Black and White Photography · film photography · Leica Camera · Photo essay · photography · Rangefinder Camera · Vintage Camera

Leica IIIF – I Barely Knew Ye

I bought a Leica IIIF RD from KEH last month, but only had it for a short time. My first impressions of this camera will be featured in an article on 35mmc very soon, so I am only going to share some photos I took with it and give a brief story on what happened.

black cat Leica IIIF
Kentmere Pan 400 at 1600

Why a Leica IIIF Red Dial?

There is a photographer I follow on Instagram whose work I am enamored with. His name is Luiz Barbosa, and his still life in particular is what caught my eye. However, being the vintage camera addict that I am, photos of his Leica IIIF also caught my eye. Mechanical cameras just do something for me.

Leica IIIF

I looked at KEH for weeks before finally finding one for sale. I chose to buy from them because of their warranty, and I’ve had pretty good luck in the past. I didn’t choose a Red Dial version for any particular reason other than it was the one available.

vine in bathroom

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banana and pineapple in a bowl

As I said in the beginning, I don’t want to spoil the First Impressions article coming out soon, so I won’t explain my experience just yet, but unfortunately the camera had pin holes in the shutter curtain. You can see an example of it in the photo below.

potato plant
Here you can see the light leaks from the pin holes in the shutter curtain
Leica IIIF

The leaks weren’t very noticeable until I was outside taking photos, so at first I didn’t know.

maltese dog

Fortunately, KEH has a great warranty and they took the camera back for repair right away. They said they’re going to replace the shutter curtain and due to Covid it may be a little while. It is a shame because I really enjoyed using it and I can’t wait to get it back.

Final Thoughts

potato vine

Stay tuned, when it returns I will post a review and some more of my experience. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this little teaser with some photos I was able to get. I saved my favorites for the 35mmC article. I will share it when it posts.

Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

10 thoughts on “Leica IIIF – I Barely Knew Ye

  1. Great article Aly. Leica’s are out of my league, but I have a couple of “clones”: Soviet-made Fed 2, and a newer one (Fed 5?). They’re definitely not a Leica, but they are decent rangefinders in their own right. I too have a thing for the old mechanical stuff: mainly Japanese 35mm SLRs.

    1. I have the Fed 2 as well and to be honest the only difference is quality. Don’t tell anyone I said that 😆😉but it’s like anything with a brand name on it. You get better materials most of the time but it still basically the same function.

  2. Youxin Ye is THE go-to guy in the US for service on these cameras (as well as LTM39 lenses). Not cheap, and backlogged, but he can replace shutter curtains as well as tune up your Leica.

  3. The early results looks very promising ! you don’t mention which lens it came with but that’s ok, I can read more in the 33mmc article. Love my 1935 3a .

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