Newbie: Questions

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by finnegan, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. I know 0 about Leica but have on and off been interested in a used one or selling my house for a new one if the urge really blossoms. Happened to see this:
    Guy is selling a family Leica
    M3 and 50mm lens. Lens is SUMMARON 1:2.8/35 LEITZ WETZLAR + a serial number I believe - and a very large telephoto lens with a Leica Lens Cover on it. I have a note into him asking what that might be. His price is $900 for everything - think there's an old light meter there too.

    So, what would that price be considered as for a 30-40 year old Leica with that lens and SOME telephoto lens likely contemporary with the camera. Camera looks in decent shape externally. Is $900 average for what I describe, or high, low etc.
  2. If that's a well worn Leica plus ditto lenses + mould, too much. If all is in good working order, OK price, but a lot depends on the long lens. Summaron is well thought of.
  3. Is it a single stroke M3 or a double stroke M3? Condition of the M3 is important. We need more info - serial number and pictures would help.
    On the face of it the $900 does seem a bit high.
  4. You might need a chance to compare the rangefinder patch's brightness to a more contemporary Leica. - Here I have a M3 which is dimmer than my M4 P. - A fix would be resilvering a prism inside the RF mechanism. - Some guy in the UK offered that service but it wasn't exactly cheap. - Results looked great in a friend's M3. - The issue isn't entirely cosmetical when you want to work fast in low light.
  5. Go to and have a look there to get a feel for price. Condition means a lot so try to evaluate the condition based on what you've seen. Leica M's can still be repaired but if it's been sitting it may need some service. Leicas are rugged though. The 35mm focal length is a good one for Leica (not a 50mm unless you're saying he's selling 2 lenses).
    One more thing. The M3 has built in frame lines for 50, 90, and 135. 35mm lenses for the M3 needed "spectacles" which magnified the view through the rangefinder. Presumably the 35 you have has those spectacles. The M2 has 35, 50, and 90mm frame lines. The M3 was the higher end model but I like the M2s myself because I like the 35mm frame line.
  6. Confirming, it is not a steal, but if it is in good shape, it is probably fair. If it is rough,
    you could be at least a few hundred dollars into a cla. I always factor into the price of
    used equipment, two to three hundred dollars to bring the camera up to a reliable
    spec. The M3 is a workhorse of a camera. I dont have personal experience with that lens though.
  7. SCL


    I owned the version without the goggle eyes on it. It was a really good all around lens...not razor sharp across the entire field, but when stopped down to f5.6 it did a great job for me for many years. The version without the goggles is relatively small and discreet. It was my favorite among the Leica 35mm lenses for its rendition...but the recent 35mm ASPH blows it away in terms of razor sharpness across the entire field. If it is in good shape (no haze, fog, fungus, mildew, cleaning marks or scratches - and smoothly focuses, no oil on the diaphragm blades) you will indeed be a lucky man. As for the telephoto....there could be lots of answers depending on what it is and its condition. You can look up lots of info on the M3 on the web as well as check prices on recent sales on the big auction site (check the box "completed sales" to see what sold and for how much, then check the descriptions for details). Generally expect to spend $2-300 for a CLA to ensure it is working as it should and be good for another 50 years.
  8. These days I pretty much stick to KEH, unless I know the person selling or know the equipment first
    hand. Hard to go wrong with a 14 day return policy and 6 month warranty.
  9. Plus one for KEH. They have done right by me many times and their prices are reasonable, too.

Share This Page