Best user Barnack
Old 05-16-2015   #1
Red Robin
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Best user Barnack

Me I only use my Canons How about you and why?
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Old 05-16-2015   #2
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The best for me is my beater Leica III.

It has been modified for flash, which gives it a bit of character. It came to me in pieces, missing most of the exterior fixtures. Ive since scabbed on random FED 1 bits to get it back into operation. Still have to find a new rewind/advance selector cam and lever, so for now its a glorified snap-cam requiring a darkroom to unload.

My go to lens cap, and my last front in case of apocalypse.

Now its even suckered me into getting another Summar to fill its void

Why? because it has cost me all of 50$, ive spent more on Beer.
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Old 05-16-2015   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Robin View Post
Me I only use my Canons How about you and why?
I agree. The single rangefinder/viewfinder makes my Canon IVSB my favorite Barnack user. Although, the Tanack with its swing-open door, is also great, if not quite up to the build quality of the Canon.
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Old 05-16-2015   #4
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Whatever you have, and works.

But a Canon isn't a Leica, let alone a screw mount/Barnack Leica.

I've had several Canons, and lots of pre-M Leicas: A, Standard, II, III, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, IIIf, IIIg. Apart from the lens mount after the earliest ones, there isn't really much comparison.

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Old 05-16-2015   #5
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I recently started using my 111f on a ski trip. I mounted a 35 color skopar and a Leica SBLOO. I really enjoyed the experience and the results. I think it will replace my beater OM1n as my ski touring body.
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Old 05-16-2015   #6
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Leica IIIc and Canon IVSB2. Both beautiful little shooters. The IIIc is a little lighter in weight, the IVSB2 is quieter and has vf magnification for precise focusing - nice landscape camera when you don't want to carry something bigger. I don't get Roger's suggestion that the Canon bottom loaders are inferior to their Leica counterparts. That hasn't been my experience. My IVSB2 is just as robust as the IIIc.
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Old 05-16-2015   #7
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My everyday camera for about five years ( 2008-2013 ) was a 1934 III, with peeling chrome. Cost $120 + S&H from e-bay, came with a Komura f:3.5 / 35mm lens, and a sticker inside the body indicating it had been serviced by Peerless Camera (NYC?) in the early 1970's.

Most of the time, I shot it with an Elmar 35 from 1940, but I carried a whole kit: 35 Elmar / 35/1.8 Canon / 50 Sumicron / 90 Elmar / 135 Hektor, Nikon Varifocal finder, Leitz barn-door hood for the 50's, FIKUS for the others, and a Toshiba "Linear" CdS meter ( sometimes a Luna Six ). I have run a couple hundred rolls through it ?

Very reliable camera. It is still my main 35mm shooter, but it is semi-retired, since the acquisition of a Canon digi-cam.
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Old 05-16-2015   #8
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Condition, condition, condition - after replacing the RF mirror on my Leica II it is my go to Barnack. The RF image is now super crisp and contrasty, which make focusing easier on plain objects.

[IMG]Leica2sonnar by Andrew Yue, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 05-16-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar View Post
Condition, condition, condition - after replacing the RF mirror on my Leica II it is my go to Barnack. The RF image is now super crisp and contrasty, which make focusing easier on plain objects.
Even my dusty old III RF is worth its salt, and I may be lucky there.

There is just something about the weight and feel of a Barnack Leica that makes any camera enthusiast weep. The smooth curved ends make for a superior feel to the Canon RF's. The Canons always felt heavy to me, but I have to say, build quality was similar. I always seem to see a beat old IVSB at our local swap, rough as hell but still tick'n. Personally Ive owned a IVSBII and Rapidwinder, the combo was slick looking, but heavy. I then moved to a If and SYOOM, no comparison, night and day. I retained the Serenar 35/3.2 as my main lens on the If, lovely combo.

My favorite on the "feels good" side is a simple "Sharkskin" IIIC, I LOVE that covering. Having passed through 3 or so plain jane sharskins myself, its the hard one to buy and sell.

