1937 Leitz Leica III with Elmar lens, CLA's, Freshly Serviced
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
There are times when camera collecting is incredibly difficult. It comes as moments when you’re asked simple questions like “What’s the best camera…?” or “Which is the most significant camera ever?” The brain starts working, the heart beats nicely and the mouth moves but if an answer appears at all… it’s a long and complicated one, full of design details, historical moments and personal rationalizations.
Fortunately answers come quicker when we are asked to feel more and think less…. Matters of the heart are easier to answer and to agree on. The eye and the heart have a directness and honesty that the brain lacks as it struggles to retain, comprehend and balance all the many details.
So here’s a simple question for the heart. What is the most enjoyable camera of the 20th century…? I don’t know about you, but I see the answer almost immediately. I can also feel it between my hands. And it’s a surprising answer because it runs counter to my technology oriented brain. What I see is not the most expensive, the rarest or even the most sophisticated. That evidently doesn’t impress my heart… which is why the heart and the mind are such a good match. They need each other for balance. The brain tells us what we think we need and the heart tells us what we want.
The most enjoyable camera ever….? I thought it would be a Pentax Spotmatic but it’s not. The winner is a screw mount Leica. It’s honest, it’s significant and above all it’s great fun to be with. The Leica is like the perfect partner that some of us search our entire lives for. It has that unique mix of something for the heart, something for the eye and something for the head. It’s that perplexing mix that insures we never tire of being close. And when you cradle it in your hands, you’re not simply picking up a camera… it’s more like being reunited with an old friend. A friend with rich sparkling stories of adventure and history, life and death, valor and treachery, lives and passion… And like a faithful friend it will go on and on recording our adventures, our children’s adventures and possibly be still there for our grandchildren to enjoy and to remind them of our life, excursions and adventures.
This camera’s own life is long and colorful. I can’t tell you the stories of where it’s been but I can tell you this camera started its long journey of many roads and many years in 1937 as a Leica III. It was built in a time and a place when the world looked very different than it does today. Eighty-two years later it still works wonderfully well and it’s obvious that it was well taken care of. And in case you’re wondering, it uses normal 35mm film.
This Leica has just been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted to help insure that it will continue working for many years to come. This particular camera works very smoothly and lends credence to the idea that the more a Leica is used, the smoother it works. The shutter curtains run smoothly and are completely light tight. The coupled rangefinder image is very easy to see and focusing works smoothly & accurately. The view finder is clean and bright. The camera winds very smoothly and all shutter speeds, 1 sec. thru 1/500th are appropriate.
It comes complete with a Leitz Elmar lens and a Leitz film take up spool.
Included is a 3.5/50mm Elmar lens with this camera, (serial number 328995) which was produced in 1936 and is probably the original lens for this camera since lenses were lenses were generally produced before the bodies and kept in stock until needed.
The Elmar is an adventurous, go anywhere do anything lens and it's the correct standard lens for most Leica cameras produced before, during and after WWII. Even if you own faster, larger lenses, it’s hard to go wrong with the legendary Elmar. The lens is wonderfully compact when it’s slid down into the camera body, making it very easy to pocket your camera. Extended and ready for use, the lens is a very capable performer and certainly fast enough when you’re out and about during the day. This lens has a beautiful rendering and a classic look that defined the 1930’s, 40’s & 50’s. In fact they're still at work today with photographers & artists around the world. Up close and wide open, it produces a very attractive look. Subjects are finely rendered at the plane of focus and beyond that the focus rolls off very gently into a smooth background bokeh.
The glass in this lens is in very clean and clear. There are no scratches, and no cleaning marks. The focus and aperture settings move smoothly and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all this is a wonderful collectable Leica. The perfect company on your own search for that perfect picture, that perfect moment, when you discover that perfection isn’t about being perfect… it’s about being comfortable about yourself, your choices and following your heart.