Leica iiic settings question

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by 10986431, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. Hi all

    I have just got back my Leica iiic I bought broken which I had serviced and fixed up. It looks and feels amazing. I also had the lens cleaned. I am very excited to use it.

    I had a couple of questions. I have loaded the camera successfully and ready to shoot. My issue is it’s different to my other 35mm cameras so wanted to ask a couple of questions.

    Firstly, my lens doesn’t have a 5,6 or 8 aperture. There’s a 3,5 4,5 6,3 9 12,5 and an 18 Is there a reason for this? To use one of those apertures above do I just kind of guess the point where that is?

    I am trying to use the sunny 16 rule with this camera. Never done it before and would love to try and not use a light meter. Do I set it to the 200 setting on the top shutter speed dial for a film iso of around 200?
  2. SCL


    The lens is an older lens with aperture markings before the current standard. You can set intermediate settings if so desired, but in all honesty most films have sufficient latitude that using the marked settings will work just fine as they are less than a full f/stop from current ones. As for the ASA/ISO setting....it is just a reminder and has no actual other function. Suggest you get a copy of the user manual. As far as using sunny 16, that's great but even better if for a few weeks you think sunny 16 settings and then check with a good meter to see how close your observations are to actual light levels. Once you gain experience and can confidently judge exposure, sunny 16 is a great way to go in normal circumstances. If you would like further guidance on sunny 16 Google the Jiffy Calculator, it is free and uses sunny 16 based info across a wider range of subjects and lighting circumstances. I keep a copy in my car "just in case". Good luck and enjoy your camea.
    10986431 likes this.
  3. Oh wonderful SCL, thanks so much. I’m going to look that up and print a copy out and give it a whirl. I’ll test against my meter and see how I get one. ThNks again!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    You might like Ilford XP2, it has very broad ISO latitude.
  5. In addition to the non-standard aperture markings, the IIIc shutter speeds are probably not the current linear 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000. I find that when shooting 200 ASA color film I generally have good metered results using the old aperture marks, but pick the next lower shutter speed; i.e. 1/200 instead of the metered 1/250. The 3.5 Elmar 50 in good, clean condition gives wonderful results stopped down two stops from 3.5. If possible, when storing the camera, open the aperture to 3.5, use a cap, and I recommend that the shutter be released. In addition to SCL's above guide suggestion, I recommend finding and printing out "Deadman's Estimated Exposures" and marking adjustments for different ASA film/shutter speeds on several guide print outs. The guide presents recommended f/stops and shutter speeds ranging from f1 to f 22 so the Elmar is fully covered in the setting recommendations. The IIIc is such a compact package with the collapsible 3.5 Elmar that keeping it at hand when outdoors is great fun. Replica IIIc owners manuals are available online. As with all of us who use the F3.5 Elmar 50, we do try to remember to pull the lens barrel out fully and lock it in place before doing anything else with the camera. Congratulations on restoring your IIIc and I hope you enjoy the experience.
    10986431 likes this.
  6. For the manual, I think
    Leica IIIC instruction manual, user manual, free PDF camera manuals
    will do the job-- Bless Butkus and make the small donation.

    You have done what many think is the hardest part of using early Leicas.;)
    Trimming the film leader is helpful...

    As per the apertures, try the suggestions above.
    (nerd heaven at f-number - Wikipedia).

    Most color negative, C41 B&W (like Sandy's XP2) and regular B&W films have plenty of lattitude to handle such small differences.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
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  7. Echo the above good suggestions. Herewith my IIIc.

    It's a great camera. Mine doesn't get used enough. The pre-war (II), and war, models are numbered below 400,000 and have the re-wind lever on a raised platform on the top plate. Anything above 400,000 would likely be post-war (there are some other markers - a good text or the internet will tell you). It is prone to losing chrome, as mine has - post war lack of nickel meant the post war German chroming was not durable - least of their worries then, I'd suspect). If you can do without flash (and the real 'liecaperson' never uses flash), and your primary interest is outdoor's photography - landscapes, people, and the world about you, then this is a magic camera. Pretend to be Cartier Bresson, and enjoy. Regards, Arthur
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
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  8. Congrats! I guess it came with the Elmar 50 3.5? When focussed the old Elmar is quite capable.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  9. The IIIc is a great little camera. I have one of the first 150 post war cameras. These were originally allotted to higher up US military personnel. Mine had lost its vulcanite, but Yu Shin not only recovered camera but made it optically and mechanically like new again. At one time I had to add a contrast filter to the rangefinder on all my screwmount Leicas, but he did such a great job on all of them that filters no longer needed. Typical of Leitz, every model camera needed a filter of different size.
    I was lucky. Camera came with an externally extremely ugly,mbut optically perfect coated Elmer lens.
    An alternative to a IIIc manual, would be an early version of the Leica Manual...they go for about $5 in used bookstores.
    10986431 likes this.
  10. Thanks so much everyone. I’m just getting around to shooting properly with it. I’ll report back with my results this week.


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