After 18 months with my Voigtlander R3M, and many petty annoyances, Iím ready to take the plunge and get my first leica. My R3M has been pretty reliable; but weíve had a fickle history Ė the plastic off my viewfinder scratched my glasses, evaporated rubber grip (thank you cameraleather), and now Iíve got a light leak in the hinge. I believe I can justify a backup. If Iím going to get a rangefinder this time, Iím going to do it right! Thus I need the help of more experienced individuals like yourself.

Iím looking for a daily rangefinder - something that will go to work with me in my briefcase; that I can take out while getting lunch and the few minutes of daylight after work.

My arsenal of lenses includes:
40mm f/1.4 voigtlander
21mm f/4 voigtlander
90mm f/2.8 Leica (Fat version) Ė admittedly, I donít use this lens too often

My perfect kit will likely eventually include the following
50mm summicron
and when Iím old and grey and collecting pensionsÖ
50mm summuliux asph
21mm f/3.5 asph Super-elmar

Iíve had the benefit of scoping out a few potential M3ís in the area. There are quite a few leica dealers where I live. Most are overpriced and marketed to tourists and collectors; however I found a few potentialsÖ I want to know if I have missed anything and when I go back; what else should I check?

What I think has the most potentialÖ Ö Leica #1
serial is past 1,000,000
L seal on the mount is broken.
Shutter speeds are accurate
Self-timer works
the preview lever seems loose
The curtain looks clean with no tears or noticeable imperfections. Taking the curtain up to the light didnít reveal any leaks.
Overall the body looks very clean
asking price 850 USD

possibility #2
The second oneís serial is 950,xxx
The L seal on the mount is intact. Everything else on the body is almost the same as the one mentioned above. Indistinguishable from the other than the L seal.
asking price 1100USD

note: in the two above; I never noticed the depth of field indicators; and I forgot to check the colour of the focusing patch.
The one I will likely walk away from


Serial: 82X,XXX
L seal has been demolished. The spool seems to have some kind of corrosion like its been dropped in the sea. The curtains has a few spots or imperfections, but the light seals looks intact when taken up to the light.
The rangefinder patch was quite yellow.
The timer and preview lever work surprisingly well. Especially after opening up the body. The most disconcerning thing is that when I opened up the body cap; there are some rather deep scratches on the inside of the camera, along the sides and the ridges of the innards; it is like as if its been attacked by a really small cat. Then when I looked in the back, there were more scratches. The camera was also engraved on the top by the previous owner and included an obscure name tag stating where it was serviced. (That was more than 30 years old)
The scratches on the inside alone, make me want to walk away.
The shutter does sound relatively accurate. It does need a serious looking after though.
asking price: 700 USD

Some random questions:
- I've read about depth of field previews on the late M3's but I have no idea how they look, or how to read them. When I picked up the late M3's I never noticed anything that would suggest a Depth of Field.
- I have no idea how to check for light tightness (without purchasing it).