Was this Leica a good deal??

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by jimgalli, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'm not a Leica guy at all at all. But this sale was found while I was Viewing Sellers other Items. This seems awfully cheap for a bayonet Leica with a meter and 2 lenses. Was it? Why or Why not?
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The scuffing on the top probably hurt its value. Collectors likely would pass on this camera.
     
  3. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    A commendably honest listing - the scuffing on the top plate (from fitting and removing the meter) and the brassing visible on the 135 lens mount (and probably elsewhere), as "elekm" says, make this a user and not a collector-grade item, the 135 Hektor is an OK lens but not fancied by collectors, the camera's long period of disuse makes the need for a CLA almost certain. If either of the lenses has mold in it, then the price would be excessive. The meter is not sought after, almost all of them have cells which are dead or out of whack.
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Hmmm. So for a user-bee like me this might have been a good way to at least experience the Leica phenomenon once in my lifetime. Just as well, too many bad habits already.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That was an OK deal if the camera shoots without problems. You never know what Leica bozos want at any one particular time. Sometimes the double strokes are more desirable, sometimes the single strokes are, and sometimes there is no difference at all in what they go for. The meter is worthless except as a paper weight, and the long lens isn't worth a lot, plus it doesn't have the matching finder. It's not in stellar condition and the seller was of no help in this particular auction. It has also been sitting for 30 years. Personally, I think the killer Leica M is the self-timerless button-rewind M2, but I would also have seriously considered this M3 for that price if I was in the market for a Leica M right now and wanted to shoot mostly with 50mm and longer lenses.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Back in about 1987/88 I bought a similar M3 from a reputable Leica appointed dealer, the scuffing & minor dings meant nothing and when I added a more serious one & broke the viewfinder glass it went to Leica UK for repair & they insist that all cameras they receive back also have a CLA. However they sent it back with just the glass & ding repaired stating the camera was otherwise in excellent condition, & didn't need a CLA.

    A Leica can look quite scruffy but be 100% mechanically sound, that kind of camera is ideal for some-one like you, as it has been & still is after 20 years for me.

    Ian
     
  7. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    The M3 has a built-in viewfinder frame for 135 mm. :wink:

    As regards CLA or not, the buyer of this camera might get lucky, but the 50 mm lens (unfortunately out of focus in the listing) looks murky, as does the finder window. Prolonged storage in damp conditions can easily mean dull rangefinder prisms (which make the camera excruciatingly hard to focus) and a costly repair. Yes, if you want a user Leica M, get one with a couple of harmless marks on it, but this example looks like trouble.
     
  8. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    When I saw what it went for, I thought it had been a GREAT deal.... but then I saw the photos.
    30 years spent in that crummy camera case could do a lot of damage - which is only indicated by the crud (rust!?) accumulated on the chrome surfaces of the lens & body.
    Who knows in what condition is the viewfinder? If it has hazing, and the RF patch is poor, then it wasn't a good deal at all. If you know how to take everything apart yourself, it's still OK. But, my guess is that the full CLA on body and both lenses would be in the $200-$400 range, depending on condition (perhaps with dubious outcome....). You can be almost sure that this camera will not work when you receive it. Think of all the gummed up lubricant, and you'll know what I mean.
    The lenses don't look to good, either. The long lens (Hektor) isn't worth much, even in pristine condition. The collapsible Summicron is notorious for its poor coating. So.... draw your own conclusions.

    Unlike our LF toys, those are rather delicate machines, with loads of VERY small parts, which tend to act up unless aired/exercised every once in a while (at least once or twice a year) - and the lubricant should be cleaned every 10 years or so (unless the camera is regularly used).

    Just my 2 cents' worth....

    If you REALLY want to try a Leica, Jim, try a good user M2. I just purchased another one in Austria a couple of months ago for 300 EUR, and it needed a CLA (bad rewind mechanism). Luckily, I found a local repair guy who used to service Hasselblads, and the CLA was only about $60 :smile:
    The camera is otherwise in excellent condition - the viewfinder and the RF patch as good as new (crystal clear!), shutter speeds excellent. Now, THAT wasn't a bad deal at all :smile:
     
  9. John Lawrence

    John Lawrence Member

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    Well, the wear devalues the item considerably and I would also hazard a guess that with the dollar v the pound / euro at the moment the usual suspects in European countries who buy cameras from the states and then re-sell them on ebay will not be so keen to buy at present. Thus the price would stay lower.

    More than likely the camera would need to be serviced - so another $200 - 300 needs to be factored in to get the job done by a reputable tech. The lenses could well have haze / cleaning marks / fungus etc. in them also.

    Finally, given the current economic climate, quite a few Leicas have been put up for sale. I regularly trawl through dealers websites and I'm seeing more and more items coming in. The MP is now selling for under $2,000 and last week I saw an immaculate M6 go for $800.
     
