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Mid-century M3 cameras of the modernist fifties in Leitz Canada


Al Brown

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Those M3s look like they are going on a Christmas Tree. Ultra rare promotional photo of ELCAN, Midland (ON) from 1955.

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb Al Brown:

from 1955.

Are you sure about the date?

If so, this photo might reveal something about lens production in Midland.

On the left there is a later version of the 1:5/400mm Telyt. According to Thiele the production started in 1956 - but there are always uncertainties about the precise dates. Though he also says that the lens was only produced in Wetzlar.... An early Telyt being sent from Wetzlar to Midland? For which purpose? Or was there also a Midland series?

There are several 90mm Summicron on the table and I think also on two M3 bodies. Though I don't recognize them as the early SOOZI versions but as the later SEOOF. Thiele says the production of the SOOZI started in 1957 - though there are many mysteries about this lens. The first production of the SEOOF version is said to be from 1959 - so four years later than the date of the photo? 

 

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3 minutes ago, UliWer said:

Are you sure about the date?

If so, this photo might reveal something about lens production in Midland.

On the left there is a later version of the 1:5/400mm Telyt. According to Thiele the production started in 1956 - but there are always uncertainties about the precise dates. Though he also says that the lens was only produced in Wetzlar.... An early Telyt being sent from Wetzlar to Midland? For which purpose? Or was there also a Midland series?

There are several 90mm Summicron on the table and I think also on two M3 bodies. Though I don't recognize them as the early SOOZI versions but as the later SEOOF. Thiele says the production of the SOOZI started in 1957 - though there are many mysteries about this lens. The first production of the SEOOF version is said to be from 1959 - so four years later than the date of the photo? 

 

Well spotted. Not sure, the 5 could also have been a 9, was hard to read & decipher.

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Trying to do a little more detective work to pin the date down... the bodies are all Buddha ear bodies with frame line preview levers.  That places the photo exactly between 1955 and 1959.  No help there at all.  Unfortunately the resolution isn't high enough to read serial numbers to try to date the cameras or lenses... and none of the cameras are close enough to determine if they have the original "scientific" shutter speeds (polished shutter speed dial top)  or the later standard version we use today (satin top.)

The bottom line is that it was an interesting exercise...  but no help at all.  Sorry. 

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The non photographic detail I noticed is background over the windows. You can see what the surrounding looks like in ELCAN factory today. 

 

Could it be Yonge Street and Leitz Road?

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The two silver 90mm Summicrons under the inspector's elbow - with distinctive built-in telescoping hoods - put this very close to 1960. 

Technically the 90mm Summicron was released to the public as early as 1957 - but the early production SOOZI (in screw mount or M-conversions) had a weird separate keyhole-shaped pin-bayonet hood. The ones pictured are SEOOF or SEEOF-M or 11023.

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vor 15 Stunden schrieb adan:

Technically the 90mm Summicron was released to the public as early as 1957 -

I am not sure about this.

In a German brochure for the M3 from "VIII/58" the 90mm Summicron is not mentioned. The next brochure "IX/58" has it as "SOOZI-M" for 785,-DM (the M3 without lens was 674,-DM at this time). 

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The longer you look at it the more confusing it gets:

Here is a page from a brochure for the M3, dated IX/58 with the "Summicron 1:2/90mm mit Gegenlichtblende - SOOZI-M" for  785,- DM:

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Also from IX/58 here is the first and the last page of a brochure for the "Summicron 1.2/90mm" 

 

Suddenly the SOOZI becomes a SEOOF and the price drops from 785,-DM to 594,-DM... (almost 1/3!).

A dutch pricelist from June 1958 doesn't mention either the SOOZI or the SEOOF.

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