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View Full Version : Opinions, Please. Luftwaffen Leica IIIc....Restore Or Keep In Wartime Shape ?


murrayb53
10-29-2008, 13:41
I've wanted a Luftwaffe Leica Outfit for some time and have finally completed a small set. This set includes a '42 IIIc with all markings fully intact, a 35mm Luftwaffen Elmar, and a Gray Luftwaffen Everready Case.

The camera appears as though it had seen its share of use. There are a couple patches of vulcanite missing, the remaining is dried out, the slow speeds are out, and a couple dings. The higher speeds fire but who knows as to their accuracy and the RF is in fine shape.

It's not a pretty camera, but then when you really think about it, you kinda want a wartime issued camera to have seen some....action, however this camera was on the wrong side of the action. It really does make you "go back" and think of where and what it had been and seen.

The Collector in me wants to replace the vulcanite, repair the shutter, and possibly pop a couple dings, but the Historian says to leave it as-is. It's in this direction I'm leaning.

What's your opinion ?

Steve

Steve Bellayr
10-29-2008, 13:53
Leave the exterior alone. A CLA for the shutter speeds would be fine. Having spoke with museum curators in the past their opinion is always the same: do NOT do anything that is NOT reversible.

FrankS
10-29-2008, 13:53
Well, you asked for opinions...

I self-edited. OT

(I'm not saying that my opinion on this is the only or best, or that you should listen to it, but you asked.)

Ducky
10-29-2008, 14:04
[quote=FrankS;922415]
I'm not into war "collectables" from such a dark time for humanity, so I'd just sell it off.

quote]
OT but I don't think that was a fair comment to make to the OP. Dark times happen, it's just a camera.
I don't know about value but I'd be tempted toward a full accurate restoration.

jarski
10-29-2008, 14:07
edit: deleted..ot.

eli griggs
10-29-2008, 14:28
If you leave it as is, it's a just a relic, however, if you restore it to working condition it's a camera; which do you want more?

Eli

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 14:38
Hi Frank,

I fully understand and respect your position.

Steve

lubitel
10-29-2008, 14:47
This object is relatively rare, represents a part of history and should stay that way. whether that history is "dark" or not is irrelevant. If you wanted a Leica IIIc to photograph with I am sure you wouldn't have gotten a Luftwaffe Camera.

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 14:52
Correct. I have no plans to use it.
It's just an automatic reflex to clean, and restore.

Steve

Harry Lime
10-29-2008, 15:32
The Collector in me wants to replace the vulcanite, repair the shutter, and possibly pop a couple dings, but the Historian says to leave it as-is. It's in this direction I'm leaning.

What's your opinion ?

Steve


Argh. Don't touch it! It's history.

Would you take dings out of the 'Spirit of St Louis'?
:rolleyes:

bmattock
10-29-2008, 15:44
Note: I am posting this only after some considerable deliberation. I am not trying to stir things up or start a fight. I felt compelled to answer, though...

When I was a kid, I often saw ads in the back of comic books, surplus dealers selling 'genuine unissued Rommel goggles' for a couple bucks. The ad urged us to 'imagine you are the Desert Fox, blitzkrieging through North Afrika in your tanks corps' or words to that effect. The kid in me thought it was pretty cool. I asked my dad for a pair of those goggles.

I never got over the hurt look he gave me. He told me my two of my grand-uncles fought the Japanese in the South Pacific, and one of my grand-uncles died in France, fighting against Germans. He asked me why I would want to own something that had been created to help German soldiers kill Americans. Just goggles? Sure, goggles never killed anyone. Nor did a camera, unless it was used as a blunt instrument, I guess. But it's tainted, from my point of view. My dad's lesson took - I'd throw it in the trash can. My 2 cents.

monkeypainter
10-29-2008, 16:21
Sure, goggles never killed anyone. Nor did a camera, unless it was used as a blunt instrument, I guess. But it's tainted, from my point of view.¿Tainted?

When german or japanese warbirds perform at airshows people see what they are: magnificent machines perfectly designed. You can not blame these airplanes for the horror and evil of that times.

The guy that used to operate that leica was, probably, a good man just trying to survive to talk to his wife and childre, one more time. Maybe he volunteered for the Luftwaffe's documentary service just to avoid beeing rafted for a SS-sturmtruppen pack of psychopats.

This camera is just a beautiful piece of history.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 16:25
Geez, you americans have got to get over this sh!t.

I drink coffee most days with a german, his dad was in sub-marines in the north atlantic.
My dad was on the convoy ships from new york to england.

I don't hate Germans, or the people who served in the war. You mistake my beliefs. I merely find no worthy purpose in honoring the symbols of the former enemies of my country. I'd have coffee with your friend, too. If he showed me his prized collectible WWII-era Nazi flag, I'd blow my nose on it.

monkeypainter
10-29-2008, 16:26
I drink coffee most days with a german, his dad was in sub-marines in the north atlantic.
My dad was on the convoy ships from new york to england.

My grandfather flew with the germans of the Condor Legion during the spanish civil war. I have some photos of him in uniform, with some medals carrying svastikas.

He was a good man.

jody36
10-29-2008, 16:28
if u dont want camera send it to me.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 16:30
¿Tainted?

When german or japanese warbirds perform at airshows people see what they are: magnificent machines perfectly designed. You can not blame these airplanes for the horror and evil of that times.

The guy that used to operate that leica was, probably, a good man just trying to survive to talk to his wife and childre, one more time. Maybe he volunteered for the Luftwaffe's documentary service just to avoid beeing rafted for a SS-sturmtruppen pack of psychopats.

This camera is just a beautiful piece of history.

IMHO, no one collects Nazi memorabilia because it makes them think of a decent honest man just doing the best he could during a horrible time in the world's history. They collect it because of the cache and allure of the symbol of Nazism.

I have full sympathy for the plight of the hapless German who was conscripted and did his duty to his country as best he could - we cannot choose our nation of birth, or some of the circumstances of our lives. I just do not honor the symbols that represent that era.

If the camera was just valued for its 'historic' significance, then civilian Leicas from the same era would command the same prices - they don't. People collect them because of what they symbolize.

I do not honor those symbols. They were symbols of hatred. They belong to the past - the dishonorable section.

Sorry, just my opinion.

xayraa33
10-29-2008, 16:30
I would get it CLAed and would run some film through it.
Leica Tom Eitnier would be the man to get advice from if you choose to get it professionally restored.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 16:32
My grandfather flew with the germans of the Condor Legion during the spanish civil war. I have some photos of him in uniform, with some medals carrying svastikas.

He was a good man.

