Seeking opinions shooting Leica IIIf with 35mm focal length

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stam6882

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Recently my Leica IIIf was successfully CLA'ed and am feeling I would like to use it more for my traveling and holidays. I have a 35mm Summaron LTM which I like but I have to use an external viewfinder to frame properly. Doing so I have to surrender the cold shoe normally reserved for Voitglander VC meter. I guess I can carry an external light meter while traveling but also want to find out if there others are using a different technique such as using the Barnack cameras with wider focal length than 50mm. Suggestions?
 

Laurent

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I'm using my IIIa with an external finder (the Leica one, somewhat cloudy but lovely nonetheless) and do not miss the cold shoe, but I rely on a handheld meter (Sekonic L208 most of the time, suits the IIa / Elmar 3.5 fine in terms of range).

I have to confess I'm a bit lazy on metering, so I do not check light for each shot unless conditions change drastically. This frees my mind and I love it.
 

Mr Flibble

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I'm in the same boat when I want to use a wider or longer lens than 50mm on my Leicas. I don't really want to give up the VC-2 meter in the cold shoe for a viewfinder but I don't have any other options.
I just keep the meter in my pocket until needed, though I've got pretty adapt at using Sunny-16 these days.

There is that double-cold shoe adapter one could use, I suppose, but they're hard to find these days.
 

Don_ih

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There's not much choice but use a shoe-mounted viewfinder when you have a 35mm lens. The view through the camera is just not adequate. If you have a Leitz universal viewfinder, you could put your meter on top of that ... might start to look a little ridiculous, but it would work.
 

Hassasin

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Universal finder has shoe on top too, so meter can go on top.
 

Besk

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There are/were double shoe adapters on the market at one time. They occasionally show up here or on ebay.

I often keep a view finder for a 28mm lens on my IIIf even when the 50mm lens is mounted.

My VC-2 is mounted on a watch wrist band. But often will be using a Gossen Digital Pro instead.
 

Hassasin

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There are/were double shoe adapters on the market at one time. They occasionally show up here or on ebay.

Finder needs to be mounted on camera directly or it will not show correct view.
 

guangong

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I use the small unobtrusive Voitlander 35/28 meter on my ltm Leicas. This combo makes a compact easy-to-carry package compared with usual Leitz or Zeiss 35mm finders sitting much higher on camera. When shooting with 50mm lens, the Leitz 50mm finder gives a comfortable view. This finder is not much larger than the 35/28 finder.
 

250swb

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I've got a KEKS cold shoe meter but I don't like using it on my IIIf and prefer a hand held meter (Sekonic 208) that's easier to point at the right tone in the scene or use as an incident meter. I get the best view from my Voigtlander finders, a 21mm, 28mm, and 35mm, which are brighter than Leica equivalents and have better eye relief if you wear glasses.
 

Hassasin

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This does not look like Leitz original part, more like two Leitz cold shoes mounted on top of thick aluminium plate. Not sure how one adjusts finder's coverage being raised above design level quite a bit. Minor issue at infinity, but progressively worse the closer the subject.
 
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stam6882

stam6882

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Good suggestions everyone. I’ll get a small light meter next. I do prefer to use my Leica 35mm external viewfinder.
 

guangong

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Good suggestions everyone. I’ll get a small light meter next. I do prefer to use my Leica 35mm external viewfinder.

Makes sense. My Gossen Digisix is conveniently small but eats batteries like crazy. It’s usually dead when I really need a meter. I use an old LunaPro which is of convenient size and very legible to read. B&H sells replacement battery adapter made by Gossen, which uses modern batteries. I haven’t looked, but a used LunaPro should be available at a very affordable price.
 

armadsen

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I’ve designed a double cold shoe adapter than can be 3D printed for my IIIf. I’m happy to send you the files for it if you have a 3D printer. If not, PM me and I can send you one for the cost of shipping.
 

Paul Howell

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The only other option, non elegant, is to get a flash bracket, the kind that screws into the tripod socket with bracket for flash. an average meter will work fine off set. Personally I think a hand held meter with both incident and average metering is the best.
 

MattKing

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JerseyDoug

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The only other option, non elegant, is to get a flash bracket, the kind that screws into the tripod socket with bracket for flash. an average meter will work fine off set. Personally I think a hand held meter with both incident and average metering is the best.
I occasionally mount my Voigtländer VC Speed II meter on a CTOOM flash bracket attached to one of my Barnack Leicas. I find it easier to operate the push button on the back of the meter with my left thumb than with any finger with the meter in the camera cold shoe. The CTOOM also functions as a grip that I find adds to my camera steadiness.

That said, I find that with a light meter attached to or built into the camera I find myself trying to optimize the exposure for each individual shot when with a hand held meter and just an occasional reading my results are just as good, and sometimes even better because of the reduced distraction.
 
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Laurent

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I occasionally mount my Voigtländer VC Speed II meter on a CTOOM flash bracket attached to one of my Barnack Leicas. I find it easier to operate the push button on the back of the meter with my left thumb than with any finger with the meter in the camera cold shoe. The CTOOM also functions as a grip that I find adds to my camera steadiness.

That said, I find that with a light meter attached to or built into the camera I find myself trying to optimize the exposure for each individual shot when with a hand held meter and just an occasional reading my results are just as good, and sometimes even better because of the reduced distraction.
I had the same realization when moving from the EOS-3 (which I positively loved) to more "basic" cameras, be it the Rolleiflex, Leica M4, and now a IIIa.

I also loved my T90 (and would be happy to resurrect it) but as you say most of the time a light metering when conditions change is more than enough. It took me some time to realize my F1's meter had become non responsive because I 99% rely on the handheld and have nice enough results.

The only case in which I find metering for each shot is LF, but I guess this has to do with the fact that one does not "spray and pray" with these cameras.
 
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