HELP! Buying a Leica
Old 04-21-2017   #1
findlandezul
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HELP! Buying a Leica

Hello everyone,

After a few years shooting Leica copies, from FED1, Zorki1 to recend FED4, I now plan to buy my first leica.
And it's this one: https://www.olx.ro/oferta/vand-leica...u-ID7EZBI.html

I have some doubts about it's authencity, first being the lock pin position of the lens, the speed dial and the trim around the mount, only seen in the FSU cameras (at least for me). What do you say, is it a real Leica II, or a FEDkenLeica?

Have great light!
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Old 04-21-2017   #2
mcfingon
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I'd say it's a fake. Close but not exact copy. The body cover in particular looks very Fedspicious.
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Old 04-21-2017   #3
MIkhail
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I am certainly no expert but in my Leica IIIf the focusing and composing windows are closer together and of a different shape.


The trim of a window on front is also quite different.
And where is the slow speed dial?
I would say - fake. I would pass on this one.
The real old Leicas from reliable sources are not that expensive.
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Old 04-21-2017   #4
mcfingon
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Pic of my genuine 1933 Leica III:
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Old 04-21-2017   #5
mcfingon
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The detail in the front of the "Elmar" lens is not correct either. There should be a little tab to change the aperture on an Elmar. The lens matches exactly the chrome ring aperture change detail in the front of an Industar-22 lens I have. So I'd say it was a double-fake: body and lens.
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Old 04-21-2017   #6
Richard G
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The camera looks real enough to me. Some things about the lens look genuine and others not. The E of Elmar looks right, but as you say, the lock pin position of the lens is not typical of 11 o'clock Elmars and these are usually (exclusively?) nickel. The retaining ring of the front element is also not typical of a nickel Elmar, nor is the button of the lens lever. Mine is marked 1:3.5 F=50mm. This one is different. This distance scale marking in relation to the pin are not those of an 11 o'clock Elmar. My much later Elmar (1950) has the same button for the focus lever, but cannot be made to match the foniguration of the pin and lens lock recess as with this lens. And its retaining ring is still nowhere near so complicated as this one looks. I look forward to more expert input.
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Old 04-21-2017   #7
Rob-F
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The lens does not look right. As to the slow speed dial, this is consistent with a II, not a III (there is no slow speed dial). But the close distance between the eye pieces, consistent with a later model, not a II. The hole in the shutter release is typical of a copy. I dunno about that lens!
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Old 04-21-2017   #8
greyelm
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The lens is a Soviet Industar with fake engraving.
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Old 04-21-2017   #9
Mark Wood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyelm View Post
The lens is a Soviet Industar with fake engraving.
...and they're definitely Fed/Zorki-style rangefinder windows and the body covering shape and style is undoubtedly Zorki (rather than Fed) but it all looks genuine apart from that...

Seriously, that really is a Zorki 1 (not Fed) of some description with an Industar 22 lens. Leica never used that "curved" shape of covering, set into the body around the lens mount or rangefinder windows that look quite like that.
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Old 04-21-2017   #10
mpaniagua
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on the 5th photo, you can clearly see diaphragm blades are behind the second lens elements. On a true Elmar, they are on front. Also diaphragm tab is clearly one from Industar:




Pass and keep looking.

Marcelo
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Old 04-21-2017   #11
findlandezul
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Thank you guys. So my concerns were real, and it certainly is a fake Leica. A pretty good one also. It might have Leica parts or someone did some real work transforming the Zorki into it.
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Old 04-21-2017   #12
Ko.Fe.
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It screams nothing, but Зоркий at me. Get Leica IIf, it is impossible to fake them, they are less desirable among collectors, but it is true Leica camera for taking pictures. Leaves Zorki, FED-1 in the dust, but doesn't cost much.


IIf RD, Summitar, VIOOH.


Leica IIf with Industar-22.
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Old 04-21-2017   #13
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpaniagua View Post
on the 5th photo, you can clearly see diaphragm blades are behind the second lens elements. On a true Elmar, they are on front. Also diaphragm tab is clearly one from Industar:




Pass and keep looking.

Marcelo
Industar-10 (FED-50) has same tab and size as Elmar.

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Old 04-21-2017   #14
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Thanks for the photo Ko.Fe. Fed 3.5 sure looks like an Elmar.

Regards.

