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Leica Screw Mount Copies Classic Leica Copy forum as listed in the book 300 Leica Copies, including but not limited to Nicca, Leotax, Honor, Canon etc. At one time there was a major part of the camera industry just trying to make a lower cost copy/dirivitive of the original Leica.

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Nicca 3F or 3S
Old 06-08-2018   #1
45govt
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Nicca 3F or 3S

Hello
Just wondering which is preferred and why
looking at possibly getting one.

Or should I go for the 5

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Old 06-14-2018   #2
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If you mean a later 3-F with the lever wind, that is better. If a 3-F with the knob wind, they're about the same as a 3-S. Just go for one that is working better if not with a lever wind.
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Old 06-14-2018   #3
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If you get a Sears Tower 45/46 body you get both a wind lever and a back door. It's made by Nicca.
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Old 06-14-2018   #4
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Stephen Gandy thinks very highly of them:

https://www.cameraquest.com/nicca.htm

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-Tim
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Old 06-18-2018   #5
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I am getting ready to move at the beginning of July so will probably have to wait a couple of months.
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Old 06-18-2018   #6
farlymac
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I have the Nicca IIIS, and even though I don't know all the vagaries between models (as the 3-S is different), I'm happy with its operation.


I also have a Yashica YF which was made after the merger between Nicca and Yashima to create Yashica. It looks more like an M3 except with the slow speeds dial on front, and gives homage to the merger by having the Nicca name on the front, and Yashica on the top. They are kind of rare though, as only 7,000 to 10,000 were ever made (closer to the 7,000 number from what I've garnered).


This site shows the major variations of the 3/III series mainly consist of whether or not it has on-body flash sync, and whether it is the old style, or new style sync.


Nicca Cameras



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IIIf (3-F)
Old 09-24-2018   #7
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IIIf (3-F)

Hi guys (girls),

so I am also getting into this Nicca train, it will be my first classic LTM body outside of USSR (after Zorki 4 a FED 2).

Having some lenses (also USSR made) like Jupiter 12, Jupiter 8, a bunch of Industars at 50mm (26m, 61), what should be my next step when I got this body? Will Canon 50 on a Nicca look like I am a hipster or someone who knows what he is doing?
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Old 09-24-2018   #8
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I had a Nicca 5L(Tower 45/46), it was a really nice camera. Almost a cross between a Barnack and an M2. Maybe more like an evolutionary step between a Barnack and an M2, not as nice and advanced as the M2, but more advanced than the Barnack.

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Old 09-24-2018   #9
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So... do you know what you are doing?
Any film camera will make you look like a hipster, except maybe the later compact rangefinders. I carried FSU jobs, and everyone assumed they were Leicas, if they recognized them as old film cameras. Why not just move to the top of the food chain and get a Leica?
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Old 09-24-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
Why not just move to the top of the food chain and get a Leica?
The Japanese Leica copies have a charm of their own and came with very fine lenses, most if not all are more rare than any Leica IIIa or IIIf and the quality of ones like the Leotax was not too far off from a true Leica.

The later Japanese Leica copies have some varied original improvements over the stock Barnack true Leica camera body that make them interesting and quirky, as many were made in small numbers in a short time span before they were improved again and again, all in the late 1950s.
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Old 09-24-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
So... do you know what you are doing?
Any film camera will make you look like a hipster, except maybe the later compact rangefinders. I carried FSU jobs, and everyone assumed they were Leicas, if they recognized them as old film cameras. Why not just move to the top of the food chain and get a Leica?
Well, I know that I am on a way. Nicca should and could take me into higher quality bodies. But, body.. that is just a box for a film, so that is why I am wondering about what should be my next step in lenses - LTM is that nice kind of mount accepted by almost everyone in 30s-50s, so there are some choices.

I am not looking for an admiration of other hipsters, that was just a (bad) joke
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Old 09-24-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkotrcka View Post
Well, I know that I am on a way. Nicca should and could take me into higher quality bodies. But, body.. that is just a box for a film, so that is why I am wondering about what should be my next step in lenses - LTM is that nice kind of mount accepted by almost everyone in 30s-50s, so there are some choices.

I am not looking for an admiration of other hipsters, that was just a (bad) joke
If your camera comes with its original lens, it should be a good one as they mostly used Nikkors. But any of the other LTM mount lenses such as Canon, and Minolta will work as well.

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Old 09-26-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
If your camera comes with its original lens, it should be a good one as they mostly used Nikkors. But any of the other LTM mount lenses such as Canon, and Minolta will work as well.

PF

No, it will be just a body itself. Since they usually come with 50mm and I have a bunch of those. So what I am going to do is to find a nice 35mm. Any recommendation for under 300 USD? :-) if possible, of course.
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Old 09-26-2018   #14
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I just bought a CV 35mm f/2.5 LTM for $265 for a Canon IId2 I have. I've owned the lens before and it's pretty good and tiny.
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Old 10-10-2018   #15
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I've been using a Canon 35/2.8 LTM on my Nicca lever wind. Very good lens.
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Old 10-10-2018   #16
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I'd recommend a Canon for the following reason. All Leica and Leica copies have the viewfinders over the lens. Many lenses will block part of the finder--some a little--some a lot. A Canon has the finder offset and so this is less of a problem. The models that end in "2" like IVsb2 and IIs2 have slightly less squinty finders and modern shutter speeds.
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Old 10-10-2018   #17
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The YF was a nice camera -- I had one -- but I'm less and less sure why people want to try to use these things. As David said, why not just go for a Leica if all you want to do is take pictures? Or for that matter a modern Voigtlander?

