Leica 1a

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by evasio_spagnuolo, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Hi, I am new to the forum and need some help. I have just purchased a Leica 1a serial # 46921 but it has a nickle finished and can't seem to find one anywhere. Has it been plated by a previous owner?
  2. What can't you seem to find anywhere?
  3. Not in the nickle finish. They are all black. I will post some photos tomorrow.
  4. You have one in your hands but you can't seem to find one anywhere?
  5. I mean as a comparison for information and value. I purchased it in last week at an auction with other photographic equipment.
  6. Geez, Robert, you know what he means! :p
  7. I was actually pretty lost.
  8. "I was actually pretty lost." Me too, but I think I've unravelled the question - here goes:
    Searching for"Leica 1a" brings up many pages of Leica websites, but one of the better sites (Cameraquest - link) ), isn't top of the list. That is the place to start any quest for information on Leicas. "Leica 1a" is a slight misnaming and may result in some confusion. More detailed descriptions of the various Leica 1 variants (A to C, etc) require some determined web searches.
    S/N 46921indicates an 1930 Leica 1 (Model A). According to The Leica Pocket Book (7th Ed) the Model A was was produced only in black paint. A nickel model - that is the body is silver, not black - sounds very odd. As far as I can tell at the moment, the first chrome model was the Leica Model E which was introduced in 1933 with S/N 105210 .
  9. Thanks Alan for your answer. I wonder if the top and bottom plates have been plated at some time? The unusual thing is that it is exactly the same finish as the nickel Elmar lens.
  10. Another possibility is that the plates might have been replaced. Is there by any chance an asterisk (*) after the serial number?
  11. Well I am certainly no expert. My feeling is that if the top and base are truly nickel (a different colour to chrome) then someone has had a modification done, rather than it being undertaken by Leica.

    But, as Rob says, there were factory upgrades, so check whether there is an "O" at the top of the lens mount. If so, I think it becomes a little more likely that this is a converted camera. Photos may help, but it's all seems rather odd.
  12. Here is the photo of the camera. It has not been cleaned yet and is exactly how I brought it. It does look like the finder has been replaced with a later one and some of the knobs are chrome. Please let me know your thoughts.
  13. Here is the photo.
  14. From a little additional reading I think that the Model A cannot easily be modified to an interchangeable lens version, but that's not relevant here, now, anyway.
    Given that there are other 'modifications', maybe the camera has been refurbished by someone who wanted it to look a little different? Whatever the situation, if it works then all's well. It's certainly "unusual" as it stands . . . .

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