Leica I from 1927 valuation?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by peter_hovmand, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. I am planning to sell an old Leica with the production number 5133.
    With that number it must have been produced as a Leica I in 1927, but it has later been converted to a Leica II, see picture.
    It is black, nicely worn, fully functioning with a 5cm/3.5 lens.
    I have seached the net the to get an idea of the price level to expect, but no where can I find this combination from this early (third) year of production.
    Hope somebody can help me, please.
  2. The nickel is beautiful, but can you post an image showing the top plate?
    The wear pattern on the RF housing doesn't seem to show original paint.
  3. What is the silver cylinder sticking up through the roof of the rangefinder?
  4. Okay, Gus, here is the top plate ...
    David, the cylinder must be for a flash ...
    Any idea of value?
  5. The silver cylinder on the r/f cover is a non-standard flash synch socket modification (easily seen by adjusting the image gamma). This will affect the value of the camera, possibly to quite a significant degree. Additionally if the top plate is a non-authentic re-paint job (??) I would expect an even lower valuation.
    In 'original condition' and good working order, and without the flash socket abomination/modification, a premier European dealer might ask around Eur500 or possibly Eur750 'at a push'. However, cameras which have been inexpertly modified are not attractive to most people interested in older Leicas, so ultimately the value is simply what a buyer is prepared to pay. I would really expect to see this body offered in my favourite vintage shop at about £100-150 with the lens priced between £100 and £145 - no more.
  6. IMHO the bell push 11 o'clock nickled Elmar should draw a lot of collector interest, possibly more value wise than the camera body which suffers some with unattractive features (namely repainted rangefinder housing and ugly PC connection). Still, the camera and lens could bring $600 to $700 USD mainly because of the rarity of the lens, and the 4 digit body helps.
  7. Okay, thanks, good points. I think I will keep this baby, then. It has been in the family for more than 80 years! Lets make that 100 ... I think I will buy myself an M body before that ...
    But that was not my plan at all! (Struck by instant Leica fever, sweet :)
  8. You could say that you have a really great example of a camera with a long and honorable history as a photographic workhorse , rather than a dubious status as a "show-pony". Collectors like the show-ponies; users - though finnicky about all sorts of issues - may be (arguably should be ) less concerned with cosmetic issues than with function and usability. The Leica II, in good working order is a nice usable camera, regardless of the 'carbuncle' . . . which could be removed if and when the camera is serviced. ;-)
    BTW - I had somewhat overlooked the lens - as Paul says, that version is often quite sought-after.
  9. If the top addition (and post RF addition) is indeed for flash, I wonder how the flash synchronization was accomplished without the Leitz dial for variable flash delays?
  10. Just a couple of points - it woiuld be incorrect to assume that this camera was converted to Leica II specification at the time the Leica II was current - it could have been much later, hence the relatively unworn paint finish of the RF housing. It could not be converted to higher than Leica II spec without fitting slow speeds.
    Yes, cameras with subsequently added flash contacts are not valued by collectors, the fact that the flash contact is on the RF housing does of course mean it would be that much easier to turn the camera back to original Leica I specification (less good as a user, more attractive to collectors). Keep the camera if it has sentimental value, otherwise pre-IIIc models are less good these days as users, hard to keep maintained and unpopular with repairmen, so if you just want a Leica to use, better trade this in for a IIIc/IIIf.
  11. Postscript - if a Leica has a retrofitted flash contact with no adjustment, I would assume this gives X synchronization at 1/25 - probably M would work as well, maybe with less effective flash power (the shutter would be closing while the bulb was still burning).
  12. There seem to be quite a few Leicas with a third-party flash sync and the flash connector on top of the rangefinder. I bought one of these (a Leica IIIa) in battered but working condition many years ago as a college student (yes, back then and with the odd flash connector it WAS affordable). The flash connector on mine is recessed. Strange enough, some years ago I saw a very similar IIIa with a s/n close to mine (but in much better cosmetic condition) on german ebay.
    The non-Leitz flash sync will lower the price but I think placing the flash connector on top of the camera is much more handy than the eye-punching placement on the rear (where will the flash plug go when you are holding the camera to your eyes?) done by Leitz.
  13. Thanks again for all the info. You guys really know your Leica :)
    Yeah, I will keep this one, since I definitely will not sell it for less than 900 dollars.
    Or maybe trade it for an early M3 with lens ... Nice to keep the dream, right.
  14. Slight correction - your camera of course does not have a 1/25 speed, so for 1/25 read 1/20 - this speed would probably be slow enough to capture all the light from an M class flashbulb (like a PF1 or PF5) and would work fine with electronic flash, too.
  15. nice to know :) The shutter is definitely not too fast at 1/20, probably a lot slower than it should be. But it seems to work okay at 1/40 and up ...
  16. Unless you think you would really use an M3 regularly, I'd keep this one. Get it CLA'ed and take photos with it. The value for you attached to it being in your family so long seems to me more than trading it for an M3 that you'll end up selling in a few months.
  17. They are wonderful cameras with accurate rangefinders. Here's my Leica II.
  18. With regard to the lens. What does, "bell push 11 o'clock", refer to? I have never heard this terminology.

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