Superb! 1932 BLACK LEITZ LEICA II with nickel elmar lens, CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
There are times when camera collecting is incredibly difficult. It comes at 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 black 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. 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.
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 Leica started its long journey of many roads and many years in 1932. It was built in a time and a place when the world looked incredibly different than it does today… 1932 was also the year that Leica introduced its very first camera with a built-in coupled rangefinder. It was to become a historic and legendary design and it all started with this camera.
Eighty-seven years later this Leica still works very well and it tends to confirm the idea that the more you use a Leica, the smoother it becomes. It’s an ideal camera for a photographer with historical interest who wants to work and shoot with a historic camera regularly.
To ensure that it will continue working well for decades to come, it’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. It still has its original black vulcanite body covering which featured a black dot on the rear side. (This dot was removable and Leica technicians would peer through it to adjust the focus at the film gate perfectly.) The shutter curtains are smooth and light tight. The coupled rangefinder and the rangefinder image is bright, easy to see and works smoothly & accurately. The view finder is also clean and bright. All shutter speeds (1/20th - 1/500th) are appropriate.
It comes complete with the lens shown and a Leitz film take-up spool.
The lens is desirable early nickel plated Leitz 3.5/50mm Elmar, serial number 97712. (Note the position of the focus lever on this early lens.) Focus is smooth and the aperture functions correctly. The glass is clean with just the usual cleaning marks (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. As with all prewar lenses we recommend using 1930’s technique of keeping the sun to your back for best performance.
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.
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