The Leica IIIa: In Full Color

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by danny_zahner, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. I finally got the old Leica IIIa with its 50mm Summitar F2.0 lens out to do some work with color film. The film used was Kodak 400UC and "processed" at the Wal-Mart "photo lab." Anyway, the subject matter is the main drag of another small Kansas town, and a one of the local scenery. Enjoy!!! BTW, the light was judged using both the "Sunny 16" method, and also with a Weston Master exposure meter. This round of pictures were taken to test the Summitar with color film, as well as to test out the accuracy of the recently acquired Weston Master. It sure does appear relatively accurate!!! Best part, it uses the odd aperture values of the Leitz Summitar lens.
  2. First Shot: The Bar
  3. Second Shot: Window Shopping with the Country Mouse
  4. Third Shot: Miller's
  5. Fourth Shot: America Bless
  6. Fifth Shot: Federal Aid
  7. Last Shot: A Quiet Afternoon
  8. BTW, all exposures mentioned in the picture captions are "ballpark" figures based on what I faintly remember. Didn't have time to write down the exact exposure since I was in somewhat of a hurry since the sun was quickly going down!!!
  9. Nice pictures. Is your Summitar lens a coated or uncoated model?
  10. My Summitar is, unusually for a lens produced in 1942, a coated version. It is haze, fog, and fungus free as well. The exterior of the front element could use a cleaning, but I'm uncomfartable doing this myself on a lens well known for fragile glass/coatings. I'll probably have it cleaned professionaly, then I'll keep a filter on it at all times. Furthermore, I have found that it is prone to flare, so the folding Leitz lens shade is probably in my near future. However, are there any other options for lens shades? What about filters/adapters? Thanks for the kind comments!!!
  11. That was supposed to be "Thanks for the kind comment"
  12. It's good seeing a IIIa and Summitar put to outdoor use. The "Sunny 16" rule generally works well with older cameras and negative film is usually forgiving of a one stop error.
  13. Danny,

    Nice images.

    Not sure if you have access to slide film and processing, but using a good neutral film such as EPN, would be a more accurate test.

  14. Yeah, I put a scratch in the front element of my coated Summitar cleaning it. (A last wipe with Kodak lens tissue, but dry. Bad!) The proper technique is to dust it off with canned air, then with a very soft brush rolled up of the torn edge of lens tissue. Then use little buds of lens tissue, such that you cannot apply any force, wet with a proper cleaner (Kodak lens cleaner or Residual Oil Remover).

    It's not hard to get a Leica UV or Haze filter in the "L" mount for the Summitar. But it probably won't be coated. I have an uncoated one. But this lens is so fragile that it's the one lens I keep a filter on all the time.

    Or, get a Leica SNHOO/13078 adapter, which lets you use E39 filters.

    You really can't get a better shade than the Leica SOOPD shade. Be sure to match the type of clips on the shade to the groove around the front of your lens, there are square and V grooves. (I have a grooveless lens and the early clamp-on shade.) I don't know if the clip-on shades can be used with a "L" filter in place, however! I would be even more dubious about the SOOPD mounting on a SNHOO.

    Some third-party vendors like Ednalite and Tiffen did make Series VI adapters that screw into the Summitar. Then you could use that to hold a modern coated Series VI filter, and a round hood. But they are hard to find, to say the least.
  15. The last shot looks great.

    I think coated 1942's Summitars are mentioned in the literature but AFAIK Leitz offerend a coating service for uncoated lenses in the 1950s. Maybe your lens passed that procedure.

    Anyhow, especially for the last shot it's the photographer who does the framing and composing, not the lens. And you did a great job.
  16. Nice looking outfit and very nice photos. I think the summitar is much underrated.
  17. A Summitar sold for $100 a couple of days ago in the Leica Forum.
  18. "The "Sunny 16" rule generally works well with older cameras..." Huh? The sunny 16 rule works pretty well with any camera.

Share This Page