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I was just received an M3 from a friend who passed away much to early. We went to photo school together and both enjoyed working with Leicas. The camera is in great shape but has been sitting in an attic for x number of years, her husband wasn't sure how long it was since she last used it. She had turned to painting and pastels and was locally well known. So from the 6 digit serial number it is probably a mid -  late 50's camera it has the strange 2 strap lugs on the right side, don't know if that was an early feature or an add on. The funny thing is it has a quick load spool for film take up, I was so used to pulling out the take up spool from my M2s I had a hard time loading film in the camera. The shutter speeds are 1-2-5-10-25-50-100-250-500-1000 which is a little odd but again an early M3, has a lever rewind but no self timer or frame preview. The camera will need a CLA and range finder cleaning (hopefully just a cleaning). Is there any recommendations for doing this in the New England area?

Thanks

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You should contact Youxin Yee (wye7@yahoo.com). He recently worked on my M2 and M3, with great success - the cameras could be just out of the box. His prices are reasonable, and the work is good and fast (your packaging MUST say Urgent on the outside - he has a strange priority system). The web site is YYEcamera.com. Can't go wrong, IMO.

There is also Kindermann in Toronto - Gerry Smith (their main man) is a major expert.

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Agree Youxin would be a good choice in New England. I was given a 1955 M3 that was stored for decades in a hot Texas attic, and Youxin did an excellent job on it.

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Thank you, I sold my M2s to a college student last winter, they needed shutter work and I believe that Yee is who he said he sent them to. Have to put a roll through the camera first, after 30 years of using my M2s, then switching to various digital formats, picking this camera felt really good. Too bad there is no one to process film in my area

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Apropos of processing, I have been using Ilford XP2 since forever. In your area, like mine, there are likely people who process C41 (colour), with which XP2 is compatible. The film is terrific - fine grained, very sharp, very long tonal scale. I get the negatives processed only, I scan myself and I do wet printing when the picture is justified. For conventional silver B&W, Ilford has a mail system that would be a good alternative. Look at their web site - There are facilities in California or England. They will do negatives, scan and prints (from digital files or silver negatives) on real silver paper.

Edited by Michael Hiles

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Hello Tom.

I have been using a quick load in an M3 since the 1970's. It works just fine.

All that you have to do is pull out the spool after removing the finished film. At which time the film counter resets to -2. and then:

Put the spool back with your RIGHT thumb in the opening in the snail so that you orient the snail to be open between 09:00 and 12;00 on a clock dial.

Then pull out the leader enough to have the film wrap around to about 1:00 (13:00) on that same clock dial.

Keeping in mind that the film will wrap around the spool COUNTER clockwise. As you are looking at it:

Then push in the film until the sprocket holes are over the teeth in the pick up wheel.

Then snug up the rewind a little bit.

Then advance the film just a tiny bit with the film advance lever to make sure the film is "caught".

Then close the back.

Then advance the film ONCE.

Then snug up the rewind.

Then, with the body, or the lens, capped: Release the shutter.

Wind a second time while you are watching the (Usually) 2 red dots, as they "twirl".

Release the shutter.

Remove the lens/body cap & you are ready to go.

This is much easier to do than it is for you to read. Or for me to write.

When rewinding the film: Once the tension releases when the end of the film is free from the take up snail: Turning just short of 1 complete turn will leave the end of the film just outside of the cartridge. In case you have only used part of the roll now & want to reload it again another time.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Hello Again Tom,

The quick load originally came with a "strange device" to attach to the baseplate on the inside. It also had an attachable diagram for inside of the baseplate to show you what I explained about how to orient the snail & how, as well as how much, to put in the film.

The "strange device" attached to the inside of the baseplate is to help to orient & to guide the film.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Hello Tom,

The camera in your photo is from a time period when M3 cameras had to have the advance lever advanced completely TWICE before the shutter was wound & could be released. Some M3's from that time period were later converted to only having to be wound ONCE before releasing the shutter. Which is yours?

Also, most M3's from that time period had a range/viewfinder that showed the angle of coverage of a 50mm lens. Your photo shows the camera with a 35mm lens ((Perfectly usable.). Does the most outside frame in the range/viewfinder have rounded corners? Or does it have "gaps" at the corners.