I would not doubt it. You mistake my dislike for the symbols of hatred with how I feel about Germans or even Germans who fought in WWII against the Allies.

I would have been thrilled to have met someone like your grandfather, to talk to him about his experiences, how he felt about it, what it meant to him - that's history, that's worth preserving. If, on the other hand, he wanted to sell me one of his medals with a Swastika on it, I'd decline. Not the person - the symbol.

monkeypainter
10-29-2008, 16:41
I would have been thrilled to have met someone like your grandfather, to talk to him about his experiences, how he felt about it, what it meant to him

Well, he didnt't like very much to talk about the war. He had very bitter memories, he saw (and felt) a lot of hate. And never got completely rid of it.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 16:46
Well, he didnt't like very much to talk about the war. He had very bitter memories, he saw (and felt) a lot of hate. And never got completely rid of it.

My g-uncles never talked about the war, either. I didn't know them all that well. The last one died not too long ago. He was an atheist, she wasn't - he became one during the war. I visited him after his wife died a few years before he did, and he was very cranky about all the calls and cards and visits he had been getting. "She's dead, she's not in heaven, she's just gone, and her body is dust. That's it." When he went, his will stipulated no services of any kind. He gave all his money to a veteran's organization. I think about him from time to time, and wonder if he was right about there being no hereafter or not. I guess we'll all find out.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 16:58
Would you do the same to a confederate flag?

Yes indeed.

LeicaTom
10-29-2008, 17:18
I've wanted a Luftwaffe Leica Outfit for some time and have finally completed a small set. This set includes a '42 IIIc with all markings fully intact, a 35mm Luftwaffen Elmar, and a Gray Luftwaffen Everready Case.

The camera appears as though it had seen its share of use. There are a couple patches of vulcanite missing, the remaining is dried out, the slow speeds are out, and a couple dings. The higher speeds fire but who knows as to their accuracy and the RF is in fine shape.

It's not a pretty camera, but then when you really think about it, you kinda want a wartime issued camera to have seen some....action, however this camera was on the wrong side of the action. It really does make you "go back" and think of where and what it had been and seen.

The Collector in me wants to replace the vulcanite, repair the shutter, and possibly pop a couple dings, but the Historian says to leave it as-is. It's in this direction I'm leaning.

What's your opinion ?

Steve

Steve,

Send me some photos of the damage/wear on the camera and I`ll let you know what I`d do. Send to my email: [email protected]

My 1943 IIIC K has had a full CLA and also vulcanite repair with 100% original 1943 parts, it was in good condition to start with but was`nt operational, having the camera work 100% just increases the value of it, but it has to be done correctly.

Haven`t they restored the Mona Lisa once or twice now, or something like that? So you are not destroying history when you attend to a camera if it`s done properly, It`s all about conservation and proper care or restoration processes, you don`t destroy history you find a way to perserve it while also making an item functional at the same time.
(museums do it all the time)

Drop me a line when you can :)

Tom

eli griggs
10-29-2008, 17:20
bmattock, I know how you feel. I collect old battle rifles and I won't add a Nazi marked firearm to my collection until I find one with capture marks, Soviet, British or ours; a symbol of an evil confronted and lain to waste.

Nazis were all about symbols and though a tool is just a tool, a symbol is powerful because of the ideals it espouses. Nazis used images from day one to communicate those ideals and millions died because of those whom took up their 'vision'.

If any doubt that, that power still exists ,then take a moment to reflect why items like cameras and firearms that carry those Nazi symbols sell for outrageous prices when compared to identical items that do not.

Yes, there is history there, but too often there is a reverence given to these things that comes close to admiration for my taste. If it is a tool, repair it, use it, to do otherwise pays homage of sorts to those whom committed the most foul acts in the name of those exact symbols and ideals.

As to Americans getting over this, compared to the centuries of continuous and petty feuds of Europa, I'd say we're rather forgiving of our enemies and their trespasses.

ELi

bmattock
10-29-2008, 17:34
Yes, there is history there, but too often there is a reverence given to these things that comes close to admiration for my taste. If it is a tool, repair it, use it, to do otherwise pays homage of sorts to those whom committed the most foul acts in the name of those exact symbols and ideals.

I would never accuse a person who collects such memorabilia of harboring any secret motives or admiration for Nazis or any such thing (although it must be said that those few people who DO admire them also often collect that sort of ephemera). I am just averse to the symbols, which, as you said, were powerfully manipulated. Hitler himself understood symbolism greatly, and the symbols of his power were carefully chosen and manipulated.

I also understand that during the various wars fought during the founding of modern-day Israel, the Israeli government did not hesitate to use Nazi weapons - actually, anything they could get their hands on. However, it certainly was not due to any fascination with Nazis. In their case, a tool really was a tool.

The test I use on myself is this - if I owned a WWII-era German camera that was military and so marked, would I feel uneasy or ashamed to show it to my best friend, who also happens to be Jewish? Could I share my pride in ownership of it with him? If not - then no, I don't want it.

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 17:56
Gentlemen,

Please note there are NO offensive symbols on the camera.
The top plate has the FL Contract number engraved below the usual Leica script , and on the back of the top plate is engraved "Luftwaffen-Eigentum", which means Property Of The Air Force. That's all.

To my knowledge only the Kriegsmarine (Navy) had some cameras with the Reichadler engraved on the top plate, left top corner.

Steve

nikon_sam
10-29-2008, 17:58
Didn't read all the post here...so if it's been said already I apologize...
The camera, just like a gun, is neutral...it doesn't really care what you point it at when shooting...don't blame the camera for being on the "wrong side"...

I would leave the exterior as is and just get the mechanics back in working condition...
Would I use it once it's working...probably not...but not because of it's past...I would not want to risk hurting it in any way from using it...and that's my 2 cents!!!

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 18:06
I agree. I've decided to have the shutter taken care of and leave the rest alone.

Gee, as long as we are all heated up, how about Politics, Sex, Religon......Palin....?????

Steve :-)

eli griggs
10-29-2008, 18:10
Apparently, she has all three.

Cheers

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 18:17
BRAVO !!!

So True.

Steve

Morris
10-29-2008, 18:21
I collect old battle rifles and I won't add a Nazi marked firearm to my collection until I find one with capture marks, Soviet, British or ours; a symbol of an evil confronted and lain to waste.


It must be remembered that the word "evil" has purely religious connotations and should not be used in a secular sense.

The guy who wielded your firearm or camera also wore a belt buckle inscribed with the words "Gott Mit Uns". (God be with us.)

Who's side do you think God was on?

Steve Bellayr
10-29-2008, 18:22
Leica Tom's answer is the best. You can also contact museums that would exhibit such items. Start with the Smithsonian. They are responsive. My contacts with them have always been positive.

eli griggs
10-29-2008, 18:25
"Who's side do you think God was on?"

