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QLN123

Leica F (iii) question

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Hi all,

 

New to the forum so little bit nervous about posting the question, hope im in the right place.

I recently got my hands on a 1938 Leica iii, (which I believe to be the F model), and also came with an 3.5/50 industar lens.

I put in a roll of Fuji Superia xtra 400 film and took the camera out for some pictures, but was quite disappointed when i got the prints back from the lab.

all of the pictures I took are super grainy and hazy/blurry for some reason, i shot mostly on 500 shutter speed and f11-16, which I believe would generate good results, but the pictures all turned out very soft and out of focus.

Im not an experienced film photographer, but also not sure if its my lack of skills or if i need a new lens.

Any ideas appreciated, thanks

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Hi

 The photo has its charm, actually. But you should send both camera and lens for CLA service. A good place is YYE Camera in Massachusetts in the US. You can google it for contact info.

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Welcome. What country? If in UK try https://www.cameraworks-uk.com but expect a 3 month turnaround. Is the burnt out area top right a light, if you can remember? If not and on all frames what is causing?

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Thanks for all the reply!

 

Yes, I am based in the UK and was just checking out cameraworks minutes ago. I went down to my local camera shop yesterday and they quoted me a price of 80-180 pounds for CLA plus a 4-8 weeks turnaround time. There is a bit of vertical creases on the curtains, and slow shutter speeds are not working properly, but Im not sure if it is necessary to send it in for repairs. 180 pounds is a lot of money, and almost the amount that i paid for the camera. 

@pedaes Yes, the burnt out area on the top right is my lamp, I dont seem to have any light leak issues, and faster shutter speeds seems to be working fine. Perhaps my problem is with the lens, or because of the properly depressing british weather.

 

I have attached a picture of the camera and heres my other question (please forgive me) - what is the 'pointy thing' below the viewfinder window screw? ive never seen it on other leica iii models and have no idea what it does. 

 

Thanks!

 

 

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The 'pointy thing' could be an old style flash (bulb) socket. These were often added as a later modification and are in odd places, although they are usually on the back of top plate.

£180 is going rate for a screwmount camera CLA, and probably £85 for lens. But you will know both will be A1 after.

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The Russian Industar lenses often don’t focus quite properly on Leica cameras, unless they have been worked over by a good technician, so that could contribute to the blurry look.

From your description of the curtains a curtain replacement may well be in order also. The 2 bright horizontal streaks below the lamp in the image may also be due to curtain problems.

 I’ve needed curtain replacement on a few old Leica bodies, and it has been worth it. I also have a III from about 1938, and one curtain had been replaced before I got it. It’s a nice model, and worth repairing.

The flash connector location on the left front is unusual, but is out of the way of your fingers when operating the camera. I have one where it was added to the front right side, right where I grip the body.

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3 hours ago, QLN123 said:

Hi all,

 

New to the forum so little bit nervous about posting the question, hope im in the right place.

I recently got my hands on a 1938 Leica iii, (which I believe to be the F model), and also came with an 3.5/50 industar lens.

I put in a roll of Fuji Superia xtra 400 film and took the camera out for some pictures, but was quite disappointed when i got the prints back from the lab.

all of the pictures I took are super grainy and hazy/blurry for some reason, i shot mostly on 500 shutter speed and f11-16, which I believe would generate good results, but the pictures all turned out very soft and out of focus.

Im not an experienced film photographer, but also not sure if its my lack of skills or if i need a new lens.

Any ideas appreciated, thanks

 

Hang on! Too many variables at play here, the weakest links are the lens and the processing, and the presentation of the photo above (which appears to be a photo of a photo).

1st variable. The poor quality we are seeing could be mainly due to the photo of the photo being out of focus and in poor light.

2nd variable. You're using an old Russian lens which appears to have marks on the front element and we don't know if it's suffering from other problems. As mentioned above they don't always focus properly on Leica's in any case. Also at f11/16 diffraction might be an issue. f5.6/f8 would be 'better' to try it out at.

3rd variable. We don't know if the lens is focussing properly and we don't know if you have focussed it properly. The rangefinder itself is pretty reliable on these - they don't tend to get knocked out of alignment like they can on an M. But it's possible.

4th variable. Where did you get the film processed/printed? Did they give you a CD of images? Can you post some other images? It could be badly processed of scanned.

5th variable. User error - focussing as mentioned and exposure - if you under exposed the photos it could be a reason for the grainy images if they had to push the images too far in the scanning process to get a printable image (most minilabs now scan/print even if you don't order a CD).

6th variable. The shutter speeds could be way out leading to the above exposure issues.

As for the cost of a CLA the amount quoted seems fair. One of these Leica's fully serviced will last another lifetime. Seems good value! The pointy thing is indeed a flash socket, a fairly common 'upgrade' to allow users to use a flashgun. This would have been done by some camera repair shop - Leica put them on the front of the body on the other side with a kind of surround piece.

Try again and try to eliminate the above potential variables. The lens might be most difficult as you might need to buy a Leica lens for it, but you can pick up a user Elmar for about £100, or see if you can borrow a lens or even try one out on your camera at a dealers first before commiting to buying it.

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