Leica m3 – the classic rangefinder – photoethnography.com’s classic camera db eur j gastroenterology hepatology impact factor


When it was released in 1954, the Leica M3 was received with widespread acclaim. Most industry pundits said that it was clearly the best 35mm rangefinder camera in its class with a superior, combined viewfinder/rangefinder that had bright automatically switching framelines. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

A major revision of the popular Leica III, the new M-bayonet mount on the M3 let you quickly change lenses with one hand and the mount automatically told the camera which framelines to display (50mm, 90mm, or 135mm). It was quickly adopted as the standard camera of photojournalists. Unfortunately, its price kept it out of the hands of most regular people. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law. M3

The M3 went through many minor revisions throughout its production history. My M3 (serial #10631xx) is a relatively late 1962 model that has the preview lever; single-stroke; and lever-rewind. 3 gas laws Leica M3s with a serial number of over 1,000,000 have a premium among both users and collectors because these were built at the tail-end of production. Not only did they have all the desirable features, but the factory workers were also at their peak in terms of experience in building the hand-made cameras. Leica M3 Production Revisions

Early M3 cameras had a glass film pressure plate. While this was ideal for keeping the film absolutely flat, in cold-climates static electricity could build up on the film surface and cause electrical sparks which would show up on the film. Glass was also fragile. A steel pressure plate reduced static electricity and was also more rugged, if less flat. From serial #854001 (1957)

Early M3 cameras required two-strokes of the wind lever to cock the shutter and advance the film. Up to the Leica III, cameras generally used a wind knob and wind levers were a new thing. Leica was worried that advancing the film in one stroke would cause too much stress on the gear mechanism or the film itself. When they gained confidence that this wasn’t the case, they changed the mechanism so that one stroke was enough to cock the shutter and advance the film. electricity in costa rica current From serial #919251 (1958)

Almost all of the Leica M3’s produced were in silver-chrome and made in Wetzlar, West Germany (total number 216,000). A very few chrome units were made in Canada (7080), and a very very few were made in black paint (143) or olive paint (143). Almost all of the M3s you see in black-paint are ones that have been painted black after-the-fact. There are lists of serial numbers of the 143 genuinely black units, always double-check before buying. An original black M3 in good condition can reach up to US$6000. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

The M3 was not without its faults. There were two glaring problems with the M3 when it was released: 1) it was incredibly expensive, much more than other rangefinders; and, 2) the 50-90-135mm projected RF framelines, while gloriously bright, did not match the wide-angle needs of photojournalists. electricity 101 video In order to use a wide angle lens such as the Summaron 35mm f/2.8 (shown), you had to attach unwieldy "goggles" that corrected the frame of view to that of a 35mm lens. This reduced the brilliant clarity of the Leica viewfinder to something a bit less than brilliant, and also made attaching and detaching lenses less convenient. Other minor complaints centered around the knob rewind and proprietary flash connectors.

In response to these criticisms, Leitz released the Leica M2 in 1957 which was less expensive (at the expense of some features) and had provisions for wider angle lenses (with 35-50-90 framelines instead of 50-90-135). The M2 had very minor changes through its lifetime and continued essentially the same through 1968 when it was replaced by the M4. (There was a small production in 1969 of a M2 with RapidLoading called the M2-R). Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law. M2

It’s a bit confusing that the M3 is followed by the M2 (then the M1) then the M4. It’s not an arithmetic progression. electricity joules The ‘3’ in the M3 stood for the 3 projected framelines, as well as being a natural development of the Leica IIIf. The M2 was a simplified M3 (and since a Leica II is a simplified Leica III), it was natural that it would be the M2. The M4 was a further development and had four framelines, so it became the M4. The M5 is a totally new redesign that many people did not like. That was followed by the M4-2 and then much later on, the M6 and M6TTL which had six framelines (28-35-50-75-90-135). Then came the M7 with automatic exposure and an electronic shutter; and the latest is the MP which is a return to an all mechanical camera (essentially an M6 with M3 rewind knob). Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

Knob rewind: The one thing about the M3 that seems to irritate people the most is the knob rewind. I really don’t see what the big deal is about. It’s not that difficult to rewind with a knob, especially if you use the two-handed "crank" method. You can buy a variety of M2/M3/MP knob rewind adapters which convert it to a rewind crank. Leica most famously sells their MP rewind crank for $200 which is a bit steep, if you ask me. Steven Gandy has a very nice third-party design that he sells for $99 on his Cameraquest.com website.

The MR is really the only Leicameter that is worth using (as opposed to collecting). The previous models (Meter, Meter 2, Meter M, Meter MC) are all selenium meters. electricity in india And most selenium meters are now erratic or non-functioning due to the deterioration of the selenium cell. Even when they worked, selenium cells had poor low-light sensitivity.

Flash Synchronization : The M3 has two sockets on the rear to attach both electronic (‘X’) and bulb flash units. The accessory shoe itself is ‘cold’. Unfortunately, Leitz chose a proprietary flash connector so you need to use an adaptor if you want to use a flash that has a standard PC flash connector. In Leitz’s defense, the Leitz flash connector is sturdier and less likely to break or fall out than the PC connector. However, the location of the flash sockets means that the connector will poke you in the eye if you are a left-eye shooter. The X-sync speed is a measly 1/50th of a second, necessary because of the M3’s slow-travelling horizontal cloth shutter. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

High-Magnification Finder: At 0.92x, the M3 has the highest magnification finder of all the M series. Many consider it the best finder Leica ever produced, it’s certainly the most complex. But is does have a slight blue tinge (the focusing spot is slightly gold color) that was designed to increase focusing contrast. So it does seem darker compared to the more neutral, contemporary models.

The M3 rangefinder is a very intricate design using multiple prisms glued together using Canadian balsam glue, made from the resin of pine trees. Unfortunately, as an organic glue it has a finite life span and will degrade. This may show up in the finder either as minor " crazing" or cracking along the edges where two surfaces are glued together. It may look iridiscent or opaque. Basically crazing is the first step towards finder separation. Hold your camera up to the light and look at it from the front (lens side) and make sure all of the edges of the finder frame are complete.

Because the M3s are now almost fifty years old, their bones are creaking a bit. Most M3s will benefit greatly from a Clean-Lube-Adjust (CLA) done at your local friendly Leica repair depot. electricity usage calculator south africa I had my M3 CLAed and it is literally a new camera. The somewhat stiff wind lever is now butter smooth. The slow speeds sound like a swiss watch. I have a list of independent Leica repair people on my Camera Repair Page (scroll down a bit).