Probably not on the guy baking his neighbors and their kids.

Eli

Harry Lime
10-29-2008, 18:32
I would contact Jim Lager at the LHSA

[email protected]

He's probably the world authority on anything Leica and if I remember correctly the authority on WWII Leica's.

murrayb53
10-29-2008, 18:34
HOLD ON Here. ENOUGH !!!

This is not the platform for a discussion so full of raw emotions.

I'm Very sorry my thread has brought up such horrible lines.
Please stop.

Enough Is Enough !!

Steve

Ducky
10-29-2008, 19:33
Nice thread, it would have been better over coffee or a few beers.

bmattock
10-29-2008, 20:05
Gentlemen,

Please note there are NO offensive symbols on the camera.
The top plate has the FL Contract number engraved below the usual Leica script , and on the back of the top plate is engraved "Luftwaffen-Eigentum", which means Property Of The Air Force. That's all.

To my knowledge only the Kriegsmarine (Navy) had some cameras with the Reichadler engraved on the top plate, left top corner.

Steve

May I suggest a test? Grind the markings off. The camera will still be perfectly useful as a camera, and you will still know it's history.

I would suggest, gently, that if you are unwilling to do that, there is a reason.

It is not the marking that is offensive - it is the value people put on the marking, whatever it is - words, letters, certain serial numbers, whatever it is that marks it as a 'Nazi' camera and makes it therefore more collectible and valuable to those who prize such things.

Ronald_H
10-30-2008, 10:52
I would put it in a display case and never touch it again. If I wanted to shoot an old Leica I would buy one that's not so rare.

giellaleafapmu
10-31-2008, 14:12
In my opinion it is the same as any other antique. There is some restoration you need in order to prevent further demage (a mold or a fungus left growing can ruin everything) and that must be done and there is restauration involving repainting, changing parts and so on and that I would avoid.

GLF

murrayb53
10-31-2008, 16:00
I've never seen a SSKB Leica. The only model I am aware of with the emblem is the Kriegsmarine (Navy) issue, and that was not on all of them. Some Navy cameras just had an "M" (Marine) with its contract number under it.

Another note for those who might not have known, Leitz never engraved any emblems on their cameras. They did engrave the Fl#, and Luftwaffen-Eigentum on the Air Force issue cameras, but no other engravings. All others were performed by the German Armed Forces.

Steve

murrayb53
10-31-2008, 21:20
I own Lager's "Wehrmacht" Leica, and Cane's "30 Jahre Leica History", these books are guides to match the wartime body and lens serial numbers, delivery dates, production dates, etc. There is no mention of such cameras. This also applies to the books written by Laney, Von Hasbroeck, etc.

I previously stated, the Wehrmacht could engrave anything they wanted.

As long as this has been discussed here, please let is know if there is written proof of the existance of such cameras.

Steve

mh2000
10-31-2008, 22:01
Hey, if we don't paint things as so starkly b&w and idealize everything we won't be able to paint over all the terrible things we do other people in the name of God, freedom and untimate good! So back off!

:)

"And you’ll be sorry that you messed with
The U.S. of A.
`Cause we`ll put a boot in your ass
It`s the American way..."

-Toby Keith

>>Geez, you americans have got to get over this sh!t.

mh2000
10-31-2008, 22:27
Personally, I don't collect Nazi memerabilia, but I can see the fascination that many have for it and don't comdemn it at all. Owning historical Nazi stuff is certainly not an endorsement of Hitler's horrendous legacy at all, but it is fascinating (to me) in the recognition of the universality of the human failings that it took to come to pass... every people has historically had a similar failing and it is better to recognize the humanness of this tendancy so we can better protect ourselves from allowing our own country/people from committing its own attrocities. The failing is not limited to only Nazis, but is a potential failing in us all.

As to the camera, *I* would want to get it working at least so I could shoot some photos with it. I guess I would have it appraised first (I don't have a clue what those are worth... only I'm sure more than what I would be willing to pay) before doing anything...

murrayb53
11-01-2008, 07:48
I found an article on Photo.net last night that had a couple pictures of a Leica with an engraving on the back of the top plate "SS - Reich".

The engraving looked fake to me. The font used for the word "Reich" didn't look like anything I've seen before.

Is this the model you were speaking of?

Steve

flessas
11-01-2008, 16:50
Steve,
I would try to establish the functionality of the camera, but I would keep the appearance as it is.
I believe that old products and special ones with a historical background should show their age and history.

Restoring so old products is like rebuilding the Acropolis or the Colosseum….:eek:

What a thread!!!!
It is weird sometimes…
People are fascinated by a German product, admire it, dreaming of possessing it and spending thousands of Euros or dollars to obtain it.
But still do not realise that in the last 60 years the world has grown closer together leaving no room of resentments and prejudices.!!!

For gods shake, here is a photography range finder forum and not a “come to turns with the past” forum.:mad:

bcostin
11-01-2008, 17:11
The closest I come is with a few USSR "commemorative" RF cameras... and my fascination with Communist/Russian history doesn't have anything to do with atrocities that occurred, but in the fact that it was at least abstractly a case of Utopia gone terribly wrong... which is similar to religious faith gone wrong (Waco, Jones town etc.)...

Indeed. I was wondering if someone was going to mention Soviet cameras. The Soviets were Allies of convenience during WWII, and then successfully hid much of their evil behind the Iron Curtain for decades after that. I think those things still color our historical perceptions of Communism even today. But there's do denying that during their long history the Eastern Bloc and China killed, starved, ruined, imprisoned, and enslaved more people in pursuit of Communist ideology than the Nazis ever managed.

Many Soviet cameras were made with slave labor and many were used by the military. Like a FED NKVD, inscribed to commemorate one of the most brutal secret police agencies the world's ever seen. But ultimately it's just a camera.

That said, I have to admit that I've had these same sorts of qualms sometimes myself. I'm fascinated by Soviet technology and space exploration. Cosmonauts were just doing their jobs, and very bravely. But I still can't bring myself to buy or display patches or other items that prominently feature Soviet symbols. Too many people died living under and fighting against those symbols. I'm glad that other people do collect them, though. They're an important part of history, and forgetting history is usually far more dangerous than remembering it.

Dunk
11-02-2008, 04:43
I own Lager's "Wehrmacht" Leica, and Cane's "30 Jahre Leica History", these books are guides to match the wartime body and lens serial numbers, delivery dates, production dates, etc. There is no mention of such cameras. This also applies to the books written by Laney, Von Hasbroeck, etc.

