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Leica IIIC (1949 sharkskin) favori envoyer Print
Photos by JPG text by JPG. From the collection of JPG
France Version française

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Manufactured in Allemagne from 1940 until 1951.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11429

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Leica IIIC

Traduction de Christian Surle.

Like IIIb and IIId model, model IIIc is part of so-called « War Leica’s ». These are models made during WW II. Model IIC Leica was marketed after the end of the war, i.e. 1951.

Model IIIc is the first Leica featuring a die-cast metal body, which gives it a perfect rigidity, unlike some of its predecessors. This is particularly important for film flatness.
It is 3mm longer than the previous model IIIb, but remains compact and well-balanced.

  • Shutter : Brand-new cloth  ball-bearing shutter, allowing speeds from 1 sec to 1/1000° sec + B and T settings. The speeds are set by two barrels :
  • The first one located on the cover, for speeds from 1/40 sec to 1/1000° sec + B.
  • The second one on the front, for slow speeds from 1 sec to 1/30° sec + T.
  • Viewfinder : Galileo bright finder, 50mm full frame, along the telemeter but separated from it. The telemeter is very accurate, and focusing is quick and easy.

There is a viewing corrector lever whose rotating axle is the base of the rewinding knob. These features come from the previous model.

  • Its view counter skips only one division when winding, instead a complete rotation for previous models.
  • The back doesn’t open. Loading is made by the shoe.
  • It fits all 39mm screw mount standardized lenses.

There is no flash sync, fitted originally on IIIf model. Many IIIc have been modified later on by adding a flash sync.
The first serial number of this model is n° : 360.175; made from October 1939 on.

There were many special IIIc’s, and many civilian and above all military variants occurred.

However, basic IIIc model splits into two main series:

  • (a) Cameras made during the war, i.e. between 1939 and 1945, serial numbers 360.175-400.000, Leitz code: LOOOA
  • (b) Cameras made after the war, i.e. between 1946 and 1951, serial numbers > 400.000, Leitz code: LOOHW

Models can be identified as follows :

  • They feature a small thumb wheel on the view corrector, which disappears on (b). The lever end is now notched.
  • The rewind crank is located on the top of a small platform that didn’t exist on (b).
  •  “Open” and “Close” positions engraved on the shoe are now in German language (a), while the are bilingual on (b): German and English.
  • Bodies manufactured during the war feature a poor and random silver covering, compared with (b).

In overall versions, 134.624 model IIIc Leica’s were made.
Weight: 640 grams, fitted f:2/50mm Summitar.

This Leica is a wonderful high quality camera, which one (I...) find(s) very pleasant to use.
Since I owned many of them, I can say it is my preferred “39mm screwing Leica”. It is for me THE Leica.
Maybe its even bright viewfinder is too small for glass-wearing people. They will have to wait for IIIg mode l.

The present model is a 1949 IIIc model. Serial number: 482.229
Its particularity is that it features a sharkskin leather cover.
Its “normal” lens is an original 1949 f:2/50mm Summitar; serial number: 705.413

Leica IIIC

Leica IIIC

Leica IIIC





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