my free m1 leica and its rescue

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by andrew_spence|1, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Guys
    i was given an M1 Leica that had jammed but had worked intermittently about 10 years ago and was told take it or its going in the trash.
    I have never considered ever buying a leica though i have lots of cameras that i use
    but i spent about 9 hours fixing it and removed a piece of film from the internal mechanism and a light seal that was wrapped around the roller and the other one just fell off but i was determined to save it as i was told it had a hard life in a science lab.
    It came with a 90mm leitz lens with an m mount adapter that im currently testing on digital on a Chinese helicoid and i like the results.
    So after i fixed it and gave it a good clean i had a look at getting a leica 50mm lens from e bay that i could zone focus or use an external rangefinder
    and i decided after checking out the prices i would instead get 2 adapters one for canon fd lenses and one with an eos mount as all my m42 and olympus lenses have eos adapters on them ,this gave me a lot of choice in lenses to use but i decided one of the olympus om 50 mm i have would be a good start as it fitted in the nice used case i bought and i had to get a film take up spool too and as the viewfinder is marked for a 50 and a 35mm a 35mm om is now on the way from e bay and i can easily guess a 28mm lens field of view and a 100mm as i have both which ill try at least once
    So im very happy with my leica and will use it soon with these modern lenses
    i didnt get a leica lens for it but i just couldnt convince myself it was the best route for me
    At the end of the day i kept another one alive and i like it...alot
    the pullin rangefinder fits in the case to....though i have small er rangefinders i could use
    i feel the camera deserved all the time and money i have spent on it
    regards Andrew





    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Kudos! You are a bold fellow - I looked at your bits & pieces photo and shuddered. Great job!
    If it works well for you, you might look at 7 artisans lenses. Haven't bitten yet, but I'm attracted for possible use on My Dad's Leica.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  3. Sandy
    i have a high spec lensbaby but it has no scale on it i do that sort of thing on several of my digital cameras i usually use normal sharp lenses on film
    i wouldnt be afraid to buy a lieca m that needs fixing in the future im always fixing film cameras its fun to me its nicer than welding one of my classic cars
  4. This is the one with no rangefinder, right? You have an external rangefinder mounted on the shoe? I found out when I used a Minox 35 GT that I had a terrible sense of how far I was away from something. I tried all kinds of tricks but I was never any good at it. More power to you for fixing it. Russian lenses are an option too, but be prepared to buy more than one to try to get a good one. They're not Leica lenses, or even Voigtlander, but they're not bad. I have a Jupiter 8 screwmount on an adapter that works pretty well when I want a vintage look. I have an old Summitar as well which is decent. If I wanted really good lenses on a budget, I'd maybe buy some of the better regarded Voigtlanders like the 35/1.4 or the 50/1.4 M mount lenses, or possibly the Zeiss ZM's which are quite good. Funny, Zeiss is usually the premium lens to buy, but here they're second to late model Leica lenses. But a LOT cheaper. Good luck and good job.
  5. Your M1 close-up shots illustrate just how well built the bodies are. I too have been given a beaten up M camera. Your resurrection effort is to be commended and I think mine is worth the rebuild despite the wear, tear and dirt. It came with a 35 Summaron with both a frozen diaphragm and focus mount. A must do in 2019.
  6. There is a number of good 39mm Leica thread-mount Soviet lenses that can be adapted easily with an adapter ring for the M-series.

    Be sure to get the rangefinder lenses, since there are also Soviet 39mm lenses made for the Zenit and some other Soviet SLRs that will not focus on the RF bodies.
    Also Canon RF lenses will work, but they are more costly than the Soviet ones, but still a lot cheaper than the Leica.

    Link: 39mm screw lenses

    Google LTM to M-series mount adapter or look on eBay. The $10 ones seem just as good as the $100 ones.
  7. The wider lens you can work with, the easier it will be to zone focus. You might look for used lenses like you're doing and matching used view finders such as the CV models. Quite a job!
  8. Congrats on your repair work.
    I use different wide angle lenses on my Standard Leica. Examples: Canon FD 17/4 and 19/3.5 with Canon Adapter B. Rokkot 21/4 with Minolta adapter to ltm. The RF free camera is usually a lighter camera, which make sit more fun to use.
  9. I once bought an M1 with a 35mm Summicron in excellent condition at a government auction for very little. With the 35 it was easy to zone focus. I shot a roll and sold the camera to a collector. Wish I had kept it.

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