I previously stated, the Wehrmacht could engrave anything they wanted.

As long as this has been discussed here, please let is know if there is written proof of the existance of such cameras.

Steve


I also have these two books and authenticated my "Luftwaffen - Eigentum" Leica IIIb and "Luftwaffen - Eigentum" 50/3.5 Elmar by cross referencing the S/N's to the matrices in the books. I bought the camera and lens together from a reputable source but have had some "Hmmm really?? ... are you sure its genuine??" comments about their authenticity from those who assume that because there are so many fakes about then any WW2 "Luftwaffen" camera/lens should be treated with suspicion. But when I told them where I bought it they chenged their opinion especially after seeing the documentation in the two books. The books cannot authenticate all genuine WW2 Luftwaffe Leica cameras and lenses. But they can authenticate all those for which documentary evidence exists in Leitz Wetzlar's shipping records .. assuming the cameras' and lenses' serial No.'s are genuine and original.

You might be interested to know Steve I just had my Luftwaffe IIIb CLA-d because the shutter was obviously inaccurate. The camera did not require any cosmetic restoration; the vulcanite is in good condition. If the vulcanite on mine had been in a worn/distressed state it would have been left in its original state because to restore it would destroy its authenticity. A nice bit of WABI on a well used camera or watch adds to their character and charm.

Regarding the aesthetics of collecting WW2 Luftwaffe memorabilia there will always be those who frown on the practice. However, fact is that Leica cameras were used by both German and British armed forces during WW2 in fact the British Govt put out an SOS requesting its citizens to donate their Leica cameras for the war effort. If an authentic British forces' WW2 Leica became available I would have no hesitation in considering buying it and few people would raise a "Tut Tut" eyebrow if I did. It would be another part of Leica History. Furthermore, some of the "Tut Tutters" may not be aware that Leica (Leitz) helped Jews to escape from Germany during WW2 by arranging exit documents for them to emigrate to New York on the pretence that they had jobs waiting for them at Leitz New York.

There is a fascination for collectors with WW2 memorabilia and it will never "go away". I can understand why some people regard war memorabilia as being in "bad taste" because of all the attrocities committed by madmen. But Leitz had no option but to supply cameras for the Luftwaffe during WW2 just as many thousands of Germans had no option but to join the German forces. Technology advanced at an unprecedented rate during WW2 because of both the allies' and enemies' hunger for victory ... but Leica cameras probably played a very minor part in that battle. The "Tutt Tutters" should realize every time they look at their computer screens that they would not be doing so now if it was not for the space race ie NASAs manned moon trip and the necessary advances in microchip technologies. And how did the conquest of space come about? It was via German WW2 V1 and V2 rocket technology.

But do the "Tutt Tutters" refuse to use a personal computer because of its technological origins?

And do they refuse to use modern "miniature" cameras because of their common Leitz/Leica/Oscar Barnack German origins?

Of course not.

Here are the pictures of the books and my camera:

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0267-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0268-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0241-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0248-1.jpg


Cheers

dunk

Roger Hicks
11-02-2008, 05:23
There's an interesting attitude to history here. Someone -- I forget who -- would 'blow his nose' on a Nazi or Confederate flag.

Ok... would he blow his nose on a Royalist (or Roundhead) pennant from the Civil War? On a flag of the Knights Hospitallers or a flag of Soleiman's Janissaries from the Great Siege of 1565? On a Crusader or Saracen flag? On a Roman or Essene standard?

It is all very well to take sides in long-past wars, but destroying symbols (from either side) smacks of book-burning.

Both my grandfathers were killed in the war, one on the Russian convoys, one off Crete. The one who was killed off Crete was a keen amateur photographer and a holder of the George Medal. I have no doubt that they were fighting on the side of right. But somewhere I have a pfennig with the Reichsadler and swastika on it. Should I throw it away? Why?

To return to the original question, if you're not going to use it, why 'restore' it? It's a piece of history; if you don't want to use it, why does it need to work? I once had a grey-paint Luftwaffen Leica with all the good stuff, including an engraved lens and field-gray case blind-stamped Luftwaffe Eigentum. It was in good working order -- it was in the late 70s or early 80s -- but I bought it (and sold it) as a usable curio. To me it was an interesting and unusual Leica like my Model A or my 9cm fat-barrel with the serial number ending a*. I certainly didn't (and still don't) associate it with the death of my grandfathers.

If you want to boycott hideous, murderous regimes, don't buy anything Chinese. Very roughly, Hitler killed 16,000,000 people; Stalin doubled that at 32,000,000 (and I've had an NKVD Fed, too); and Mao doubled it again, at 64,000,000. Both German fascism and Russian communism have fallen from power; Mao's regime is still in power.

Cheers,

Roger

LeicaTom
11-03-2008, 18:25
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0267-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0268-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0241-1.jpg

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa318/kirkwoodpix/DSCF0248-1.jpg


Cheers

dunk


Very nice example of an Luftwaffen IIIB, good photos.

But I think what Steve was asking was to see what`s the evidence of this so called Waffen SS "SSKB" Leica IIIC that`s supposed to be real?
(someone here said that there`s photos of one in that book, but then they said said that they did`nt even own the book?)

Does the 30 Jahre book have photos of a SSKB IIIC in it or not?

I would really like to know, I don`t have access to this book now.

Tom

PS: Ohh and the US Army also used Leica`s during WW2 that`s also included in the research for my planned book.......Leica`s up to model IIIA & IIIB were susposed to have been issued,
IIIC`s were very rare and only a handful of them fell into Allied hands before May 1945, either captured on the ground, from crashed aircraft or in barter trading with Neutral countries, that`s how the American`s and British forces got their first look at the Leica IIIC.

iamzip
11-03-2008, 19:14
Without having read any of the other responses, I will paraphrase this mantra that is popular with car collectors: A camera can be restored as many times as you like, but it is only original once.
That being said I think it is perfectly acceptable to put it into good working order, CLA and all.

murrayb53
11-03-2008, 19:45
Tom, no, I have not seen the camera that was discussed.
Did you have the time to Google photo.net SS REICH ? There are a couple of interesting shots of an authentic wartime IIIc, but with what appears to be an
engraving which most likely was engraved at a later date.
Take a look and tell me what you think.

Steve

LeicaTom
11-04-2008, 01:40
Tom, no, I have not seen the camera that was discussed.
Did you have the time to Google photo.net SS REICH ? There are a couple of interesting shots of an authentic wartime IIIc, but with what appears to be an
engraving which most likely was engraved at a later date.
Take a look and tell me what you think.

