How to pick a IIIF candidate for CLA?
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
goamules
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How to pick a IIIF candidate for CLA?

I just bought a very clean iiiF RDST, mostly because of the lens (a Serenar 1.9 I've never had). Like all Leicas I've ever bought, this one needs a CLA. I have another iiiF already, a black dial, sitting in the safe needing a CLA badly. This red dial isn't so bad, most of the shutter speeds work above 1/75. Sometimes the slower ones work, sounding ok for speed. Sometimes the shutter does half it's job (opens) if you hold the button down, but it won't close until you release the button. Like a B setting. Above 100 it sounds great. Self timer works, rangefinder windows bright.



So the question is: if I keep exercising the shutter will that help (it has so far) enough to not need an expensive CLA?

If you had this red dial, with very nice shutter curtains, and a black dial owned by a famous person with very wrinkled shutter curtain, would you just CLA the red, and sell the black? Or not CLA, and try to exercise it more, run a roll through?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
mpaniagua
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If you are thinking about selling, I would suggest to pass the CLA to the next owner. Normally I do CLA for cameras I'm planning on using regularly, or an camera that I got cheap and can sell with a price tag that can cover the CLA cost (example, $150dlls camera that can be sell for $500dlls with CLA).



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
madNbad
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Both of them are nearly seventy year old cameras and exercising the speeds will only do so much. Send the red dial out for a CLA and you'll have a great, useable camera. Keep the black dial on the shelf as a conversation piece about the previous owner.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
Timmyjoe
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First off, tell us who the famous person is?

I'd have the CLA done to the camera you want to use. Take each one, run thru shooting with each, ignore the shutter for now. Do your lenses focus smoothly on both? How is the rangefinder spot? I've had a number of IIIf and IIIc cameras over the years and have always held on to the ones with the best focus patch, as some of them were so faint I couldn't focus. What condition is the rest of each camera in. Take up spool, good condition? Bottom plate, good condition? How much brassing and finish marks are on each? What condition is the vulcanite?

Again, after going thru all this, I'd have the CLA done to the camera you like using the most.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
goamules
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It was the Univ of Arizona president that created the Center for Creative Photography, along with Ansel Adams. He had the camera, and several autographed books to him from Ansel. To me, that's pretty cool, but the Black Dial has a really messed up shutter and curtains. Otherwise it's about mint body wise. The new Red looks quite good too, and has just a spot or two on the metal, after cleaning.

Good point about just compare RF patches. But I feel a "simple" CLA on the Red will be cheaper than a more comprehensive shutter/curtain job on the Black, so am leaning that way.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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"new" iiif Red



"Famous" iiif Black

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
Timmyjoe
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The history of the black camera is pretty cool.

Okay, upon seeing them both, just personal opinion, I'd do the black one because I've never liked the self timer on the Barnacks. Not saying they don't work. Just hate the look of them and them interfering with how I hold the camera. To each their own.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
David Hughes
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Well as "the Black Dial has a really messed up shutter and curtains" I'd get that one done now while we are still sure of parts for it. A few years down the line and we may not have them available. No point in having a duff camera and so both ought to be done and used in the long run...


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
goamules
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Good points all. But here is my situation: I have several working, CLA'd cameras, including: Leica IIa, M3, Canon P, Nicca lever wind 5L, Nicca 3-S, a dozen Retinas. I don't NEED another working rangefinder. But I've never had a post war Barnack by Leica that works. Everyone I've ever found needed a CLA, so I sold them over time. I'm thinking I would LIKE just ONE good III to live with forever. The other is either staying broken on the shelf, or one day will be sold.

I heard the Red types had a better shutter design than the black. Can someone tell me about that? Also, a CLA for Red is $150. A CLA for Black is $200-?? for the new curtains too.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
Richard G
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You should do both for the satisfaction. Your costs for both look the same as for one most other parts of the world. You could then sell at a premium the famous one, timed for an anniversary of CCP or something.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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I'm not sure I have much to add, but I have a IIIf (my grandfather's) that I sent to DAG that needed shutter work and new curtains. Fixing the shutter didn't add anything to the cost of the CLA. Changing the curtains does. But, you have to wonder if either would need new curtains...making the cost for either job about the same.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
goamules
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I think the black needs curtains, but the red does not. I can't see doing $300 worth of CLA's on two cameras, when I'll barely use one. I'm going to have to chose one only.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
raydm6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
...

