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Leica III Black Paint - original or repaint


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This III Black Paint with Nickel Elmar f3.5 is being offered for sale here in Australia from a reputable dealer

They are advertising it as new old stock (NOS) - it was apparently purchased in 2010 in France by an Australian collector who is now selling a large part of his/hers collection.

It was sent to DAG for a complete overhaul/CLA after initial purchase

Wondering what your opinions are on the paint work - is it original or a repaint - I think it is the former (original)

The serial number appears to fall within the III chrome category (1933: 116001-123000) in Laney - were there back paint versions also made in this run

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Posted (edited)

Well...if repainted. a very well done job... first comment can be "too fine !"  but who knows ?  a III a bit younger is currently on ebay (https://www.ebay.it/itm/265140835919 later batch... red "20" in the "20-1" engraving and flash sync addon) ; probably is rather difficult to verify if paint is completely original, and imho is even not too important... clearly isn't a fake of any kind.

By another side... how must be interpreted the "new old stock" statement ? A camera that stood somewhere.. almost 90 years... NEVER sold to a customer at its times, and never used  (not as a collectible, I mean) ?  If the meaning is this, looks to me a hard statement...  Anyway, given that it has been in the hands of DAG, maybe you could ask them something about

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Posted (edited)

in Band I (Hahne list) this is black paint. Repainting is not so easy to do, if you want that it will be not noticeable around engravings. But therre are usage marks on the camera (slow speeds knob, black paint on edges of acc shoe, eypiece, etc. So deffintively it is not NOS while in very good condition

Edited by jerzy
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Posted (edited)

I have a re-painted and re-chromed Leica 111 with a roughly similar serial number. Nicely done if a bit shiney and the serial number is not quite in the right position? I believe it may also have started off as a chrome body.

Edited by Pyrogallol
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Posted (edited)

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Why not painting also the accessory shoe, I wonder... .but you can do easily, I think.  Pity for the s/n... it was indeed mis-positioned... and  "1" and "2" not correctly written... 🤥 as well as the "D" of "D.R.P."...

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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The non alignment of the serial number is not an obvious sign of anything. I have seen this on other cameras, the authenticity of which I have confirmed with the folks in Wetzlar,  and I have discussed it in one case with Jim Lager. We both felt that it may well be just down to sloppy workmanship. The camera shown above does look too good to be true after so many years. The summilux.net information may derive from the listing in Laney. Does Jerzy know when Hahne did his list? Because if the camera had been chrome and was then converted to black/nickel, the date of the conversion would be significant. It is not entirely unusual to find black items in chrome batches or vice versa. It might be worthwhile asking the Archives for the original code word which was LYDRO or LYMAR (with Elmar) for the black body with CHROM added for a chrome body. I still have have an open mind on this one. I'd have a better idea if I could handle the camera, but it is on the other side of the world in Australia.

William 

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It's a very nice re-finish if it is.The infill to the engraving isn't in the bright white that you usually see and there is some subtle brassing on some of the extremities that would be brassed if it had been kept in a ERC during it's life.

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Posted (edited)

I've added some more pics

I agree with comments above that for NOS (New Old Stock - whatever that actually means) there appears to be excessive wear in places (round viewfinder eyepiece etc) that indicate significant usage

Plus, the serial number indicates it originally started out as a chrome body

This is tricky as I'm considering purchasing it

Edited by romualdo
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3 hours ago, willeica said:

It might be worthwhile asking the Archives for the original code word which was LYDRO or LYMAR (with Elmar) for the black body with CHROM added for a chrome body.

William, How do I go about doing that?

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7 hours ago, romualdo said:

I've added some more pics

...