Steve

Steve,

Ohh yes, I do know that camera (an uncommon series in the #380xxx group *late 1941/early 1942*

But, I`m pretty sure the engraving is a fake, purely fantasy......a real Leica with a fake engraving, most certainly not an engraving used by any official German military capacity of the Waffen SS.

The oddest and rarest of all the WW2 German military engravings are the Kriegsmarine and Heer cameras, especially the Artillery ones for the Army (Heer or W.H. - Grey painted K shuttered cameras with military engravings are the rarest of all the WW2 cameras) - one has to be very careful with all the WW2 engravings, if it doesn`t match to the numbers in the Leitz records, then leave it alone, that`s the best advice.

Tom

PS: There was another case of a real camera and a fake engraving about 5 months ago (we disscused the camera here somewhere on RFF) A REAL Leica IIIC "Red Curtain" that was delivered to Bulgaria in late 1941 to a Leitz distributor there ~ it had a Kriegsmarine reichsadler and M. engraved prefectly in the upper left side of the top plate, a perfect engraving, but fake, this one was called out by Jim`s research and the numbers were nowhere close to any Navy shipment - it always pays to check numbers first before buying anything "wartime" Leica.

Roger Hicks
11-04-2008, 01:58
It appears, though, that the Nazis themselves sometimes 'faked' Nazi Leicas. Of course I've seen fake Afrika Korps Leicas in desert sand colour -- in fact, the last one I saw was a IIId as well -- but several collector friends as far back as the 70s (when there were far fewer fakes around) thought it possible that at least some were actually painted during WW2...

Cheers,

R.

LeicaTom
11-04-2008, 02:03
It appears, though, that the Nazis themselves sometimes 'faked' Nazi Leicas. Of course I've seen fake Afrika Korps Leicas in desert sand colour -- in fact, the last one I saw was a IIId as well -- but several collector friends as far back as the 70s (when there were far fewer fakes around) thought it possible that at least some were actually painted during WW2...

Cheers,

R.

Yes, I`m sure that`s another factor, I`ve seen fake IIID`s and IIIC K`s (Grey painted and Chrome) as well and this was back in the late 1980`s/early 90`s.

Tom

bmattock
11-04-2008, 05:29
Roger,

I've really said all I want to on this subject, but in exiting this thread, I do want to correct a perception that I feel is quite unwarranted.

There's an interesting attitude to history here. Someone -- I forget who -- would 'blow his nose' on a Nazi or Confederate flag.

That would be me. I have no respect for such symbols as they have come to be regarded.


Ok... would he blow his nose on a Royalist (or Roundhead) pennant from the Civil War? On a flag of the Knights Hospitallers or a flag of Soleiman's Janissaries from the Great Siege of 1565? On a Crusader or Saracen flag? On a Roman or Essene standard?


No, I would not. First, the chances are fairly high that I would not even recognize them if I saw them, without doing some research first. Second, and more importantly, neither would the general public. The Nazi flag and the Confederate flag (and yes, I am quite aware that the so-called 'Confederate' flag wasn't actually what it is now purported to be) have identity with the general public. They are symbols that are well-understood. More on that later.


It is all very well to take sides in long-past wars, but destroying symbols (from either side) smacks of book-burning.


My lack of respect is not for historical artifacts but rather for the value people place upon them. I would not, for example, set fire to a historical document written by Adolf Hitler or Jefferson Davis. They are truly part of history and the record should indeed be preserved - in a museum, library, or other public repository.


Both my grandfathers were killed in the war, one on the Russian convoys, one off Crete. The one who was killed off Crete was a keen amateur photographer and a holder of the George Medal. I have no doubt that they were fighting on the side of right. But somewhere I have a pfennig with the Reichsadler and swastika on it. Should I throw it away? Why?


I have never said or intimated that you should. Again, more on that later.


To return to the original question, if you're not going to use it, why 'restore' it? It's a piece of history; if you don't want to use it, why does it need to work? I once had a grey-paint Luftwaffen Leica with all the good stuff, including an engraved lens and field-gray case blind-stamped Luftwaffe Eigentum. It was in good working order -- it was in the late 70s or early 80s -- but I bought it (and sold it) as a usable curio. To me it was an interesting and unusual Leica like my Model A or my 9cm fat-barrel with the serial number ending a*. I certainly didn't (and still don't) associate it with the death of my grandfathers.


And I don't suppose I would, either.


If you want to boycott hideous, murderous regimes, don't buy anything Chinese. Very roughly, Hitler killed 16,000,000 people; Stalin doubled that at 32,000,000 (and I've had an NKVD Fed, too); and Mao doubled it again, at 64,000,000. Both German fascism and Russian communism have fallen from power; Mao's regime is still in power.


I've said nothing about hideous regimes and boycotting them. No one that I am aware of collects Chinese-made televisions in commemoration of their use by the Chinese People's Army. Do you begin to see my direction?

It is not the evil done by the Nazis that I object to (well, actually, I do, but there's not much anyone can do about that now, since it's over and done with). Nor do I deny the place in history that WWII, winners and losers, occupy. Things which are of that era and have historical significance are rightfully museum pieces.

And if people placed the same value on formerly-military-owned Nazi items that had been converted from civilian use as they do the non-Nazi items, I'd have no objections at all. A camera, after all, is a camera.

But I do object to the fact that people *do* place special value on Nazi historical artifacts that they can own, such as cameras, flags, letter openers, and etc.

There probably is a legitimate market for such things, since they exceed the requirements of museums in terms of sheer numbers of surviving artifacts. But if they were merely historically-valued items, they would command similar prices as a Swedish-military-owned Leica or a US WWII Graflex, wouldn't they? But they do not. The others are collectible too, but not in the same league as the Nazi Leicas.

The same is true of the value people place on collectible Confederate memorabilia. Note that people do not display 'real' confederate flags, other than the stars and bars (which is actually fairly inauthentic and/or historically obscure). They display the stars and bars - and why? Because of the symbolic value.

I do not object to cameras. I do not hate Leica or hold them responsible for what they had to do during WWII. I have a Krups coffee grinder and a Mitsubishi car, for God's sake. My skin does not burn if I touch a Leica that was once owned by the German military during WWII. This is not about the 'right side' and the 'wrong side' or even about the good or evil of the Nazis.

It is about symbols, and the value people place on them. Collecting Nazi symbols is not something I feel comfortable with. I would not, had I the power, stop others from doing so - have at it. But I have no use and no interest in such things. I do suspect the motives of those who are fascinated with Nazi memorabilia, yes.

This is why I get such angry responses by collectors who (intentionally?) mistake my motives or my reasoning. It is not the camera, nor the regime, I find objectionable. It is their fascination with a symbol of - what? Nothing but hatred. The Nazi regime now 'stands' for something as a symbol, like it or not. It stands for hatred, in the same manner that the Confederate flag 'stands' for slavery. No, that is not what they originally were for - it is what they symbolize now.

