New Find - Leica II Sleeping Beauty
Old 11-05-2017   #1
cassel
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New Find - Leica II Sleeping Beauty

Look what I found!

Seems to have been unused since the 1980's. Shutter still fires very sluggishly and its dirty BUT I think a good CLA will wake it up just fine.




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Old 11-05-2017   #2
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Nice! Antique store find? Looks like its been sitting on a shelf for a decade or more.
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Old 11-05-2017   #3
cassel
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Swap Meet find
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Old 11-06-2017   #4
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Sweet 5-digit Leica II
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Old 11-06-2017   #5
lynnb
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Lucky you. Post some pictures when you've cleaned it up!
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Old 11-06-2017   #6
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Even if it needs a shutter-tune by an expert like my 1933 III did, it is still a bargain and a lovely old camera. It looks like it is extremely well-kept and has had relatively low use.
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Old 11-06-2017   #7
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Nice find. Too bad it has stupidly been kept in a leather case. The verdigris spots on the camera and lens and the milky stains on the leather turn the fungus alarm bell on.

The shutter release guard is missing but nowadays it's become easy to find some copycats of the original part (nickel finish).
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Old 11-06-2017   #8
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The camera was in the case for a LONG time but I've seen (smelled) worse. Really just a couple of small green spots. Everything is stiff but functional:
  • Lens was difficult to unscrew (got it off though)
  • Lens aperture is like molasses, focus is stiff, and it won't collapse or extend hardly at all
  • BUT no fungus or obvious damage to the glass!
  • Shutter fires at 1/60 but drags- I'm not going to risk damage by firing it further
  • Viewfinder and rangefinder windows cleaned up great and the RF works accurately
  • Rewind extends OK and spins
  • A - R lever works
  • Ordered a Nickel-Plated release collar from "Nobby-Sparrow"



While watching TV last night, I carefully went through my cleaning protocol for old cameras. It looks WAY better! Quite pretty, actually...

I will post another glamour shot or two

I have more to share about the story as well...
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Old 11-06-2017   #9
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Here she is - all cleaned up - and sporting a Summitar I picked up this last summer!














Camera was "Once Upon a Time" used at a research lab at Univ. of Penn back in the 1930's until WWII
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Old 11-06-2017   #10
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Congratulations on being the one to wake up this sleeping beauty!
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Old 11-06-2017   #11
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Open/close and small tripod bush on base, 'Germany' on shoe...destined for export...
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Old 11-06-2017   #12
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what a lovely find, a beauty
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Old 11-06-2017   #13
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Congrats! Camera looks great!!
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Old 11-06-2017   #14
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Thanks everyone-
I'm excited about this one- wasn't looking for another camera but it just sort of crossed my path

I'm taking the camera to Seattle later this week to arrange for a service for the Elmar lens and body
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Old 11-10-2017   #15
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Camera Techs in Ballard does not want to fix it. Hmmm... I wonder where I should send it? I’ve used Stephens service in California and Blue Moon (rainbow) I Portland . What would u do?
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Old 11-10-2017   #16
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Cassel - why not send to Youxin Ye?
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Old 11-10-2017   #17
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Youxin crossed my mind! A bit nervous about mailing it off- but it deserves an overhaul��
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Old 11-11-2017   #18
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Youxin did my IIIg quickly, professionally, and safely. Couldn't be happier!

m
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Old 11-11-2017   #19
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Sent Youxin an e-mail this morning and explained the job to him.
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Old 11-11-2017   #20
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Here's the research on the previous owner that I was able to discover:

The leather case and the inside of the baseplate have the name "A. R. Apgar" along with additional information that links up with the following information available online-


10.14.4.6.2. ALBERT REMSON APGAR, JR.,
b. 5 Jul. 1906 Lancaster, PA., d. 2 Mar 1983 Anacortes, Washington. unm. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and during W.W. II he enlisted in the US Navy. He served in Europe and England. After the war he went to work for the Government in Washington, DC, in the office of Procurement in the Bureau of Standards. After his retirement in 1967, he moved to Friday Harbor, Washington. He was an active member of the San Juan Historical Society and the San Juan Yacht Club.

Albert Apgar Jr’s uncle Charles was the father of Virginia Apgar - the inventor of the APGAR test for new babies (so she was his cousin).

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Old 11-11-2017   #21
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Very cool, great find and research!
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Old 11-11-2017   #22
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Nice find!

Can you tell me what the serial number on the Elmar lens is? (Small number on the black ring around the front element).