As for aesthetics, and overall Leica image, for me its a regular III. The Omega of its time, the flagship of the Leica arsenal. Something about the basic top plate with minimal intrusion into the leatherette struck a cord with me, that the later IIIC and IIIF models just seemed to lack in flavor.
Maybe its the nostalgia factor of moving backwards in Leica History, the appeal has definitely rooted itself deeply in my image of Photography.

But anyhow, anyone will agree, its down to what YOU love. Even if its as silly as cosmetic appearance, or weighty feel, maybe nostalgia.
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Old 05-16-2015   #10
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For years I had a IIc and a IIf, along with 3.5cm and 5.0cm Elmars, that I kept handy alongside the Nikons. Both were lost to accidents.

I inherited my father's IIIf and kept it briefly ... somehow it had no nostalgia for me, it was something of a grudge piece between him and his father, treated like a sacred object rather than a loved camera. I sold it after a year or two of not using it.

The M has always been a better camera for me. But if I were to buy a Barnak, I'd likely want an early '30s II black body. I think they're the prettiest.

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Old 05-16-2015   #11
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IMHO I'm not sure there is a bad one. Each has a slightly different twist to it (set of features) and matches well with different needs. A Ic would be great with a 25/4 Snap-Shot and bright line finder. A IIIc and a collapseable 50 of your choice fits in just about any jacket pocket.

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Old 05-16-2015   #12
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I've tried a couple of canons but prefer the rounded ends of a Barnack. The best user Barnack is one that has had a recent CLA and sports an external finder, even for a 50mm lens.

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Old 05-16-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
I've tried a couple of canons but prefer the rounded ends of a Barnack. The best user Barnack is one that has had a recent CLA and sports an external finder, even for a 50mm lens.


I agree with Frank, and Godfrey.


Leica II, 11 o'clock Nickel Elmar, FISON hood, SBOOI finder
by Richard, on Flickr
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Old 05-16-2015   #14
Erik van Straten
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The best is the IIIg, but I like them all.

This is with a wartime (grey) IIIc, Summar 50mm f/2 on Tmax400.

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Old 05-16-2015   #15
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It really is hard for me to pick a favorite Barnack since I actually enjoy them all.

I know my Null Serie is a replica but I love using it, so sometimes it is my favorite.

Other times I want to use my Elmar 90/4 without using a separate finder so I pull out my IIIg, so sometimes it is my favorite.

If I plan on walking the streets I pull out my Leica III, mount my Nikkor 35/2.5, and snapshoot my way around town, so sometimes it is my favorite.

Once in awhile I head to the mountains on a day with a Nevada Blue sky filled with beautiful, puffy, white clouds and I take my Leica II, so sometimes it is my favorite.

Once in awhile I feel the need to shoot up close so I mount my Boowu on my Leica Standard and go find some flowers, so sometimes it is my favorite.

I am not interested in choosing a favorite. They are all terrific cameras and I use all of mine as often as possible.
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Old 05-16-2015   #16
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I had a very nice 111a which unlike many of this model was in great condition. But one thing I did not like was its very clattery,clunky sounding shutter mechanism. Not sure if this was typical of the prewar LTM cameras but a friend had a nice postwar LTM, a 111f I think. It had a quiet and crisp shutter not far removed from the sound of an M camera. It was much nicer to use. (I have a similar complaint about my M8, the sound of which makes it less pleasant to use. Many people might not understand this but it is things like this that make people willing to pay more to use a Leica). In fact the loud shutter of mine annoyed me so much I used it much less than I would otherwise have liked and eventually I sold it. Otherwise it was a nice camera to use. While the 111g is technically the most advanced there is something about the earlier ones I really like - an old world feel perhaps.
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Old 05-16-2015   #17
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The question was "best user Barnack", and I am assuming that non-Leicas of the same general design qualify. That said, it has to be the Canon IVSB2.

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Old 05-16-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
The question was "best user Barnack", and I am assuming that non-Leicas of the same general design qualify. That said, it has to be the Canon IVSB2.

