, and condition. The camera isn't hard to use, it just takes a good attentiion span. Loading the film is a medium pain in the butt, but otherwise it is fun to use. You need to read up on how to use one first.


    Kent in SD
     
  6. Cameratrader

    Cameratrader Member

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    HI-

    If you have never shot a rangefinder before it takes some getting used to but the results are worth it. I have used DAG and Golden Touch for overhauls, both do excellent work.

    Dan H in Ohio
     
  7. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I thought Leica's even old ones went for much more? Like $1,500 for the body and $1,000 per lens? Am I wrong?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    you are wrong. It varies greatly depending on condition and model -- a good quality user M3 is around $700 or so, as is an M2, these are for cameras that would rate an exc-minus or BGN from KEH. An M4 is a bit more. The older screw mount leicas are less because they are older technology and not considered as usable-- the viewfinder is smaller, the separate rangefinder and lack of frame lines are a pain, whereas an M3 and an M7 are pretty much identical, usability-wise -- so screw mount leicas cost less. The IIIg is the exception because it is short production and has technological advances -- bright frames, integrated rangefinder -- that make it more usable from the modern shooter's point of view.

    but a user IIIF -- $300 to $400. In really cherry condition a IIIf-red dial, self timer, is around $800 on a good day.

    mint condition M2 or M3 -- and i mean, really mint, no scratches and leica collectors go over them with a magnifying glass -- command the sort of prices you mentioned.

    lenses--ditto.

    Sherry at golden touch hates doing screw mount leicas, DAG is backed up until who knows when. I had an excellent job on mine done by Essex in new jersey.

    charlie trentelman
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2013
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Oh I see, I always thought all the Leica mounts were the same. So all the M mounts are same?

    Cool good info, I'll probably never own one, (because I tend not to spend more than $200 on film cameras (with the exception of my Mamiya 7) so I doubt I'll ever own one.

    Is there a way to indicate a Rangefinder that just has frame lines from a rangefinder that actually finds the range? As in, my Zeiss Ikon Contina Matic II has a viewfinder with frame lines but you have to eyeball distance, where my Mamiya 7 has a finder with parallax measurement.

    Is there an indicator for this? If I ever got a Leica I would want one with a parallax measurement thing.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    Thank you for taking the time to answer my requests. I'll try to respond as I can.

    First, I may have been mistaken as to the numbers on the 85mm lens. I was posting from memory. I am sure, though that the lenses were all Leica brand lenses.

    Second, I remember seeing bright frame lines when looking through the viewfinder, so that would indicate a IIIG, no? The separate rangefinder viewing window did make the experience a little slower than what I imagine is the experience of most M mount users.

    Third, there was a self-timer built into the unit, though I did not try to activate it. I don't remember what color the dial was.

    I will say this, the whole kit is pretty clean for being 60 years old. I did not see any fungus in the lenses and all of the old bulky plastic containers were intact.

    In any case, it sounds like my friend has a nice usable setup which, after a good CLA, would be quite usable with some practice. I regret that the kit is not worth as much as he had hoped, but value is not always a monetary measurement. I also regret that I did not try to run any film through the body.

    Thanks again for all the information!

    - RWR
     
  11. GregW

    GregW Member

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    the 2.8cm summaron (if that is what it is)should be a really fun lens to use. lots of character and quite expensive and scarce, with a hood maybe worth what all the rest combined? You might alert them as to cleaning the glass, be very careful the coatings/glass is very soft.
    another good place to get CLAs done is Gus Lazzari @ TLC camera repair.
     
  12. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    Greg, I do believe that the 2.8cm lens was a summaron... Good to know. I'm sure that my friend won't try to touch the glass on his own.

    I told him to make a list based on the info on the front of the lenses so he'll know exactly what he has.

    I'll keep you posted if I find out more. Thanks!
     
  13. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Stone:

    Leica rangefinders have had two mounts: Leica screw mount (called LTM), which was used on the Leica I, II, and the various permutations of III like in this thread. It looks just like the later "Pentax" M42 screw mount, just smaller. FEDs and Zorkis are imitators of this era of Leicas.

