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Thread: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

  1. #1
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    Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    Recently my aunt and uncle were going through my grandfather's things, and they came upon an old Leica. Since I am the resident photographer in the family, they asked me if I would like to have it. Of course. When I got it, I was surprised to see that it was still in good condition -- quite worn, but not encased in 1000 years of dust and fungus like many old cameras can be. I believe that my grandfather bought the camera, and bought it new, though he would have been fairly young at the time. Using the serial number, I was able to determine that it is a Leica III from 1934 and it has 50/2 summar from the same year. The lens is silver and the body black.

    At the time, the lens was very hazy, but the RF and VF were remarkably clear. The shutter was working, but very sluggish. I decided I wanted to try to use it, so I sent it off to Sherry Krauter. For whatever reason, it took her six months to fix it, but when I got it back, it was great. It is as smooth as silk, the summar is much better, and everything seems to be working great.
    Here is the camera:




    So two weeks ago or so I took it out to give it a try. I must say that I like the results -- the shots are fairly hazy and soft (especially at f/2 or 2.8), but the look is really nice. It has an aesthetic appeal all its own. And the camera is really charming simply in its size and its eccentricities. There are times when it feels like, yet, I am photographing with a 75 year old camera, and others when it does not show its age.

    In any case, here are some basic shots:

    These are stopped down to maybe f/4:







    And these are wide open:





    I like the wide open ones better for whatever reason. Maybe they are just more interesting photos.

    Finally, you can also use more modern screwmount lenses. This is with the CV 15mm:



    In any case, it is a very interesting camera, and I am glad I could bring it back to life and start using it again. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and I can understand why it was so alluring to people at the time.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    The Cam is Beautiful Suart.... and the photos have a Vintage Glow

    Ypue grandPapa would be PROUD...
    Sherry seems to have given YOu back a Jewel
    I remember You posred a fix pixs before sending it Out

    Do Hope you keep her (aside from using)
    BTW Is that YOU in the Last Shot ...me thinks so /trying to remember YOU from our lunch together....

    Best= H

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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    Stuart,

    It's great that you own and use a piece of history. To have a personal connection to it as well makes even more special. Enjoy and lets see more photos from it...

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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    Thank you both! Yes, I would never sell it, I am too sentimental, so it is either use it or keep it on the shelf. I am opting to use it.

    And yes, Helen, that's me. Sorry for the grimace -- it's hard to frame and hold the camera backwards at arms length without the effort showing in your face!
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  5. #5
    Super Duper
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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    Very cool! A wonderful patina and love the look of the Summar.

  6. #6
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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    Very nice. The camera and the photos. The flatter than usual look is I guess due to the low contrast non-coated old lens, but still is the exposure 100% right? I would think some seem slightly overexposed, but having said that, I like the photos as they are.

  7. #7
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Out with my grandfather's Leica.

    That is a wonderful camera!!! I agree -- the images form pre-lens coating technology have a "feel" about them that is lost with modern coated lenses. I am envious of that lens.

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