You, Roger, understand this. You know Roland Barthes, you know semiotics. When an item becomes a symbol, it is no longer signaling what it is, but what it represents. One can argue all day long from logic about the history of Leica, or how a camera is just a camera, and blah blah blah and it means absolutely squat - because the camera that was once owned by the Nazi war machine is now a symbol.

The proof is undeniable - it is in the value people place on it - both monetarily and by asking such questions as 'restore or leave as-is'? That's not camera talk, that's symbol talk. When pointed out, it brings about an quick and very angry response. No one likes to be told that their camera (flag, belt buckle, etc) is a symbol of evil and that others hold it in low esteem therefore.

Semiotics says that the image of Hitler is no longer that of a man, or a historical figure, or a leader, or whatever else Hitler was when alive. Hitler is a symbol of evil - universally understood, as is the Nazi flag. Semiotics says that Pol Pot is not, even though he killed as many or more, neither is Stalin, or Mao, etc. Those figures do not have the semiotic power the symbol of Hitler does. And there is no accounting for why - it just is. This is the value humanity has placed on the image of Hitler.

The same is true for the Confederate flag. It was not the only, or even the predominate, battle flag, and it was not the official flag of the CSA. None of that matters in the slightest. The CSA historically fought for state's rights, not to (specifically) preserve slavery, and that's of no consequence either. The fact is that the stars and bars represent (symbolically) slavery, and that's that. Sure, some argue. But logic does not change the value that a symbol has in how it is seen by others.

And again, I hold this only for myself. Sure, I look askance at collectors of Nazi memorabilia, including cameras (and cigarette lighters, table napkins, whatever). I don't 'get it' because I see the symbols as symbols and not as the items themselves. If I tried to see them as they are - historically-significant items from a particular period in time, then I am forced to confront the fact that Nazi items are worth more money and are more assiduously colllected than, say, Finnish items of a similar vintage and background. When I confront that, I'm back to symbols again.

I have no use for symbols of evil. No one can argue that a Nazi-owned Leica is not a symbol of evil because that is precisely why they collect it, QED. They just choose not to confront the symbology of their own psychology. It does not make them evil, nor do I dislike them. I have lots of friends who do things I don't like or that I don't approve of. Life goes on.

murrayb53
11-04-2008, 10:30
Tom,
What Military Book?
I haven't heard about this one.
Where did you order it from.

Thanks,
Steve

murrayb53
11-04-2008, 10:47
The earlier idea of sitting around and having a beer sounds great.

Steve

murrayb53
11-04-2008, 10:55
Yeah, my luck......all the way in Oz !!

ENJOY !!

Steve

Roger Hicks
11-04-2008, 11:39
No one can argue that a Nazi-owned Leica is not a symbol of evil because that is precisely why they collect it, QED. They just choose not to confront the symbology of their own psychology.
Dear Bill,

Ummm... Yes I can, actually.

It's something that happened a long time ago. Like you, I may question the psychology of people who collect the residue of National Socialism -- I am even more puzzled by those re-enactors who choose Waffen-SS regiments -- but I'd counter with 'everything has got to be somewhere', unless, of course, it is destroyed.

There's a big difference in my book between a curio, and a symbol of evil. I was once shown the Magickal wand, sceptre, call it what you will, that had once belonged to Aleister Crowley. I found it banal.

Which, ultimately, is what any minor collectible can easily be, whether it's the model pigs I used to collect, non-Nazi Leicas, or Nazi Leicas. Collecting may be a route to history -- Paul-Henry van Hasbroeck's camera collection is a wonderful place to learn about camera design, engineering, the cost of labour, the substitution of capital for labour, and more -- or it may be essentially thoughtless and accidental, which I believe is generally the case.

You may think that someone who thought hard about National Socialism would not collect Leicas, but hell, Napoleon's Moscow campaign arguably showed him to be as big a monster as Hitler (read Adam Zamoyski's book if you haven't already). Should people spit upon Napoleonic memorabilia? An old girlfriend had a gold bee from Napoleon's coffin: there is, I think, a natural human inclination to be interested in things that have been 'touched by history' in a clearer way than usual.

Semiotics is, in its nature, transactional; the symbol has to mean something to someone, as does the signal. To make a 70-year-old camera a symbol of evil is reification, made doubly dangerous by the fact that there is a concrete thing to invest with symbolism. My own feeling is that unless something is being used as a rallying point for a barbaric philosophy, it is not anything like as symbolic as you maintain. Indeed, it can be a reminder of a past from which we can, with any luck, learn.

Cheers,

Roger

Vince Lupo
11-04-2008, 12:07
Don't know if I should wade into this or not, and sorry for asking a potentially stupid question, but isn't there a difference between the Nazis, which was a political party, and the Luftwaffe, which was the Air Force? If you're part of the Luftwaffe, does it necessarily follow that you would've been a member of the Nazi Party?

I have three Luftwaffe Leicas, and I don't really look at them as representatives of anything evil (though I do find them very interesting and collectible). If that were the case, then maybe we shouldn't be using Leicas at all, because the company made them for these military organizations. Should I then not drive my Volkswagen because of things that company may have done during WWII?

Roger Hicks
11-04-2008, 12:17
Don't know if I should wade into this or not, and sorry for asking a potentially stupid question, but isn't there a difference between the Nazis, which was a political party, and the Luftwaffe, which was the Air Force?

Dear Vince,

An excellent point. Among her family heirlooms, a friend of mine has the standard silver-framed portrait of a handsome young fighter pilot who never came back: her great-uncle, I think.

She is a moderate socialist, and one of the people who helped hammer out the first joint history book to be used in both German and French schools. Should I shun her because her great-uncle was in the Luftwaffe? Should she throw away his picture?

I fully take Bill's point that this isn't what he's saying, but my argument is that one can invest too much symbolism in something that can't really carry it, and that Luftwaffe Leicas are in this category.

Edit: Just out of curiosity, how would you put into words the reasons why you find them 'interesting and collectable'? I'm not saying you're wrong, or a secret Nazi or anything, but I'd find it hard to put into words why I possess quite a number of things that are not necessary to life, such as my 1602 edition of Euripides's comedies.

Cheers,

Roger

januaryman
11-04-2008, 12:19
Geez, you americans have got to get over this sh!t.

God, I love generalizations! Next to stereotypes, it's my favorite classification process.

photovdz
11-04-2008, 16:01
personnaly ... I would prefer to have a leica IIIa thinking it was used by Robert CAPA during war in Spain ;-)

kuzano
11-04-2008, 16:40
I agree. I've decided to have the shutter taken care of and leave the rest alone.