I have a Leica II with serial 714xx and lens 996xx and am trying to determine if they are an original combo.
Sent a PM to Jim Lager here to inquire but I guess he doesn't do PMs... So now I'm trying to find out myself.
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Old 11-11-2017   #23
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No problem-

Elmar is #139740
Has the "O" on the barrel base and rear flange to indicate standarization
Has the "6" code on the reverse of the focusing knob to indicate 51.3mm true focal length

Pretty sure this is the original lens for this camera.
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Old 11-11-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
No problem-

Elmar is #139740
Has the "O" on the barrel base and rear flange to indicate standarization
Has the "6" code on the reverse of the focusing knob to indicate 51.3mm true focal length

Pretty sure this is the original lens for this camera.
Interesting.

I have never heard about a number stamped into the rear of the flange to indicate true focal length. How does that work?

My camera is a very early Leica II, ~200th made. So most certainly around February 1932, when the Leica II was launched. The camera has a zero on the flange to indicate standardisation.

The lens has serial 996xx and 1932 would be a good estimate as a production date. The list I have says recorded lens serial numbers started off with 1560001 in 1933. So I'm expecting them to be an original combo.
But there is no number on the rear of the lens's flange.
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Old 11-11-2017   #25
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The number is on the tab itself-- on the back side right by the push button infinity release. It is very small!
Apparently, there is a coded system - found the research online somewhere, not sure where off the top of my head.

I'll post pictures later - interesting stuff!
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Old 11-11-2017   #26
David Hughes
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Fascinating, thanks. I looked on an old 1938 Leica Standard I have and the scratch on the back of the tab is a figure 7. So I'm eagerly awaiting the next post.

BTW, although a 1938 lens and body it has the "0" standardised mark on the lens and body. I'm amazed they still marked them in 1938.

Regards, David
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Old 11-11-2017   #27
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Ok- Check this out (from the Leica Forum a few years ago):

Hello,inspecting a sample of 35 pcs of standartized, LTM Elmars 3.5 5cm I could observe differences in the length of the lens in extracted position. Within the sample there were different flavors like: without SN and with (SN range from 73xxx till 1320xxx), upgraded and in original condition, 11 and 7 o’clock, Nickel and Chrom, coated and non coated, few red scale (however all of them with triangle). So pretty much representative sample. So I measured the length of the barrel (without screw mount flange) but with the optical mount in the front (black ring where usually the SN is stamped) and compared it with the focal length group number (stamped usually on reverse of infinity knob). Results are as follows: focal length group 0 resulted in barrel length of 29.9 till 31.7mm, group 1 28.9-31.9mm, group 5 31-31.2mm group 6 30.5-32.9, group 7 31.2-32.6. While the trend may be observed (higher group number bigger length) there is an overlap and higher focal length group number does not mean bigger focal length. I have a possibility to do further measurements and I would appreciate your comments to my questions below:- Focal length is equal the distance between film surface and the rear glass, at least for the older optics like Elmar. In infinity position. Is this correct?- Standardized camera bodies have the distance between film and lens flange of 28.8mm. Correct?- During production time Leitz used various glass, modified as well the curvature slightly. While this may have impact on the length of optical elements (distance between front and rear glass) the distance between the film and rear glass shall stay the same for the lenses belonging to the same focal length group. Correct?- The list of focal length and focal length group number is a follows: 0-50.5mm, 1-49.6mm, 3-48.6mm, 4-50.7mm, 5-51mm, 6-51,3mm, 7-51.6mm, 8-51.9mm. Is this list correct, respectively can someone correct it? ( I believe Puts published similar list as well, but I do not have it.)I appreciate your valuable feedback. After doing further investigations I may share the results upon requestthank you jerzy


Here's the thread it was from:

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic...-focal-length/

Looks like this practice was confirmed by a few other sources.



Here's a sample (not mine) Incorrectly labeled as a "10" engraving- it's really a "5" partially covered up
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Old 11-11-2017   #28
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Amazing! I've been shooting Leicas for over a decade and I've never known this!

After removing quite some crud (maybe 85 years worth of it), I've found a '5' there.

Thanks for posting this!

Question though: is there a similar set of code numbers on 35mm and other focal length lenses that you know of, or are these numbers only on the 50mm lenses?
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Old 11-11-2017   #29
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I have a lovely black Leica II from 1934 bought here in Winston Salem from the long gone, local camera store. The body is #148015 which several sources list as chrome but it is black. The 50mm Elmar is #179257 which is from 1933. I had not noticed until reading this thread but it has a 6 on the infinity lock. The lens is in meters and the tripod socket is 3/8ths. A European model? Whatever, it's a wonderful little camera and the finder works very well for my old eyes. Joe
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Old 11-11-2017   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
I have a lovely black Leica II from 1934 bought here in Winston Salem from the long gone, local camera store. The body is #148015 which several sources list as chrome but it is black. The 50mm Elmar is #179257 which is from 1933. I had not noticed until reading this thread but it has a 6 on the infinity lock. The lens is in meters and the tripod socket is 3/8ths. A European model? Whatever, it's a wonderful little camera and the finder works very well for my old eyes. Joe
That's a Euro model as far as I know- does it have the "Auf" and "Zu" on the latch?
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Old 11-11-2017   #31
cassel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Amazing! I've been shooting Leicas for over a decade and I've never known this!

