The MPP MicroTechnical MkIII

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve S, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Member

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    Since buying Basil Skinner's book, The MPP Story, about 4 years ago I have gradually accumulated number of Micro Precision Products cameras . In that context it has turned out to be a very expensive but very enjoyable book. When the chance came to add a Micro Technical Mk III to my collection a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be highest bidder at what I regarded as a fair price.
    As with any internet purchase there is always some degree of uncertainty as to exactly what you will end up with. However despite the fact that the seller said the camera had been in a cupboard for 40 years I am very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the camera. The bellows in particular are in super condition as is all the internal chrome and paintwork. The Kalart rangefinder is accurate with my 150mm Xenar and remains clear enough to use although there is a small lateral displacement which needs a tweek. Despite the fact that many people seem to regard the Mk VII as the camera to own I have to say that I am very impressed with the build quality of the MkIII. For most purposes (except roll film back use) it remains a very well made and versatile instrument, not unlike the early Linhof MkIII Technika.
    At some point in its history the original leather has been replaced by a blue leather covering. The job is not perfect but is certainly adequate.
    My biggest surprise came when I checked the serial number to enter onto the spreadsheet that I maintain for my collection. It turned out to be 2260 which is the very last in the range quoted for MkI to MkIII in Mr Skinner's book.
     

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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Just found your post Steve. I've recently won a MkIII on ebay with another spares camera, missing it's back, the whole lot was remarkably cheap BIN price £75 so a bargain. The SN for mine is 1040 which must have been one of the first MicroTechnical cameras to use the Kalart range-finder after the Graflex/MPP link which spawned the MicroPress, it probably indicates initial sales were very low.

    Mine needs recovering, the leather MPP used on these earlier cameras doesn't age well and deteriorartes unfortunately so the cameras look scruffy despite being mechanicall sound. I've been very impressed with the versatility and the range of movements nad prefer it to the MkVIII I handled a few months ago. I've made an adapter to allow me to use my Wista/Linhof lens boards (and lenses) on the MPP. The bellows need tidying up, nothing major although I have a spare set as well. I have a choice of three covering materials black, maroon or blue (same as yours) but haven't decided which to use - probably black.

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    I have the Kalart ragefinder and the bracket that goes over the top of it, the rangefinder needs minor adjustment, I've 3 spares as well and some beam splitter mirror so that won't be a problem. I haven't used my 5x4 roll film back for maybe 20 years so the spring back isn't a problem.

    Ian
     
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Member

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    Hi Ian,
    That takes me back a bit. Looks like nice camera that would benefit enormously from a bit of tarting up! I remember being very impressed with the quality of the bellows fitted to this model. From what I can see yours look pretty good too. Alas I no longer have my Mark III. I let her go to a MPP collector in the States with whom I had a good correspondence. He had a copy of one of the rare Lloyd MPPs so it is in good company.
    I have often thought it would be useful to have a Linhof/MPP adapter but I have never got round to thinking it through and actually making one. Another project for the list.

    Steve