Leica III

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Leica III
Leica IIIf 50mm f1.5.jpg
Leica IIIf fitted with a Summarit 50mm f/1.5 and a viewfinder. This particular model does not feature a self-timer.
Type 35 mm rangefinder camera
Lens mount M39 lens mount
Focus manual
Exposure manual
Flash cold shoe

The Leica III is a rangefinder camera introduced by Leica in 1933, and produced in parallel with the Leica II series. Several models were produced over the years, with significant improvements.

The Leica III uses a coupled rangefinder distinct from the viewfinder. The viewfinder is set for a 50mm lens; use of shorter or longer lenses requires installing an alternate viewfinder on the accessory socket.[1]

Leica III models
Model name Manufacturing dates Features or improvements
Leica F (Leica III) 1933–1939 like II but with slow speeds on frontal dial * LEI0221 199 Leica III schwarz Umbau von Leica I - Sn. 25629 1930-M39 Front view-6395 hf-Bearbeitet.jpg
Leica 250 1933–1946 Leica III or IIIa with 250-image magazines (10 metres of film) Leica-IMG 0246.jpg
Leica G (Leica IIIa) 1935–1940 adds 1/1000 speed LEI0260 197 Leica IIIa - Sn. 206617 1936-M39 Front view-Bearbeitet.jpg
Leica IIIb 1938–1940 Rangefinder and view windows closer together Leica-IIIb-front.jpg
Leica IIIc 1940–1951 die-cast body, slightly longer, redesigned shutter featuring ball bearings LEI0320 189 Leica IIIc chrome - Sn. 384761 1941-M39 Front view-Bearbeitet.jpg
Leica IIId 1940–1945 Very rare, only 427 were built
Leica IIIf 1950–1956 Introduced in time for Christmas 1950. Featured in-camera user selectable flash synchronization for the multitude of flash bulbs then available. Two versions produced, (1950-52) with non geometric shutter speeds and had black flash synchro numbers. Collectors refer to this model as a "Black Dial, aka BD". Second version (1953-56) switched to modern geometric speeds and was distinguished by red lettering on flash synchro numbers. Collectors refer to this model as a "Red Dial, aka RD". A self-timer was offered as a factory installed option in 1954. Many owners of the first IIIf version opted to send their cameras to Leica for self-timer retrofits. Collectors add the suffix ST (self timer) to the BD and RD nomenclature. BDST and RDST are used to identify models with self timers. LEI0431 191 Leica IIIf chrome 1954 - Sn. 692358 M39 Front view Vorlaufwerk-6710 hf.jpg
Leica IIIg 1957–1960 change in body configuration to facilitate manufacture of larger and brighter viewfinder. Projected frame lines and automatic parallax correction for 50 and 90mm lenses. Rare. Leica IIIg img 1881.jpg

Accessories and miscellaneous images[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  • Image for Leica F is actually model IIIa
  1. ^ Unification of the rangefinder and the viewfinder occurred with the introduction of the Leica M3, allowing quick framing and focusing in a single operation. The M3 viewfinder is also able to display viewlines for 50, 90 and 135mm lenses

External links[edit]