need help with ID, value's, history, and advice on where to sell??

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bob_larson|1, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Greetings~ I bought 3 leica camera's from the son of a well heeled collector (no doubt all were documented original, and well cared for)- these three all have WWII markings on them with some variations~ Two of them are only two serial numbers apart (boy if I had the camera in the middle....The cameras have a german army eagle with swast. on them and the word BILDBERICHTER over it. one has a gold eagle with swast on the copper lens and the other has a white swast. these are not luft but army (this much I know)- the other camera is larger, completely 'in the white' and has the same verbage on it...serial numbers on the two are 309116 and the other is 309118. I have plenty of photos, so pls hit me up~ Any help would be GREATLY appreciated and thank you for advance~
  2. They are fakes from Russia, made from old Soviet Zorki cameras, almost worthless. If you paid more than $30 each for them, you were robbed blind.
  3. SCL


    This site doesn't provide valuations, for that you need to go to somewhere like completed sales on Ebay - where you can get a sense of pricing. Most WWI "Nazi" Leicas are fakes, as John mentioned. You can see lots of them on Ebay for sale, they also sell pretty well at flea markets where they are passed along to unsuspecting purchasers. There are a number of sites and books which provide factory validated serial numbers for real Leicas.
  4. Thank you for your response, but I assure you, they are not fakes but were bought from a very high end, annotated collection~ I will continue to look around, and am fully aware of the russian fake factory at work~ These were in the late owners posession as of 1946
  5. You bought them from the son a well-heeled collector, so I assume you probably paid something close to the going rate unless the son was a total fool for not using a legit broker to sell them, now want someone else's advice as to what their worth, so joined this site today to post the question?
    You say all were documented. Does that mean they now are not?
    Definitely looks and your story sounds, all fake.
  6. I think they are fakes - not only because they have the required militaristic-Nazi-swastika nonsense but because the shutter releases are Zorki-like not Leica-like. If you showed us pics of the front we could confirm this. I hope you have not paid too much for them.
  7. See for all the tell-tale signs. More pictures would settle the matter.
    I have a gold Swedish Army Leica... amazing how well it kept, even the lacquer smells fresh!
  8. As Robin says, the shutter button surrounds give the game away. Also, 309116 would be a I from 1930, and should have had no view-finder or range-finder.
  9. Bob has left the house.....?
  10. According to the serial number list on L-camera forum, cameras 309116 and 309118 were part of a sgroup of Leica Standards manufactured in 1938. As most here know, Leica Standards did not have rangefinders.
  11. Lots of screw-mount Leicas that began life as I's and standards were updated through the years by Leica as part of their upgrade program to higher-spec models, including those with rangefinders, so the original state of construction could have always been modified, but I think these particular "copies" have pretty much been debunked as outright fakes.
  12. 1938. Wendell is right. Greg is also right. No Leica ever had a Zorki style shutter button surround. I think the screws on the accessory shoes are also wrong.
  13. Fakes.
  14. see also where he also joined to opine that he had no doubt that they were genuine.
  15. This one comes up pretty fast on Google if you search Bilderichter.
  16. I have to comment about his location JD. Con-necticut
  17. Just wondering, about when would these have been modified?
    Was this done in the 1950's, 1960's, or recently?
    -- glen
  18. Bob Larson may find an equally gullible buyer and never know the truth. The victims of con jobs seldom doubt their judgement.
  19. Was this done in the 1950's, 1960's, or recently?​
    I'd bet on recently. My guess is this is largely a post-Soviet business model.
  20. For his sake, let us hope he has the documentation for these cameras. And knows a good lawyer.
    He seemed to waffle a bit about that. And now appears to be MIA.
    JDW's data is well worth reading.
    I never did like those gold plated Leicas... Give me a nice Luxus any day.
  21. Even after being careful and checking the forums, I got rooked on a LTM "50mm Elmar" from eBay. It took me months to suddenly realize that the filters kept coming off because the diameter of the knurled part of the mount was just a little small -- not something that Leitz would have done.
    The good part is that the images are just as good (or better?) as my last-model (f:22, etc) Elmar which I bought new from a Leica dealer in the 1950s.
    So don't be too hard on the guy -- he was suckered, as any of us could be.
  22. It's easy to be taken in by Leica copies if you haven't come across them before. Perhaps even the son of the collector was unaware of their provenance, especially if they were part of some large collection of his father's containing mostly genuine items. But maybe he knew perfectly well - these aren't exactly the most subtle fakes we've seen here. Even without the flamboyant Nazi decoration and the Soviet-style shutter release, the bulge on the front of the top plate (compare with #3 in JDM's link) would give the game away. Bob, if you're still reading, I hope you can resolve this issue. If the cameras were represented to you as Leicas, then you might want to drop into a shop that deals with classic cameras and get a written appraisal you can show to the seller to request a refund. If he's acting in good faith, this should be straightforward. If not, and if the cameras were expensive, then I guess it's lawyer time.
