I decided to try one. My reason is simply because it is one of those cameras that I've always wanted to own. The CL might be a "better" camera but those barnack leica's are just so alluring. Some cameras I buy and I know I do not like so I sell them. So I can perhaps try one and sell it if it doesn't work for me. But I have two questions regarding the bodies.
1. I'm mostly considering the IIIc/IIIf because they are consistently cheaper but the IIIg is larger/heavier right? Even though it is more expensive I would consider one if it were similar in weight/size as the IIIc/IIIf's...
2. Slow shutter speeds. This is very personal but do you consider yourself able to hold these just as slow as the Leica M's? although very different, I couldn't hold my XA's at very slow shutter speeds. This isn't a major deterrent, I am mostly curious.
Leica IIIf relevant if one has an M3
The g is much more expensive and has a better viewfinder. Between the c and the f Youxin Ye mentioned to me that the c was made right after the war and things weren't great then, and that the f has a better ball bearing shutter. Slow speeds rarely matter so a straight IIf can work but the IIIf might have better resale?
A g is the same size as a f, bottom plates should swap I think.
If you trim the film first a pre M is easier to reliably load than a M3 or M2, unless you are clumsy.
The c finish post war did not last any stress, any c with intact chrome and no impact damage is a real collector.
They went to ball bearings some time during the war don't know if any (sic many) c were made with plain bearing but collectors will want one of each... any war ones have a premium without even e.g. any 'heer' markings
Last edited by Xmas; 02-02-2013 at 05:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I used to have an M3, and now have a IIIf. I find the M3 unquestionably easier to use, the finder is a great deal better, it's easier to load, and you don't have to faff about with the two shutter speed dials, focus the RF etc.
However, the IIIf, with collapsible Elmar will literally fit in my jeans pocket, and it's not even that big a pocket. The M3 with Summarit (obviously you could use a different lens) is really quite a lot bigger. For all the talk about Leicas being small, they are not that small really until you go back to the LTM models. My M3 with lens was bigger than my Zeiss 6x6 range finder, which is crazy really. The IIIf however is even more portable than a Rollei 35, as the latter's "boxiness" makes it difficult to pocket.
If you don't mind the extra size, M3 is the better camera in my opinion. If you want as small as possible, and of course the old-world charm, then a IIIf is just lovely.
Finally, the IIIF with lens cost less than half what I sold my M3 with lens for.