Was this Leica a good deal??
I'm not a Leica guy at all at all. But this sale was found while I was Viewing Sellers other Items. This seems awfully cheap for a bayonet Leica with a meter and 2 lenses. Was it? Why or Why not?
The scuffing on the top probably hurt its value. Collectors likely would pass on this camera.
A commendably honest listing - the scuffing on the top plate (from fitting and removing the meter) and the brassing visible on the 135 lens mount (and probably elsewhere), as "elekm" says, make this a user and not a collector-grade item, the 135 Hektor is an OK lens but not fancied by collectors, the camera's long period of disuse makes the need for a CLA almost certain. If either of the lenses has mold in it, then the price would be excessive. The meter is not sought after, almost all of them have cells which are dead or out of whack.
Hmmm. So for a user-bee like me this might have been a good way to at least experience the Leica phenomenon once in my lifetime. Just as well, too many bad habits already.
Originally Posted by elekm
That was an OK deal if the camera shoots without problems. You never know what Leica bozos want at any one particular time. Sometimes the double strokes are more desirable, sometimes the single strokes are, and sometimes there is no difference at all in what they go for. The meter is worthless except as a paper weight, and the long lens isn't worth a lot, plus it doesn't have the matching finder. It's not in stellar condition and the seller was of no help in this particular auction. It has also been sitting for 30 years. Personally, I think the killer Leica M is the self-timerless button-rewind M2, but I would also have seriously considered this M3 for that price if I was in the market for a Leica M right now and wanted to shoot mostly with 50mm and longer lenses.
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Back in about 1987/88 I bought a similar M3 from a reputable Leica appointed dealer, the scuffing & minor dings meant nothing and when I added a more serious one & broke the viewfinder glass it went to Leica UK for repair & they insist that all cameras they receive back also have a CLA. However they sent it back with just the glass & ding repaired stating the camera was otherwise in excellent condition, & didn't need a CLA.
A Leica can look quite scruffy but be 100% mechanically sound, that kind of camera is ideal for some-one like you, as it has been & still is after 20 years for me.
The M3 has a built-in viewfinder frame for 135 mm.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
As regards CLA or not, the buyer of this camera might get lucky, but the 50 mm lens (unfortunately out of focus in the listing) looks murky, as does the finder window. Prolonged storage in damp conditions can easily mean dull rangefinder prisms (which make the camera excruciatingly hard to focus) and a costly repair. Yes, if you want a user Leica M, get one with a couple of harmless marks on it, but this example looks like trouble.
When I saw what it went for, I thought it had been a GREAT deal.... but then I saw the photos.
30 years spent in that crummy camera case could do a lot of damage - which is only indicated by the crud (rust!?) accumulated on the chrome surfaces of the lens & body.
Who knows in what condition is the viewfinder? If it has hazing, and the RF patch is poor, then it wasn't a good deal at all. If you know how to take everything apart yourself, it's still OK. But, my guess is that the full CLA on body and both lenses would be in the $200-$400 range, depending on condition (perhaps with dubious outcome....). You can be almost sure that this camera will not work when you receive it. Think of all the gummed up lubricant, and you'll know what I mean.
The lenses don't look to good, either. The long lens (Hektor) isn't worth much, even in pristine condition. The collapsible Summicron is notorious for its poor coating. So.... draw your own conclusions.
Unlike our LF toys, those are rather delicate machines, with loads of VERY small parts, which tend to act up unless aired/exercised every once in a while (at least once or twice a year) - and the lubricant should be cleaned every 10 years or so (unless the camera is regularly used).
Just my 2 cents' worth....
If you REALLY want to try a Leica, Jim, try a good user M2. I just purchased another one in Austria a couple of months ago for 300 EUR, and it needed a CLA (bad rewind mechanism). Luckily, I found a local repair guy who used to service Hasselblads, and the CLA was only about $60
The camera is otherwise in excellent condition - the viewfinder and the RF patch as good as new (crystal clear!), shutter speeds excellent. Now, THAT wasn't a bad deal at all
Well, the wear devalues the item considerably and I would also hazard a guess that with the dollar v the pound / euro at the moment the usual suspects in European countries who buy cameras from the states and then re-sell them on ebay will not be so keen to buy at present. Thus the price would stay lower.
More than likely the camera would need to be serviced - so another $200 - 300 needs to be factored in to get the job done by a reputable tech. The lenses could well have haze / cleaning marks / fungus etc. in them also.
Finally, given the current economic climate, quite a few Leicas have been put up for sale. I regularly trawl through dealers websites and I'm seeing more and more items coming in. The MP is now selling for under $2,000 and last week I saw an immaculate M6 go for $800.
It's the equivalent of a 'crapshoot' or in other words, gambling.
As other have pointed out, you don't know the condition or how much money needs to be spent if it can be reconditioned.
I always determine the condition and history of what i purchase and would rather spend more for Mint condition.-Dick