How do you remove the lens on a iiic?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bob_ivano|1, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. I bought a 1949 Leica iic on ebay. I got ahold of a Leica iiic manual and checked out how to remove the lens. I
    don't get it. Extend the lens and turn it ccw, then turn the base (depth of field portion) ccw and the focus arm
    moves ccw but stops at the screwed in pin under the viewfinder and the lens does not unscrew completely. Also,
    the manual shows pictures of the Elmar with the distance scale attached to the lens but I seem to be trying to
    unscrew the lens from the distance ring. Another photo shows the lens removed but the distance ring is not
    attached to the body. HELP!

  2. Are you trying to remove the lens from the camera, or simply extend it for shooting? To extend it. you simply pull the fornt
    out, and turn it counter clockwise to lock the front element. To remove the whole lens from the camera without damaging
    it, grasp the base of the lens (the part with the distance scale) and simply unscrew it from the body by turning it counter
    clockwise. You can do this with the lens extended or collapsed. Be careful lifting it out of the body if you remove it
    collapsed, so that you don't whack the end of the lens into the RF cam inside the top of the camera, or damage any other
    parts. The base of the lens with the distance scale should remain attached to the lens- if the front part comes away from
    this, it will need to be repaired. Good luck!
  3. Start by extending the lens fully and locking it. Depress the infinity lock and turn CCW to the shortest focusing distance and then continue turning until the lens unscrews.

    Sometimes if the lens has been on there for decades, there is some chemical reaction and they get very tight between the lens and mount. People have been known to use padded channel locks to break them loose. I would be very careful as some of the early bodies are fabracated and not cast. They are more easily deformed. I am not advising you take extraordinary steps.

    If all were well, slight hand pressure is all that is required.
  4. cpj


    For what it is worth, Ron Moravec's procedure above is the safe one to follow, Just make sure the "infinity lock" is actually
    working (moves in and out) and is not frozen at a point where it hits something when you try to unscrew the whole lens. (

    By the way, early Canon screw mount lenses are and excellent buy today if you can find them on the used market and they have
    the same thread. Most of those screw mount Canon's like the 50 mm f1.8 were far better lenses than the Leica collapsable
  5. Ok, I see that the pin on he distance scale sets the minimum focus of the lens. Now I see how the focus works. But, this distance ring (has mtr marked on it) - can't really grab it. It seems frozen? Where would I apply pressure?
  6. Bob, you don't have to grasp the distance ring. Once the focus lever hits the pin (if you are using the procedure Ronald suggested), just apply a little more force and keep turning in the same direction. The lens could be a little frozen in the mount, so give it a little more force if necessary. But don't use any tools, OK? The lens should turn 2 and 1/2 turns counter-clockwise, and come free of the camera.

    Personally, I leave the lens locked at infinity when I remove or fit them to the camera. Perhaps the pin is stronger than the infinity lock when extra force is required.
  7. Thank you all! Just took a bit more force and everything unscrewed just fine. I appreciate the help.
  8. The lens base or flange on my 1932 Black Leica II was firmly stuck to the camera body. I have a nickel Elmar 50mm/3.5. I was afraid to turn the lens very hard and shear off the infinity stop. So, I tried the freezer trick and placed the camera in the freezer for about 15 - 20 minutes. I was then able to free the lens and remove it from the camera body. Apparently the differential thermal contractions freed things up.

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