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Jim Lager - Leica Historian Jim Lager is widely considered the best Leica historian ever, having authored arguably the best selection of Leica history books ever written. RFF is very fortunate to have access to his amazing Leica knowledge.

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1940 Leica IIIc - Luftwaffen Eigentum?
Old 09-26-2017   #1
mr_luke
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1940 Leica IIIc - Luftwaffen Eigentum?

Copied and pasted from a thread on the LTM forum a couple of months ago:

I was recently given this IIIc by my dad, who inherited it around 40 years ago. From what I can work out online, the Fl No. suggests it was made for the Luftwaffe - does anyone have a book to hand in which they can check the serial number? The serial number on the camera is 365884, and the number on the 5cm Elmar lens is 502052. From what I can gather online, those numbers give dates of 1940 and 1939 for the body and lens respectively.

It does look as though the rear of the top plate has been abraded, although I'm not sure it's enough to have removed an engraving. I think the screw in the top of the shutter speed dial must be a previous repair, and the threaded shutter button seems to be done kind of accessory - it unscrews with the shutter guard leading what looks like the original button below.






Does this appear to be a genuine Luftwaffe Leica? Either way, I've really been enjoying getting the hang of using it over the last 6 months or so! As well as the 5cm Elmar mentioned, it came with a 1937 9cm Elmar and a 1938 5cm CZJ Sonnar, which looks to have been converted to LTM using an Elmar focusing mount.
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Old 09-26-2017   #2
splitimageview
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Old 09-26-2017   #3
enasniearth
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the red curtain looks to be in very nice condition
Most of these Fl no cameras were defaced on the rear
Does the lens have a defaced area also
The top of the case is it marked or defaced
The shutter release is an add on you can find the original collars or repro ones
The add on to the shutter speed dial may be a early flash sync
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Old 09-27-2017   #4
Jim Lager
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Greetings Mr. Luke, Leica 365884 is from a small delivery 365876-365892
shipped to Berlin on shipment 19217 on 4.11.40. Recorded as Luftw. in the
Leitz ledgers. It appears the Luftwaffen-Eigentum engraving has been
defaced ( ground off). The Fl. number is present. Thanks, Jim Lager.
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Old 09-30-2017   #5
mr_luke
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That's fascinating, thanks. I live in Coventry, so it's sobering to note it was delivered only ten days before the Coventry Blitz, on 14th November 1940... There are no signs of any markings having been removed from the lens - I imagine its number (502052) wasn't part of a Luftwaffe delivery? The top of the case does show some signs of damage, but I don't think it's deep enough to have obscured any lettering. The screw in the case is 1/4", with a reducing bush in the camera base plate, although the bush on the outside of the case is 3/8". The case is also embossed with "Germany", which makes me think it probably wasn't made for the home market?
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