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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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Leica IIIcK for the Luftwaffe
Old 09-03-2017   #1
Jim Lager
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Leica IIIcK for the Luftwaffe

Leica IIIcK to the Luftwaffe

The ball bearing shutter equipped Leica IIIc was provided to the Luftwaffe from February 1942 to March 1944.

These Leicas ( here labeled with an unofficial designation IIIcK ) exist within the range 387-390 thousand.

It is probable that many were destroyed/lost during the War.



387103K February 1942 chrome finish


389079K January 1943


389808K May 1943


390031K July 1943

Photos and Text copyright Jim Lager 2017
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Old 09-05-2017   #2
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Interesting to see that the first camera shown apparently had the engraving removed, only to be re-engraved later.

The rising prices on the Kügellager cameras must have inspired the then-owner to re-engrave the camera. Unfortunately it wasn't done very good when you see it compared to the other cameras shown here...
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Old 09-05-2017   #3
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Hi Jim -- Nice to have you on RFF!

I sent you photos of this a few years ago (I no longer have this camera), but I wanted to share it in this thread. It was one of those KEH purchases from 'back in the day' when they weren't entirely paying attention. Ah I how I miss those days!

Perhaps you can shed some light on this camera for us!


K1
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K2
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K4
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K3
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K5
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K9
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K8
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K7
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K19
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K15
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr


K21
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr
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Old 09-05-2017   #4
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Greetings Vince, 389387K is from a group at 389376-389392 shipped to Berlin on 2.3.43 on shipment 9439. Written as Luftw. in the delivery ledgers.
The camera has been painted black? and the Luftwaffe-Eigentum legend
removed totally or covered by the new paint. Defacement of military markings is commonly seen on the Wartime Leicas. Thanks for bringing this
to my attention. Jim Lager.
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Old 09-05-2017   #5
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Hello Johanniels, You are correct. Camera engraving defaced and an
attempt made to re-engrave. Defacement is regularly seen. Thanks, Jim Lager.
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Old 09-05-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lager View Post
Greetings Vince, 389387K is from a group at 389376-389392 shipped to Berlin on 2.3.43 on shipment 9439. Written as Luftw. in the delivery ledgers.
The camera has been painted black? and the Luftwaffe-Eigentum legend
removed totally or covered by the new paint. Defacement of military markings is commonly seen on the Wartime Leicas. Thanks for bringing this
to my attention. Jim Lager.
Yes it looked like it was a bad reprint in black. At the time I had it I couldn't detect any evidence of Luftwaffen-Eigentum markings on the back of the top plate.

KEH had it priced at $695 at the time I bought it in 2012 - they did list it as a IIIcK grey repaint, but what they didn't mention or even know about was the Luftwaffe connection (I didn't know about it either until I had the camera in hand and immediately noticed the Flieger number on the top plate). There was no photo accompanying the listing on the KEH website so I basically bought it sight unseen. The way they described it sounded weird, and the price - even if it was just a IIIcK - sounded cheap, so I took a chance.
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Old 07-22-2019   #7
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Amazing camera! I wonder, did you sell it?
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Old 07-22-2019   #8
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I would never want to have a piece of Nazi memorabilia in my house.
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Old 07-22-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
I would never want to have a piece of Nazi memorabilia in my house.

First you must define what a piece of Nazi memorabilia is. Any pre war Leica could have been used by a nazi.


Erik.
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Old 07-22-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estona View Post
Amazing camera! I wonder, did you sell it?
I sold it within a day of having received it. Made a pretty good profit too -- ah how I miss those days of KEH!
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Old 07-22-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
First you must define what a piece of Nazi memorabilia is. Any pre war Leica could have been used by a nazi.


Erik.
Also, Volkswagen Bettle (the old one) would be Nazi memorabilia as well
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Old 07-22-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpaniagua View Post
Also, Volkswagen Bettle (the old one) would be Nazi memorabilia as well

Yes, the beetle is a nazi memorablium, more than a Leica. The Leica is from 1913. The Volkswagen was Hitlers dream.


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Old 07-22-2019   #13
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Owning Nazi memorabilia (whatever that may be) does not make you a Nazi or a sympathizer. These cameras and other items have no political persuasion, they are inert objects.

As the Japanese were equally involved in crimes against humanity during WW2 (as were we, not to same scale but still crimes) does that make their cameras or our Jeeps taboo?

Anyway we are here to discuss these fascinating, historic cameras and not the politics of nationalism gone mad...

Thanks Jim for this tread.
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Old 07-22-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynikonf2 View Post

Anyway we are here to discuss these fascinating, historic cameras and not the politics of nationalism gone mad...

100% agreed.


Erik.
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Old 07-22-2019   #15
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So were these cameras updated to operate at the cold temperatures found at (flying) altitude?
Or was it for the colder parts of the world that the German Air force would have been stationed in??
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