After removing quite some crud (maybe 85 years worth of it), I've found a '5' there.

Thanks for posting this!

Question though: is there a similar set of code numbers on 35mm and other focal length lenses that you know of, or are these numbers only on the 50mm lenses?
Reading some of those other threads out there, it sounds like there were marks on other lenses, like the 90? More research required
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Old 11-11-2017   #32
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Youxin sounds like a good bet on a CLA.
BUT, he's says this about the Elmar-

"...if the collapse retraction is stiff, then it is caused by the age of the lens, there is nothing we can do on this."

Dang it - hoping the lens can be made useable
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Old 11-11-2017   #33
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Yes. auf zu on the base plate. And a finder system that is better for my eyes than on my IIIc. Joe
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Old 11-11-2017   #34
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I like 'em too
My old black paint IIIa was my favorite (diopter was nice)
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Old 11-11-2017   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Youxin sounds like a good bet on a CLA.
BUT, he's says this about the Elmar-

"...if the collapse retraction is stiff, then it is caused by the age of the lens, there is nothing we can do on this."

Dang it - hoping the lens can be made useable
Surprised. This is a fairly normal job. The felt 'ring' in which the barrel slides has probably gone hard or has got dislodged after sitting for many years in one position and needs replacing. A well used lens will normally go sloppy in old age.
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Old 11-12-2017   #36
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Elmars of various sizes...the mounts are not always the same height, particularly with regard to early conversions.

IMG_0487 by dralowid, on Flickr
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Old 11-12-2017   #37
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Hi,

The relationship between the number in the tab and the focal length doesn't make sense to me. Here it is as shown:-

0 50.5mm,
1 49.6mm,

3 48.6mm,
4 50.7mm,
5 51mm,
6 51,3mm,
7 51.6mm,
8 51.9mm


As you can see there is no figure for 2 and the increments are a little odd and go backwards in places. Here they are arranged by the focal length and with the increment following:-

3 48.6mm, +1.0
1 49.6mm, +0.9
0 50.5mm, +0.2
4 50.7mm, +0.3
5 51mm, +0.3
6 51,3mm, +0.3
7 51.6mm, +0.3
8 51.9mm

Late last night I found an article by Putts but - of course - I cannot find it this morning but I will keep at it...

EDIT, it's http://www.imx.nl/photo/leica/lenses/lenses/page89.html

Regards, David

PS It took 3 or 4 attempts to get the layout as I typed it and I've given up now.
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Old 11-12-2017   #38
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Definitely a strange thing - this tab mark

The original article addresses this confusion but doesn't really fully explain it- i.e. barrel length is NOT the whole story when calculating focal length (that would only only apply to single element lenses). It's complicated and it's a combination of the elements in a particular barrel that determine exact focal length.

At least, that's my take on the info. out there - NOT an expert, just a reader
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Old 11-12-2017   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
Surprised. This is a fairly normal job. The felt 'ring' in which the barrel slides has probably gone hard or has got dislodged after sitting for many years in one position and needs replacing. A well used lens will normally go sloppy in old age.
BTW-
After some careful cleaning and exercising, I was able to get the Elmar to open and close! The lube is just really old and dirty- after cleaning, I used a hair dryer on LOW to heat up the whole lens: All functions became smooth after a minute of heat! Aperture, focus, collapsible barrel. Then, after cooling down- it was stiff again (but not as bad as before).

Should respond just fine to a professional clean

Gonna pack/box up the camera today and ship it off to Y Y tomorrow...
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Old 02-22-2018   #40
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It's BACK! Thanks to Youxin Ye this camera is fully operational again
WOW - fantastic! The take-up spool was the only issue - looked warped like someone stepped on it So, I robbed the spool from my Leotax -- it fits great and has the pop-up feature. Trimmed some film and started the first roll today.

Tonight, I did a line-up to compare the relative sizes of the (nearly) Alpha and Omega of screwmount rangefinders with a few in-between cameras.







Left to Right we have: Canon 7, Canon L2, Leotax Elite, and Leica II

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