Is this a Leica IIIf or a Leica IIIc?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by rui_ferreira|1, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Hello there,

    while looking up the serial number to find out which model and year of production this camera has, i got confused:
    The serial Number 596040 stands for a IIIf model, but this camera does have a different film advance knob (no red ASA indicator) from all the other IIIf models.
    Does anyone know if the IIIf model was also produced with the film advance knob like in the attached picture?
    Thank You
  2. As the 111c serial numbers ended long before this one I guess that the camera is almost certainly a 111f. Your question regarding the advance wind knob is intriguing. If it is not an original issue knob, could it be a replacement knob from the 111c parts box? Given the fine physical state of the camera it is perhaps unlikely that the original knob would have been externally damaged, but may have had an internal defect or damage.
    Leica has been known for the occasional assembly goof. My recent series Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH has a depth of field scale part of the assembly that comes from its contemporary 35mm f1.4 version, or was inscribed with the f1.4 lens template. Perhaps a 111c knob found its way into the 111f production line and was attached to your camera and subsequently went unnoticed. Just a guess.
  3. At 65-66 years old, that knob could have been replaced at any time by anyone. It certainly looks like a little-used body, but
    could have also had other parts replaced. It also could have been put together by a tech using old-new/replacement
    parts. The possible explanations are endless. There have been enough "unique" units fabricated by some to make one
    automatically assume the more unique, the more the chances are someone tinkered with the original to make someone
    else think they found something special.
  4. The IIIf would have a factory made PC port, a IIIc would not unless it was done by a technician independent shop or by Leica authorized Repair facility.
  5. From the serial number it is a IIIf. It has the flash sync arrangement under the shutter speed dial. How it came to have an earlier type of winding knob is anyone's guess.
  6. The serial number of this IIIf puts it in 1951/2. The IIIc was still being made in 1951, but this camera is not from the first IIIf batch, suggesting it's not (e.g.) some transitional version. It's hard to imagine anyone would care enough about not having an ASA indicator to place a custom order, which suggests either a factory mistake or a later repair/modification. The latter seems more likely.
  7. It's a nice clean one, whatever it is. I agree: more likely a IIIf with a later repair.
  8. Maybe it was an aesthetic decision to replace winder. Its a very clean camera.
  9. Your copy seems to be more indicative of a IIIf. Notice that the top cover screws are missing on your copy versus this IIIc.
    When I purchased my IIIf's, I preferred to buy copies minus the top cover retaining screws not only for aesthetic reasons but moreso, to purchase a later serial number version which seems to do away with the exposed screw style top cover.
    I recall seeing black-dial IIIf's (and some early red-dials) with this style of top cover (with the screws). Later versions did away with them but I am not sure when. Perhaps they were phased out until old stock was used up?

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