M3 Care pointers for a new owner (me)
Old 02-27-2009   #1
Warren T.
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M3 Care pointers for a new owner (me)

Well, after 35+ years in photography, I finally have my first Leica. It's a 1959 M3 w/ a 1959 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M (Type 1). The kit is in very good condition, and I'd like to keep it nice while actually using it. I don't believe in being overly obsessive about camera care, but on the other hand, I'd like to know of any particular ways that Leica users have to best preserve this vintage equipment.

so here are my questions:

- This question is related to the cloth shutter burning issue. I know to avoid situations where the lens is directly pointing into the sun, but is it safe to walk around with the camera slung on my shoulder while walking around with no lens cap on on a sunny day?

- I read that early Elmars are susceptible to fogging. Is there any storage or usage technique that is necessary to reduce the chance of fogging?

- I live in a moderate climate with an occasional foggy day (San Francisco), and for all my other cameras, I simply keep them in a cabinet in the house. I've never had any problems with dust, fungus, or mildew, or anything else with any of my other cameras. I know that many people keep cameras in humidity controlled containers when not in use (with silica packs). Would this be necessary for my M3, or would it be overkill in my situation? I will use my camera, but it will be switched out of the rotation at times when I wish to use other bodies.

Thanks,

Warren
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Old 02-27-2009   #2
payasam
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Treat your M3 gently, as I assume you treat your other cameras. Walking around without a lens cap on a sunny day is not a danger: the lens should not point directly at the sun for any length of time. I know of no way to prevent fogging in a lens, which I think is a function of time. Enjoy your new acquisitions.
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Old 02-27-2009   #3
Warren T.
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Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it

I didn't think I would need to do anything out of the ordinary. I added a chrome Leitz UV filter and a Domke Gripper strap. That's all that I'm getting as far as accessories, and I'll be out shooting with it as soon as the weather improves.

In case anyone is curious, here's a photo of the M3.

--Warren
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Last edited by Warren T. : 02-27-2009 at 11:24.
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Old 02-27-2009   #4
drewbarb
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Congrats Warren, and welcome to the fold. My first Leica was a 1959 M3, too; it's still my primary 35mm camera. You're right that you don't need to do anything special to take care of it- it's a pretty rugged little beast. Watch your first few rolls to make sure the shutter is behaving well. Don't leave it pointed at the sun focused to infinity, or you could burn a hole in your shutter (it's never happened to me, but others sometimes post about that issue with Leicas); otherwise, just use it and enjoy!
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Old 02-27-2009   #5
hans voralberg
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I walk around in the tropic sun almost everyday and my M3 is fine, just dont let it sit lens up on a table at midday though
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Old 02-27-2009   #6
wontonny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren T. View Post
- This question is related to the cloth shutter burning issue. I know to avoid situations where the lens is directly pointing into the sun, but is it safe to walk around with the camera slung on my shoulder while walking around with no lens cap on on a sunny day?
The main issue behind this is the camera staying still while being exposed to the sun. So the movement involved with walking around should prevent this. And as said before on this issue "Knowing about the the risk is enough of a prevention".
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Old 03-01-2009   #7
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Nice Camera,Have Fun !!
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Old 03-02-2009   #8
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Don't shake your M3 too hard otherwise it might black out you viewfinder. :-))
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Old 03-02-2009   #9
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Carry it over your shoulder with the lens pointing towards your body when using short focal length optics. 90 and 135 lenses have enough weight so they tend to hang pointing downwards, as do some of the heavier 50's.

It takes quite a few minutes with the sun projected on the shutter to burn the hole. You'd have to leaver it on a table or such. Also, outside in the sun we tend to use small f-stops. They take a lot longer to burn a hole than f/2 or f/1.4. The reality is that it is not likely to happen.
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Old 03-02-2009   #10
Warren T.
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Thanks for the additional advice, everyone.

--W
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