The bottom strap lug appears to have been added at a later date & the lug at the bottom is of a design that is also from a later date. For use on an M3 camera. And others.

Best Regards,

Michael

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I think I figured out the quick load, diagram helped, ran a roll of film through the camera, definitely some shutter issues.

This is a single stroke, probably converted. My first Leica was an M3 with a double stroke. Traded that for an M2 that I had for almost 40 years, mainly because I like 35mm. That is my 35mm, the camera came without a lens. I have a CL digital that I use the 35 on.  With this viewfinder I may be "forced" to buy a 50, I also have a 90 Elmarit of this camera's vintage, frame lines were correct. 

Now I just have to see if the local drug store still processes C-41.

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Hello Tom,

Why not just buy a 35mm  viewfinder to put in the accessory shoe? There are many good options for this routinely discussed on the Forum?

Also, keep in mind: An M3 is clearly first designed with the use of a 90mm lens in mind. And it is also better than any other "M" camera with a 135mm lens.

Best Regards,

Michael

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I'd also like to recommend Youxin Ye.

He's in Canton, MA so you could probably drive down there and have it done in one day.

Just make sure to call him first to make arrangements.

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2 hours ago, tommonego@gmail.com said:

 

Now I just have to see if the local drug store still processes C-41.

I occasionally do this. I order develop only (no prints), do not cut negatives (they can only cut in 4s and I need 6s). Works well enough. I suspect they use a central machine which they keep reasonably clean. Negatives always look good - and I then scan or print.

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39 minutes ago, Michael Hiles said:

I occasionally do this. I order develop only (no prints), do not cut negatives (they can only cut in 4s and I need 6s). Works well enough. I suspect they use a central machine which they keep reasonably clean. Negatives always look good - and I then scan or print.

Yeah it is going to be 10-14 days, local CVS. I'll be in central Illinois on work. I am sure the shutter needs a repair so I'll probably send it to Yee. 

My Epson scanner likes strips of 6 but I have used 4s without a problem, I don't think much useable will be on the film. 

It was easy using the 90, will look into a viewfinder for the 35. I have one for my 25.

Thanks everyone

Tom

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8 hours ago, Michael Hiles said:

Apropos of processing, I have been using Ilford XP2 since forever. In your area, like mine, there are likely people who process C41 (colour), with which XP2 is compatible. The film is terrific - fine grained, very sharp, very long tonal scale. I get the negatives processed only, I scan myself and I do wet printing when the picture is justified. For conventional silver B&W, Ilford has a mail system that would be a good alternative. Look at their web site - There are facilities in California or England. They will do negatives, scan and prints (from digital files or silver negatives) on real silver paper.

I’m puzzled. C-41 is no brainer if you print in the darkroom already. Nor it takes much space.

E6 is even more simple than c-41,  btw.

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13 hours ago, Ko.Fe. said:

I’m puzzled. C-41 is no brainer if you print in the darkroom already. Nor it takes much space.

E6 is even more simple than c-41,  btw.

 

I do not do C41 due to my small volume. Since the chemicals seem to have a short-ish shelf life, the whole thing becomes expensive per roll, and having it done at a lab is cheaper. I would do conventional B&W film myself (but I do not use conventional B&W film).

Edited by Michael Hiles

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2 hours ago, Michael Hiles said:

 

I do not do C41 due to my small volume. Since the chemicals seem to have a short-ish shelf life, the whole thing becomes expensive per roll, and having it done at a lab is cheaper. I would do conventional B&W film myself (but I do not use conventional B&W film).

Wrong.  My C-41 Telenal 1L kits are stored and used in refrigerator for over than one year.

 

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I used to process my own film, had a septic system that could handle the water volume, here in Vermont I don't  have great system, fine for general use but adding on film processing would be a $20-30K to redo. I still have tanks and all that but no place to buy photo chemicals. Yeah I can get them on line but some stuff is shippable some isn't. I may just have to start up again 10-14 days is outrageous. I would scan negs anyway once I got them back.

 

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