Which Leica is this?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by baisao, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. I know that Vivian Maier used a chrome Leica IIIc but this photo shows a Leica that is not chrome and looks odd to me (perhaps only because it is flipped). Which Leica is this? Any guesses on the lens?

    (I realize that her photography is somewhat controversial to some, so let's leave that aside. I am merely curious about which camera this is as it seems unfamiliar to me in some ways.)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. It looks like a Leica II from 1932 in a leather half case? The aperture ring does appear to have a small tab on it though.
    If this photo was taken in a mirror you would expect the lens to be perfectly concentric. This Leice lens has a shadow of an un-extended collapsible type. I wonder if she actually took the shot with her Rolleiflex just out of view in the mirror?
     
  3. I reckon Clive has almost everything in his post. A collapsible Summitar perhaps....?
     
  4. Summar 5cm f2 collapsible?
     
  5. It's a 1933 Leica III Black Serial no. 144588 fitted with an F2 Summar bought by Wilson Featherdew of Rossington, Missouri, whilst on vacation, from Elvers' Corner Store, Manhattan, on the 25 th May 1934. Hopefully someone else can fill in the details
     
  6. Agree with Clive that it's a II (no slow speeds) with probably a Summar. The bottom half of the case is unusual, though.
    00bsfQ-541706184.jpg
     
  7. It's a 1933 Leica III Black Serial no. 144588 fitted with an F2 Summar bought by Wilson Featherdew of Rossington, Missouri, whilst on vacation, from Elvers' Corner Store, Manhattan, on the 25 th May 1934.
    But WHAT TIME OF DAY WAS IT BOUGHT? Did the sales clerk have grease on his fingers from the Danish he ate during his break? All these things matter!
     
  8. I wonder if she actually took the shot with her Rolleiflex just out of view in the mirror?​
    Good point. There's no way to get an unblurred shot with a lens collapsed, even if the focus tab seems to be in the right place for the distance. Strange.
     
  9. I've been reading up on her on the internet. She loved the Rollei, and as a Rollei owner myself I understand that! One site said her Leica was a IIIf, along with a couple of other premium 35mm bodies. What lenses did she have for the Leica? One of them shown looked pretty long, such as a 135mm. I read that her first camera was a classic Brownie!
    Kent in SD
     
  10. Don't know what kind of Leica it is but looks like somebody forgot their pants!

    http://www.vivianmaier.com/portfolios/new-york-1/?pid=192
     
  11. SCL

    SCL

    I had the opportunity to see several of her cameras in Chicago earlier this year, they were a part of an exhibit of her history along with some of her works printed by a master printer for the exhibit. Although a number of cameras were mentioned in the text, the one which I most distinctly remember actually seeing was one of her Rolleiflexes, I was surprised to learn that she had also experimented with 35mm, given her skill with TLRs. She also seemed to have a knack for utilizing excellent equipment, given her meager financial resources. Truly a driven photographer with a unique insight.
     
  12. A master of the square format for sure.
     
  13. The thing that stood out for me was that her small hand prints were not very inspiring but when enlarged in the hands of an expert they were dynamic and rewarding.
     
  14. Clive is right that this is a Leica II, and most likely from 1932.
    I don't think the lens is a Summar, I have one on my Leica II, and the front diameter of this lens looks larger. I think it's more likely a Summitar, having just looked at one on Ebay.
    I couldn't say if it's extended or not.
    At first I thought the photo couldn't have been taken with that camera, but now I'm not so sure.
    I'm not surprised if someone who normally used a TLR would try 35mm.
    A Rollei is a bit big to slip in a pocket, and although you get a bigger viewfinder and a better size contact print, you do only get 12 on a roll, it's a bit limiting sometimes.
    I sometimes take my DSLR, and slip a compact or a M43 camera in a pocket as well. I can imagine doing that with a TLR and a Leica.
     
  15. I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't her hands. They are big and rough for a nannies work.
    One other reason the photo doesn't seem right is the aspect ratio. For a 35mm in landscape format there is an awful lot
    cropped off which would lead me still think it was shot with the Rollei.
     
  16. I also believe the lens to be a Summar given the thickness of the rim and the visibility of the lettering. The Summitar (which I have) has a much thinner outer rim and the lettering barely visible due to the unique indentation from the rim to the glass.
    I'm not surprised if someone who normally used a TLR would try 35mm.​
    Ernst Haas did exactly that after WWII, following HCB's lead, according to Jim Hughes, writer of the Forward in Ernst Haas' book, Ernst Haas in Black and White.
     
  17. Yeah, those are some serious man hands! I asked my wife about the hands and my wife assumed that the photo was a of man. I had to insist that she was a woman.
     
  18. I can't quite pass over the mention that "her photography is controversial to some." I haven't seen much in the way of controversy over her photography. She was a very good street photographer by anyone's standards. This is aside from the issue of her legacy, which is obviously entirely out of her hands.
     
  19. Check her self portraits. She's got pretty large hands.

    Here are a few photos where she's got a 35mm RF:

    http://www.vivianmaier.com/portfolios/self-portraits/?pid=288

    http://www.vivianmaier.com/portfolios/self-portraits/?pid=265

    http://www.vivianmaier.com/portfolios/self-portraits/?pid=272
     
  20. If you blow up the image it looks as if someone might have Photoshopped out the slow speed dial.
     
  21. I can't quite pass over the mention that "her photography is controversial to some." I haven't seen much in the way of controversy over her photography. She was a very good street photographer by anyone's standards. This is aside from the issue of her legacy, which is obviously entirely out of her hands.​
    Luke, the last time I saw a thread regarding her work it devolved into factions of those that saw merit in her work and others that thought it was highly overrated. There seemed to be no middle ground. I made that comment to avoid such a distraction to the intent of this thread.
     
  22. I should have guessed that the "startling posthumous discovery" story would irresistibly divide people either one way or the other on the merits of her work. It's a funny contrast to her own lack of pretension about what she was doing.
     
  23. In my opinion it's a Summitar lens. The diameter looks too big for it to be a Summar.
     
  24. Jim, I know what you mean. I think the news spin is what is irritating to many. Amazing! A Chicago nanny (sorry, caregiver) had other things on her mind but work; "just discovered" things are always much better than things that we have known about for years...and she was a woman (incredible!). I like her pics but do find the spin irritating - why should we be surprised that there are a lot of undiscovered artists out there? Pity it took so long in her case.
     
  25. Definitely a Leica II. Based on the color of coating reflection I'd say it was a Canon lens. From the size it's probably a 50mm f:1.4. The case is oversize, possibly for a IIIg.
     
  26. Robin, I think you are spot on with every point!
     
  27. Bill, do you think it is Canon because of the coating? My Summitars also have a purplish coating, though light. Just curious. :)
     
  28. My late Canon 50 1.4 has straw coloured rather unexciting coatings? has a black grip. It looks to me like a collapsible Summicron, but the lettering seems to be in the wrong place.
     
  29. On my monitor the coating looks a little brownish, not blueish.
     

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