Cheers
Dez
That one was the best and last model of that style (before the P and 7) right? Had a less squinty finder than previous models.
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Old 05-16-2015   #19
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If we extend your definition of "Barnack" to include any LTM camera, then the Bessa R that I purchased from DEZ is my daily shooter. It is the LTM equivalent of the M6, in my view. Sharp, contrasty VF/RF, accurate meter, and a flash synch speed of 1/125 make it a highly rated user.

Next would be the Leica IIIG. This is all that's left after a IIF and IIIF were sold off. The lack of slow speeds in the IIF bothered me. I use the slow speeds. The IIIF RD was fine, except that everything was just more fiddly compared to the IIIG. The flash synchronizer had to be set to 25 or 0, depending on if I was using 1/50 or below 1/25, respectively. The unusual sequence of shutter speeds on the slow speed dial was also off putting. Aside from these issues, it was a fine shooter though.

I do still have a Canon 7s. The meter and all those switchable framelines in the finder are great. However, the camera is the size of an M series camera, and weighs as much. It then begs the question of why not just shoot an M?
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Old 05-16-2015   #20
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The best Leica screwmount ,
Is the one you have .
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Old 05-16-2015   #21
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If I have to pick a favorite it would have to be the one I use the most which is my IIIc with Summitar..
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Old 05-16-2015   #22
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I use a IIc and IIf. I rarely use slow speeds so i settled for the II. Something about the form factor of the barnack makes me reach for it more than my M.
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Old 05-16-2015   #23
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Peterm...My IIIF was very noisy and loud when first purchased, after using it like that for a few years (also with dim to no rangefinder) I sent it for CLA to DAG and also got new mirror. The camera is quieter than M2 or M6 TTL. Also use a IIF red dial which is very smooth and I'm waiting to CLA a III...I really like the looks and "feel" of that pre war body.

But my real treasure for now is a scratch-free haze-free Summar I got last month. That is simply an amazing lens, I just make sure I use a hood with it.
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Old 05-17-2015   #24
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I've had several right up to the lllG ... sold them all and kept the one that appealed to me the most because I really liked its looks and its usability. A 1933 ll ... It cost me $200 and I doubt I'll ever part with it.


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Old 05-17-2015   #25
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Hi,

I try to use all of them, no point in having them if they are only there to dust. Hard to choose a favourite, perhaps the II with the coated '46 Summitar; I see it as a good everyday camera.

But its great, great grandson the mini 3 is even better...

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Old 05-17-2015   #26
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I don't own any Leica LTM cams so a Canon VL is my go-to when the LTM mood strikes.
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Old 05-17-2015   #27
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The Barnacks underwent improvements and strengthenings with each successive model, so each model is a little bit better in one way or another than the preceding. The IIIc, for example, has a die cast chassis, strengthened over previous models to support the weight of the larger, faster, and heavier lenses that had become available. Don't use heavy lenses? Then the IIIb will do nicely. It already has the close-spaced Rangefinder and viewfinder eyepieces, making it more convenient than the IIIa. But do you prefer a shoe-mounted accessory finder? Then a IIIa might well fill the bill. And models from the IIIa forward have a finder diopter adjustment, and that is useful.

Don't need 1/1000 second? Then the III may be all you need. And if you don't need the slow speeds, slower than 1/20 or so, then a II might do.

Going in the other direction, during the production of the wartime IIIc, ball bearing shutters were added to some Leicas, and the IIIf that followed had some ball bearings, and were an improvement mechanically, and they also have factory flash synch.

Personally, I have a model II (d) and several IIIcs. The latter see use, especially for travel. They are small and pocketable, especially with a collapsible lens, or with a tiny Cosina-Voiglander 35mm, 28mm, or 25mm--and I use all three. The model II has no strap lugs, and no low shutter speed dial, and no diopter adjustment, which I like and use on my IIIcs.
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Old 05-17-2015   #28
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Thank you Rob. A nice overview. I love my II. There's a mint IIIG I know of that I am trying not to make an offer on.
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Old 05-17-2015   #29
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As for the prewar (=best looking!) Barnacks I like the IIIb best. It has the 1000th sec shutter speed, diopter adjustment (which is a godsend for me at least), slow speeds, plus the viewfinder/rangefinder combination of the later IIIc/IIIf/IIIg.

