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Old 10-07-2013   #41
Erik van Straten
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The rangefinder is very useful (in this case the FOFER, with a bigger wheel than the usual FODIS), but ruins the smooth lines of the camera to put it mildly.

Another problem with the I is the masking of the viewfinder. This is adjusted for photography at infinity, wich means that you'll run into problems with framing more close-up pictures: heads of people are cut off, etc. This was improved on the Leica II wich has a really good viewfinder indeed.

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Old 10-07-2013   #42
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqRcI...layer_embedded

This is about a very old Leica, nr. 671.

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Old 10-07-2013   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The rangefinder is very useful (in this case the FOFER, with a bigger wheel than the usual FODIS), but ruins the smooth lines of the camera to put it mildly.

Another problem with the I is the masking of the viewfinder. This is adjusted for photography at infinity, wich means that you'll run into problems with framing more close-up pictures: heads of people are cut off, etc. This was improved on the Leica II wich has a really good viewfinder indeed.

Erik.

Erik, you got your FOFER facing backwards...?

Thanks for posting the story of Ezriel Kalman's Leica. I've read it before but lost the link. There was some controversy about it being a fake, because of the chrome finish and some screws an such. But I think it indeed is a real, very early Leica and one that has seen almost continuous use for decades on. This may explain the chrome upgrading. A professional photographer would want to show his customers that he's not using scratched and damaged equipment.
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Old 10-08-2013   #44
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Huub, I use it in the normal way, but for a picture the back of the FOFER is more interesting.

About chrome Leica's I: H. Cartier-Bresson's Leica I is also in chrome. I've never seen another however.

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Old 10-08-2013   #45
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What I'd like to know is .... who is the oldest Leica shooter on RFF?
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Old 10-08-2013   #46
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I've had this beauty for about seven years now ... and two rolls of film!





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Old 10-08-2013   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqRcI...layer_embedded

This is about a very old Leica, nr. 671.

Erik.
Never seen a full nickel plated camera before.

In the video you can see at 1:19 that the lens cap is blueish chrome, while the whole camera is yellowish nickel.

Such an early serial number and fully nickel, a one-of-a-kind rarity.
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Old 10-08-2013   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
It is not completely honest to let the conversions join the competition.

I am surprised that so far no one mentioned a Leica I.

Mine is 58734, a very late Leica I.

Erik.

35035 Erik, but I may have an older conversion, have noticed your avatar.

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Old 10-08-2013   #49
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Quote:
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I've had this beauty for about seven years now ... and two rolls of film!





wowowow. Keith, you know how to reach me, don 't you....
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Old 10-08-2013   #50
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I agree with Huub, Keiths camera is breathtaking.

It confirms my conviction that Leicas I (with the later type release button, no mushroom) were originally NOT equipped with a release guard. These were introduced on the Leica II.

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Old 10-08-2013   #51
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I'm not much competition for "oldest Barnack", but might be in the running for "early II"...

I have a black II from 1932, s/n 77xxx, 5 cm Elmar (nickel, 11 o'clock), s/n 99xxx.
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Old 10-08-2013   #52
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I am nowhere near in the running but I'm going to brag anyway. I picked up for $10 an hour or so ago a 1937 IIIa, 259090, found while rummaging through boxes at a camera store that's closing (owner is retiring). Some eejit removed the vulcanite and painted the whole thing a gloss enamel black. Since the metal wasn't prepped at all, the paint flakes off pretty easily, so I'm in the process of scraping it off of the brass.

Seems to work OK -- though the slow speeds are all in need of attention. The viewfinder and rangefinder look good, as do the shutter curtains. It was modified at some point in its career to add flash synchronization -- the terminal is located right about where the selftimer is mounted in later models.

Sorry for the semi-hijack! But whom else could I tell??
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Old 10-08-2013   #53
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I am nowhere near in the running but I'm going to brag anyway. I picked up for $10 an hour or so ago a 1937 IIIa, 259090, found while rummaging through boxes at a camera store that's closing (owner is retiring). Some eejit removed the vulcanite and painted the whole thing a gloss enamel black. Since the metal wasn't prepped at all, the paint flakes off pretty easily, so I'm in the process of scraping it off of the brass.

