One of my favorite things about Seattle is the many fantastic garage and estate sales. Many weekends find Theresa and I driving around looking for promising ones. We found a winner on Saturday and made our way in. Imagine my delight when we stumbled across a bookshelf full of old cameras.
I spent several minutes trying to decide if the Richoflex with the sticky shutter was worth the trouble. I quickly passed up the Canon AE-1 with the cracked lens. Then I saw it. In a frayed leather case emblazoned with those legendary letters. Leica.
I peeled back the greasy leather and discovered this beauty. It was grimy and dirty, but I didn't care. I know how well these cameras were built, plus I figured it would be worth the money to get it fixed up if I had to.
About that time the lady running the sale come through and I asked her how much she'd take for it. "Five dollars" she said. I thought I heard her wrong. "FIVE dollars, are you serious?" I asked, incredulous. "Which camera is that?" she inquired. "This is a Leica" I said, cursing my foolish outburst as I did. "Oh yeah, five bucks, no problem" she said.
I asked her a little more about the camera as I was paying and she told me that it had belonged to her father and that he had probably picked it up when he was in Germany in the 40's.
Needless to say, I was giddy the rest of the day. Once we got home, a few minutes with some Q-tips revealed a beautiful camera in perfect working condition. I have my first roll in it, and I can't wait to see what the Elmar 3.5 can do.
NOTE: I looked up the serial number and it appears that this camera was made in 1934. 10,600 of this model were made during this year. The lens appears to have been made in 1939.