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1937 Leitz Leica III

This Leica III is a classic prewar camera which is still enjoyed by collectors and photographers all over the world. Production started in Germany in the mid 1930’s and it is basically a Leica II with slow speed dial added to the front of the camera. Internal changes to the shutter expanded the shutter speed range and enabled it to fire from 1 second to 1/500th. (On the Leica II it had originally been 1/20th to 1/500th)

Just like the Leica II, this camera uses 35mm film. It features a coupled rangefinder that makes focusing quick and easy, and it accepts interchangeable screw mount lenses. The Leica II and III were produced by Leitz and production continued in various guises until the late 1950’s. The Leica II & III (along with the Zeiss-Ikon Contax cameras) established the importance of 35mm photography to the photo-journalists. Superb, light and modestly sized, a Leica could be taken anywhere. Even today, a well maintained Leica is a reliable companion and a true joy to use. I have owned and used many fine cameras but this classic Leica near the top, of my top ten list of enjoyable vintage cameras.

These photos were taken with a 1937 Leica III which we enjoyed servicing and having in our shop. The current owner hails from the United Kingdom and he was kind enough to share his photos with us. These photos were taken in the U.K. Copyright 2018 Danny McClure. All rights reserved.

In general these were shot with with relatively slow film in the ISO 100 – 125 range, primarily Fomapan 100 and Ilford FP4+. He does most of his developing in Pyrocat-HD but also uses Rodinal RO9  on occasion.

 The photos in the first row were taken with a 2.0/50mm Leitz Summar lens.

The photos in the second row were taken with a 3.5/50mm Leitz elmar lens.

The photos in the third row were taken with a 1950’s 1.8/50mm Canon rangefinder lens.

Photos taken with a 2.0/50mm Leitz Summar lens.

Photos taken with a 3.5/50mm Leitz elmar lens.

Photos taken with a 1950’s 1.8/50mm Canon rangefinder lens.