Seems to work OK -- though the slow speeds are all in need of attention. The viewfinder and rangefinder look good, as do the shutter curtains. It was modified at some point in its career to add flash synchronization -- the terminal is located right about where the selftimer is mounted in later models.

Sorry for the semi-hijack! But whom else could I tell??
Good find, Nick! A little visit to Cameraleather.com and you're golden.

The slow speeds are trivial to work on this camera; just undo two screws and the escapement falls out into your hand. Once cleaned, all you need to be careful with is the get the peg on the escapement lined up properly with the little fork peeking out under the shutter drum. If you are lucky, the flash sync will work with electronic flash, but probably not. That can be rectified, but it can be tricky.

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Old 10-09-2013   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
I am nowhere near in the running but I'm going to brag anyway. I picked up for $10 an hour or so ago a 1937 IIIa, 259090, found while rummaging through boxes at a camera store that's closing (owner is retiring). Some eejit removed the vulcanite and painted the whole thing a gloss enamel black. Since the metal wasn't prepped at all, the paint flakes off pretty easily, so I'm in the process of scraping it off of the brass.

Seems to work OK -- though the slow speeds are all in need of attention. The viewfinder and rangefinder look good, as do the shutter curtains. It was modified at some point in its career to add flash synchronization -- the terminal is located right about where the selftimer is mounted in later models.

Sorry for the semi-hijack! But whom else could I tell??
Hi,

That was a lucky find and the IIIa is a timeless camera with many useful features, like strap lugs. A new coat on it and you'll be the envy of many...

Regards, David
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Old 10-09-2013   #55
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Thanks, guys! Dez, I'll need to do a little research -- not exactly sure where those two screws are that you mention, for instance. This morning the shutter wasn't working right; I think the old fella just needs to loosen up in the morning! A CLA is likely called for. Flash synch works fine with a strobe, which is great.

I was able to scrape all the black paint off the top cover. Getting it out of the knurling on the wind and rewind knobs was a treat!

The bottom plate seems to be a much tougher proposition -- any suggestions for a good paint remover? I'd love to find something that I can brush on and let sit.

In terms of a body covering, I reckon the paint will need to come off (or be well dulled up) before anything goes on it.

I'd like to find a shutter button collar, and one of the screws for the accessory shoe is missing. But it's complete otherwise.

And I should have mentioned in my first post -- this is my oldest Leica. Reminds me of the one my mother had, which was probably a IIIa also, with Summar, that she got for high school graduation in 1938. (Nice gift.) She traded that in for a plasticky Pentax many years ago, but she got lots of good travel pics with that Pentax.
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Old 10-09-2013   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Thanks, guys! Dez, I'll need to do a little research -- not exactly sure where those two screws are that you mention, for instance. This morning the shutter wasn't working right; I think the old fella just needs to loosen up in the morning! A CLA is likely called for. Flash synch works fine with a strobe, which is great.

I was able to scrape all the black paint off the top cover. Getting it out of the knurling on the wind and rewind knobs was a treat!

The bottom plate seems to be a much tougher proposition -- any suggestions for a good paint remover? I'd love to find something that I can brush on and let sit.

In terms of a body covering, I reckon the paint will need to come off (or be well dulled up) before anything goes on it.

I'd like to find a shutter button collar, and one of the screws for the accessory shoe is missing. But it's complete otherwise.

And I should have mentioned in my first post -- this is my oldest Leica. Reminds me of the one my mother had, which was probably a IIIa also, with Summar, that she got for high school graduation in 1938. (Nice gift.) She traded that in for a plasticky Pentax many years ago, but she got lots of good travel pics with that Pentax.
You can get a shutter button collar off eBay for about $14 delivered from Japan, just search for Leica collar. Seller is nobbysparrow.

You may be able to get a screw from your local optician's store as they should hold a range of small screws for fixing eyeglasses.

