IIIc v. IIIf

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by christopher_a._junker|1, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Once you get past the fact a Leica IIIc lacks the IIIf's flash feature, is there much of an internal difference between the two camera bodies? For non flash use, the IIIc's simplicity has an appeal and if CLA'd, lacking the flash internals, would it tend to be more reliable long term?
  2. Yes. The Leicavit fits the IIIf but not the IIIc. The IIIc winder is a kludge IMHO.
    Jochen likes this.
  3. Are the IIIf and IIIg Leicavits interchangeable?
  4. "Are the IIIf and IIIg Leicavits interchangeable?"

    Yes they are. I used one with my long gone IIIg years ago (replaced with a M4-P & the Leica M motor).
  5. Not that I can add much that hasn't already been discussed: Perhaps ball bearings depending on serial number LINK-> Leica ball bearing shutters
  6. The IIIf went through a number of small changes over its production cycle, including changes in the shutter speed sequences.
    I'm not completely sure but I think they upped the curtain speed (from 1/30th to 1/50th) at some point, to increase the flash sync speed. Similar to the IIIg.

    I've not found anything to fully explain the whole full and half-race bearings thing and link these to specific models.
    It seems to be the Wartime IIIcK is full-race, the post-war IIIc has half-race bearings and the IIIf has full-race bearings again.

    I agree in thinking that the IIIc might be a bit more reliable or can go a bit longer without maintenance due to the lack of a flash synchronisation mechanism.
  7. I have one of the very first iiic cameras made after war. I was told that these were sold by US army px stores. Yu Xin did cla and replaced decaying vulcanite. Camera like.new with crystal clear viewfinder-rangefinder. Also have a iiif. Selling price was too good to ignore. I prefer the iiic because it is slightly shorter. Also, looks cleaner without flash controls on top plate.

    Or, you could go with one of the well made Leica like cameras with combined viewfinder-rangefinder made by Canon. Some believe the build quality is even better. I donโ€™t know.

    All of these cameras, including my 1936 Iiia, will still be going strong for decades to come.
  8. I have used Leica III models in the field. It did not scar me for life (as the the Kodak Signet did), but the M3 is really a superior camera.
    I do however, love my Canon VL2 and the Canon M39 lenses.

    When you're in this league, however, comparisons are invidious.
  9. I have a IIIF and I've never used a flash on it, but I've never read anything that said the IIIC would be more reliable. The other main difference is I believe the IIIF has self timer and IIIC does not. I agree with JDMvW that the M3 is superior camera, but I know people love the old Barnack cameras. My IIIF needs a CLA badly and probably new shutter curtains. I also found the really tiny RF/VF is much harder to use than the big beautiful finder of the M3 and the winder system etc. the IIIs also don't have frame lines so you have to get all kind of wacky but cool old accessory finders etc. to use anything but a 50mm on it.
  10. My IF & IIIF have very specific uses. My Voigtlander 15mm sits on the IF as the lens is not RF coupled. The 15mm viewfinder sits in the cold shoe. Works very well.

    The 21mm Voigtlander sits on my IIIF body as it is RF coupled so I can check close focus when needed. The 21mm viewfinder sits in the cold shoe.

    Why waste an M viewfinder when using the 15mm or 21mm? You have to use an aux finder anyway. (yeh I should have bought a Bessa R4M when they came out :( )

    I use Leicavits on both of my L39 bodies. That's why I just bought a Canon VI-T to use mostly with my Canon 35mm f/2 lens. Trigger winds rock!

    I have been known to put a 50mm lens on my IIIF and use it as a walk-about set up.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021

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