Leica Purity: The Leica Standard (1934)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by pensacolaphoto, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Has anyone used a Leica Standard? I would appreciate it if you would
    let me know how good of a users camera it is, being small and basic.
    Is it meant to be collected these days or is it a good users camera
    too?
     
  2. Hello Raid,
    Horse and buggy; but an interesting horse and buggy...

    Regards,

    Frank M.
     
  3. Frank: Is this "horse and buggy" worth considering for use or collecting or is it "way too old and basic" ?
     
  4. Maybe you could convince Hugh to convert it to digital. Now THAT would be cool. You'd be the only guy in the state of Florida with a 1934 digital camera.

    Get it, Raid! I can tell that you won't be able to sleep until it's in your hands! Take some more photos of that cute little daughter of yours! Take PLENTY of them. They're only young once. Before you know it they're off to college, getting married, making you grandchildren. Enjoy her while you can. May as well enjoy the Standard at the same time.
     
  5. So here are my experiences with the Standard:
    1. must learn to guess focus - not hard if you practise
    2. must learn to load a Leica LTM - again, not hard if you know the tricks. Easiest trick is to trim your leader
    3. elegantly slim and compact camera, very convenient to carry around
    4. almost nothing to go wrong in the camera if it is working. If it isn't working, they are pretty simple to CLA

    If you're comfortable with guess focusing, I'd recommend to go for it and use it.

    regards
    Vick
     
  6. Al,
    I will do so. The camera is on its way to me, but at this stage only temporarily until the end of March. Then only will we either finalize the trade or reverse it.

    Your digital idea is not bad at all, but it is rather radical and "unpure", if I can call it that way, since purity came to my mind when I considered the Standard camera.

    My daughters are one of my main sources of joy in life, so I will not need to be pushed take more photos of them. In fact, I am trying to improve my children photography each month.

    Greetings,
    Raid

    "Maybe you could convince Hugh to convert it to digital. Now THAT would be cool. You'd be the only guy in the state of Florida with a 1934 digital camera.
    Get it, Raid! I can tell that you won't be able to sleep until it's in your hands! Take some more photos of that cute little daughter of yours! Take PLENTY of them. They're only young once. Before you know it they're off to college, getting married, making you grandchildren. Enjoy her while you can. May as well enjoy the Standard at the same time."
     
  7. Vick: Thanks for your focused reply on the camera. I am used to guess focus anyways and this is not a problem.
     
  8. I think they're great, but have gotten too bloody expensive.
     
  9. As a 1934 Standard (model C), as opposed to a model A, it should have interchangeable
    lenses. With a 35 Elmar or Summaron it would be very easy to scale focus, and compact, a
    perfect camera to keep with you at all times. You could also put a CV 15 on it, of course...
    and there's really not that much need for the viewfinder with that, as if it's in front of you
    it's
    pretty much in the field of view and in focus ;-)

    Well worth getting and using. Scale focusing and exposure estimation are good mental
    exercises.
     
  10. If you put the 15 Voigtlander on it you can be IN all those pictures with your daughter...LOL
     
  11. I have the 25mm/4 lens and not the 15mm lens. I also have a Summaron 35mm/3.5 and an Elmar 50 that is on its way to me.
     
  12. A lot of salon quality images were made by the Leica Standard before the rangefinder was introduced. I couldn't afford a Leica those days, but I got a Forth Derby for HS graduation and learned the ropes before I was ever able to afford the anciest Leica III I eventually traded for. Scale focusing did not seem to impede my photographic ambitions!
     
  13. I have two Standards - a 1934 black one and a chrome Standard, with strap lugs, from about 1940. They are superb "wide-angle" Leicas! I use mine with an Elmar 35mm lens and WEISU finder which sits in the camera's accessory clip alongside the built-on 50mm finder. The whole package of camera, finder, 35mm lens and lenshood can be accommodated in an ordinary long-nosed eveready case - making a truly "everyready" camera. Unfortunately, the WEISU is usually expensive, but another, more affordable, accessory is the lens-diaphragm actuating ring (code, I think, is VOOLA) which is placed under the lenshood. Also nice are one or two 21.5mm screw-in filters for the lens - obviates using a lenscap. I found that scale-focusing was so easy with the Standard that I didn't enjoy going back to using the rangefinder on my later Leicas! A good trick with the Standard/35 Elmar is to put a No1 Close-up lens on the Elmar (unorthodox, but works!) and use the camera case strap as a distance gauge. Cat photo herewith was taken in this way. Cheers.
    00FKoE-28311984.jpg
     
  14. Hi Raid - I use a 1929 Leica I, No. 26xxx, and I agree with John; they're easy and comfortable to use. Focus? You soon get the hang of it. Best of all, they are a perfect fit for my hands. By far-and-away my favourite camera. I now use my IIIb with an unc Summar and unc 90mm Elmar, but the I is my everyday camera.

