M3 Frameline question
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
rweakins
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M3 Frameline question

I was under the impression that the M3 only had 50mm framelines. I have only ever used a 50mm lens on my M3, however, I just purchased a 35mm zeiss biogon and when I put it on my M3 a second set of framelines appeared (see the link below). So does that mean the camera doesn't have the original viewfinder and has been switched out, or have I just misunderstood when people have said the M3 only has 50mm framelines?



https://imgur.com/a/PDeJewS
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
peterm1
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It's been a while since I had an M3 so I am relying on my memory. The original M3 framelines were 50mm, 90mm and 135mm. Leica later added the M2 which had framelines for 35mm, 50mm and 90mm - more in keeping with what photo journalists might expect. Some owners did swap out the framelines on the M3 for the M2 ones. It may even have been a standard factory modification offered to M3 owners - Leica was renowned for this kind of update of earlier cameras back then and they kind of still do it. For example I once owned a a Leica 111a of 1936 vintage and apparently it later went back to Leica after the war to have flash sync added after the 111f came out with flash sync sometime in the 1950s. If Leitz did not offer this service technicians could do it for an owner provided they could pay their hands on the correct finder. So it does not altogether surprise me if yours has the correct framelines for M2 in an M3 body. I think (?) both M3 and M2 had 50mm framelines which showed up together with the 35mm framelines when the latter was selected (i.e. the 50mm framelines were always in view and this may be what you were thinking of and misinterpreted what as meant.) Having said this the image you showed appears to me to be showing something other than 35mm and 50mm framelines (I think??!!) - the 50mm ones look too small from what I remember on mine when I had it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
splitimageview
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M3 has 50, 90 and 135 frames.

The 35 lens will activate the 135 frame; they are a 35/135 frameline pair on later cameras. (28/90, and 50/75 are the other pairs.) LTM adapters are similarly marked/paired.

Does your M3 have a frameline selector, or is it an early model without the selector?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
peterm1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
M3 has 50, 90 and 135 frames.

The 35 lens will activate the 135 frame; they are a 35/135 frameline pair on later cameras. (28/90, and 50/75 are the other pairs.) LTM adapters are similarly marked/paired.

Does your M3 have a frameline selector, or is it an early model without the selector?
Ah yes now I remember.....and this accounts for why your 35mm lens is bringing up a frame line set that seems to small to me. Its the 135mm ones. The answer is to buy an accessory shoe mounted 35mm viewfinder for composing. This is not so onerous as you might think. My fave was the Canon one made back then in silver chrome. It is small has good vision and is not too expensive or hard to find.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
rweakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
M3 has 50, 90 and 135 frames.

The 35 lens will activate the 135 frame; they are a 35/135 frameline pair on later cameras. (28/90, and 50/75 are the other pairs.) LTM adapters are similarly marked/paired.

Does your M3 have a frameline selector, or is it an early model without the selector?
no selector, mines an early double stroke version
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
rweakins
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So basically I'm seeing the 50 and 135 when I put on the 35mm lens?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
rweakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Ah yes now I remember.....and this accounts for why your 35mm lens is bringing up a frame line set that seems to small to me. Its the 135mm ones. The answer is to buy an accessory shoe mounted 35mm viewfinder for composing. This is not so onerous as you might think. My fave was the Canon one made back then in silver chrome. It is small has good vision and is not too expensive or hard to find.

from what I've gathered the full m3 viewfinder is roughly 35mm. might eventually pick up an external viewfinder though
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
splitimageview
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rweakins View Post
So basically I'm seeing the 50 and 135 when I put on the 35mm lens?
Yes.

For a long time I used a 35mm on an M3 with the full viewfinder. It works, although my eyeball got a little strained peering into the very edges of the viewfinder.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
rweakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Yes.

For a long time I used a 35mm on an M3 with the full viewfinder. It works, although my eyeball got a little strained peering into the very edges of the viewfinder.
Not sure I personally love the idea of separating the composition from the focusing but maybe that's because I'm used to the 50 and haven't completely mastered zone focusing
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
Ko.Fe.
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Works as expected.
I used to own DS ELC.
Put 50mm lens on it and it will bring only 50mm framelines.

If you want 35 on M3, get goggled Summaron.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
a.noctilux
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Yes as Ko.Fe said, the best 35mm for use on M3 is one of the goggled Leitz/Leica 35mm.
Leitz was fair enough by then to offer on sale 35mm in goggled Summilux, Summicron, Summaron (3.5 first and 2.8 ):
https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica...1.4_Summilux_I


https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica...%3D_3.5_cm_1:2


https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica...D_3.5_cm_1:2.8


https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica...D_3.5_cm_1:3.5




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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
splitimageview
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The goggled lenses bring up the 50mm frames but the optics change the viewfinder viewing angle to that of the 35mm lens.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
Erik van Straten
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Development of the M3 started before the war as a Leica alternative to the Contax II. The Contax II had a viewfinder only for 50mm. The M3 was introduced in 1954, but soon photojournalists complained that the camera had no framelines for 35mm lenses. Leitz then started the development of the M2. The viewfinder of the M2 became the example for all future M-Leica's.


The M3 was discontinued in 1967, a long time ago. Since then all M-Leicas were equipped with a 35 mm viewfinder.


Erik.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
rweakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
a long time ago.
Yeah my M3 is from 1955. Still runs so buttery smooth.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
rweakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
The goggled lenses bring up the 50mm frames but the optics change the viewfinder viewing angle to that of the 35mm lens.
Yeah I'm going to run without a goggled 35 or external viewfinder for the time being then reassess after a few rolls if I feel like I don't enjoy the experience without those.
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