Novice vintage Leica owner.

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 Post subject: Novice vintage Leica owner.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:47 pm
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Hi all,

I had and used German film cameras for a long time, but nothing very exotic or expensive. A Voigtlander Vito and a Kodak Retina mostly back before the digital age.

Never was much interested in Leica cameras or ever thought I could afford one until the other day when I bought a pretty complete Leica outfit at a yard sale very cheaply. It looked like the original owner bought a IIIf in 1951 and then through the 50s he added some more lenses and a 1959 M3 camera.

Both cameras look good cosmetically, but the IIIf has a torn curtain and the M3 shutter does not usually work below 1/30th of a second.

I have some experience repairing mechanical watches, so I thought maybe if I could find a replacement curtain for the IIIf I could take both cameras apart and get them working. I think it would be fun to take some photos with the IIIf, the later M3 almost looks too competent to be fun. Eventually I could see myself keeping the IIIf and passing the M3 onto someone who is interested in more practical cameras. Lately I have been more interested in very amateur medium-format photography using 120 film, but I am sure I will still play with and use the several old 35mm cameras I have laying around.

I am very happy to have found the Leicas and look forward to experiencing photography with them.

Any advice on cleaning up the Leica would be great, thank you in advance. I have attached photos of the Leicas.

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 Post subject: Re: Novice vintage Leica owner.
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 11:25 pm
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First of all, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your yard sale find!

I would not attempt to disassemble either the cameras or lenses or to clean their internal parts; removing the camera back and gently blowing any dust out of the film compartment or off the film rails or out of the film casette compartment or film take up reel area is fine, as is blowing dust off the fromt or rear element of the lens as well as the exterior of the camera and lens, but leave the disassembly, cleaning and reassembly to a professional.

This is not a push mower we're talking about working on; it is a complex precision instrument. Attempting to disassemble and clean a Leica is no different than attempting to disassemble and clean a Rolex, Breitling or A. Lange watch - it is something that should be attempted only by those who are professionally trained and are up to the task.

Sherry Krauter is most likely the finest Leica technician you will find anywhere - she has worked on my M cameras over the years and I can recommend her without reservation. She has a website http://www.sherrykrauter.com but you will want to give her a call at (845) 496-8834. For some reason, her email server has reliability issues and your chances of not having your email to her disappear are a crap shoot.

Sherry is very old school - honest, dependable and of the highest integrity. She does outstanding work for reasonable fees and gets your camera or lens back to you promptly - usualy in 3-4 weeks, not 1-2 years as some Leica technicians are infamously known for.

Hope this information will help...

_________________
"Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyst’s couch." - Henri Cartier-Bresson


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