Leica.III

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    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.

    dave watts, s58y, fondazza1943, and 27 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. elias.and.theresa.carlson 56 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the tip, if I remember correctly that is who they outsource too, now that you mention it. Any idea how much he charges? I have a couple hundred bucks set aside, and since the camera isn't fully functional (and I have about 6 others to play with) I can wait a couple months if I need to. I figure it would be worth even a few hundred bucks to get it working perfectly.

    2. Oliver Hutton 56 months ago | reply

      My guess is that DAG would be in the range of $300 or so, but you also have to do some research on what ones in the condition are going for in full working order. My guess is in the $400-500 range, so you are probably not going to lose money on the deal (depends on the exact model though). I'd give DAG a call, and just see what they say. Explain the condition of the camera as well as you can. They'll hopefully give you some good advice. One note about DAG though, is that sometimes the promptness of their customer service leaves something to be desired, so it may be a bit of a hassle, but well worth it.

    3. elias.and.theresa.carlson 56 months ago | reply

      Awesome, thanks for the help Oliver. It is greatly appreciated.

    4. Dead Slow 56 months ago | reply

      That was a super bargain. Envy. You go!

    5. elias.and.theresa.carlson 56 months ago | reply

      I know it :) And thanks, once I get it CLA'd I'll be using it a lot.

    6. _missmoss_ 55 months ago | reply

      WHAT a find! i am looking forward to seeing the results.

    7. scott w. h. young 54 months ago | reply

      what a lucky day!

    8. Blackbeard Ben 53 months ago | reply

      Great story, great find!

    9. -Abs- 50 months ago | reply

      Nice find! My Leica was also made in '34.

    10. Imanol 6x6 50 months ago | reply

      Great!
      I have one!

    11. **Geoff* 50 months ago | reply

      $5??????
      F_ck you
      F_ck you
      F_ck you
      F_ck you
      F_ck you

      I don't feel so guilty about paying $200 for mine now.

    12. elias.and.theresa.carlson 50 months ago | reply

      Ah ha ha ha, yeah, used up all my good luck for the next 7 years on that one :)

    13. alankaar 45 months ago | reply

      Wow... that's some luck! :)

    14. LucisPictor 35 months ago | reply

      Nice cam!
      I'm waiting to get mine delivered.

    15. Chic-KEN 34 months ago | reply

      OMG ... $5 ? you really lucky person.

    16. Shawn Colborn 34 months ago | reply

      Haha. Amazing find!

    17. GrizzlysGhost 32 months ago | reply

      Incredible story and find! I just picked up a iiif for about 70% of market price; your deal is absolutely unbelievable! So glad you were able to save it from a life of sitting in a box!

    18. Alex The Roman 28 months ago | reply

      Incredible story indeed, but these miracle bargains still do happen! :-)
      And I thought I had a good deal with mine!!
      Have you managed to get it fixed eventually? I have one from the exact same lot as yours (135xxx), can you please confirm whether the fastest speed on yours is 500 as well? There are some contrasting info on this batch, some call it Leica IIIA (although the III A had 1000 as fastest speed), others just Leica III..

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