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  1. #1
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    How do you tell a real from a fake LEICA?

    Hello-
    I have been looking at some of the Leica II cameras and I was wondering how to tell which ones are real and which are copies.
    Thanks
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  2. #2
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    If the camera says DRP right under Leica on the top of the camera instead of under Wetzlar does it mean it is fake?
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Here is an analysis of a couple of Russian fakes from 1999: http://www.cameraquest.com/rusky2.htm

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    I have a Leica IIIf and a Russian clone of a IIIa. I don't know about Leica II, but some areas to watch with Leica III were the collar around the shutter release button and the viewfinder/rangefider windows on back. 1. The Leica shutter release doesn't stick up as far above the collar, and the collar on the Leica is wider. My IIIF has a little off-center dot on the shutter release, also, that turns when you advance film. 2. The viewfinder and rangefinder windows on the Leica are side-by-side and fomr a black elipse on the back of the camera, like two black capital D's placed back to back. The Russian copy has two round, chrome windows, and they're farther apart. Also, my Leica IIIf has both auf-open and zu-close on the bottom cover release. The Russian copy has only auf-zu. I realize the you were asking about Leica II, not III, but perhaps this info will help anyway. On a final note: if you get the chance to handle a real Leica vs. a fake, the quality is immediately apparent. I daresay i could tell the difference with my eyes closed. The Leica shutter action is smooth and easy. The Russian is like metal grating on metal, and much rougher. Some Russian fakes may be better than others, both in workmanship and accuracy. In mine, it's pretty obvious. I think price is a pretty good indicator, too. If a Leica looks too good to be true, price-wise, it probably is.

    Good luck,
    George

    Cheers, George

  5. #5

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    My IIIf has DRP directly under the Leica on the top cover. Another interesting note: My IIIf prefaces the serial number with Nr., the fakes seem to say No with a line under the o. I don't know if this is universal or not. Also remember that Leica II and III were concurrent models. The number denotes how many frame-lines the camera had, not a succesive series or model number, so they should have many of the same design details.

  6. #6
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Easiest way: Circular roller RF cam on Leica vs wedge shaped on Russian ones.
    George, the Leica II and III have no framelines, only a VF for 50mm. the III adds slow speeds to the camera.
    Marko Kovacevic
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markok765 View Post
    Easiest way: Circular roller RF cam on Leica vs wedge shaped on Russian ones.
    George, the Leica II and III have no framelines, only a VF for 50mm. the III adds slow speeds to the camera.
    You're right, Marko! Thanks for the correction. I was thinking of the M2/M3.

  8. #8

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    If LEICA is written in Cyrillic, chances are it a fake.

    -30-

  9. #9
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markok765 View Post
    Easiest way: Circular roller RF cam on Leica vs wedge shaped on Russian ones.
    George, the Leica II and III have no framelines, only a VF for 50mm. the III adds slow speeds to the camera.
    Bingo, saw a chap on Antiques Roadshow use the exact same method to determine if it was a fake or not.
    Trivia: I watch too much Antiques Roadshow.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

    Worry less. Photograph more.

  10. #10

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    I first glance at the...

    front of the viewfinder window area. If the top flat plate is level across the front of the window, it's a fake. If the top plate drops off in line with the rest of the edge, and the camera appears to have a frame around the top edge of the window, it's genuine. Easier to see than explain!

    Jo

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