    Rob
     
  15. Hello John,

    I could use a Leitz 35mm brightline finder with a Summaron 35mm/3.5 lens or a Canon 35mm/1.8 lens. It looks as if using a wide angle lens is easier with this type of cameras than a 50mm lens would be. Interesting that using a ranegfinder becomes a burden after a while.
     
  16. By the way, I have never herad before of the two items you mentioned, John.

    "Unfortunately, the WEISU is usually expensive, but another, more affordable, accessory is the lens-diaphragm actuating ring (code, I think, is VOOLA) which is placed under the lenshood. "
     
  17. Hello Raid, - those two items, WEISU finder and VOOLA ring -
    just do a Google search for them, or even Ebay, there will be
    pictures of them somewhere. (If I wasn't such a dinosaur, and
    had a digital camera, I could whip off some shots of them!) The
    WEISU finder was deliberately designed to be small enough not
    to add to the height of the Standard camera. Interestingly, from
    model II onwards, any extra viewfinder fitted into the accessory
    shoe adds to the height of camera, thus making special high-top
    cases necessary. The VOOLA - introduced post-war - makes
    lens management easier. Actually, Raid, you won't need this
    item for your Summaron - this lens has ring-control of
    diaphragm. But it is useful for Elmar 50 - toggle control of
    diaphragm.. Both items have the look of having been designed
    at the behest of actual Leica users. Also photographer-designed
    was the type of case where the whole top can be removed,
    leaving a half-case. Leica made these from early days - I use
    one with my Standard - it is a great case. I trust this is all not
    "way too much information". Cheers.
     
  18. Hello John,

    Unless I am mistaken, the camera will come with two finders, but I don't recall the WEISU being mentioned. Maybe it is this finder.
    So keeping the size of the camera to a minimum was a major factor in the design of the Standard?

    I am looking forward to receiving the camera and I will try it out.
    Thanks for the information, John. Not many people own such old Leicas and write about them.

    Raid
     
  19. Hello again, Raid. The WEISU 35mm finder, being an optional
    extra, will probably not be included with your new Standard - but if
    one turns up elsewhere, it is certainly worth grabbing. Cheers.
     
  20. rgh

    rgh

    The Standard may be the Leica at its simplest, but for me the few advances that the Leica III
    had, and the basic same size, make it the ideal compact user. Yes they can still be very
    usable even 70 year on. The 1934 Leica III I have with its uncoated 50 Elmar is still a
    wonderful and fun camera to use, really pocketable, easy to focus, nice to hold. With one of
    those early Leicas the hand the M-series seems like a monster in comparison, and you
    understand the original Leica appeal and philosophy of the true classic compact camera.
     
  21. The Leica Standard is a great little camera. It is about the purest camera you can use, aside from a pinhole camera! The Standard is a small, sturdy camera. There is a huge range of lenses available, from used Leica stuff to brand new Voightlander lenses; this camera got a second lease on life as soon as Cosina started making the VC Leica Thread Mount lenses. It works best with one of the 50mm lenses made for the LTM because it has a 50mm finder built onto the top deck. I am the second owner of a Leica Standard "E" with a collapsible 50/3.5 Elmar which dates from 1935; the first owner was my Grandfather. Focus is accomplished by estimating the distance to subject or hyperfocal distances. Exposure is calculated the old-fashioned way: you factor in lighting, film speed, aperture, and one of the very limited shutter speeds (the shutter dial has a bulb setting marked "Z," and the speeds available are 1/20, 1/40, 1/60, 1/100, 1/200, and 1/500). Important: change the shutter speed AFTER you have advanced the film and cocked the shutter. I have shot color negative, slides, and b&w. Frankly, this camera and lens works surprisingly well; color is a little dull and flat, so I use it for b&w only, and it yields a very "classic" Leica look. I have tried the VC 15mm lens on this, with some limited luck (the 15mm doesn't need accurate focus, since DOF is so vast, but I had trouble getting the finder to fit, so I abandoned the idea). Any 1930's vintage camera will almost certainly need a shutter speed overhaul. You will also have to learn to trim your film leader to load into the takeup reel (film loading is classic bottom loading). I would certainly get a case for the camera that has a strap on it (those strap lugs are held in place by very small bits of metal, and many Standards never had strap lugs to begin with). So, to summarize: nifty camera, screw a 50mm on it, load with b&w, practice your distance guessing, and go shoot!
    00FLTx-28334984.JPG
     
  22. I received a slip from the post office today, so very soon I will be having the Standard in my hand. I also received today an old Elmar 5cm lens that will go well with this camera. I want to go "pure".
     
  23. Jeff: Thanks for your tips. Do you often use your Standard?
     
  24. RAID: please bring us up to date.
     

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