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Which Leica III to get?

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48 minutes ago, pico said:

I mention the following for our mildly visually handicapped. I focus with the rangefinder and frame with an optional external  viewfinder. We learn parallax through habit. A IIIG is just fine that way, although I hate the film loading;

Hi pico, how are you? to-day was my first day going out since getting home from my last grueling hospital stay.. Even had a glass of merlot.. L

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50 minutes ago, pico said:

A IIIG is just fine that way, although I hate the film loading;

I've had several Barnack's and it's always a pain loading them.  I have found a Nicca Series five, which is an excellent Nikkor copy of a IIIf but has the bliss of a rear door that makes loading film as easy as with an M3.

Pete.

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16 minutes ago, farnz said:

I've had several Barnack's and it's always a pain loading them.  I have found a Nicca Series five, which is an excellent Nikkor copy of a IIIf but has the bliss of a rear door that makes loading film as easy as with an M3.

Pete.

Yes, the Nicca 5 is good, but also the Tanack IV-S, which is like a IIIf but back-loading with a hinged back, so even easier loading. Also well made.

and... Much better VF (with combined RF) and also hinged back loading and thumb wind-lever are the Canon L-1 and P - but with a larger body of course.

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So how do you guys load your Barnacks?

 

I love my IIIc (f conv) but usually do the "business card" method...in fact a piece of stiff clear plastic.  This is a pain jiggling the film onto the sprockets when the shutter is set to "T" or 'B" with lockable screw release.

I've thought about buying a template to cut film, but is that method fast and positive easy loading?? Also the template, known as the ABLON,  is very expensive and difficult to source.

 

cheers...

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1 hour ago, lykaman said:

Hi pico, how are you? to-day was my first day going out since getting home from my last grueling hospital stay.. Even had a glass of merlot.. L

It is going well, and I dearly wish the best for you! Hang in there, partner.

 

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, david strachan said:

So how do you guys load your Barnacks?

 

I love my IIIc (f conv) but usually do the "business card" method...in fact a piece of stiff clear plastic.  This is a pain jiggling the film onto the sprockets when the shutter is set to "T" or 'B" with lockable screw release.

I've thought about buying a template to cut film, but is that method fast and positive easy loading?? Also the template, known as the ABLON,  is very expensive and difficult to source.

 

cheers...

I just cut the film leader with scissors in aprox the right shape. The first one I cut looking at online pictures and counting sprocket holes. I saved that tail and use it for a template. I wouldn't say it's "easy loading" but I've not had to do whatever it is you are talking about with the shutter open. It wiggles down into place fairly easily. I am looking forward to the Tanack IV-S is just ordered, as I find myself picking up my Nikon S2, Canon L1 or my Contax IIa more often, likely due to the film loading.

Edited by Stacey

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1 hour ago, Stacey said:

I just cut the film leader with scissors in aprox the right shape. The first one I cut looking at online pictures and counting sprocket holes. I saved that tail and use it for a template. I wouldn't say it's "easy loading" but I've not had to do whatever it is you are talking about with the shutter open. It wiggles down into place fairly easily. I am looking forward to the Tanack IV-S is just ordered, as I find myself picking up my Nikon S2, Canon L1 or my Contax IIa more often, likely due to the film loading.

I have to be honest, whilst a pain in the b**t, the idiosyncrasies of Leica, make it more of an accomplishment when producing the outstanding images we all crave.. L

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Posted (edited)

When loading a screwmount Leica it's imperative to make sure that the film is actually advancing. 

After inserting the film and take up spool into the camera body, with the bottom plate still off, make sure that the sprocket teeth are engaging with the sprocket holes on the film and not riding on the space between them.

Turn the rewind knob to rewind the film until it can't be moved - this tightens everything up and ensures that the film is indeed on the sprocket teeth.

Close the back and then wind on two frames making sure that the rewind knob is turning.

I lost a set of what would have been good pictures by not doing this - the camera was winding on but the film wasn't advancing.

Once bitten twice shy and now I always make sure that the film is advancing properly.

To the original question:-

To me any screwmount Leica is a great camera but with regard to the 111's I would say that the 111F is perhaps on balance  the greatest ever made. It has the "modern" changes to the Barnacks  works flawlessly and is readily obtainable at not too silly collectors prices.

