Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/14

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Subject: [Leica] Leicas IIIc & Elmar 5cm f/3.5
From: Ray Moth <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 01:35:15 -0700 (PDT)

Dear All,

I recently bought, for just over $400, a Leica IIIc with Elmar 5cm
f/3.5 lens. Judging from the serial numbers, the camera (420***) and
lens (601***) date from about the same time, ~1946/7. 

The camera is in good condition, vulcanite is intact, VF window is very
clear, RF window is a bit dim but visible and the RF is accurate. All
shutter speeds seem to work and the 1 second time seems accurate. There
is an OKARO orange filter over the left-hand RF window (seen from the
rear). The only real sign of wear is that the chrome is partially
missing from the slow speeds dial. Also, the take-up spool is difficult
to remove but it can be done by hooking a bent paperclip under the
spool flange and pullingn hard. It's a stiff fit when pushing it back
into place.

The camera has a retro-fitted flash socket on the back, between the VF
eyepiece and the accessory shoe and an added "synch. contol collar"
under the fast speeds dial, with numbers 0 to 20. (Heaven knows what
that dial is meant to do, it's "explained" in a Leica IIIf manual I
downloaded but it's gibberish to me!) The fast shutter speeds dial has
a red 30 in the 30--1 position. Could this IIIc haved been "upgraded"
to a IIIf by Leica? 

The lens is chromium plated, appears to be uncoated and is rather
scruffy, with no fogging or fungus but with cleaning marks (a.k.a.
scratches) on the front element. It has a distance scale in metres and
the old European aperture scale: 3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.  The
focusing helix is dry, stiff and wobbly and I guess it needs cleaning
and greasing -  an easy do-it-youself job, by the look of it.

The lens locks into its extended position OK. However, in its collapsed
position it flops loosely in and out if the camera is tilted back and
forth. Is it supposed to be like that? There is no sign of any velvet
sleeve inside the tube to retain it.

Grateful for any advice. 



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Replies: Reply from Ken Wilcox <> ([Leica] Re: Leicas IIIc & Elmar 5cm f/3.5)