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buying my first M 3
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Wedge632
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buying my first M 3

Hi all,

I'm planning to buy my first Leica M3 this month, I've got 2 LTMs already and decided to try the M3. After 2 month of research on the net (I was debating getting an M2...or an M3) I think the M3 will be the best choice for my entry in the M world ( both for how I shoot and for my bank account as I can't afford an MP or an M6 )

I'm currently living in London, I have screened a few shops, well known to the community I guess and with whom I've had contact in the past, but I wondered if you had any recommendations etc...


Thanks in advance.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Krnome
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Nice, choice. I am also in the same situasion as you. I am about to buy a black M3 myself. I have a Black Leica II which I have used a lot. So I want to use a another model by Leica. What do you looke after, chrome or black paint?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Wedge632
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Honestly black paint would be great but, considering there are only a few and the prices usually sky rocket, I think I'll go for chrome: more choice, less pricy !

And I think it'll look better with most of my lenses which are chrome so...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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A couple of great ones right here on RFF classifieds. Congratulations on your upcoming purchase.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
Krnome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge632 View Post
Honestly black paint would be great but, considering there are only a few and the prices usually sky rocket, I think I'll go for chrome: more choice, less pricy !

And I think it'll look better with most of my lenses which are chrome so...
I understand your point.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
santino
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good choice. make sure the rangefinder is bright and clear - desilvering can get pricey!
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141671
Old 1 Week Ago   #7
leicapixie
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141671

My M3 was delivered brand new to me in 1967.
My suggestion is save more, only a bit and get the M6.
Why? 2 reasons.The built in meter, a real joy.
The main reason, the M3 is really old.

In my purchase, before internet, the M4 was already released.
I had no knowledge of that event!
M3 has the smoothest feel, best viewfinder.
I have had major repairs, new viewfinder* and RF replaced.
Curtains, parts in shutter.Many services.
It needs another main overhaul and parts..
I understand. I am now also old. No parts for me.
The M6 is a lesser M, like all newer M's.
I am starting to use it more and more.
Give both a chance..
One bad knock can finalize the M3 viewfinder as the balsa
glue is fragile and brittle.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
dschal
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Be sure to bring a roll of expired film with you, load it and test the film advance! You don't know how "smooth" it actually is unless you have film in the spools. Trust me on this.
Dave
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Austerby
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You're right to get an M3 - it is a superb camera.

It often seems to me that whenever someone says "I'm getting an XX camera" someone always pops up and says "No, get a YY instead."

I say stick to your guns, you've done the research, know your budget and have selected the right camera for you.

The M3 was my first Leica about seven years ago and I still have it, still use it regularly and have used it to take some special photos. I have since added to it with various other film Ms but the M3 remains my first love and the last one I'd sell.

As for the usual vendors, also take a look at MWClassic's website as they often have Ms at sensible prices.

I bought one cheaply on eBay and had it CLA'd (by Leica themselves) and don't regret it - a full service adds to the cost but allays all fears about the condition.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
shortstop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austerby View Post
You're right to get an M3 - it is a superb camera. It often seems to me that whenever someone says "I'm getting an XX camera" someone always pops up and says "No, get a YY instead." I say stick to your guns, you've done the research, know your budget and have selected the right camera for you. The M3 was my first Leica about seven years ago and I still have it, still use it regularly and have used it to take some special photos. I have since added to it with various other film Ms but the M3 remains my first love and the last one I'd sell. As for the usual vendors, also take a look at MWClassic's website as they often have Ms at sensible prices. I bought one cheaply on eBay and had it CLA'd (by Leica themselves) and don't regret it - a full service adds to the cost but allays all fears about the condition.
Agree completely. I've an MP with meter; if you can't buy it, buy an M3. For years used a nikon f with meterless prism also with velvia and it was fun and gave excellent results. M2, M3 and first version of M4 are true Leicas. M6 is a leica too, but 3 is different also if 50 years old. Follow your heart. if I were to have another camera, it would be a leica M3! No doubt.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
Wedge632
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Thanks all for the replies.