Marcelo
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Old 04-21-2017   #15
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
It screams nothing, but Зоркий at me. Get Leica IIf, it is impossible to fake them, they are less desirable among collectors, but it is true Leica camera for taking pictures. Leaves Zorki, FED-1 in the dust, but doesn't cost much.


IIf RD, Summitar, VIOOH.


Leica IIf with Industar-22.
Agree Ko.Fe. IIf got the (IMHO) best ergonomics. Slow speed dial kinda gets on the way when I grip my IIIf, but IIf feels more relaxed.


Regards.

Marcelo
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Old 04-21-2017   #16
Dralowid
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Bits of it are certainly not Leica II. The camera body is a later Zorki I. Notice the black metal moulding running along between the black covering and the chrome. Nobs and shutter release Zorki also.

The thing that catches the eye is the 'dog leg' on the viewfinder window moulding. This is very 'Leica II' and apart from Leica only appears on rare early Feds which would cost a whole lot more than a contemporary Leica. Baseplate looks Leica too.

Others have identified the lens.

If it weren't too expensive and works well there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't take good pictures.
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Old 04-21-2017   #17
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Curiously what I can make out of the serial number makes it a 1935 Leica II.

Of course the number may be re-engraved but that top housing is about right.

I'm tempted to suggest that what we have is a genuine top housing and baseplate with a Zorki sandwiched in between (if that can actually fit), add some Zorki fittings and that's about it.
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Old 04-21-2017   #18
findlandezul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
If it weren't too expensive and works well there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't take good pictures.
It's expensive for a Zorki 1. I also have one in much much better shape.
I will pass it, or maybe talk the seller into reducing the price as to match a good Zorki 1m though I am sure that he will still believe it's a Leica.

And as you stated, it might have Leica parts, and it's not much obvious as a fake like the "Luftwaffe Leica" are.

I will keep you up as it goes.
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Old 04-21-2017   #19
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I have a well-adjusted Zorki 1, a Zorki-Zorki as they are called, with both Russian and English markings. It has a clean Industar 22 lens.
There isn't any reason to buy a Leica II unless you are looking for the "experience" of Leica, the Zorki can take just as good pictures, and is just as reliable.
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Old 04-21-2017   #20
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Lots of false assumptions and 'facts' again here.

Read here to get the story (more) straight:

http://www.johanniels.com/index.php/...a-true-or-fake

I agree with Michael's assessment: a genuine top and bottom plate with a Zorki body shell sandwiched in between.
Wanna know what the insides are, Leica or Zorki? Ask for a picture of the rangefinder cam: if it's wheel-shaped it's a Leica, if it's triangular or hammer shaped, it's a FED or a Zorki.
The rangefinder cam is a pretty definitive answer. There was a small amount of pre-war FEDs made with a wheel-shaped rangefinder cam, but those are collectable, rare as hen's teeth by now and therefore easily worth more than a similar model Leica...
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Old 04-21-2017   #21
Dralowid
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I am inclined to start a thread about copies, 'bitsas' or evocations of Leicas. There have been a couple of interesting ones recently.

Problem is that I haven't got one to photograph to get it it started.

I would only want to include ltm cameras that are engraved Leica, of course...

Michael
(Who would love to find a Leica Siberia)
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Old 04-21-2017   #22
Erik van Straten
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It is a genuine camera, but not a Leica.

Erik.
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Old 04-21-2017   #23
findlandezul
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I asked for more photos, some where you can see the cam.
Also, the plastic moulding is a late Zorki feature, so it might not be even a collectable FSU.
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Old 04-21-2017   #24
findlandezul
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He sent me photos of the camera, which are photos from another camera. You can see them in the post. They seem photos of a real Leica.
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Old 04-23-2017   #25
David Hughes
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Hi,

My money's on it being a Leica-Zorki-Leica sandwich with a faked lens. A pity but few would break it down and wait for all the other bits to turn up to get a Zorki and Leica out of it.

