Category Archives: Leica M3

Leica.

What is it about Leica rangefinders that inspire countless photographers to create wonderful images?

Leica

Bedtime Hair Brushing.

My M3 is back — repaired, rebuilt… reborn.

—Peter.

Bedtime Hair Brushing

↑Leica M3, Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/1.4 and 1/30 sec, Kodak Tri-X 400.

The Ship of Theseus, and my Leica M3.

Theseus' Ship

In Greek mythology, Theseus was the the hero who slayed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth of Knossos.

He then sailed home, on a ship that — having long been in service — was in obvious need of repair.  Wooden planks were therefore removed and replaced.

Theseus’ Paradox arises from the following thought experiment:  suppose, over time, more and more aging planks were removed and then replaced with new pieces of wood until — eventually — no original plank remained.

Would the ship still be the same ship?

Most people would still consider it Theseus‘ ship, but… Would it still be the same ship that served him so well?

There are several potential answers to this question, and one further wrinkle that involves taking all of the old discarded planks and re-fashioning another ship, thus creating two Theseus ships (the one with all of the replaced parts, and a new-old one with the old parts).  It’s very mind-bending.

So…what’s this have to do with photography?

Nothing.  But…

I recently purchased a 1963 Leica M3 in completely original condition, and sent it in for servicing.  Even though it was working well enough in most situations, several of its optical and mechanical parts were in poor condition and needed to be replaced.  The exterior covering was replaced too.

I’m currently waiting for its return.

While I’m waiting, the question I keep asking myself, after all of these changes is:

Is this the same M3 that allowed me take this image?

Or has my ship sailed?

—Peter.

Tender is the Knight.

Tender is the Knight

↑Leica M3, Voigtländer Nokton 40mm, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

This photo was chosen as a Leica Fotografie International (LFI) Master Shot:

LFI Master Shot

1963 M3 – Test Shot.

Completing my move back into shooting film is my acquisition of a Leica M3.

I’m revisiting an old friend, in that I’ve owned two of these previously (a couple of examples of my previous output with the M3 can be seen here and here) .

This one is from 1963, and it still has the “L” seal intact — which means it has never been opened to be serviced since leaving the factory in 1963.

How well does this 50+ year old camera fare?

Here is a test shot from today (focus is on the angels):

1963 M3 Test Shot

↑Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

The focus is spot-on, and most of the shutter speeds are working perfectly.

Now, do I get it serviced to get the last ounce of performance out of it, or do I leave it untouched (with the L seal intact)?

Hmmm…

—Peter.

Warning sign.

Warning Sign

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Zeiss 21mm @ f/2.8.

Soccer trio.

Soccer trio

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

Magic Moment.

This was going to be a simple profile shot, with the magic of twilight setting the mood.

And then, engrossed in the distant action, she suddenly pumped her fist as her face lit up — just as the shutter clicked.

Magic Moment

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

Smile.

(please click on the image to view at MAXIMUM size and sharpness)

Smile

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

The Toss.

Shooting with film involves a bit of a leap of faith: you never know if you’ve nailed a shot until well after the fact.

(please click on the image to view at MAXIMUM size and sharpness)

The Toss

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

Sunday morning (film).

Watching the action, on the soccer field.

Sunday Morning (film)

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

The beautiful game (on film).

The beautiful game (film)

↑Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Leica 50mm Summicron Rigid @ f/2.

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