old photographic adventure: Leica IIIf 35mm film rangefinder camera

Next weekend I intend to use my old film camera, a Leica IIIf, to photograph an encampment of  War of 1812 re-enactors who will be at Little Lake Park in Midland, Ontario for Canada Day.

The Leica IIIf is a 35mm film compact rangefinder camera with the Leica screwmount lens mount.  With a collapsible Elmar 5cm f3.5 lens, it is a very small, eminently pocketable camera.

It has no swing open back like many old film cameras. Instead it has a removable base plate and although this makes reloading slower and fussy, it results in an incredibly strong body.

Below is some internet resources and a series of my photos and you should pay attention in particular to the shot of the back that shows the two eye openings for the rangefinder and the viewfinder.  You use the rangefinder to align the split image.  You use the viewfinder to frame the image, it shows the full 50mm view.

Internet resources:

some stuff about loading the Leica IIIf, as always its amazing what you can find out about a 60 year old camera on the internet

http://photo.net/columns/joshroot/filmtown/2009/january/leica-IIIf-fuji-provia-100f  by Josh Root on photo.net

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heMk-4hde9E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJSiNm0IWj4

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45352

http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/screw-mount/iiif.htm

http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/002pDy

Cameraquest article,  Leica IIIf RD ST Camera as art form http://www.cameraquest.com/3frdst.htm

Leica IIIf with Elmar 5 cm f3.5 lens extended into shooting position

Leica IIIf fitted with a Leitz Hektor 13.5cm (135mm) telephoto lens

front view of Leica IIIf with 5cm Elmar lens collapsed and lens cap mounted

Top view of Leica IIIf with Elmar 5 cm lens collapsed

Leica IIIf rear view showing location and size of eye openings for Rangefinder and separate viewfinder

Leica IIIf side view showing Elmar 5 cm lens extended into shooting position

how to trim the film leader for loading in a Leica IIIf

Screwmount Lens size comparison: l. to r. Jupiter 8 5cm f2.0 lens (non-collapsible), Elmar 5cm f3.5 (collapsed), Cosina Voigtlander 5 cm f3.5 (collapsed) – a bit misleading, the CV has its lens flare hood attached

former Soviet Union Leica copy, Fed 2 with Jupiter 8 5cm f2.0 lens

glass roof, my photo made with Leica IIIf and Elmar 5 cm lens

Greek Orthodox Church near Barrie, Ontario, Canada, my photo taken with Leica IIIf and Elmar lens

site of dismantled CPR trestle at Hogg Bay, near Port McNicoll, Ontario, Canada, my photo taken with Leica IIIf and Elmar 5cm f3.5 lens

manual film camera, SLR from Nikon, FM with MD-12

Nikon FM with 50mm f1.4 lens and motor drive MD-12.

Manual Nikon SLR body with motor drive.

The FM model has a flip up AI tab on the lens mount that permits use of non-AI as well as AI and later Nikkor lenses.

This camera uses 35mm film.

My late father purchased this camera and had some fun with it during his retirement.  He struggled sometimes with focus and exposure but he got some great shots with it and had fun trying. He shot with a 50mm f2.0 Nikkor.  I added the f1.4 and motor drive in the erly 2000s.  The MD-12 is a greedy device, taking 8 AA batteries. My father passed away in 1992.  Camera has a very nice viewfinder.  Very solid feel to the body when shooting. Even more solid with the motor drive attached.

This model was manufactured between 1977 and 1982. A new compact, but rugged, copper-aluminum alloy chassis that began Nikon’s highly successful range of compact semi-professional SLR cameras.


Couchiching Park, Orillia, Ontario, HP5 film, Nikon FM with 35mm f2.0 Nikkor lens