An alternate supplier for covering is Aki-Asahi.com
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Old 10-09-2013   #57
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Thanks. I also have thought of checking DAG's site.

And I found some instructions for removing the slow speeds module, per Dez's comment. Indeed it looks like something I could actually do....
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Old 10-09-2013   #58
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This thread inspired me to take a fresh set of pics of the 1a ... and I may actually load a film into it in the next few days which hasn't happened for several years.











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Old 10-09-2013   #59
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Keith, Thanks for the photos. That's a lovely outfit you have. It's hard to find that case in such nice condition. I have one but it's very used and missing part of the latch. Lovely. Try some Ektar in it. I think it works well with uncoated lenses. Enjoy. Joe
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Old 10-09-2013   #60
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Keith, Thanks for the photos. That's a lovely outfit you have. It's hard to find that case in such nice condition. I have one but it's very used and missing part of the latch. Lovely. Try some Ektar in it. I think it works well with uncoated lenses. Enjoy. Joe

I tend not to get too attached to cameras and always make the assumption that everything is for sale if need be ... ie financial crisis!

Not this camera though and it's not because I'm a Leica fan boy it's purely to do with the sense of history this 1a gives when I hold it. You can't really make a 35mm camera more simple than this and it's good reminder of the genius behind it's inception.
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Old 10-09-2013   #61
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I sold all of mine, I had a few 4 digit Leica's....1927/28

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Old 10-10-2013   #62
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Keith, am getting to be that age when I need to clear out, but I am guessing this one would be the last one to go for you? Though I am always impresed with the kit you choose to take to the field. The added ? Paris tag is of interest in itself. Old Leica in Paris is astronimical in price to buy in the shops near Bastille.

I've only put one roll through mine to check it out, shot some street and a few stone buildings to see how the focus and speeds worked, was surprised that other than the expected flare, was pretty OK, a shade would help? Folks seemed to enjoy being photographed with such a camera.

Am thinking if I had the right subjects it might present a good match-- have you thought of putting it in the bag while shooting for when the right subject presents?

I bought a minty Standard prior to the Model 1, in Brno, years ago, shot with it in Paris on the stop home, and it was a delight to work with a camera in the ways I began with zone focus. I have the RF's but a plain VF and some thought for the exposure and distance done prior was refreshingly simple.

The dealer opened up his collector's shop (Pavel has probably the biggest shops outside of the Capital if you are passing through Brno) and it was clear he loves his work, he had to do some pushing to get me to buy, but in the end, it was all worth it.

He does not speak much English, but if I call, he will open up the special shop day or night for me.

Igor did a short visit at a later date, and we took the bus down there, Igor had a heavy suitcase for the trip home back when you could. I had lunch with the pleasant Pavel, no real English, just Czech food, beer, and "Leica talk" - a language of its own?

My perfect Czech friend found camera stores and Neobrom Paper when it was open years ago. She is still perfect, but Neobrom is truly a lost niche. Am pretty sure Pavel is still finding old Leicas -- and if you go to the Largest shop there and ask for him, you won't need the secret hand shake-- a pleasant side trip for those visiting the older States of Europe before they are gone. You will find photos as well.

John
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Old 10-10-2013   #63
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What a beauty! Great looking camera! How do you focus with a camera like this?

Quote:
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This thread inspired me to take a fresh set of pics of the 1a ... and I may actually load a film into it in the next few days which hasn't happened for several years.











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Old 10-10-2013   #64
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You guesstimate the distance, and set it on the scale on the lens mount.

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Old 10-10-2013   #65
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1938 --- not a contender -- but still lovely

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Old 10-10-2013   #66
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another view:
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Old 10-10-2013   #67
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Old 10-10-2013   #68
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In case anybody got itchy viewing this thread:

eBay sale #310712122974, close to USD 3,000 gets you Leica Ia nr.1849...

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Old 10-11-2013   #69
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In case anybody got itchy viewing this thread:

eBay sale #310712122974, close to USD 3,000 gets you Leica Ia nr.1849...