    The second mount, started in the 1950s, is the M mount, which is bayonet. Newer M lenses have had electronics added to them, but the mount is the same. You can also use LTM lenses just fine on an M camera, with an adapter.

    As for your second question, you can tell a real rangefinder (as opposed to viewfinder cameras) from the patch in the middle of the viewfinder image. Aligning this patch with the rest of your view focuses the image. Simple viewfinder cameras will have framelines to help you compose, and they may even adjust for parallax, but no patch.
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks for the Leica info.

    As far as the RF bit, I know how to tell a viewfinder from a RF I meant how is it differentiated in writing ... Like is it called a "Parallax RF" or a "coupled RF" or what? :smile: thanks.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    A 28mm /5.6 is a collector if in nice condition worth more than the rest of the kit. Put it behind i.e. in a glass case

    Dont think about cleaning the glass, whatever any one else says, dont clean the glass.

    Dont bother with a CLA, some old cameras work ok without one, trim a commercial cassette film to the leader in the user hand book and follow the handbook instructions, dont use a credit card or visiting card or remove the lens, the user manual does not say not to be silly billy, it says how to do it. The proper leader should work every time, all leaders were correct from 1935 to 1970, then they changes cause no one was using Leicas any more, cept me.

    The shutter ribbon may snap or the blinds may leak light in which case you need maintenance, otherwise Leicas can go on for ever...

    Noel
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes. Look at the recent for sale ads here for a Leica IIIa and one or two other bodies.
     
  18. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Stone:

    They're differentiated by not calling a viewfinder camera an RF, because they're not. An RF has a rangefinder mechanism; a viewfinder camera doesn't!

    I should clarify that parallax is something else entirely from an RF patch. Parallax refers to the inaccuracy of the viewfinder at close distances, in just the same way that the views of your two eyes differ. So a camera with parallax correction actually moves the framelines around a little as you change the focus, or have a slightly indented second frameline. This is not to be confused with an RF patch.
     
  19. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    If the 85mm says Leitz on it then it should be a Summarex, but they were f/1.5, not f/4, so something is amiss.

    Steve
     
  20. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I just picked a very nice user IIIf red dial fully CLA'd and with a re-silvered rf patch for $300 and just sold my very nice user IIIa for $195.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Wow cheap


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    Steve, it was definitely a Leitz 85mm - but I didn't take the cap off the front to look for closer inspection. I may have confused the distance markings for the maximum aperture, but I am sure that it was the real deal. Haha, as always, the problem was me, not the lens;-)
     
  23. Someonenameddavid

    Someonenameddavid Member

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    Take some pictures of the kit and post them here....
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is correct, with one caveat.

    There are range-finder cameras that present you with two windows to look through.

    The larger, brighter one you use for framing your subject.

    The smaller, "squintier" one is used just for focussing - it has a coupled range-finder patch that you align for focussing. The view through that window may only be part of the scene.

    I don't know if there are Leica versions of this approach, but there certainly are others. The rangefinder versions of the Kodak 35 are an example.
     
  25. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    The 111A was very common, so prices reflect this. The 111F and 111G were less so and a bit easier to use with the rangefinder and viewfinder windows much closer together. The 111G is the most collectable because it has the frames for 90mm plus is the last of the Barnack (screw) Leicas.
    Should be a perfectly useable kit, even given it's age, though a 111G kit like that would be worth far more to a collector especially if you have a 28mm Summaron and the 85mm Summarex.
     
  26. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    a coupled rangefinder means the rangefinder -- the optics that measure the distance -- are built into the camera and linked to the lens, so as you focus the lens you match the patches in the rangefinder. The rangefinder window on screw mount leicas is separate from the viewing window. On M-series leicas it is built into the viewing window.

    an UNcoupled rangefinder is a rangefinder that is separate from the camera. You us it to find the distance, set that distance on the lens and take the picture.

    A parallax corrected viewfinder is one in which the frame lines in the viewfinder adjust for whether the object being shot is closer or farther away. Generally, higher quality rangefinder cameras with coupled rangefinders that are build into the viewing window, such as M- leicas, have these. I think the IIIg does too, but don't quote me.