1939 Leitz Leica II, complet with Elmar lens, CLA'd, 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 the real deal. 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. It’s the perfect mate to be marooned with on a deserted island. 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 grand children to enjoy and to remind them of our life, excursions and adventures.
The camera’s own life is long and colorful. I can’t tell you the stories of where it’s bee, but I can tell you it started its long journey of many roads and many years in 1939. It was brand-new when Germany invaded Poland and Europe slid into the dark years of WWII. Eighty years later, this Leica still works beautifully and will continue to do so for a long time because of the time and care we’ve invested in it.
This Leica has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works. It’s complete with its lovely prewar vulcanite body covering. The shutter curtains are smooth, supple, light tight and run smoothly. The coupled rangefinder image is easy to see and it focuses smoothly & accurately. The view finder is clean and bright. The camera winds and fires smoothly and all shutter speeds (B & 1/20th – 1/500th) are appropriate. It uses normal 35mm film.
It comes complete with a lens and a Leitz film take up spool.
This camera accepts interchangeable lenses and comes complete with a Leitz Elmar 3.5/50mm lens. (serial number 436498). There's some brassing but other than that it's a good, usable lens. The glass is clean and clear. There are no scratches, only some unavoidable light cleaning wisps (but you’ll need a magnifier to see them). There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems 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.