Leica IIIB & Meyer Gorlitz 1.9
Old 03-22-2017   #1
bnz
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Leica IIIB & Meyer Gorlitz 1.9

Hi All,

I am new to the forum, and new to film/mf photography but as a keen digital photographer i am investigating my grandfathers camera and how to use it. The camera itself appears to be a Leica IIIB which my grandfather bought before WWII and continued to use for many years. We have a large collection of his photography, but I only just discovered his camera.

The camera has probably not shot any frames since the early 70's in Nepal when my grandfather passed away, but the shutter mechanism still seems to fire well and from what I can see the internals (curtain etc?) are in good condition, if not a little dusty. The slow shutter movement is intermittent, and the inbuilt viewfinder/rangefinder are both pretty foggy but still useable enough to focus.

The lens is a Meyer Gorlitz 1.9 with the focal length listed as 2" (50.8mm) and has engraving that indicates the lens was purchased from the Singapore Photo Company. My confusion about the lens is: The lens details are engraved in the outward facing silver colored ring, not in the black inner facing ring that I have seen on other lenses of the same description, and that the focal length is listed in inches, not mm.

The lens appears to be in quite good condition for its age, the aperture ring moves smoothly, however the focus ring is quite stiff. The glass appears to be clear, however there are a few dust/dirt spots between the inner elements that need cleaning.

My questions that I would appreciate any guidance on are:

1 - What exactly is this lens? (why does it look different to other Meyer Gorlitz 1.9 lens that I can see on the internet)
2 - What is the camera / lens worth?
3 - How should I restore it? (Any recommendations for service places available from NZ/Australia to clean the glass and lube the focus movement)

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2017   #2
tunalegs
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I suspect it's a pre-war Meyer Primoplan. Prewar Meyer lenses are constructed very differently from their postwar versions, and don't look at all alike. I don't think Meyer even made LTM lenses after the war, but I may be wrong. Early Meyer lenses are pretty sought after these days, even the vastly more common exakta mount Primoplan is worth quite a lot.

Edit: also the lens hood may be blocking your view of the name ring on the front of the lens.
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Old 03-22-2017   #3
bnz
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Thanks, here are a few more photos of the Lens. This appears to be the trickiest part to value and find suitable repair.
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Old 03-22-2017   #4
Dralowid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnz View Post
Thanks, here are a few more photos of the Lens. This appears to be the trickiest part to value and find suitable repair.
I am unfamiliar with this lens but looking at the pictures is it collapsible?
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Old 03-22-2017   #5
YouAreHere
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See here -

http://collectiblend.com/Lenses/Meye...lan-(M39).html

Of interest perhaps is that your lens' serial number is quite close to the one shown on the site.
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Old 03-22-2017   #6
bnz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
I am unfamiliar with this lens but looking at the pictures is it collapsible?
Yes, it is collapsible.
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Old 03-22-2017   #7
bnz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
See here -

http://collectiblend.com/Lenses/Meye...lan-(M39).html

Of interest perhaps is that your lens' serial number is quite close to the one shown on the site.
Thanks, that supports my suspicions that the lens might be quite valuable. This makes it easier to justify spending good money on a CLA, but makes it harder to find a suitable place to send it to.
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Old 03-23-2017   #8
Dralowid
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If you are thinking of selling I'd suggest sending an email with pics of the lens to Peter Coeln at Westlicht Auctions in Vienna, OK so it is a long way away but their auctions achieve some of the highest prices for rare stuff. They will also have someone who can sort it.

I've been through this process. The costs seem quite high but they are more than made up for by the sales price achieved.

Just a thought...not connected in any way but a happy customer.

Michael
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Old 03-23-2017   #9
tunalegs
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I think for a collector, they'd prefer to have it in its original unmolested state. I'd only spend money on it if I planned on using it.
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Old 03-23-2017   #10
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Thanks, that supports my suspicions that the lens might be quite valuable. This makes it easier to justify spending good money on a CLA, but makes it harder to find a suitable place to send it to.
Wow, you could trade one of these lenses for an M10

Joking aside, send it to a professional who will overhaul the lens and putit in top condition. This lens deserves to be used and has great provenance
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Old 03-23-2017   #11
bnz
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My intention is definitely to use the camera and Lens. We have a great collection of my grandfathers photos from throughout the war and across the mountains of New Zealand and Nepal and I would love to continue taking photos on his camera.

I have found a few suitable options in the USA, but I assume there must also be some in Europe/Germany who know these cameras and lenses even better?
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