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Leica Screw Mount Copies Classic Leica Copy forum as listed in the book 300 Leica Copies, including but not limited to Nicca, Leotax, Honor, Canon etc. At one time there was a major part of the camera industry just trying to make a lower cost copy/dirivitive of the original Leica.

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Leotax, Tower, Nicca or similar
Old 02-08-2016   #1
mkvrnn
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Leotax, Tower, Nicca or similar

I want to buy a screw-mount Leica copy such as a Leotax, Nicca, Tower, Canon or similar, with or without a lens. I've tried a Wanted ad on here without success, so can anybody suggest a good source?
There are quite a few on eBay direct from Japanese sellers, but their English descriptions are nearly always vague and contradictory. For example, they might describe the condition as excellent then say that there are scratches, haze and fungus in the viewfinder etc. One seller always writes "This item is sold out everywhere in Japan and very hard to get it" which is obviously untrue. To their credit, Japanese sellers usually include very nice quality photos, so perhaps they are just trying to avoid the accusation of mis-describing their camera.
Any ideas or recommendations?
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Old 02-08-2016   #2
Bar8barian
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I can recommend:-

http://www.leicashop.com/vintage_en/...s/cameras.html in Vienna

Leicashop always have a good selection of Leica copies and their condition report is very accurate.

or www.peterloy.co.uk in London.

Peter Loy usually has Canon bodies available and his condition reports are very accurate.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-08-2016   #3
View Range
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MW Classic Cameras in London offers well-described and reasonably priced Leica and Leica copies. I've never been disappointed with my purchases from MW.
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Old 02-08-2016   #4
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I would not hesitate to buy one from a Japanese seller on eBay. In every case that I have done so, the camera was always better than described. And Canon rangefinders from Japan are exceptional bargains right now.
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Old 02-09-2016   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far everybody. I'm still looking.
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Old 02-10-2016   #6
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Ebay seller "nobbysparrow" in Japan has a decent reputation here.

I have purchased a few small bits from MW Camera in England, and have been quite satisfied with their wares.
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Old 02-10-2016   #7
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I would not hesitate to buy from Japan as stated earlier and in my dealings with Japan all of the items were better than described and they were fast and had great customer service.
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Old 02-10-2016   #8
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My gosh cameras have gotten cheap. You should go for a lever wind Nicca, you get some good features that Leica never made, in a reliable, small camera.
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Old 02-10-2016   #9
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Also consider Leotax FV, which is Leotax's top of the line - basically a Leica IIIg (fairly large finder and frame lines) with lever rewind.

The best place for the Japanese Leica copies is of course Japan.
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Old 02-10-2016   #10
cassel
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I have recently adopted the Leotax system--- affordable if you hunt carefully. I got one from a great Japanese dealer (the Elite) and just the other day I picked up a Leotax Merit (same as the Elite only with a self timer). These are really really nice. I have owned Leicas before (IIIa, IIf, and IIIf, M3 and M4-P) and these Leotax cameras feel similar and have a couple of unique features. Love 'em!

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Old 02-11-2016   #11
John E Earley
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mkvrnn
I sent you a PM regarding a NICCA.
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Old 02-11-2016   #12
Peter Jennings
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If being a bottom loader isn't that important, I'd opt for a later screw mount Canon. They are both easier to load and have better finders than any Leotax, Nicca, or earlier Canon. The drawback is they are larger, but they are not huge. And they are pretty cheap these days, too!
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Old 02-13-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jennings View Post
If being a bottom loader isn't that important, I'd opt for a later screw mount Canon. They are both easier to load and have better finders than any Leotax, Nicca, or earlier Canon. The drawback is they are larger, but they are not huge. And they are pretty cheap these days, too!
Yes I'm certainly tempted by a Canon and the viewfinder is very important. I have a small collection of Barnack Leicas but the only one I would want to actually use is the iiig because the viewfinders of the earlier models are far too fiddly and squinty. But they do look nice and they are just nice objects to own, which is why I want to add a few more Leica clones. I have a Nicca with a Jupiter lens and I'm looking for one with a Nikkor lens at a sensible price. I really want to try a Leotax at the moment and might even put up with a lever wind model for the sake of having a reasonable viewfinder. No doubt I will also buy an early Canon sooner or later, but sadly they just don't quite do it for me with those angular corners.
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Old 02-16-2016   #14
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Well, I've found a lens and can't wait for it to arrive. It's a Canon 50mm f1.5 in LTM.