Regards, David
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Old 05-06-2017   #26
findlandezul
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So, I met up with the buyer the other day, he had three of them, the first one, being clearly a Zorki, with the black trim. Another one, maybe a fed, with some edgy leather on the body, similar to the first one, and then the third and most interesting one, an almost Leica III, but with dodgy finishes, clearly a former fed. The interesting part is that all had the Leica-like rangfinder cam, and some modified brighter viewfinders (but very very low contrsat focus windows).
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Old 05-06-2017   #27
findlandezul
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I offered him 40euros/piece, but he didn't accept, although he knew they were knockoffs. They felt "weaker" than my FSU, so some structural element might have been removed or something. Also, they had different/weird speeds, the latter had even 1/1000, but sounded like 1/500.
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Old 05-06-2017   #28
David Hughes
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Hi,

A 1/1000th makes it a very interesting body or shutter speed dial, perhaps, especially with the die cast frame or whatever it is...

Regards, David

PS An easy give away on the lenses is the figure 1,25 (metres) upside down, as it is on the FED 2 photo.
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Old 05-07-2017   #29
findlandezul
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As I said, it seemed like 1/500. What intrigued me the most was the fact that they tried to copy a Leica III, which is ver unusual, also, the top cover was handmade, as it was a bit edgy.
I really would have bought one of curiosity, to take it apart, and see how it was made.
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Old 05-07-2017   #30
Peter Wijninga
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The seller advertised the camera as a Leica replica and added -in Romanian: "A LEICA camera is sold, so write on it, I do not know if it's original or replica, so i bought it and i do not try to fool anyone, it sells exactly what is seen in pictures".
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Old 05-08-2017   #31
findlandezul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
The seller advertised the camera as a Leica replica and added -in Romanian: "A LEICA camera is sold, so write on it, I do not know if it's original or replica, so i bought it and i do not try to fool anyone, it sells exactly what is seen in pictures".

He added this after we met, albeit with a lowered price (near 50%). I would have paid even more than 40 euros if they would have been in great shape, but they look edgy, and also don't work as smooth as my Zorki/FED 1's.
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Old 05-08-2017   #32
Peter Wijninga
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Ah! If you are in Bucharest, have a look at this place... I've had b&w film developed there with good results. http://www.allkimik.ro/
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Old 05-09-2017   #34
David Hughes
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Hi,

Someone or some people are putting a lot of effort into making cameras up that we are all wary of buying. I can't help thinking that they'd be better employed and far more respectable opening a repair shop for FED and Zorki cameras...

When all's said and done there's enough fakes to saturate the market but repairmen are pretty thin on the ground.

Regards, David
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Old 05-09-2017   #35
findlandezul
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Quote:
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Ah! If you are in Bucharest, have a look at this place... I've had b&w film developed there with good results. http://www.allkimik.ro/
That's where I get my film developed.

After I was 100% sure they were fake, I wanted one of them as novelty items.
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thats really annoying
Old 05-09-2017   #36
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thats really annoying

Let a Zorki be a Zorki, no shame in it. Like Mr Hughes said, these people would be better off cleaning and repairing Zorkis, rather then this nonsense. Honestly, the only complaint I have towards my Zorki is the lack of 1/1000th, besides that its a jewel! Hope you find the right Leica for you. They do come up in need of a CLA for fairly cheap sometimes. Also, why not try a Canon LTM?
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Old 05-10-2017   #37
findlandezul
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Let a Zorki be a Zorki, no shame in it. Like Mr Hughes said, these people would be better off cleaning and repairing Zorkis, rather then this nonsense. Honestly, the only complaint I have towards my Zorki is the lack of 1/1000th, besides that its a jewel! Hope you find the right Leica for you. They do come up in need of a CLA for fairly cheap sometimes. Also, why not try a Canon LTM?

I have something against Canikons.
I am the odd kid, using Pentax (main lineup), Fuji, FSU LTM cameras, even used Samsung NX. Also I do not find Canon cameras attractive. (I am weird, I must also like the looks of them)
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Old 05-10-2017   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

Someone or some people are putting a lot of effort into making cameras up that we are all wary of buying. I can't help thinking that they'd be better employed and far more respectable opening a repair shop for FED and Zorki cameras...

When all's said and done there's enough fakes to saturate the market but repairmen are pretty thin on the ground.

Regards, David
The fake market will continue, simply because people who buy it are not at all concern in the actual usage of the camera, but having then as an accessory, a fashion statement. Through a friend, I meet a guy who sell "high-end" knockoff of expensive watches (yes, you'd be surprise even the knockoffs has different rating... from meeeh to oh wow that real thing?), his business all come from wealthy people who can actually afford the real thing many times over, which they buy and treat as disposable, incomprehensible as it sound, but that's the world we live in.
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