Gee, as long as we are all heated up, how about Politics, Sex, Religon......Palin....?????

Steve :-)

I sincerely hope my time comes before someone who believes in the "Rapture" gains access to the codes for "First Strike Capability". I would have said I would leave the country, but where would a safe place be........

Regarding the original post. Leave it in what we call in the car collector industry "unmolested", or "Unrestored Original" if you are concerned about retention of value.

murrayb53
11-05-2008, 09:55
"Letting Go".....

Sometime back in the early '80s, back when I was standing behind a counter selling cameras, a gentleman approached me and said he was in the market for a new camera. I imagine he must have been in his late seventies or so and I asked what type of camera he was interested in. He replied he wanted an SLR with auto everything. His only stipulation....it couldn't be made in Japan or Germany. He said he never forgot what "those guys" did to us.

There are those who can never let go.

Steve

Ronald_H
11-05-2008, 10:02
"Letting Go".....

Sometime back in the early '80s, back when I was standing behind a counter selling cameras, a gentleman approached me and said he was in the market for a new camera. I imagine he must have been in his late seventies or so and I asked what type of camera he was interested in. He replied he wanted an SLR with auto everything. His only stipulation....it couldn't be made in Japan or Germany. He said he never forgot what "those guys" did to us.

There are those who can never let go.

Steve

Disclaimer: I am deeply aware of WWII history, and my knowledge about it runs deeper than most people. My country was occupied for 5 years and although even my mum is too young to have lived through that, I remember and I care.

But back to that older gentleman at the counter: If he didn't want Japanese or German, how limited would his choice have been in the early eighties?

murrayb53
11-05-2008, 11:34
Limited ? Hell, there was nothing !! I understood his position and explained there wasn't a thing made here other than Kodak Instamatics (a few made in the USA).
He accepted that and walked over to the Photo Finishing Department to see what was available. No sale was made that day.

Steve

bmattock
11-05-2008, 12:24
There's a big difference in my book between a curio, and a symbol of evil. I was once shown the Magickal wand, sceptre, call it what you will, that had once belonged to Aleister Crowley. I found it banal.

That's down to individual choices. However, semiotics deals with how society and the world in general see a thing, not how you or I see a thing.

Like I said, symbols are not necessarily 'logical', they are what they are. The Nazi flag is a symbol of evil. Period. It does not matter how you or I see it - it is a symbol, it is well-understood as such by the majority of humanity, and that's all there is to it. I can't change that, neither can you. Time might - I'm sure there were other such symbols in Mesopotamian times, known to those people, that we would not recognize.


Which, ultimately, is what any minor collectible can easily be, whether it's the model pigs I used to collect, non-Nazi Leicas, or Nazi Leicas. Collecting may be a route to history -- Paul-Henry van Hasbroeck's camera collection is a wonderful place to learn about camera design, engineering, the cost of labour, the substitution of capital for labour, and more -- or it may be essentially thoughtless and accidental, which I believe is generally the case.


It could be that, but it is not. Consider the collectible anything, say matchbooks.

What drives price?

Condition, age, rarity, provenance, and that most interesting of attributes, historical significance.

The word 'signify' has some relation to the word 'symbol'. An object signifies, and it can symbolize, and they can be two entirely different things.

A falling leaf signifies autumn. It also symbolizes autumn. However, a falling leaf can also symbolize loneliness (ee cummings). A signifier is a pointer - a symbol is that and more, it is a metaphor.

So the Nazi flag does not signify evil, but it does symbolize evil.

People confuse the former with the latter, and we end up with Nazi memorabilia being worth more than items which are rarer, have more historical significance, and are in better condition, etc, etc.


You may think that someone who thought hard about National Socialism would not collect Leicas, but hell, Napoleon's Moscow campaign arguably showed him to be as big a monster as Hitler (read Adam Zamoyski's book if you haven't already). Should people spit upon Napoleonic memorabilia? An old girlfriend had a gold bee from Napoleon's coffin: there is, I think, a natural human inclination to be interested in things that have been 'touched by history' in a clearer way than usual.


Again, 'signify' versus 'symbolize'. Napoleon's campaign has historical significance, but it does not have the symbolic value that a Wehrmacht Leica has. That can't be helped, it is what it is. The world at large isn't as willing to consider Napoleon a source of universal evil as it is Hitler. Why? No idea.


Semiotics is, in its nature, transactional; the symbol has to mean something to someone, as does the signal. To make a 70-year-old camera a symbol of evil is reification, made doubly dangerous by the fact that there is a concrete thing to invest with symbolism. My own feeling is that unless something is being used as a rallying point for a barbaric philosophy, it is not anything like as symbolic as you maintain. Indeed, it can be a reminder of a past from which we can, with any luck, learn.


It is not I who made these symbols; I interpret symbols, as do we all.

And while you or I (or any person) may interpret a symbol differently, in the end, we are all subject to the mass rule of how symbols are seen by the populace at large. A large skull and crossbones on a bottle of liquid is a symbol, universally understood, meaning 'poison'. There may be liquid ambrosia in the bottle, but who among us is going to take a taste? I continue to maintain that when people intentionally choose to collect Wehrmacht or Nazi or WWII-era German military or however you choose to term it - items - they have a reason. Unless one is a completist, an historian, or an archivist, there is something attractive about the symbol that makes it attractive to that person - and I am not such a person. It squicks me right out.

Roger Hicks
11-05-2008, 13:04
That's down to individual choices. However, semiotics deals with how society and the world in general see a thing, not how you or I see a thing.

Like I said, symbols are not necessarily 'logical', they are what they are. The Nazi flag is a symbol of evil. Period. It does not matter how you or I see it - it is a symbol, it is well-understood as such by the majority of humanity, and that's all there is to it. I can't change that, neither can you. Time might - I'm sure there were other such symbols in Mesopotamian times, known to those people, that we would not recognize.



It could be that, but it is not. Consider the collectible anything, say matchbooks.

What drives price?

Condition, age, rarity, provenance, and that most interesting of attributes, historical significance.

The word 'signify' has some relation to the word 'symbol'. An object signifies, and it can symbolize, and they can be two entirely different things.

A falling leaf signifies autumn. It also symbolizes autumn. However, a falling leaf can also symbolize loneliness (ee cummings). A signifier is a pointer - a symbol is that and more, it is a metaphor.

So the Nazi flag does not signify evil, but it does symbolize evil.

People confuse the former with the latter, and we end up with Nazi memorabilia being worth more than items which are rarer, have more historical significance, and are in better condition, etc, etc.