So I just need a body to go with it. I still want a Leotax or a later Nicca, but maybe a Canon would be more in keeping. When were the slightly larger viewfinders introduced on the Canons (ie. which model)?
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Old 02-16-2016   #15
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The IIS, IID, and IVSB models each received slightly larger finders in their last revision. The IIS2, and IID2 had top speed of 1/500, and the IVSB2 had 1/1000. They had improved shutters, too. The easy way to tell the "2" models is by checking the speed dial. The center of the dial rotates separately so that it always points towards the selected shutter speed. This info all comes from Dechert's excellent book.
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Old 02-16-2016   #16
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Many thanks for that info Peter.

I've found a IVSB at a decent price so I'll probably buy that, but then I'll fret about it not having the slightly larger finder of the later version. And I'll still be hankering after one of those lever wind Niccas.

Maybe it's academic anyway because if I get around to shooting some film with one of my Barnack collection I'll most probably choose the iiig with its collapsible Summicron and proper viewfinder.

But if I'm going to use a Leica I've also got a couple of M3s sitting on the shelf.

And now that I own a Pentax Spotmatic and an Olympus OM and a Pen F and a Rolleiflex 2.8F after all these years since I lusted after them as a teenager, I really should try those out too.

But somehow the DSLR always seems like an easy option.

Life's just too short isn't it?
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Old 02-24-2016   #17
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A very nice Leotax K body arrived from Japan yesterday. But UK Customs decided that they wanted their share, so it wasn't such a good buy as I had hoped. In fact I'll be reluctant to buy from outside Europe again.
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Old 02-24-2016   #18
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There is a point I consider significant which it seems is seldom if ever mentioned. The Leica and Leica copies all have the viewfinder almost directly over the lens mount while the Canon viewfinder is offset to the side. Therefore, there are larger lenses that will intrude into all the other viewfinders. These are not visible at all when using a Canon. Maybe you can deal with it, but with a Canon you don't have to!
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Old 04-18-2016   #19
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[QUOTE
[/quote]

I recently bought a Leotax Elite, the same model as shown at the front of this picture. It had problems with dirt in the finder and general need of a CLA, so I did a once-over of it, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the build quality, which appeared to me to be at least the equal of contemporary screwmount Leicas. The body casting is very solid, the flash sync mechanism very robust, and the wind mechanism simple and smooth. The coarse-grained vulcanite I found more attractive than that used in the Barnacks as well. Cosmetically it looks like new. I also put a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens on mine, and it looks perfect for it. A remarkably good camera. Its only lack is a rangefinder adjustable diopter, but I have no trouble focusing it. The VF window is slightly larger than that of a IIIg, and has a 50mm frameline, which is not parallax corrected. Better build quality than Niccas I have examined, in my opinion.

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Old 08-07-2016   #20
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Where can I get a shutter replaced on my TV2 Leotax. I tried a repair and no luck..curtain had been bunched up, the second curtain, the one on the right side facing the front. It is otherwise built well. The rangefinder is extremely accurate, on par or better than my Canon 7.
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Old 08-07-2016   #21
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DAG cameras should be able to fix it.
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Old 11-19-2016   #22
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Hi mkvrnn,
I bought a 11S2 body from Japan and a 50/1.8 chrome lens from the USA. Both very reasonably priced; the Customs don't take a cut (!) but do take the VAT, so I guess we do lose.
I wouldn't let that stop me from buying abroad again as I found the process straightforward, but what I would ask next time of a Japanese seller is that they don't use ParcelForce as I have found them useless and inefficient. From the States is completely different I found; very quick and here in 5 days. From Japan it got to the UK in 2 days (!) and then took a month to get to me with all the messing about.
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Old 11-19-2016   #23
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I've been happy with my eBay purchases from Japan. Don't put too much into the single word descriptions (mint, excellent) but look at the photos and read the descriptions about scratch, haze, fungus. They tend to be detailed and accurate.

Some of these sellers are definitely using net-based translation tools. I speak enough Japanese that sometimes I know what the original word was. There is one seller (don't remember who) that mentions the condition of the "molts" I have no clue what he/she is talking about! "sold out everywhere" well yes, it's not available new in any shops. That's all it means.
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Old 11-20-2016   #24
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Here's my "Tower 45 or Nicca 5L" This is now my everyday camera. Love it.

https://www.cameraquest.com/nicca.htm

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