Why use a Leica screw mount camera today?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by BradS, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. BradS

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    I was looking at and started reading about the Leica iiif and iiig cameras. Why would one of these screw mount cameras be favored over an M2 or M3 ? The M2, M3 and M4 look to me to be so much more user friendly.
     
  2. darinwc

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    1. Size. The Leica III and equivalents are smaller.
    2. If you are using an external viewer, the m3 is not as much of a advantage.
    3. Fun. There is something just fun about using the old knob wind cameras.
    4. Price. Am m series camera will run you 800-1200+ these days.
     
  3. darinwc

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    5. If you already own a barnak style camera, why not put some film through it every once in a while?
     
  4. OP
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    BradS

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    indeed. If I did, I certainly would.

    I've been specifically looking at and reading about the Leica IIIg all day...I find myself strangely wanting one but, it seems totally irrational! I guess it can't be any more cumbersome to use than a Crown Graphic....and a whole lot smaller and easier to carry too!
     
  5. John Koehrer

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    The M cameras are more friendly to use. Bigger & brighter finder, single eyepiece, visible frames for different focal lengths,
    lever advance and loading is a bit easier.

    M2 & M3 used a knob rewind but the M4 used a crank.

    With that, my only Leica now is a lllG. I'm pretty sure someone mentioned size.:D
     
  6. darinwc

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    The main difficulty is the small viewfinder. If you have poor eyesight them this can be a barrier. The iiig has the best viewfinder of the iii series.

    Second problem is the bottom loading. This is a minor problem for me. (I actually use Canon ) you have to cut the end of the film to have a long tab. The m cameras are only a little better in that respect.

    Last is the knob wind. I don't mind that at all. I am not shooting rapid fire.
     
  7. Dali

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    Why use a Leica screw mount camera today?

    Because it is fun to be irrational.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

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    One enjoys buying and using many different lenses from different manufacturers.
     
  9. jnanian

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    !!!
     
  10. Kodachromeguy

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    Excellent response!! But the simple answer to the original question is they still take great photographs (when in the hands of the right operator, of course). Another reason: it can be a way to break the ice when you approach a stranger. I took my IIIC to Nepal, and people, and especially kids, were fascinated to look through the viewfinder of a nearly 7 decade old device.
     
  11. Theo Sulphate

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    You've probably read all the Leica III stuff on Cameraquest then.

    Yes, they're fun, compact, and while using one you need to have a certain approach or mindset: operations are slower and more deliberate.

    Then there's snob appeal. As Stephen Gandy said: "idiots don't use them".

    IMAG9328-1.jpg
     
  12. guangong

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    Having acquired several early Leica III, one made the year of my birth, a C and an F with a bunch of lenses from old Elmer’s and Summars to modern Voightlander lenses and use them regularly, it is size, ergonomics and dependability. In truth, the quality of my Zeiss Contax IIa is better and its lenses superior and i use them,, but they do not sit quite so comfortably in the hand. I also like the M, bought two new M4 way back in early 1960s. One dumb move, I once had a Leica P and traded it in. Loading a ltm isn’t that hard, just be systematic.
    Like Sirius Glass, I just enjoy using different lenses. Rangefinder contrast can be enhanced by placing a small filter over ref lens, but they come in two sizes, one for C and and another for earlier cameras.
    The Canon P is also nice...the poor man’s G.
     
  13. mshchem

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    I sold off all my Leica stuff in a fit of "I need the money" several years back. Recently I bought a still new in box M6ttl .85, silver and a mint 50mm silver 6bit Summicron to go with it. This is the exact model I wanted from the beginning. It really is an amazing camera. I ordered a Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2.8c from B&H. I would like to have a 35mm Summicron ASPH but no way I'm spending over 3 grand . Cosina makes nice lenses and the Zeiss lenses are designed by Zeiss and are all metal, T* coating.

    A local shop is closing . Today I bought a recently CLA'd Retina IIc for $50. It works perfect, beautiful condition, just a nice compact, travel camera.

    So many wonderful old cameras. The purely mechanical stuff is eternal, they can always be repaired.
     
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  15. Kodachromeguy

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    Oh, I see, that is why the crowd on Dpreview hates Leicas with such passion. Leicas are too complicated for most of them! :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  16. Arklatexian

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    Because when I owned a IIIf red dial, it was fun to shoot, the lenses were cheaper and just as good and with the proper Leica adapters could be used on the "M"s. So why don't I still own one? Because when I was younger someone offered me a price for my outfit that I thought that I couldn't refuse. As my brain had not fully developed yet, I took his offer. I think I was 25 at the time. Been too busy with life ever since I get tempted to buy another IIIf red dial about once a month. For years I have said that I could stand anything but pain and resist anything but temptation. I found that I CAN resist temptation but I could not if I didn't already own an M2 and M3......Regards!
     