This is tricky as I'm considering purchasing it

 

 

Price is above average... but is correct to factor into the CLA made by DAG  (if recent and documented)... and if you like to have a black Leica III this is a fine item to have... in my opinion the full originality of the paint is not a decisive element... less important than your desire to have a black III 😉 : I mean that even if it's true that blacks, in the mean, are valued more than chromes... is not, for instance, like black M3s that carry stellar prices so that it's appealing for fakers, and originality of the body imho is much more important : and this is undoubtly a legitimate Leica III with no 3rd party modification (neither the frequent flash sync) , with a fine black finishing.

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I don’t recall where, but I think I read that S. Krauter sometimes was brought in on high value BP items to open them up to verify if there were signs on the inside of later repaints prior to transactions. I’d imagine DAG would be equally capable. If documentation for the CLA date exists, one could ask if he recalls any particulars about this camera?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, luigi bertolotti said:

Price is above average... but is correct to factor into the CLA made by DAG  (if recent and documented)... and if you like to have a black Leica III this is a fine item to have... in my opinion the full originality of the paint is not a decisive element... less important than your desire to have a black III 😉 : I mean that even if it's true that blacks, in the mean, are valued more than chromes... is not, for instance, like black M3s that carry stellar prices so that it's appealing for fakers, and originality of the body imho is much more important : and this is undoubtly a legitimate Leica III with no 3rd party modification (neither the frequent flash sync) , with a fine black finishing.

Luigi, I agree that the price is a bit high but it certainly is a nice example of a black paint III with Nickel Elmar plus a DAG service to boot

These don't turn up that often here in Australia

Edited by romualdo
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11 hours ago, romualdo said:

William, How do I go about doing that?

Try info@leica-camera.com. If you have difficulty come back to me. I will try later this year to get something more solid established, perhaps in conjunction with the rumoured opening of the museum next November. I am keeping my own requests to a minimum at the moment as Germany is just opening up in the wake of Covid and a lot of businesses, like Leica AG, are playing catch-up. 

Based on Jerzy's post above it would seem that this camera may have originally come from a black (schwarz) batch 120501 -120700. The nickel is in very fine condition. The black paint may have received a bit of of a touch up, but it also contains signs of use.

William

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Hahne list (Band I) is publication of Leica BHistorica Germany from 1978. When exactely Willy Hahne made the list is not known to me. Maybe Jim Lager knows, William. You know William my opinion about Hahne list - it is the best what is available, however as well with some mistakes and simplifications. However in case of 120546 I am sure it was black paint from the very beginning. If the camera would have been chromed the engravings would have been deeper and even if someone has skills to refill with Bismut  the lettering would be thicker-
And yes, taking off the top cover would provide almost 100% prove  - serial number engraved between rangefinder and viewer is not painted, you may see bare metal. Or, camera is not at all painted under the top cover, I have seen as well such.

Below 2 photos demonstrating both: left engraveing over black paint, bare metal visible, right not painted at all

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I would question the 'NOS' description. That may give up further information.

New Old Stock should refer to new, as in not previously sold or used, items that are not longer current. For example, if a dealer had an unsold boxed unused M6 at the back of a cupboard, that would be NOS (as someone here bought a while ago).

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40 minutes ago, earleygallery said:

I would question the 'NOS' description. That may give up further information.

New Old Stock should refer to new, as in not previously sold or used, items that are not longer current. For example, if a dealer had an unsold boxed unused M6 at the back of a cupboard, that would be NOS (as someone here bought a while ago).

Yes... me too pointed on this in #2... it's an "exaggeration shift" by the seller... he also says "ex-demo"... which in strict terms is also very questionable for a camera of 1934 or so... unless one means "demo" in the sense of a display item for a shop of antiquites.... 😉 ; but provided that other statements are true (expecially the DAG CLA) it can be excused...

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1 hour ago, earleygallery said:

I would question the 'NOS' description. That may give up further information.

New Old Stock should refer to new, as in not previously sold or used, items that are not longer current. For example, if a dealer had an unsold boxed unused M6 at the back of a cupboard, that would be NOS (as someone here bought a while ago).

Yes, that's what I thought NOS indicated

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