It just so happens I'm selling one of my IIIb's in the classifieds
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Old 05-18-2015   #30
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Hi,

Interesting that Rob-F picks the exact opposite and for opposite reasons. I picked the model II because of what it hasn't got; meaning slow speeds, strap lugs, 3mm socket and higher speeds. (I don't need them for everyday stuff and don't miss them on the II.)

It would be nice if the II had the little RF magnifier but that's all I miss.

And it would be even nicer if I had the original instruction manual for the II but I doubt if I'll ever find one. That probably shows the main point of my use of the thing, as part of our heritage, to be returned to from time to time but not used all the time. I also like using the older cameras so that I don't forget how to take a photograph. That's easily done with all these smart phones and so on...

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Old 05-18-2015   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I've had several right up to the lllG ... sold them all and kept the one that appealed to me the most because I really liked its looks and its usability. A 1933 ll ... It cost me $200 and I doubt I'll ever part with it.


Nice kit! Is that a FSU finder?
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Old 05-18-2015   #32
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Smile

I don't know what a 'Barnack' is. I have several screw thread or ltm Leicas but no members of Oscar's family...
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Old 05-18-2015   #33
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I wish I still had the II. It was so compact, simple, and fun to shoot with. Mine had retrofitted strap lugs, and I much much prefer having them on body so I can attach a strap without using leather case or tripod mount. I'd love to own another one if I could find one with that mod.
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Old 05-18-2015   #34
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Okay, here's a different take: the best Barnack is a CL. Just as compact and light, but with a better viewfinder, access to more lenses, and the possibility that the lightmeter still works.
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Old 05-18-2015   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuubL View Post
As for the prewar (=best looking!) Barnacks I like the IIIb best. It has the 1000th sec shutter speed, diopter adjustment (which is a godsend for me at least), slow speeds, plus the viewfinder/rangefinder combination of the later IIIc/IIIf/IIIg.

It just so happens I'm selling one of my IIIb's in the classifieds
Aah, HuubL - don't tempt me!

And yes, my favorite one would be a IIIb. Or a bunch of them, even better!
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Old 05-18-2015   #36
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When did "screw-mount Leicas" become "Barnacks"? And when did "Barnack" become "any camera I like, regardless of format, history or common sense"?

After some of the answers on this thread, I'm half inclined to answer "My best Barnack is my 12x15 inch Gandolfi." Or possibly "My Minolta 16-II". It makes as much sense.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-18-2015   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
When did "screw-mount Leicas" become "Barnacks"? And when did "Barnack" become "any camera I like, regardless of format, history or common sense"?

After some of the answers on this thread, I'm half inclined to answer "My best Barnack is my 12x15 inch Gandolfi." Or possibly "My Minolta 16-II". It makes as much sense.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-18-2015   #38
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My beater IIIf paired with a 21mm Skopar
Slow speeds are important to me. The flash sync can come in handy sometimes.

Screwmount Leicas are great bodies for ultra-wide angle lenses. Reliable little beasts. An external finder doesn't add that much bulk to them as to a M-Leica. They are also easy to repair and to adjust.

Sadly my M2 get's much more use then my IIIf... maybe I should finally start to carry 2 bodies, M2 & 35mm + IIIf & 21mm.
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Old 05-18-2015   #39
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To be precise, the Barnack designed Leicas are the l, ll, and lll, a's and b's with the crate shutter.
(There are a few earlier models.)

The later lc/llc/lllc, lf/llf/lllf, and llg/lllg with the one piece top, are only inspired by Barnack's earlier design.

Someone can fill out/ correct my list.
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Old 05-18-2015   #40
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I think the intended meaning based on the OP's question would be " a bottom-loading camera compatible with 39mm x 26TPI mount lenses, with a control layout evolved from the original designs by Barnack"

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