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.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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.
I bought my M3 body from Tamarkin
Originally Posted by df cardwell
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
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. :-)
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!
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.
Originally Posted by John Lawrence
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.
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Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
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.
I've seen similar kits go for $1000-1200, give or take. I think at $600 it's a very good deal.
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.
As Bozart says a beater Leica still has it's magic
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.
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.