I love how they mention "Cosmetic: A/B, excellent, some worn marks"
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Old 10-11-2013   #70
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another view:
Health check seems OK
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Old 10-11-2013   #71
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Yeah, some unhealthy fogging the film luckily was prevented too.

Airport scanners fogging film, I'm not buying it but a blast like this would have sent any film into orbit, I reckon
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Old 10-11-2013   #72
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Yeah, some unhealthy fogging the film luckily was prevented too.

Airport scanners fogging film, I'm not buying it but a blast like this would have sent any film into orbit, I reckon

No film. Was empty. Not a high dose of crazy either
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Old 10-11-2013   #73
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What a beauty! Great looking camera! How do you focus with a camera like this?
Hi,

I always get out my FODUA. That's a bare FODIS, BTW.

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Old 10-12-2013   #74
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Never seen a full nickel plated camera before.

In the video you can see at 1:19 that the lens cap is blueish chrome, while the whole camera is yellowish nickel.

Such an early serial number and fully nickel, a one-of-a-kind rarity.

I don't see the serial n. on the top plate but if it's n.671 this camera was originally delivered as a black paint with Elmax lens.
Later totally rebuilt with mixed parts from different cameras and totally repainted: we see wrong lens, wrong mounting ring, wrong (later) baseplate too, I don't see if the viewfinder is original but the cap too is later, from the '50.

kind regards.
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Old 10-12-2013   #75
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I don't see the serial n. on the top plate but if it's n.671 this camera was originally delivered as a black paint with Elmax lens.
Later totally rebuilt with mixed parts from different cameras.
Well, yes, but it survived. Not many Leicas 1A did.

The number is shown here:


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Old 10-12-2013   #76
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Thank you for the photo Erik, now we see also wrong frame counter dial and wrong speed dial...undoubtedly heavily reworked, very, very few parts "original" (even if original is a big word, the top plate was original, now is repainted). And we don't know inside...for ex. "racheted" film advance?
The question is whether it also can focus properly with this Elmar lens, as you know, distance from film plane had to be adjusted one by one, and moreover there was a different Elmax lens.

Yes, I agree with you: an original Elmax camera would have been very rare.

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Old 10-12-2013   #77
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Sabears,

given that the owner owns a camera shop and repairs cameras himself I'm assuming it can focus properly, the pictures taken with it are a little soft but that might have to do with the shutter curtain giving in.

Must have been the light in the video on this camera, in the pictures shown on the blog page it is clearly a re-chromed camera. And not a nickel one as I thought I saw earlier.


So, the quest for the earliest Leica on the forum continues, and who is the mysterious owner of the 0-series camera here?
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Old 10-12-2013   #78
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The question is whether it also can focus properly with this Elmar lens, as you know, distance from film plane had to be adjusted one by one, and moreover there was a different Elmax lens.
The original Elmax-lens can still be there as the front part of the lens with the f-stop numbers is easily replaced.

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Old 10-12-2013   #79
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The original Elmax-lens can still be there as the front part of the lens with the f-stop numbers is easily replaced.

Erik.
I think there are no chance, Erik. Look at the optical tube, the Elmax and early Elmar lenses have the lens tube engraved on the outside with small parallel grooves, perpendicular to the camera body, all around: undoubtedly the front ring (engravings aside) should be with internal recess in rounded edge (again first Elmax and Elmar type I), so this is of an Elmar lens.
At the end here we see that all the barrel is from an Elmar lens, moreover the mount ring on the camera body belongs to an Elmar lens too.

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Old 10-12-2013   #80
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Quote:
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Look at the optical tube, the Elmax and early Elmar lenses have the lens tube engraved on the outside with small parallel grooves, perpendicular to the camera body, all around.
Yes, I remember, these grooves reappear on the Summar. However, the optical block of the Elmax can be reinstalled in the tube; I myself have postwar Elmar blocks reinstalled in prewar tubes. They fit and can be adjusted with rings below the retaining ring. The optical block of the Elmax will fit too. There are examples of that, also of the Anastigmat.

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