  17. summicron1

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    they're funky and fun. There's really no logical reason, I agree, but what has that got to do with anything?

    Fun is fun. That is all.
     
  18. daleeman

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    IIIf RD ST is what my father taught me on. God rest his soul, he passed it on to me. Using it is a tribute to him.
    Itza cool tool.
     
  19. P.johnson14

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    Why not? They are still capable tools, and old mechanical cameras are fun

    The camera that I own that is the least practical is also the one I have the most fun with, which to me, is the whole point. My photos taken with older cameras are better, not because of the camera, but because I am forced to slow down and be more deliberate in my work.
     
  20. R.Gould

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    I have a !!!c which was factory converted to a !!!f, it still produces the goods, it is fun to use, it makes me work slower, and this helps me to get better photos, and it is a friendly camera, very rarely do I go out with it and not get someone talking to me about my lovely old Leica, and never have I been turned down when I have asked if I can take someones photo, this goes for all of my old,classic cameras, folders, fixed lens, Ect, people just don't shy away from them,
    Richard
     
  21. railwayman3

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    Great response.....maybe add "because I'm not a sheep", and therefore don't have to follow the herd for every latest new fad. And, mores seriously, there is pleasure in using a precision device which is still good after 70+ years and perhaps speculating on who used it, and their adventures and pictures taken in the past (I'd love to be able to afford and use a Mountain Elmar for the same reason...or even find a bottle of pre-WW2 Rodinal which still worked ! )
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

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    The M series is more modern and more convenient, for certain. With the correct adapter they will also mount m39 lenses.
    The late Canon screwmounts are much less expensive, have great viewfinders, lever advance, a couple have meters as well as backs that open to load film. The IIIg is rare and expensive.
    The two I use are a Zorki S, collapsible 50 f:3.5 with flash synch, and a 1949 Canon IIb with a Summitar and a folding metal frame viewfinder. The IIb is essentially a Leica III with an improved viewfinder - there are three different magnifications,I leave it at the highest which corresponds to about a 100mm lens and then compose with the frame finder in the acc. shoe.
    If I want more compactness, the collapsible Industar from the Zorki makes it fit in the breast pocket of a winter coat.
    Loading the bottom loaders isn't the ordeal it's made out to be, just practice with a junk roll of film, take your time and it's easier every time. You can get an extra takeup spool and thread the film into the spool, wrapping the leader around the casette and securing everything with a rubber band if you think you'll need to reload at top speed. I've never felt in any hurry when using these cameras, but once the film is rewound I can exchange the casettes in under a minute.
    Why use one? They're small, dense mechanical marvels, simple and precise, they feel good in the hand, can accept many interesting lenses - the FSU lenses can be excellent, the Industar (Tessar) I mentioned does a great job, if you choose a Barnack or clone thereof it's a bit of time travel, personally I like oddball mechanical stuff.
     
  23. Theo Sulphate

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    Good observations. This is a good thread.
     
  24. mikemgb

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    I use a IIIa and an M2, the M2 is bulkier and can only really be carried around my neck or in a bag. The IIIa with an Elmar 50 will fit in my jeans pocket, even with a Nikkor 35 and SBLOO viewfinder it will still fit in a jacket pocket, no bag necessary.

    Plus I love the rendering of the Elmar and Nikkor on colour film, the photos just have an awesome vintage look.

    They are both awesome cameras, I just use whatever suits me at the time. :smile:
     
  25. Ko.Fe.

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    I had IIf and sold it. Just because. Now I have Zorki and it is not so good, but very usable.
    I also have Bessa R2M and Leica M4-2. I use Zorki as everyday camera. Just took it today for ski trip.
    Left it in the car gloves compartment while skiing. Not a big deal. I would never leave any M this way in the car.

    One of the reasons why I sold M3 recently was because Zorki with Leica 50mm external viewfinder is true 1:1.
    Leica eVF and Zorki RF windows are 1:1, M3 VF/RF wasn't.

    IMO, f LTM series are better build comparing to many M. And they are less to buy and expensive to service and fix.
    The only disadvantages, eVF is needed and you can't change shutter speed instantly. But I'm finding it often to be not a big deal.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. BMbikerider

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    In my photographic life I have owned 2 Leica rangefinders. A 111F back in the early 1970's but sold to help fund my wedding and about 17 years ago I bought a Leica M3. To be honest I much preferred the 111F. It was a jewel. It was a masterpiece of engineering. It was quirky and it was small. The M3 was a more modern creation, probably made not long after the 111F as it was a double wind version but it just didn't fit in with what I wanted. It didn't feel right, don't ask me why or how but it didn't.

    If I was looking for another, I would probably go down the lines of a 111G, the bigger viewfinder says it all, but it is a screw thread camera and still a masterpiece of miniature engineering.
     
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