Any advice on vendors in the UK where I could get it at a reasonable price ? I don't trust ebay after buying a IIIf that was supposed to be CLA and in perfect working condition...but in fact had its shutter winding system stuck and the speeds were off and not working.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge632 View Post
Honestly black paint would be great but, considering there are only a few and the prices usually sky rocket, I think I'll go for chrome: more choice, less pricy !

And I think it'll look better with most of my lenses which are chrome so...
Don't worry, your photos will be no different with a chrome M3.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
LazyHammock
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A good choice, in my opinion. I have used (and sold) the following cameras (in chronological order):

M4-P
M6
MP

Whilst I was using the MP I came across an M3 at a great price. After using the M3 I soon sold the MP. Can't say enough good things about the M3 (My favorite focal length is the 50mm)

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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
Krnome
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I have bought this M3 for $1150, I love the black finish!

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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
Vics
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I have an M3, and I would advise you to buy a different model. The M3 VF/RF is all but un-repairable. Mine has main prism se-silvering, and DAG says there's nothing he can do. So now it's sort of a Zone-focus camera. Get an M6.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
James24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge632 View Post
Thanks all for the replies.

Any advice on vendors in the UK where I could get it at a reasonable price ?
Peter Loy has one for sale. He gives some warranty. I have bought from him in the past and have been pleased with my purchases.


http://www.peterloy.com/stock-list.php


Other places to try would be the usual Leica dealers...for starters Red Dot, Richard Caplan, Ffordes, MW Classics.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
Brian Atherton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge632 View Post
Thanks all for the replies.

Any advice on vendors in the UK where I could get it at a reasonable price ? I don't trust ebay after buying a IIIf that was supposed to be CLA and in perfect working condition...but in fact had its shutter winding system stuck and the speeds were off and not working.
Currently Ffordes have a M3 listed:

http://www.ffordes.com/category/Film...ssion=ItemName

Although I have no relationship with them other than as a buyer, I've found them to be honest and clear in their dealings with me. Email or telephone them.

Also, there's RG Lewis and red Dot in London, both of which I've dealt with over a number of years and would recommend.

Good luck with your quest!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
Wedge632
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Thanks for the answers,

I think Rg lewis or Red dot will be where I go.

What about the RF/VF thing ? is it a common issue? In what I read, most of the feedback about the M3 was that it was solid as a rock and the rolls of the leica in terms of mechanism etc.

Anything I should be particularly careful about before buying anything ? i.e. potential signs that could int future problems etc....???
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wedge632 View Post

Anything I should be particularly careful about before buying anything ? i.e. potential signs that could int future problems etc....???
The conditon of the shutter curtains is very important. If these look damaged, dry or sticky (they are impregnated with rubber) they are in need of replacement. Technically this is not an issue, but it will cost you extra money.

Erik.
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Potential signs...
Old 1 Week Ago   #20
David Hughes
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Potential signs...

Hi,

Just ask them how long the guarantee is...

You can't predict future failures just by looking, things like clutch slippage, holes in blinds, RF problems need the acid test of a roll of slide film. Use the camera for a while and you'll get the feel of it but they still catch us all out at times.

I'm also amazed by the number of dealers who forget to mention something when selling or listing.

Don't let this put you off, a Leica is a lovely thing to hold and use; there's nothing quite like it. Although if we are just talking abut a machine to make pictures then the story changes... But holding and using them, well, um, they just feel right in the hands.

Regards, David
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
Austerby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
I have an M3, and I would advise you to buy a different model. The M3 VF/RF is all but un-repairable. Mine has main prism se-silvering, and DAG says there's nothing he can do. So now it's sort of a Zone-focus camera. Get an M6.
Peter at CRR Luton can resilver and repair M3 rangefinders or a replacement can be fitted.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #22
Wedge632
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Ok. Thank you all very much for the tips and advice.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #23
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Red Dot Cameras are good people, but every glance at their display cabinets is a serious threat to one's wallet.
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