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jethroo23

Advice on buying a Leica M3 Single Stroke Body

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Hi, new poster here!

I recently got the chance to buy a Leica M3 Single Stroke body for $511. The body has been recently CLA'd by arguably the best repairman in my country.

The thing is, it has its problems. Aside from a few dents and scratches, there's also what I think is separation on the viewfinder (my friend thinks it's de-silvering). When I look through the viewfinder (of course with a lens attached), it is clear and the rangefinder patch is contrasty.

Is the camera worth it? Is the black 'separation' thing on the viewfinder repairable? 

Photos here: https://imgur.com/a/RgdhIF1

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there is no desilvering on a Leica, there is no mirror. Separation sounds about right. It can be repaired.However, if the viewfinder/rangefinder works well there is no separation. We don't do valuations here, but I would not pay over 500$ for a dented, scratched M3 with separation.

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7 minutes ago, jaapv said:

there is no desilvering on a Leica, there is no mirror. Separation sounds about right. It can be repaired.

I wonder about the internal half-silvered mirror because I have had issues with other rangefinder prism/mirrors.

 

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The issue is probably separation of the rangefinder elements which is a known issue in the M3 and M2. A sharp jolt can cause a weak unit to separate completely.

Leica can't repair it (I don't know about others) but they can replace it with a new rangefinder but that will be a 0.72 version, so it won't be a proper M3 any longer.

I would think that if it's been CLA'd recently then the repairer (if he's a Leica specialist) would have checked the rangefinder and given that the rest of the camera has been serviced I would expect that he decided that the separation wasn't too bad. But as mentioned above, handle it with care if you do buy it.

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Looking at the photos I’d say the price isn’t too bad since it was cla’d recently. I’ve never seen black marks like that and that would concern me except you said the view through the finder was clear and contrasty. Being in a user condition may actually be a good thing since, well, you won’t be afraid to use it more. 

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