FS: Leica III with Leitz Elmar 3,5 cm 1:3,5 and case. Rare
Relatively rare Leica III with 3.5cm f/3.5 Elmar lens and leather case, from Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, Germany (D.R.P.) The camera is serial number 276182 which indicates manufacture as one of a lot of 600 in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. The lens is serial number 438145. The camera is in overall very good condition with a few thin, tiny scratches on the bottom plate and only a couple of very light handling marks on the top plate, near the engraving. The leather is excellent and there's no brassing. This camera came from the estate of a local collector and does not appear to have seen much use. Controls are, as one would expect from a Leica, very smooth and positive. There is some paint wear inside the bottom plate and around the bottom plate attachment lug; I've tried to photograph both. Includes the film take-up spool and a Leica leather case. There's also a yellow filter over one of the rangefinder windows. The rangefinder is quite bright and clear; the yellow filter over one of the windows gives a view where one of the images to be superimposed is yellow, the other is clear. This makes it very easy to focus! The viewfinder window is also clear and bright.
There are reasons why Leica cameras have always been considered top-quality cameras. Legendary build quality, uncompromising optics, how they fit the hand and the way the controls operate naturally, with extraordinary smoothness and the positive feel that lets you know that you've set them without having to look. Yes, they could have been a bit more creative with the film loading part, granted, but once you get used to it you realize that you're one of the elite who've mastered a new skill, perhaps a little like Michael Jordan felt when he succeeded with that first jumping-backward-over-the-shoulder layup where he switched hands twice on the way up. Hey, it's the little victories in life that bring a smile to one's face!
The lens is a tiny little thing, making the whole package an easy fit into a pocket. There's something going on around the edges of the front element, though, and on several spots of the rear element. A bit hazy : but could also perhaps be some separation, which would not be a surprise given its age and haze is common in lenses of this vintage. I've tried to show that in the last picture. Feel free to ask for more and I'll try to flog my little digital point n' shoot into exceeding its modest capabilities.
The Leica leather case shows more wear than the camera and that's what one would expect, I think. The leather of the case and strap are still sound, as is the stitching and the maroon felt. You could stick this one in the front of your display case -- or load it with some Tri-X and hang it around your neck for an afternoon's excursion -- and it will be happy either way. And so will you!
The price is $300 plus shipping and I'm happy to listen to offers as well. I don't bite! (And I've had my shots!)
If you have questions please feel free to ask and if you need additional pictures I'll do my best to provide them. Most responses and updates will occur in the evening, EST, so please be patient. I take Paypal and ship USPS Priority Mail. Please pay within 10 days. Thank you for looking and good luck!