Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Should I buy a Barnack camera?
From: "Dan S" <>
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 04:47:34 GMT

Hi Jeff,

I think these little cameras are great, so I would say get one, but be 

Your best bet is to get a camera that works great, and looks a little used 
rather than the other way round.  A complete overhaul of one of these can 
cost big bucks, particularly if there is rangefinder trouble.

You mention that it seems as though it is not lubbed.  Is this based on the 
sound?  If so be aware that IIIF's are naturally louder than an M, 
particularly at the higher speeds.  They tend to sound a bit squeaky even 
when working perfectly.

That Summicron is a fine lens, but beware of the haze.  This can really mess 
up your day when shooting on a bright day.  If the scratches are in the 
coating only they can be repaired, and probably will not make much 

Look for stiff apertures and make sure the barrel locks firmly into place.  
If it does not it will be a pain in the ass to use, as it will want to fold 
up whenever you fiddle with the aperture ring.

I'd say if you can get a money back trial time I'd say go for it.  If not, 
buyer beware.

Best wishes
Dan States

>I've located a nice Leica IIIf ST with collapseable 50 Summicron lens
>for $650: Is this a deal? I believe it's a red dial model (has red and
>black flash synch scales, shutter speeds of 1/200, 1/500, 1/1000). It
>looks Ex++ save for a fair amount of brassing on the accessory shoe and
>a small dent by the serial number. The rangefinder image is bright but
>RF alignment seems a bit off, and I think it badly needs a relube before
>I can really use it. Curiously enough, the slow shutter speeds mostly
>work, but everything else runs like someone's stripped out the lube and
>left it dry. The lens has lovely chrome, maybe a fairly negligible haze
>and a moderately scuffed front element. As the same seller has a
>sub-$400 (IIIa?) with fresh-looking black paint on it, I expect this
>IIIf has been polished up some, though I didn't see any signs of silver
>paint or botched repairs. I didn't take a good look at the shutter
>Opinions? I have no good reason for wanting this camera, but darned if
>it isn't pretty, and I I can (weakly) justify it by using it as a
>"Heliar Camera". Pure collecting isn't my cup of tea, but a *useable*
>collectable sounds like it could be fun. At the moment, my intent is not
>to go for a vintage look in my photos but rather, to have fun and get
>perfectly modern results with multicoated Cosnia glass.
>And by the way, can the 50 Summicron be fitted with a lens hood? It
>seems to me that if I buy the lens as part of the package, I ought to at
>least try it.
>Jeff Segawa
>Somewhere in Boulder, Colorado

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