Again, 'signify' versus 'symbolize'. Napoleon's campaign has historical significance, but it does not have the symbolic value that a Wehrmacht Leica has. That can't be helped, it is what it is. The world at large isn't as willing to consider Napoleon a source of universal evil as it is Hitler. Why? No idea.



It is not I who made these symbols; I interpret symbols, as do we all.

And while you or I (or any person) may interpret a symbol differently, in the end, we are all subject to the mass rule of how symbols are seen by the populace at large. A large skull and crossbones on a bottle of liquid is a symbol, universally understood, meaning 'poison'. There may be liquid ambrosia in the bottle, but who among us is going to take a taste? I continue to maintain that when people intentionally choose to collect Wehrmacht or Nazi or WWII-era German military or however you choose to term it - items - they have a reason. Unless one is a completist, an historian, or an archivist, there is something attractive about the symbol that makes it attractive to that person - and I am not such a person. It squicks me right out.

Dear Bill,

I understand and respect your argument -- which sounds patronizing as hell, but isn't meant to be -- but I would still argue that semiotics is in its nature regional, limited in time and dependent on personal information and choice.

It can also depend on your premises. Eco's famous example of the light in the window well illustrates this.

Instead of treating 'Luftwaffe Leica' as a subset of the category 'Nazi' or even 'Luftwaffe of the Third Reich' (let alone 'Luftwaffe'), treat it as a subset of the category 'Leica'. There is a hierarchy of the ascription of meaning; our hierarchies are different.

In a bar in California I saw what I believe, on the balance of probability, to be Mengele's hat (a uniform cap, from Mengele's hat-maker, in Mengele's size, with a reasonably convincing provenance). Mengele leaves me confused: was he the epitome of evil (a premise easily defended), or a man completely devoid of moral awareness (not a bad working definition of the nature of evil)?

Would I spit upon or destroy Mengele's hat? Far from it. I would prize it. It is a reminder of how close monsters are to us -- or worse, how close we might be to monsters.There is a Leonard Cohen poem about one of the Nazi monsters: Eichmann, I think. Paraphrased, and from memory, it says, "All there is to know about Adold Eichmann. Height: average. Colour of eyes: average. Hair: average. What did you expect? Oversize incisors? Green saliva? Madness?"

If we choose to ruminate upon that aspect of the past, a Leica from the era of National Socialism is one thing. If we ruminate upon another, it is a camera. The preservation of any artifact is a direct link with history. What we choose to make of that history is important. Destroying or negating the artifact, symbolic or not, strikes me as a bad idea.

As I say, I flatter myself that I understand your viewpoint. I just don't agree with it. At best, we can agree to differ, because I doubt we can persuade one another.

(To those who object to this intrusion upon Leica collecting: I apologize, but not too much, because I believe that such questions need to be faced.)

Cheers,

R.

John Shriver
11-05-2008, 14:44
As for restore or not, look at the latest Westlicht auction. Two three crowns IIIg cameras. One original, one refinished. Former is estimated at twice the price of the latter. If you're concerned about the value of the camera, do nothing.

JohnTF
11-05-2008, 23:41
[quote=kuzano;925813]I sincerely hope my time comes before someone who believes in the "Rapture" gains access to the codes for "First Strike Capability". I would have said I would leave the country, but where would a safe place be........

quote]

Nice to see no polarization going on other than circular B&W's.

I saw a post that the new administration is adding 78% VAT on all Leicas as luxury items owned by plumbers and dentists who make $200,000 a year,-- plus I thought all Leicaphiles believed in Rapture and other mystic qualities of a Summicron shot wide open on a classic Leica body, but only with Agfa APX 25 in R 09 (wartime Rodinal) printed on Brovira III.

Worse yet, we are going to have to pay sales tax on internet ebay Leica sales. ;-) No one asked the right questions during the debates.

Also, I think a lot of people own Leicas made during the war, marked or otherwise. In the eastern bloc countries, if you got caught with a Leica with war markings after the war, you were in for a hard time.

And yes, I have a WWII Mauser, it was re-chambered for 308 cal, stamped first with a swastika, then Israeli proof marks, then US, and probably made in Brno, so it can piss off any number of people. Palin shot a moose with it. Is it OK to put a Leica scope on it and paint the stock red?

Probably a country & western song in there.

To the OP, good idea to get a CLA and worry about the rest later.

Vince Lupo
11-18-2008, 10:04
If anyone is wanting one of these Luftwaffe Leicas, I have one on eBay with a black MOOLY motor:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160299376945&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:US:1123

I don't think anyone famous used it (but you never know!).

murrayb53
11-18-2008, 10:53
Funny my thread has re-surfaced at this time.

A few days ago I took my IIIc out of the cabinet and spotted a few chips of the vulcanite on the shelf. The entire shell is quite dry and brittle and can easily be removed. If it wasn't as brittle as it is I would glue a couple spots and leave it as is, however at this point I'm looking at recovering it.

Also, did anyone notice the Luftwaffe IIIc a week ago on eBay? It was offered with a Summitar and a Luftwaffe case.
It sold for $1010. The body was defaced on the back and the embossing atop the case was scratched at in an attenpt to deface it as well.

Steve

murrayb53
11-18-2008, 10:58
Vince, your outfit looks quite nice. That black MOOLY-C is a hard one to find.

Good Luck !!

Steve

johannielscom
12-01-2008, 16:03
To me, a wartime camera is a symbol of many things:

of bravery (since shooting film is a lousy on-the-spot defence, when being shot at)
of technical accomplishment (those cameras got a beating and still perform)
of man's struggle to end war by depicting it's atrocities
of the brutality of regimes towards their own citizens (the German Kriegsberichters - war photographers- were forced to join the army as a photographing and fighting soldier)
of the battle between the horrors of war and the ever-present beauty of a well-taken photographSo, I have no issues with owning a wartime Leica, in fact I have purchased a fake Luftwaffen to accompany my 1935 Leica II that looks like it made it through hell and back.
These will be standing side by side in honour of photographers like Capa, Lee Miller, Ernie Pyle and others, some of who gave their life to make us all aware of the horrors of war.

In fact, you wouldn't feel so strong about the symbolism of a wartime camera if you would not have seen the pictures of that war, that were taken with it.

A camera always and foremost is a tool of beauty, since the whole point of photography is aesthetics. Even when depicting the greatest horrors, one needs to meter, to compose, to time, etc. and all of these actions aim for the one outcome: the best picture possible. To disagree would be a carte blanche for aiming anywhere, and firing when your finger twitches, without any concern for shutter, aperture or light.

Just my two cents on symbolism.