Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1961 Leica M3

A bit about the M3 from Wikipedia and Pacific Rim Camera

The Leica M3 was a 35 mm rangefinder camera by Leica AG, introduced in 1954. It was a new starting point for Leitz, which until then had only produced screw-mount Leica cameras that were incremental improvements to its original Leica (Ur-Leica). The M3 introduced several features to the Leica, among them the combination of viewfinder and rangefinder in one bright window and a bayonet lens mount.

This was the first model of Leica to use a rapid lever advance instead of a knob. Early cameras were "double stroke", requiring two short pulls on the lever. After camera number 915,251, it was changed to a single stroke. The engineers thought that a single stroke would tend to tear out sprocket holes in the film.

Production started at camera 700,000, and very early cameras have many differences than later ones. Production ended at camera 1,158,995. It was the most successful model of the M series, with over 220 000 copies sold with 1968 as the last production year. Many people consider this is the finest rangefinder camera, or even camera of any sort ever built, not just for features and design, but for quality of construction as well.

A bit about my ill-fated M3

I can not say much about it right now. It is currently broken.

1961 Canon Canonet, "The Original"

A bit about the Canonet from Wikipedia:

The Original Canon Canonet was released in 1961 and is remembered as Canon's first entry into the intermediate-class camera market, and also the first of the highly successful Canonet series of 35mm automatic-exposure rangefinder cameras.

The top plate only houses the shutter-release, with a locking ring for time-exposures, the frame counter and an accessory shoe.

The clean lines of the top are achieved by putting the advance lever underneath, together with the rewind crank, rewind release and back catch. The advance lever had an end which hinged downwards, making it easy to operate using the left middle- or third-finger. These controls on the bottom necessitate corresponding holes in the every-ready case.

Rangefinder focusing is controlled by a lever attached to the focus ring, also at the bottom of the camera.

The selenium meter cell is arranged around the Canon SE 45mm f1.9 lens - thus automatically compensating for filters; the aperture ring is scaled from f16 down to f1.9, followed by an "auto" setting (with a latch), for shutter priority automation. The Copal SV shutter has speeds from 1/500 down to 1sec, plus B. Film speed is set between 10-400 ASA by a lever in the shutter speed ring.

The viewfinder features a bright-line, and a scale showing the aperture.

There is a PC socket beside the lens, and a switch on the lens barrel for X- or M-flash sync.

There is a self-timer - set by a lever on the lens barrel.

A bit about my Canonet

I found mine at Taman Puring (a flea market in South Jakarta) but didn't pick it up the first time I saw it because there was a disagreement between me and the seller about the price. The day after I went back there only to find it was already gone and I dare not to ask about it to the seller for I will not sacrifice my pride hehehe.....

Apparently the Canonet was meant for me because two months later when I visited Jalan Surabaya (an antique's arcade in Central Jakarta), the Canonet was there, at the display cabinet of my regular antique camera shop. I took the Canonet home for around USD20.00, slightly higher price than the proposed price in Taman Puring. It turn out to be fully functioning, even the selenium meter cell is still working (I doubt it accuracy though...).

I do not I have use it but I will one of this day.

Canon 7

A bit about the Canon 7 from Wikipedia

The Canon 7 was a rangefinder camera produced by Canon Inc., the last compatible with the Leica mounting. It was introduced in September 1961, with an integrated selenium lightmeter cell. Further versions, branded Canon 7s and Canon 7s Type II (or Canon 7sZ), modified the design slightly by introducing a CDS cell.

The Canon 7 came as the first Canon reflex cameras were already on the market, but it was felt that there was a need for a fast-shooting rangefinder camera for reportage. In this niche, the Canon 7 came into direct competition with the Leica M3.

A bit about my Canon 7

I love this camera as much as I love my 1965 Canonet QL17! It is solid and dependable, more dependable than my ill-fated Leica M3! I got mine on the same day I acquire the Leica M3.

I got mine from my regular junk camera supplier for a very reasonable price. It's not cheap but it's certainly worth the price. Mine is not equiped with the "dream lens" but a bright and relatively scrath free Canon Lens 50mm f:1.8. The selenium cell meter is still working but again I will not rely much on its accuracy.

Here's a couple snapshots from my Canon 7