Finally - my first Leica
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
amcrory
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Finally - my first Leica

Recently I was at my mother-in-law's house. Her husband is extremely handy and has some great woodworking/metal tools. He helped me take two big dents out of the filter ring of my 1950 Serenar 85/2 LTM for my Canon 7.

When I was finished, MiL asked if I'd be interested in her father's old camera. She thought it was a Leica or something. Of course I said yes! The trick was locating it. When he died in the 1970s, a lot of his stuff - cars, cameras, watches, shotguns, etc. was scattered throughout my wife's family.

A week later, she had tracked it down. Her oldest son had it in storage in Vermont and would send it to me. It had sat unused for 30+ years, and my expectations were pretty low.

I received it this week, and was pleasantly surprised: a 1959 M3 (SS, round lugs), a Summicron 50/2 DR with goggles, a 35/3.4 Summaron, a somewhat functional Leicameter MC, and fairly rough case.

Good news, the M3 is pretty solid. The vulcanite was flaking off in chunks and it needed a thorough cleaning. The 'cron is amazing. A teeny bit of haze, but doesn't seem to affect IQ. Bad news: the summaron is pretty bad. Stuck on infinity focus, the focus ring requires Popeyes's firearms to move, and I think it might have fungus.

I've already begun cosmetic restoration, stripping and cleaning all the vulcanite and old glue, and shipped the 35 to a repair friend. Im very excited to start incorporating this cam into my work when it's finished!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
SolaresLarrave
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That's a nice gift... and an M3 no less! Be aware that unless that lens has a VF, you may need one to see what's going to be in the frame. The M3 is optimized for use with 50mm lenses, and has no framelines for anything wider than that.

Congratulations!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
leicapixie
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Congratulations!
Exercise the body gently shooting at all speeds.
Test Rfdr for accuracy.
The 35mm Goggles Summaron may be OK.
Get a quote on service and fungus.
The GOGGLES make 50mm frame into 35mm!
My old meter VERY accurate but not work in low light.
See if close, ISO=Shutter speed at F16~11 of medium gray object in sunlight.
The falling vulcanite gives a charm.
Mine is same.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
Rob-F
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How exciting! I am sure you will like it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
Popey
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What a great story. Enjoy your "new" camera and lenses!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
traveler_101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amcrory View Post
Recently I was at my mother-in-law's house. Her husband is extremely handy and has some great woodworking/metal tools. He helped me take two big dents out of the filter ring of my 1950 Serenar 85/2 LTM for my Canon 7. . . .
Congratulations - what a great way to acquire a Leica! Can't help but asking since I note you have a Canon 7. How does the M3 feel and handle in comparison?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
Hern
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And the old workhorse awakes from its slumber again
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
Ko.Fe.
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Very special Leica!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
Roger Hicks
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Nice story. Have fun.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
x-ray
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Very likely the haze can be cleaned out. I bought a V1 summicron 35 from a friend that bought it new. The lube in the mount was solid and focusing was impossible plus there was extreme haze internally. I bought it cheap thinking it might be a total loss but sent it to Youxin Ye and had a CLA. It's now in lovely shape and works perfect. 99% of the haze was cleaned out and the focus is as smooth as glass. Don't give up.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
Bill Clark
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Welcome to rangefinder forum.

Nice camera.

Have fun making photographs.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
Godfrey
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There is great joy in restoring a nice old camera to life and use. Enjoy it! Use it! May it serve you well.

G
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
gb hill
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That's a good story. Welcome to RFF. Let's see photos of the camera. We all like to see other peoples camera's.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
JustPlainBill
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Hi,
Welcome to Rangefinder Forum and congratulations on acquiring your first Leica! Fill it full of pictures! In my opinion the single stroke M3 is a very desirable model.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
David Hughes
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Hi,

Welcome aboard.

Don't forget to feed it lots of film, otherwise it will starve and die...

Regards, David
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
amcrory
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Thank you! I've finished stripping it, prepping for re-covering sometime this week. Shot two test rolls - Fomapan 100 and Portra 160, and discovered that the camera has a curtain issue (maybe 14 exposed frames out of 36). Could possibly just be gummy lubrication after having sat for decades. Shipping it off to Youxin Ye after I finish re-covering for a full CLA.

That said, the 50mm 'cron is a stunning piece of glass. A hood and filters will help a ton, I'm sure, but bare naked, it kills. Bought a LTM adapter so I can use some of my great screw-thread lenses.

I do have a universal viewfinder (Leica lyre-style) for a 35mm lens. Needs cleaning, but it's solid.

Someone asked about a comparison of the M3 v the Canon 7. I don't have enough hours with the M3 yet, but my initial impressions: the Canon is no joke - it's every bit as solid and well-engineered as the Leica. The shutter, tho, sounds like a car door slamming compared to the M3. Leica viewfinder is much better and brighter. Loading the Canon is way faster, as is rewinding. Leica has a hotshoe vs dumb Canon engineers (I do have an original Canon accessory shoe, but it's really clunky). I hate the Leica flash ports (I'm a lefty). I'll do an A/B shoot test eventually, same film, same lens on both cameras...
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