I have a 1936 111A and this is also a great camera and is just as good today as when it was made. The downside to the camera and it's only a slight one is that it wasn't made for modern cassettes. The film register is a bit out and the sprocket holes can be part of the negative (I know that some of HCB's pictures show this). To overcome this and for some reason a slight tendency to scratch the film which must be some pressure point in the camera because it's not the emulsion thats scratched as the marks on the print are black , then you really should use one of the superb Leitz reloadable FILCA brass cassettes. Using these I have never had either issue. The 111F and later models have a metal  protruding tongue attached to the baseplate to overcome the film register issue as the tongue accurately locates the film. The camera also works fine with modern cassettes.

The 111G is also a superb camera and of course has the parallax corrected illuminated frame lines for 50mm and 90mm lenses. This is very good because you can go out with the 111G and the trinity of 35mm - 50mm - 90mm lenses which of course are the classic Leica rangefinder set. One lens on the camera and one is each jacket pocket - no camera bag and totally self contained with the GREAT advantage of having to take just the 35mm viewfinder on the camera. This is so convenient because with an earlier screwmount  if you want to do the same you have to take the 35mm and 90mm viewfinders if you wish to use that combination and it's a bit of a pain having to change the viewfinder when changing lenses plus the 111G has a MUCH improved 50mm viewfinder with the framelines whereas all the older screwmounts apart from of course the very early ones, have a 50mm viewfinder but it's very small and no framelines. Not a massive problem because in use, you do get to automatically compensate for parallax and the offset and I surprise myself that I actually prefer not to use the 50mm shoe mounted viewfinder with the older models. The 111G is the pinnacle of the Barnack screw thread Leicas but is considered by some to be a bit of a marmite camera because it's a bit bigger than the older models and has the separate frameline illumination window as per the M cameras.

Whatever you choose though every one will be a great camera that even if sluggish or rangefinder out etc when you buy it, will always be repairable and a CLA will restore it to perfect working order. 

 

Edited by paulmac

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Okay, after reading all the comments, I've just bought an "excellent condition, fully working" 1957 IIIg on eBay 🙂 It comes with a cheap lens, an Industar 50 3.5/50mm which is a decent starter lens - Steve Huff enjoyed buying one.

Why the IIIg? I have BIG hands, so it will feel "normal size" to me, and I will appreciate the larger RF. I'll wait to see if I need the VF accessory. I like larger cameras. 

I'm skint now. After turning 60 two weeks ago I've bought a 2nd-hand Leica Q for digital work, and now the IIIg. I'll need to start saving again if I'm to get a decent lens. Back to work...

You heard it here first: No More Leicas! I have enough 🙄

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vor 14 Minuten schrieb RobM:

PS You are all to blame! 🙂 

 
 
It's our fault? But we certainly have no bad conscience when someone buys a good Leica.

Yes, yes ... you know that googling, look, think, compare, .... until the head buzzes. Very nice IIIg. Good decision. If you think about it ... the viewfinder is big enough for a 35mm lens.

 

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Possibly. I hadn't thought about that. 

Now the wait begins...either Saturday or Monday before it arrives.

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Posted (edited)

IIIg nice move, very good choice.

Funny I have two IIIg with (really not choosing them for that) also numbering xxx x54.

yours is also with x54 at end 👍

 

Concerning the film loading, in my use IIIg and one IIIf, no need  trimming film or whatever exotic process ("credit card", "T", etc.).

In their base plate there is a " T pin" to push film in place, so easier to load than older models without this pin.

Edited by a.noctilux

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That's good news about the film loading. I wasn't looking forward to trimming it. 

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, a.noctilux said:

IIIg nice move, very good choice.

Funny I have two IIIg with (really not choosing them for that) also numbering xxx x54.

yours is also with x54 at end 👍

 

Concerning the film loading, in my use IIIg and one IIIf, no need  trimming film or whatever exotic process ("credit card", "T", etc.).

In their base plate there is a " T pin" to push film in place, so easier to load than older models without this pin.

Personally I WOULD still trim the film: far better safe than sorry. When all said and done trimming is highly recommended by very many people -including Leica (see illustration inside the camera!)  - who know!!

Edited by Collieslave

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