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The Leica M3 was introduced in 1954, Code name is IGEMO catalog number 10680E,

The first production model being number 700 000, last number 1 158 995 when general production ceased in 1956.

The M3 was the first production model using a bayonet type lens mount, a 30° turn locking the lens in position.

Viewfinder / range finder system sharing a common eyepiece with brightline frames for 50,90 and135mm focal lengths, each with automatic parallax adjustment.

A rapid wind lever which with two short strokes wound on the film and tensioned the shutter.

On changing the film the counter reset automaticly to -2 and the camera back was hinged to provide acces for ilm loading.

Flash syncronisation is automatic, separate contacts for expendable and electronics flash units The shutter speeds from B to 1/1000 of a second are incorporated in a single dial.

 

There were some variations during the production run and I would like to illustrate them in the same time as the 35mm focal lengths and coupled Leicameters.

 

First model from 700 000 to 785 890 have no manual frame selector incorporated, back door with glass plate film pressure. Long lever rewind lever sided by a screw. Rewind knob with sloted and red painted axe.

The Summaron 3.5/35 lens bayonet mount first model, SOONC-M, 1954 issued, red painted dot on the flange, with UVa filter, cap and ITDOO sunshade,

SBLOO reflecting mirror viewfinder, second model,

And German catalog.

 

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Second model, manual frame selector incorporated with the serial number 785 891.

Rewind knob with cocked eye, one dot, red painted axe.

The Summaron 3.5/35 lens with removable ocular attachment, glossy black painted, SOONC-MW, 1956 issued,

Leicameter M, with booster cell attached, antic red box,

And German lens catalog.

 

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Third model 1957, pressure plate changed from glass to metal from number 844 001 and shutter speeds changed to mathematical progression from number 854001.

The Summaron 3.5/35 lens with removable ocular attachment, crackled black painted, SOMWO, 1958 issued, with UVa filter, cap and IROOA/12571J sunshade.

Leicameter MC with incident light screen , cell booster with respectives leather bags,

Leicameter MC instructions for use booklet, English printed.

Leica M3 short instructions for use leaflet, English printed.

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://perso.orange.fr/br.collection/leica/images/M3800.jpg&key=00ddb6380714bb90aec7a6ed08e99bbfa8d843c7d354d14f6286166d61826b1f"> Edited by jc_braconi

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I am so pleased to get a glimpse into your wonderful collection.

 

I have and use an SOONC-M 35mm Summaron 3.5, exactly the same as above. Someone filed the lug on the mount so it now shows the correct 35mm frame in my M2. Not elegant, but it works.

Edited by Michael Hiles

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Lovely pictures, lovely cameras!

 

I have not seen the black painted "goggles" before, very cool!

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Sorry for the delay to comment this wonderful collection. I have seen that the summaron 35 3,5 for M3 has the goggles removable; when mounted on every leica M of course compares the 50 frame. My question:  Is it possible to focus correctly without goggles?

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There's a lot to be said for a camera carrying the scars of its travels but it's still so nice to see one of these 'old' units today, looking like it just came out of a dealer's case. Having lived in the age of layaway, I imagine how a family might have had to scrimp and save to buy one of these beauties, but fully confident in getting from it a lifetime of service.

 

Thanks so much,

s-a

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Sorry for the delay to comment this wonderful collection. I have seen that the summaron 35 3,5 for M3 has the goggles removable; when mounted on every leica M of course compares the 50 frame. My question:  Is it possible to focus correctly without goggles?

 

There were versions with and without goggles. The without goggles version shown in the first picture should focus accurately but you would need an external viewfinder like the SBLOO. Luigi is correct in saying that the goggles version will not focus correctly with the goggles removed.

 

I have an early without goggles version that will not show 35mm framelines on an M2 or M4. I handled another one of a similar vintage on an M2 last week which brought up the correct framelines. Does anyone know the reason why this is the case?

 

William

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There were versions with and without goggles. The without goggles version shown in the first picture should focus accurately but you would need an external viewfinder like the SBLOO. Luigi is correct in saying that the goggles version will not focus correctly with the goggles removed.

 

I have an early without goggles version that will not show 35mm framelines on an M2 or M4. I handled another one of a similar vintage on an M2 last week which brought up the correct framelines. Does anyone know the reason why this is the case?

 

William

There are two versions of the ungoggled BM Summaron f 3,5 : the first one was made for M3 with SBLOO ... the 35 mm frame didn't exist yet... the second version was made from 1958 (M2 intro) and brings up the 35mm frame : they are optically identical but with noticeable differences in the barrel.  

 

 

 

(to be precise, the first version has in turn two slightly different variants in small style details)

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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Thanks Luigi. Mine is the version for M3 as shown above with a very similar serial number. I need to check the other one but it is not in my possession.

 

William

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Just by way of a comparison here's my slightly tired (but just CLA'd!) 1954 version 1 with the distance scale marked in feet rather than metres;

 

 

As Luigi pointed out to me in a different thread the 'Germany' engraving on these earlier lenses (this and the example in JCB's first picture) is further around the barrel from the 'metre' version pictured in Luigi's own post above. The earlier lenses have serials 1 150 659 and 1 181 333 whilst the lens in Luigi's post is 1 288 737.

 

Although these lenses don't bring up the 35mm frame in the viewfinder the focus works perfectly and it's not too difficult to use the frame-finder lever on practically any M except the M3 if one want's to check the crop.

 

(Incidentally this is one of the first images I've shot on the M8.2 with my brand-new-to-me Visoflex III c/w (1966) 65mm f3.5 Elmar / 16464K outfit.....

......it's fun!)

 

Philip.

Edited by pippy

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Just by way of a comparison here's my slightly tired (but just CLA'd!) 1954 version 1 with the distance scale marked in feet rather than metres;

 

L1434565 v2 lo-res.jpg

 

As Luigi pointed out to me in a different thread the 'Germany' engraving on these earlier lenses (this and the example in JCB's first picture) is further around the barrel from the 'metre' version pictured in Luigi's own post above. The earlier lenses have serials 1 150 659 and 1 181 333 whilst the lens in Luigi's post is 1 288 737....

 

 

... and there is also a further small difference in the engraving of the DOF scales...

) Edited by luigi bertolotti

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... and there is also a further small difference in the engraving of the DOF scales...

)

Thank you Luigi, I hadn't spotted that earlier.

In fact the more I compare the two lenses the more differences I notice.

 

On the two early versions there are, effectively, three 'sections' from the mount across to the part where we have the ring with the distance numerals; f-stop, D.o.F index / marker and distance index / marker - whereas on the later version the first two sections mentioned have been merged into one thicker section.

 

So many changes!

 

Philip.

Edited by pippy

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Thanks for the intro to this thread. The 3.5cm Summaron has been an interesting dive into variance. Not a lot of info out there on it. Seems like for the M2 the most desirable version is the 35mm frameline 1958 model.

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.... Seems like for the M2 the most desirable version is the 35mm frameline 1958 model.

Yes... but is also the scarcer and (relatively speaking) the most costly.

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Yes... but is also the scarcer and (relatively speaking) the most costly.

 

Already ordered one. $400 which seems reasonable to me. Looking forward to getting it. The "2" in the pin lock space is intriguing too. Any info on that?

Edited by Chubkins

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