  10. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    It's the equivalent of a 'crapshoot' or in other words, gambling.
    As other have pointed out, you don't know the condition or how much money needs to be spent if it can be reconditioned.
    I always determine the condition and history of what i purchase and would rather spend more for Mint condition.-Dick
     
  11. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    Just one additional point - it sounds very much as if Ian's Leica was scuffed and with minor dings because it was regularly used (and serviced). This is rather different from a Leica which has lain around for decades and is dirty and corroded - it is almost inconceivable that a camera like this would work satisfactorily without servicing. Even then, you can occasionally be lucky - one of my M2s was bought for just over £200 with just slight signs of use and a seized shutter release. Obviously a CLA was required, now it's fine.
     
  12. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Jim

    It was an excellent deal.

    ANY used camera should be bought like a used car,
    and you always have to assume it needs repair.
    Buying mint is usually a bad idea.

    For six bills, from a good seller,
    you could have got a sound chassis, 2 super lenses.
    If it was a turkey, you could have returned it.

    Next step, off to DAG and have it returned to A-1. Total cost, a grand, and you've got a great camera at a great price, that you could have shot forever.

    This is EXACTLY the kind of leica that SHOOTERS USED to hunt for,
    and today, ought to buy.
     
  13. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I bought my M3 body from Tamarkin
    for $500 -- the vulcanite was missing
    in spots and no collector was ever
    going to snap it up, but Tamarkin had
    just overhauled it so it's just the ticket
    for shooting.

    Jim, if that Summicron is in decent
    shape, you've got yourself the same
    shooting rig that HCB used for much
    of his career. By happy. :smile:
     
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  15. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I agree with Mr. Cardwell, this looks like a terrific deal. I'm sure the camera will need a CLA, and while you are at it I'd have the Summicron done too. This is an early M3 and should be a wonderful camera to use. A lot of people don't like the 135mm Hektor, but I have always thought that it is a nice lens, better than its reputation would lead you to think. The M3 and 50mm Summicron are the bedrock of Leica photography-enjoy!

    Richard Wasserman
     
  16. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    For a collector. If you're gonna shoot with it you may find it very valuable. The film will tell you. Follow Mr. Cardwell's good advice. The 135 Hektor is common, and highly undervalued given its imaging properties. Try it for portraits.

    You know what they say: Don't judge a petzval by its finish.

    And if a big smile spreads across your face when you start shooting with it, and again when you see the negatives, don't say you weren't warned.

    Lee
     
  17. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Here's my M2. It has somebody's drivers license # scratched on the back of the top. I got it for $400 about five years ago. Money was different then; the camera was dirt cheap.

    Works just great the way it is. I'd like to send it in for a CLA but my M5 will get one first, because that one really needs it. I have a piece of salmon leather I plan to recover it with. Better than duct tape, don't you think? Didn't HCB cover his with that ugly black friction tape they used on baseball bats when I was a kid? The vulcanite had started falling off prior to my getting it, and the exfoliating just kept on going. It's down to about 50% now.

    Hektor: I bought one on ebay recently for a big $38. So far, it looks great.

    I recommend highly: find a beater Leica. There's magic in it.
     

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  18. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    I've seen similar kits go for $1000-1200, give or take. I think at $600 it's a very good deal.
    Neal
     
  19. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I don t know Jim, after looking at a big ground glass, you might not be happy with that thing hanging around your neck....seems a bit disrespectful of your image. Contact prints are nothing to write home about either.:smile:
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Bozart says a beater Leica still has it's magic :D

    All M series Leica's are fully supported & serviced by Leitz, and parts are readily available. I'd have bought that system Jim Galli spotted for more than it sold for if I was after another Leica - I'd love more lenses.

    M series Leica's are grossly over engineered by today's standards & our throw away society, I have worn camera out in the past but I can't get remotely close with my M3.

    Ian
     
  21. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'm in agreement with DF. It might not be pretty and it MAY need a cla. But for $600 I wouldn't pass it up.
    You could get DAG to replace the top cover if it really bothered you but wouldn't have any effect on operation.
     
  22. John Lawrence

    John Lawrence Member

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    Sorry if I've made a mistake, but did the original poster buy the camera?

    I thought the original post was asking for possible reasons as to why the camera sold for the price it did, and whether it was a good buy?
     
  23. Roger Garwood

    Roger Garwood Member

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    I think I would have paid that for the case. What a beauty!

    Roger
     
  24. John Lawrence

    John Lawrence Member

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    There are a couple of well priced M2s for sale here:

    http://www.mxv.co.uk/

    One is £210 or around $300 and the other is £300 or around $460. I've dealt with the retailer before and have been delighted with the quality of the items and service provided. They also give a 12 month guarantee - 6 months longer than most other dealers.

    I'm not connected to them in any way, shape or form - but am posting this as from reading this thread there seems to be quite an interest in "user" Leicas.
     
  25. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

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    The camera is an early double stroke M3. The Hektor lens is not expensive. He states that the camera has not been used in years and probably needs a CLA & the condition of the lenses are not stated. They could or could not be useable. As far as the desireability of the leather case...I would never use it...maybe someone else. The camera in ex condition & working $800.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I highly recommend that you sell me your camera.