View Full Version : Leica M3 viewfinder lookthrough question

08-03-2009, 03:22

I recently had the incredible luck to buy a second M3 body for a very good price, now I have got two. :o

Well, I thought, my first one was OK, I had it in Solms for CLA, but the rangefinder of the new one is much better.

My old one, serviced by Leica, serial# 1 079 438, see the finder seems to be too much on the left side, so you see that black thing on the right. Hard to see on the pic, in reality it is much worse.

http://www.abload.de/img/dscn2210dh6w.jpg (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=dscn2210dh6w.jpg)

The one I just bought, serial# 1 095 435, looks much better.

http://www.abload.de/img/dscn22122gey.jpg (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=dscn22122gey.jpg)

I think the second is the way it should be. What do you think? Is it normal? The serials are pretty close and I dont think that this is an issue. I now that earlier numbers had different finders. Same here??:confused:

Thanks for any comments!!!:)

01-30-2011, 06:28
Hi again,

it's been a long time that i posted this....but still interested in it.

Nobody knows, if this is normal, or if it is just inside the factory specs and little differences?

Thank you!


01-30-2011, 06:51
Wow, waiting patiently for two years, I hope you get an answer soon mate. I am sure someone in here can help you. good luck.

dave lackey
01-30-2011, 07:20
Two years...that is why I hate to see any thread languish without answers. But such patience!:eek:

The bottom photo is as it should be...I have never seen such a viewfinder situation in an M3. Mine looks like the bottom. Something is wrong and it should have been fixed during CLA, if not, then someone definitely needs to fix it or the best VF will be a waste in this case.

Good luck.:)

Steve M.
01-30-2011, 07:44
I was going to reply to this thread in 2012, but what the heck. May as well do it now :)

I agree w/ Dave, there's something (have no idea what) wrong w/ the camera you sent to Solms.

01-30-2011, 07:47
Hard to tell from the online pics.

Sent the camera to one of the usual suspects: Youxin, Sherry, Don, they'll tell you quickly what's wrong.

01-30-2011, 10:03
Yeah, I was very patient....checked every week, but nobody answered...;)

No just kidding, thanks for the replies!

I changed the eyepieces, but the results remain the same.

Looks like the rangefinder is differently made. I think, they would have told me at Solms, if something would be wrong. :confused: I spoke to the man, who CLA'd this camera, but he did not mention the rangefinder.

Here are a few more pics for you. Without the eyepiece. Maybe somebody has a camera with serial close to mine and could have a look, if it is the same?

The bad:
http://www.abload.de/img/p1010891dq0x.jpg (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=p1010891dq0x.jpg)
http://www.abload.de/img/p1010895zr5e.jpg (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=p1010895zr5e.jpg)

The good:



This is the situation from the other side. (With eyepiece on)

the bad:


the good:


Maybe somebody knows more about that? Is it just a rangefinder change, or is really something wrong?

and....sorry for the bad pics.
Thank you!

01-30-2011, 10:28
CRR Luton in England is very good with Leica finders. They should be able to help you. They also have an informative website. Good Luck. Joe

Roger Hicks
01-30-2011, 10:32
Does it work?

If so, no problem.

If not, how have you managed to use it for so long?



01-30-2011, 10:59
Yes, they both work well. There is not much difference, if I look through. But the good one is slightly more comfortable because the window is a little bigger and not that black thing at the right side.

First I thought, that there is something blacked out inside. But that is definetly not the fact. It just looks like the whole rangefinder is a little bit too much on the left side, so that black appears in the window.

Thank you goodtimes for checking. That makes me nervous... hmmm...


01-30-2011, 13:50
To RFF members:

Next time you start a thread and no one responds ... just be patient, like the OP.


I think I'd be getting the camera looked at ... I can't think of any reason why a viewfinder should be decentralised like that bit it sure doesn't seem right.

01-30-2011, 14:01
Mine is a bit earlier...s/n 1008070 and the viewfinder looks different from yours with the eyepiece removed ( no rectangular frame) but it does seem to be shifted a bit to the right. From the front...no issue. I haven't noticed any operational issues with focusing.

Nikon Bob
01-30-2011, 15:10
If you check the CRR Luton site they seem to indicate that there are a number of different finder assemblies found in M3s. So now you have another possibility aside from it may have shifted in transit from rough handling or the whole unit was replaced at some time.