I heard the Red types had a better shutter design than the black. Can someone tell me about that?... .
I'm no expert and may be way off, but I seem to remember hearing the later IIIf's (with no screws holding the top-plate on) have the roller-bearing shutters? I really need to yield to the experts on that one.

Your IIIf RD seems to be a later model (no screws), whereas the IIIf BD has screws holding the top-plate on.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
madNbad
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Sell the red dial and fix the black dial. The red dial is a nice camera but the black dial has a story with it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
goamules
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I just did a comparison against the two (no film). Both cameras are almost equal, other than features. But I did compare them

Red - vs - Black (left and right below)

1. Has a desirable ball bearing shutter - Other has old type shutter.
2. Currently shutter very quiet wind very smooth and light - shutter very stiff, catching all speeds, wind stiff.
3. Shutter curtains look great - Shutter curtains just ok, some wrinkles
4. Rangefinder patch 80% of contrast - Rangefinder patch 90% contrast (slightly better)
5. Body excellent - Body excellent

6. Estimated CLA cost $150 - Estimated CLA cost $250
7. If CLA'd I would have $450 in it - I would have $400 in it
7. Value when working well $325 - Value $200 (+ unknown fame factor)

It's about a wash. I think I like the look of the Self Timer, and the idea of the ball bearing shutter, and the cheaper CLA. My thought is the owner had it CLAd at least once in it's lifetime. The black, prob not ever - very stiff and gummed up.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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Not that my opinion means anything, but I'd CLA the Red. Reason: It's in better mechanical shape than the black one.
The red one has a story to it too, you just don't know what it is.
It is a more useable camera, IMO, with the self timer. I'm sure the ball bearing shutter is going to last longer too.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Thanks, I agree
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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I shot a roll of Delta 100 through it, speeds down to 25 and up to 200. They all came out. I may not CLA it for a while.





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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
Rob-F
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Maybe do the red dial first, and the black dial later?

There are ways to ease up the lubrication. You can set it out in the warm sunlight on the back yard table while sunbathing. exercise the shutter every few minutes. But it's a mere palliative measure. In the end, it will need a CLA anyhow.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
goamules
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I'll try that. It definitely warmed up with me running the shutter a few shots an hour for a day. Then trying the film test.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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I like the serial number on that red dial! Easy to remember!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #22
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Sorting the slow speeds (the occasional B misfire) is pretty straightforward. If you can use a screwdriver you can do it yourself. In fact you oculd probably go through and do a gentle CLA too.

The most demanding work is curtain and ribbon work. Having tried it myself succesfully, I wouldnt blame someone for sending the camera off. It's very tricky. But the rest really is pretty simple.

Only thing that complicates it here is the self timer, I beleive theyre more of a challenge to strip out, but i cant imagine its too hard.

I would CLA the black dial as its close to being unuseable. But if you're selling it, surely youre goin to make more on it without the cla; that would at least hold up in the UK. In the meantime, clean that slow escarpement in the red dial (or dont, when do you ever use those speeds anyway?) and off you go!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #23
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Thanks. My wife keeps telling me to learn to CLA them myself - I was an micro-miniature electronics technician in the Navy.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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I can highly recommend Aki Asahi's self-written repair guide. You can buy it from him on ebay; if you search for leica iii curtain material or beam splitter mirror you'll find his ebay account. I used his parts and guide to carry out a full overhaul on mine.

Even if you don't tackle the repair just yet, it's worth buying his guide; it features images of the entire process which should impart a little more confidence around the prospect of a repair.

while you're at it, buy the curtain material too. You might just feel the itch to rebuild the black one.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
goamules
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Thanks for the nudge, I'll look for the guide.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Don’t get paralyzed overthinking clas’ Etc just shoot the thing. BTW ask the wife for a plastic bag you’ll need it.
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