Leica Kugellager IIIc Base Plate

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by 10965030, May 20, 2018.

  1. I have a Leica 391427 K Kugellager IIIc camera my father bought in early 50's from an officer that returned from Germany. The top of the camera is grayish black and has a base plate that appears to be stainless. I have been told that the base plate should match the top. I wouldn't think that the camera which was fairly new back then would have had it replaced.

    I would like your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
  2. Probably original -- in those days they were hard-pressed to stick to exact details.
  3. I don't know if any left the factory that way, but things get lost or damaged, especially when there's a war going on. The baseplates are brass, either chrome-plated (the preferred finish in the 40s and 50s, and by far the most common) or painted (apparently due to a shortage of materials). If someone needed a replacement baseplate, it might just have been easier to find a chrome one.
  4. It doesn't have the look of chrome plate. If I have time tomorrow, I'll try to load pic.
  5. Base sounds quite interesting. Leica body chrome often looks a bit matted and soft, so that's probably what it is, just a replacement for a lost or damaged part. Yes photos would be nice, thanks.
  6. Pic of camera and baseplate. The reason I think baseplate is stainless - look at chrome on lock knob compared to rest. camerabp.jpg camerabp.jpg camerabp2.jpg
  7. I'm no expert, but that doesn't look like a Leica.
  8. It's definitely a Leica!

    Not sure the photos indicate anything unusual (the centre and upturned edge of the lock on my IIIa also look shinier than the rest of the baseplate) but perhaps it looks different in the flesh? Is that 'bronzed' look in the first photo just the lighting? If you think the the whole plate is not made from the usual brass, you could always weigh it and compare with another IIIc plate - brass is denser than stainless steel. But this seems unlikely. It may be that Leica was using non-standard plating 'formulas' at the time due to shortage of materials (as with the tatty chrome seen on many post-war IIIc bodies).
  9. My mistake, a little research in "Leica III Images" shows it to be a rough looking but real Leica.
  10. 'bronzed' look is lighting. The center of the looks like chrome on controls on top.
    Any idea what a brass plate weights? I just have the one.
  11. My post-war IIIc plate weighs 44g.
  12. I get 47g, again post war, by electronic scales, so who can be sure. I have another few at work I can check, one of which is wartime 1941 I think.
  13. My plate is 1 oz which I converted to 28.3495g
  14. mine are 47g, 44g, 44g Yours is for the larger tripod screw, therefore, should be 44g.
    What are you using to measure it? 1 oz seems rather a round figure.
    I am pretty sure the base is for a IIIc, as the IIIf bases I have seen look different at the tripod screw.
  15. That is very light if your scale is accurate! Do you have a photo of the other side? The fittings might offer some clue.
  16. I will get a pic this weekend. The only scale I have is a food scale that measures in ounces. I would assume its fairly accurate.
  17. Here is camera side of base plate camerabp3.jpg
  18. Looks like a regular Leica base plate to me, minus the film loading instructions
  19. The base plate looks like the usual chrome plated brass.
  20. My IIIc has the film loading instructions on the cover of the shutter crate rather than on the plate.

    Are there any divisions on the scale smaller than an ounce, like 1/8 oz or 1/16 oz? If there are, and the weight of the plate is dead on 1 oz and the unladen zero is dead on zero, you can check its accuracy by weighing a known volume of water (1ml = 1g). If there aren't, it's not precise enough to measure a 15g (about half an ounce) difference. You could weigh the plate on the scale at a post office, or get a digital scale from Amazon for the price of a roll of Portra.

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