Post by David Silver on Oct 2, 2005 23:02:01 GMT -5
I have (and have had) many Leicas, but over the years for some reason I use the Leica IIIf more than any model. And not just any IIIf, but usually a "black dial" version. I know, they claim the improved shutter on the "red dial" version is so much better, but my experience disagrees with that theory. I've found the shutters on "black dials" may not always be accurate, but they usually work. Meanwhile, although I've found my share of "red dials" that were VERY accurate, I've also found a much greater percentage of "red dials" that either didn't work at all or only shot on one speed! Anyway, here's the current Leica IIIf I've been using since early this summer, with a matching 50mm f2 Summitar lens, and it's been marvelous:
It's a beauty, isn't it? And you've got to love that nice red Leica box!
What do other people think about the IIIf "black" and "red" controversy? Is it all in my head? Have you had similar experiences? Or what do you think about the Leica IIIf in general?
David, I agree that these are beautiful gems. I have a IIIc with Summitar lens that I'v ejust aquired. What are your impressions of the Summitar lens, and do you have any pictures to share that were taken with this lens? From what I've read, results using smaller apertures are very similar to a col.Summicron, but wide open the lens does magical things.
Post by David Silver on Oct 3, 2005 17:50:11 GMT -5
I have a number of proof sheets from recent outings with this Leica IIIf. Nothing enlarged, however, but maybe I can visit my friend's darkroom next week. My impressions of the Summitar is that it is every bit as sharp and "warm" and portrait friendly as the collapsible Summicron. I also think it offers remarkably consistent contrast across the entire image frame at maximum aperture. Around f4 to f5.6, where I do much of my shooting, the results are indistinguishable between the two. However, the Summitar does flare a bit more, and I think it doesn't have the same contrast consistency at smaller apertures as the Summicron. No complaints, I love the Summitar, the example here is extremely clean, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it in any "professional" capacity. However, if a rigid Summicron is available and I need the very best, the Summitar would have to make way. The rigid Summicron is just soooooo darn good!
David Silver -- general photohistorical know-it-all (so they tell me!) -- still using film, fountain pens, a manual typewriter, and a turntable phonograph...and PROUD of it!
I agree about the more modern Summicrons. I have a 1970's first black Summicron version that is amazing. I do like a vintage look for many of my images for which I will use a col. 'Cron and this new Summitar, as well as a Jupiter 8, (and a 50 Sonnar for my Contax IIa). I love the 50mm focal length! The best accessory to use with a screwmount Leica is an external viewfinder. I have a 50mm CV brightline one.
Some 35 years ago I owned a IIIf BD that had shutter bounce. I took it to Germany with me and had the factory at Wetzlar repair it. I was disgusted when it still had the same problem and I either traded or sold it. I also had a IIIf RD and IIIb CLA'd by the factory and they have been perfect to this day.
My IIIf RD has been feeling lonely lately so to keep it happy I've bought a IIIf BD. The BD should be here in two days. I hope to have better luck with it than the first one I owned.
It's mystifying to me why the IIIf BD should have any more shutter problems than the IIIc unless the sync delay mechanism has something to do with it. My IIIc is as reliable as it can be.
If you go to the Rangefinder Forum and look at my album in the gallery, you'll see numerous shots I've taken with my IIIf and IIIc. The gallery is under the name "doubs43". I agree that the Summitar is a wonderful lens and I do like mine..... a lot!
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2006 23:43:36 GMT -5 by doubs43
Dave, that camera's a beauty and even the box is cool! I'm a newcomer to Barnack Leicas. Picked up a nice IIIf RD a few months ago that had been CLA'd and had its shutter curtains replaced. It will probably outlast me
In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded -- Terry Pratchett genewilburn.com