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M3 vs iiig

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If you were given the choice between a Leica iiig and a Leica M3 which would you choose and why?

 

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Posted (edited)

In my view it would depend on which lens comes with as I use the two cameras since very long time:

- IIIg is nice with screw mount lens 😉 and IIIg more compact than M ( those screw mount lenses can also be used with M3 + adapter , not the case with IIIg for M lenses)

...

- M3 is very nice with M mount lens mainly 50mm Summicron or Summilux-M this latter is very scarse in screw mount,

or for the best combo Noctilux + M3 is a must (so IIIg is not in this case be able to use Noctilux 😋).

 

not M3 but M4 has same dimensions,

IIIg is handsome 😇

Edited by a.noctilux

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Posted (edited)

I feel that the iiig is the most beautiful camera I have ever seen and used but is the M3 a much superior camera ?

I am not a professional so I image all the lens are quite similar for fun purposes.

 

Edited by stvn66

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You can get excellent images with either. While the later M mount Summicrons are improved, the screw mount is still very capable, if in good condition. The IIIg is also nice with the 50mm f2.8 Elmar, which was introduced at the same time as the IIIg. I use this combination and like it. There are also modern Voigtlander lenses for the IIIg, including a very nice 50mm f1.5 that I also use on M mount cameras with an adapter. However, that lens is quite large for the IIIg.

The main difference it the viewfinder/rangefinder. The M models have a much larger "window" viewfinder that includes the rangefinder in the center spot. The IIIg window doesn't give as broad a view, but accommodates 50 & 90 mm "frames" for those lenses. The rangefinder on the IIIg  has a separate eyepiece, so you have to shift your eye between them to frame and focus. While I like to carry and use the IIIg (or earlier models), I find the M series much easier to use because of the viewfinder.

However, I prefer the M2 or later models to the M3, as I use mainly 35mm lenses, where the later viewfinders cover that view without needing accessory viewfinder.

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Posted (edited)

No M3 is not "superior camera" compared to IIIg, just different.

Don't forget that the IIIg (1957) was launched after some years of M3's 🙈 (1954).

Sometimes, when equipped with the very nice uncluttered SBOOI 50mm finder, I prefer this to M3's VF, so in this case

M3 = IIIg focus with rangefinder and frame with another "superior finder" 😉.

Edited by a.noctilux

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Posted (edited)

IIIg if you can find one in good condition. I keep one with 50mm Summitar and Leicavit in the truck. The viewfinder/rangefinder is not so great, but neither am I. (I also use a Leitz 5cm accessory finder)

Edited by pico

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Some years ago, when I knew nothing about screw mount Leica, some friends showed me one Leica (II/or III don't remember) attached with, this VF

SBOOI

I was very skeptical and when I viewed in this 1:1 finder, I was shocked by it's clarity and this life size never seen on any Leica M used for decades.

Since this day, I collected other Leitz finders, and use some on my different M (so M3 also which I thought the nicest 50mm viewfinder untill this sbooi day).

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1 hour ago, UliWer said:

Anyone who looks through the finder of both cameras and still wants the IIIg must be in love with it. You cannot argue with lovers. 

😉..Very profound, heart says iiig, head says M3

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Both cameras are very good, although my favourite LTM cameras with built in rangefinders are the II Model D and the IIIc. I also have a IIf  Red Dial with 1,000th  shutter which is very nice. I have a IIIg, but have never really bonded with it as a user camera. The SBOOI and SBLOO finders are excellent for 50mm and 35mm respectively. The M3 has the best combined rangefinder and viewfinder of any Leica camera and that includes the latest Ms. It is, however, larger than any LTM model. The M3 does not require the film leader to be trimmed in advance of loading as is the case with all LTM models (although some say they can do this without trimming). Both the IIIg and the M3 will give the same image quality with the same lens type eg 50 Summicron. The M3 can, of course, be used with a Leicameter, although finding one of those in working order is not easy. That is about it

William

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The biggest and perhaps most important difference from a user perspectivve is that the M3 enables you to use pretty much any Leica lens including latest new lenses. With the lllg you are limited to the 'vintage' LTM lenses, a couple of expensive collector LTM mount Leica lenses they released some years back, or of course the Voigtlander lenses.

Personally I'd take the lllg over the M3, had an M3 before and I didn't like the viewfinder with those fat rounded corner framelines.

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1 hour ago, earleygallery said:

The biggest and perhaps most important difference from a user perspectivve is that the M3 enables you to use pretty much any Leica lens including latest new lenses.

I realize you know this, but others might appreciate an M mount IIIg. I'm still kicking myself for not buying one made by Goldberg Sr.!

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M3. Easy to sell and get not limited to 50 M. If I need real 1:1 for 50, I don't mind to slap SBOOI on any M or LTM. 

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I own both. The IIIG, or any of my Barnack cameras for that matter, sees much more use than M3. This is entirely related to size and weight. Side by side, the difference does not seem that great; in use, the difference seems enormous. If one is dedicated to Leica glass, the M3 has a definite advantage in variety of choices; however, if OK with VC, Canon, and various other LTM choices, the M3 lens choice advantage diminishes. Both are excellent cameras. One definite advantage I find with M3 is quality of rangefinder patch contrast. I do have a working Leicameter on M3; the fact that I cannot use this excellent meter on IIIG also tilts the scale a bit in the direction of M3.

I can't help but think of my Summicron DR (with ocular device:) I think it one of the all-time great lenses; there is nothing to compare in the way of LTM lenses......from anybody.

I own several Barnacks. The IIIG is not my favorite among them. That title goes to a IIIA (Converted 1A)

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As my profile pic shows I had two lllg’s and sold them, lots of remorse about that. I have had a couple M3’s and parted with them as well with no remorse. I now use a M5 and a M4-P. Alas most of the LTM lenses are also gone except a 50/2 collapsible summicron and the 1999 version 50/2 Summicron LTM that leica produced mainly for the Japanese market.. I had both CLA’s and made sure the VF wasn’t yellowed or separated due to the balsam glue or something that caused yellowing which couldn’t be repaired...the condition of either M3 or lllg is key, one will be happy with either. Happy Shooting

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Am 9.4.2019 um 20:09 schrieb stvn66:

If you were given the choice between a Leica iiig and a Leica M3 which would you choose and why?

Anyone who had to make a film change on the road at a Screw Mount Leica - perhaps additional in rain and dusk - will find the film loading system of each Leica M a real step forward, as it works faster, safer and without this old-fashioned trimming of the film.
For my personal taste only the M6.085-non-TTL (only about 3,000 cameras should have been built) is the perfectly completed M3, because it finally has a build in exposure meter - very helpful with color slide films - while the timing wheel is still rotating in the traditional direction.
http://cameraquest.com/m685.htm

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