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Black Leicaflex Standard Type 2


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My first Leica R series camera. I picked this up the other day and am very excited to use it! I sent it to DAG camera repair and it should be in my hands next week! Don is doing a complete overhaul on the camera, plus modifying the metering system to accept a modern battery.

What can you tell me about this camera?

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On 12/24/2020 at 10:28 PM, andrew01 said:

The black ones are quite rare apparently.  Perhaps you picked up a bargain?

https://www.meister-camera.com/en/second-hand/7236/leicaflex-ii-black-paint

The silver ones can be had for about 100 Euros.  

Different signs of use in the Meister's item... 😉

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On 12/20/2020 at 4:23 AM, Shutterspeedblog said:

My first Leica R series camera. I picked this up the other day and am very excited to use it! I sent it to DAG camera repair and it should be in my hands next week! Don is doing a complete overhaul on the camera, plus modifying the metering system to accept a modern battery.

What can you tell me about this camera?

I also had a black paint Leicaflex that I used quite a lot - less than the SL2 -, a silver and a black chrome as well. I definitely preferred my Leicaflexes to the following R3, 4... 

 

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I also favor the black paint Leicaflex standard camera. I guess it wasn't called the standard until after the introduction of the SL and SL2 upgrades. The earliest black cameras of the "PIE" counter type begin at 1084001, this  could be some time after the chrome Leicaflex introduction at 1080001. I have recorded 35+ black paint "PIE"'s all are contained within 1084xxx. There are other differences besides the counter, such as the tripod mount and other parts. I cannot find catalogs or price lists that show the availability of the black Leicaflex until 1966/7. So, did Leitz start production with all chrome and then after a year or two make the black paint available? Or were the made in parallel? I am of the mind of the latter, perhaps someone again has detailed access to factoroy records.

The later "round" counter black paint leicaflexes are all within the later lot 1168xxx. Again, I have recorded over 30 in this lot all black and no chrome. I presume these cameras are from typically 1967/8.  Some authors report a total of 255 black leicaflexes produced. I find this number likely low, but have no proof without Wetzlar data.

As to the chrome reflex lenses, they are not common, but when were they made? The Summicron begins at 1940001 (1963/4) with a mixture of chrome and black lenses. Subsequent lots at 1999xxx, 2000xxx and even some in 2003 are again a mixture of chrome and black. As these are all early lots, I conclude that the chrome finish reflex lenses were made concurrent and early, with the introduction of the leicaflex camera. The chrome vs black early lenses are very random suggesting that lenses were pulled from brass parts and finished as needed or requested. Can someone advise if the raw metal parts are identical, or if there were slight differences to compensate for the differennt finish thickness? 

The 35 Elmarit reflex chrome lens follows a different pattern. Very early lots 1972001-100 and1995001-512 appear to be all chrome with no black occuring. Perhaps for the Elmarit, these specific lots were set aside for chrome production. Again, the very early numbers suggest the chrome Elmarit also was produced at the earliest time of the leicaflex camera. 

In general, the chrome lens would not have been shipped simultaneously with a black camera, as they are likely from a couple years apart ( my theory).  They still look great together. I have never recorded a chrome Elmarit 90 or 135 lenses, maybe Leitz worried about too much chrome causing reflections. The total number of chrome reflex lenses produced is unknown to me, again if someone could examine factory records we might learn more. If there are other detailed studies or exceptions please let me know. See photo below of my black Leicaflexes.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you everyone for the added info on this camera. Just got it back from DAG and look forward to putting a roll of TRI-X through it.

I am that age that I have too many "Favorite" cameras and I am going to have to decide. Currently I have maybe 50 cameras and my favorites are:

  • Nikon F (I have a 1959F, 1960F and a 1964 FTN)
  • Olympus OM-1
  • Canon FTB (believe it or not!) I have had almost all the Canon film SLRs and this one is awesome.
  • Zeiss Contarex
  • Leica IIIa and this black Leicaflex.

If I don't start selling them soon, my kids will sell them in an estate sale. Hahaha!

 

Jim

 

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