Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/03/27

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Subject: Re: Russian Leica M
From: Tom Hodge <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 13:43:58 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 27 Mar 1996, Henk Thijs wrote:

> MARC wrote :
> >I'm not certain what Mr Thijs means:  to my knowledge, there has never been
> >an SPS (Soviet/Post-Soviet) Leica M clone of any sort, though the Russians
> >manufactured thread-mount Leica derivatives (the Zorki line) until the late
> >1970's and the Ukrainians made and are still making their Leica II clones in
> >the FED line from Karkhov.
> >I would appreciate more information.
> Sorry not to have more info, I intend going to this market on sunday morning
> next, to check myself. A friend saw the camera last week and was attracted by
> the name : Leica.

If it's not a <real> Leica, it probably wouldn't be the first time a 
counterfeit version has surfaced.  "Sic semper tyrannis" or 
something like that......wait, it's "caveat emptor"!  Yeah.....that's the 
one!!!  Let the buyer beware!  You yell the other one when you shoot a US 
President and leap onto a stage.  I always get those two mixed up!!!  :):):)

>  My question must be seen as a preparation before buying.(or not)
> It is also possible that it is a real Leica, but than the price would be very
> low, or not?

Henk, some rules of thumb on cheap Leica stuff.  After all, "Leica means 
expensive.....worldwide."  :):)  <Leica-philes, I couldn't pass this one 
up!!!>  <<<<<R.O.T.F.L.!!!>>>>

1)  If it says Leica and it's cheaply priced......
 a)  it isn't really a Leica but a counterfeit.  Avoid it like "the plague"!
 b)  it is so defective as to be in water damaged 
     inside or something.  Avoid it like the "plague"!
 c)  someone is so incredibly stupid as to not know what they're selling, 
     it ranks as one of the greatest bargains on the face of this Earth.  
     GRAB IT!  In fact, grab TWO!  One for yourself and one for me!!!

I used to work photo retail some years ago and one slow evening the
proverbial "little old gray-haired lady" walked in and wanted to trade her
departed (as in dead) husband's old cameras for something she could
operate with her fading vision, etc., etc.,

She had a box of sh*t and more in the car, including a couple of old
Contax's with a several of lenses, a couple of screw-thread Leicas with
SEVERAL lenses, an M-3 with a Viso set-up and some chrome M lenses and
assorted gizmos and gadgets, some old Kodaks, a "brick" - slang for an
Argus C-3, an old SpeedGraphic....all just immaculate and perfect in every
respect!  Conservatively, I'd guess at 10 thousand to the right buyer for
the entire lot.  She wanted to just dump the stuff becaz she honestly
didn't know what she had in the box and in all of those old worn, cracked
leather cases.  She was getting over the pain of losing her only husband 
- I think she said they were married like 60 years - and I remember her 
saying he was always fooling around with those cameras all the time - 
even brought some back from Germany after WWII ended.

I drooled!  She could have opened her own used Leica dealership!

As much as I wanted to mug her and take everything in for a Canon Super 
SureShot and call it an even trade - and she would have been happy - I 
couldn't do it.  If breaking 9 of the 10 Commandments won't get me to 
Hell, =THAT= would have, I'm sure!

I called a friend who knew estate sales and so on and knew what she had.  
I understand he showed her some books and so on and worked out a very 
fair settlement.  She came back and bought that Canon Super SureShot and 
thanked me and that was that.

I have cried myself to sleep every night of my life since then!!!!  
Jus' kidding! 

This story is true; honest.

About 6 months later, a older, retired-type guy came in and swapped a
Kodak Retina Reflex IV and an Instamatic Reflex and 5 lenses and some
gizmos in for a Minolta Weathermatic - the ugly yellow waterproof thing. 
He BEGGED the manager to take the deal!  We told him the stuff was worth
quite a bit more on the open market - all we could offer was "trade-in"
from the books - but he said he just wanted to dump the stuff.  We made
the deal and I, in turn, purchased the stuff from the store for little
more than the value of the trade-in amount.  That was a perk of working
there;  You take something in trade, you have first right of refusal on it
before it was placed on the "used" shelf to the public. 

I still have all of that excellent old Kodak equipment and it's still
perfect.  Those slow, chrome Schneider-Kreuznach lenses are nothing to
laugh at!!! 


Tom Hodge / / North Carolina, USA

In reply to: Message from (Henk Thijs) (Re: Russian Leica M)