Someone gave me a Leica a. Technically it's not a rangefinder camera because, as you might know, it has only a viewfinder. It's rough. The shutter "works" but again, this thing is rough. I am not a Leica guy yet, so I dont know all the things that Leica collectors know. Ive seen values on these things from $50.00 to $800.00. I'm not interested in selling it as it was a gift, but I'd like to have an idea as to it's worth. My real question is this, should it be restored? It cant be used as is but would a restoration harm the value?
Here's the poop. f3.5 Leitz Elmar 50mm collapsing lens. Five digit serial number 388xx (does the 5 digit # mean something?) Most of the black finish has been rubbed off long ago. The vulcaniod is all present but falling off. The aluminum underneath is corroded badly. The glass is all foggy etc.... Most of the nickel parts have tons of brassing the steel parts inside are rusty the screws on the lens mount are rusty.
Restore it? Display it? Value? Where does a Leica newbie look online?