  23. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    So don't be too hard on the guy -- he was suckered, as any of us could be.​
    From his post ("advice on where to sell"), it would appear that he bought these solely to resell them. If someone does that, they need to know what they are doing. He was just looking to make a quick buck. Zero sympathy.
  24. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the whole story is just that and "Bob" is the one initiating the con, not really wanting any value estimates at all, hoping some poor sap would respond to this post, wanting to buy them.
  25. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the whole story is just that and "Bob" is the one initiating the con, not really wanting any value estimates at all, hoping some poor sap would respond to this post, wanting to buy them.​
    It is interesting that he didn't say how much he paid, and doesn't seem to assume that the seller had a good idea of the value, or at least that the seller believed he had a good idea of the value.
  26. WOW, thank you to everyone who clarified (and consequently further shook my faith in 'humanity's propensity for goodness'), I APOLOGIZE for not participating in the thread, but with one child in college and another heading out west to start his life in Oregon of all places (I am on the East coast) I have had scant time to read, let alone interact with you all, but this goes to show you that knowledge is power, caveat emptor, and one participant (Greg Chappel) disparaged me?)- Come a little closer Greg....should be careful who you disparage without knowing me...I paid less than an average paycheck for the three btw with a silent partner, and obviously, that was way too much. Now I will hold onto my thread of hope that the seller didnt know they were wrong (they were on his late father's leica 'list'), and there are 21 others without nazi markings that I probably should have expressed some interest in, and learn~ Again, THANK you to all of the informative, understanding, and KIND people on this forum that have cleared the air~ They are what they are, I will put them forward in an auction setting, so my only crime will be perpetrating and participating in the caveat emptor racket. I cannot keep them as a collectible knowing what I now know~ Peace and happiness to all who helped me out, I REALLY APPRECIATE your input
  27. Bob, some people collect these cameras as curiosities, so you may get a bit of money back if you can't get a refund. I would list them unambiguously as copies or replicas. There are several comparable cameras listed on ebay at the moment for $200+, though $150 is more common (I can also see some completed auctions in the $150 range). That's more than most people here would pay (an original Zorki or FED without the spurious Leica engravings and Third Reich bling can be had for much less) but we tend to be users rather than collectors.
  28. Thank you again Richard, I wanted one for my room, but with what little I knew about LEICA'S, I thought I would turn to those more 'educated in the arts of camera's' for info, etc- It has been informative, if not a bit depressing, but again, I wanted to thank you and everyone else on teh thread who responded to my query, which was at face value and I assure you, quite genuine~ Thanks again, and "all is not lost for those that seek the truth" ~:) PEACE
  29. You know if you take one of those to a reputable camera store that does have one of these pre-M Leicas and just compare the workmanship, particularly the cleanliness of the stampings of the parts, meaning the levers, the nobs even the top plate, you will see the difference in workmanship. It will be fairly obvious if you look closely.
  30. I have both a Leica IIIa from 1938 and one from one of the last Zorki I series. Concerning workmanship, they are on almost equal level. Anyhow, usually it is no problem telling Zorkis from Leicas. As far as I know, only very few Leica II (without slow speed dial) were ever sold to the German government, and it would be rather strange to find a government labeled genuine Leica without slow speeds. In other words, except for very very few items (that you would probably not find on ebay or in private collections) all government/military etc labeled "Leicas" without slow speed dial are fakes.
  31. and one participant (Greg Chappel) disparaged me?)- Come a little closer Greg....should be careful who you disparage without knowing me...

    What's to know? You were playing "flip these Leicas" and announced in your second post you knew more about the bodies in question than the responders did. Seems pretty straight-forward what was going on.
    Have you gone back to at least that one other site (if not more) where you posted the same question, but with no pictures, and let the people who have responded know that you now know you were duped by someone?
    You cannot keep them NOW as a collectible? You never were planning on keeping them, LOL...
  32. "I assure you, they are not fakes but were bought from a very high end, annotated collection" Bob L.
    That was one of the funniest things I've ever read on Pnet...

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