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  1. #1
    Surly's Avatar
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    What to do with my Leica a?

    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?

    Thanks!
    To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Even a bad porche is bad, sounds like you got your self a shelf sitter there, the restoration costs on cameras of this nature can run far more that what the camera would ever be worth, so I would say display and be happy your friend thought of you, as far as value, I would say in the lower end of the range, if not the bottem end of it.

    Dave

  3. #3
    rbarker's Avatar
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    There are several forums devoted to Leica cameras, ranging fromt the one on the Leica site to that on photo.net. There is also a good Leica FAQ site that you can find through Google. (Sorry, I don't have the links on this machine.) There are also several books and buyer's guides that you might find useful.

    While you might be able to get it worked on, I doubt that it would be worth the expense, photographically. Thus, my guess is that you have a great "conversation piece". Display it proudly would be my suggestion.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  4. #4
    clogz's Avatar
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    Try LUG, Leica Users Group or Leica Historical Society. Sorry no weblinks as my PC crashed this afternoon.

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly
    Five digit serial number 388xx (does the 5 digit # mean something?)
    That particular 5 digit number means it was manufactured in 1930. Agree with the others, probably not worth restoring as a shooter. The 1930 run was about 25,000 cameras, so it's not especially rare. You could buy a functioning Leica A or Leica Standard for the price of restoration. Only argument for restoration is if it has some sentimental value to you.

    Jonathan

  6. #6
    Surly's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, I'll keep the dust off it and just enjoy that I own a piece of photo history.
    To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson



 

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