Then again, I used to try lots of different cameras too, and it's sort of hard to remember why. I can see the point of collecting -- again, I used to do it, and Frances and I wrote a book about rangefinder and direct vision cameras* -- but I only ever bought or borrowed cameras that I came across by chance. The collector/user interface is probably more easily solved by going for Leicas.

*I find it amusing that there are 6 strongly positive and 3 strongly negative reviews in the link. As one of my editors said, "You're a Marmite writer": Marmite is a spread that people reputedly either love or hate. Those who didn't like it complained basically that it wasn't the book they'd have written; except of course that none of them actually did write anything except poor reviews...

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Old 10-10-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
I had a Nicca 5L(Tower 45/46), it was a really nice camera. Almost a cross between a Barnack and an M2. Maybe more like an evolutionary step between a Barnack and an M2, not as nice and advanced as the M2, but more advanced than the Barnack.

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

I have a clean Tower 45/46 being delivered tomorrow.

Cal
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Old 10-10-2018   #19
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I’ve had a few Nicca/Tower and Leotax cameras, but my favorite Japanese Leica copies are the Canons. I’m using a IVSB2 now and it’s the only screw mount camera I still have. Build quality is better and the rangefinders are great. Admittedly, the viewfinders are squinty, but I mostly use my Leitz shoe-mount finders with them. What’s great about the RF is the adjustable magnification. When using external finders, I’ll set the magnification to 1.5 - makes focusing easy and precise.

I had a Tower 45/46 and, honestly, that’s what convinced me to get my first M. I figured, it was so close to an M already, why not just stop f***ing around and get the real thing. Have not regretted that decision one bit. All said, they are still very nice cameras.
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Old 10-10-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Tim,

I have a clean Tower 45/46 being delivered tomorrow.

Cal
PM me the serial number, I wonder if it's the one I sold earlier this summer. I don't think there are that many of them in circulation.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 10-10-2018   #21
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Found some pics of the one I had:









Best,
-Tim
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Old 10-10-2018   #22
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For using a 35, why not a Canon 7 which has frame lines in the finder? I see the appeal of the smaller LTM bodies mainly for the wider lenses for which one needs an external VF in any case.
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Old 10-10-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Found some pics of the one I had:









Best,
-Tim
These models are some of the best Barnack style cameras you can buy.

Still classic Barnacks, but with very handy improvements.
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Old 10-10-2018   #24
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Wow. These are really purdy. I don't think I've had the pleasure to handle one of these...I think I would remember if I had. Looks like an excellent camera for using.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Found some pics of the one I had:









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Old 10-10-2018   #25
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Mine is here. 3-F, right now with Jupiter-8 :-) So happy about it, works like a charm







And a random shot made with it (with Industar 26m and Ilford HP5 @ 500):


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Old 10-11-2018   #26
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Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
PM me the serial number, I wonder if it's the one I sold earlier this summer. I don't think there are that many of them in circulation.

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

Will do.

Today is delivery.

Cal
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Old 10-12-2018   #27
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So Cal,

Did it show up? Does the serial number start with 150? Is it pristine?

Best,
-Tim
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Old 10-12-2018   #28
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyjoe View Post
Found some pics of the one I had:









Best,
-Tim
And, I have it now. Super nice and a really great shooter.
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Old 10-12-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
The YF was a nice camera -- I had one -- but I'm less and less sure why people want to try to use these things. As David said, why not just go for a Leica if all you want to do is take pictures? Or for that matter a modern Voigtlander?

Then again, I used to try lots of different cameras too, and it's sort of hard to remember why. I can see the point of collecting -- again, I used to do it, and Frances and I wrote a book about rangefinder and direct vision cameras* -- but I only ever bought or borrowed cameras that I came across by chance. The collector/user interface is probably more easily solved by going for Leicas.

*I find it amusing that there are 6 strongly positive and 3 strongly negative reviews in the link. As one of my editors said, "You're a Marmite writer": Marmite is a spread that people reputedly either love or hate. Those who didn't like it complained basically that it wasn't the book they'd have written; except of course that none of them actually did write anything except poor reviews...

Cheers,

R.
It was the first LTM camera I bought after messing around with FSU gear, Roger. Came with the Canon 50/1.8, and I found it at a Goodwill store. Unfortunately, it had some rough treatment from the previous owner, even though it looks EXC+ on the outside. So last year I got another one to replace it. I was into Yashica's for quite a while, so it was a sentimental choice.

But now that I've gone through Canon P, and Nicca III-S models, I plan on getting a Leica IIIf with an Elmar 50/2.8.

PF
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Old 10-14-2018   #30
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I have owned and shot Leica IIb, IIIC, M3, Canon IVSB, trigger wind, and 7s, and a P. Have a Nicca IIIs and a Tower lever wind 46. all are gone or not used except the M3, Nicca IIIS, and Tower lever wind. Have a clean (external) Leica IIIf I'm waiting to afford to fix the curtains...broken of course. Have never had to fix any camera make except Leicas....


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Old 10-14-2018   #31
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That's the problem with my Nicca III S, Garrett. One and a half rolls of film, and a shutter curtain ribbon cut loose.

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Old 10-15-2018   #32
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So Cal,

Did it show up? Does the serial number start with 150? Is it pristine?

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

USPS has this habit of tracking a parcel to my local Post Office, and the actual delivery happens to always be the next day, so I only recieved my camera Friday.

I am mucho happy. The camera is a shelf queen as far as condition, and good-to-go. I bought this camera off the RFF classified from Gordon, one of the sponsor's of RFF (Gordy's Straps).

Also came with a Gordy Strap of my choice. I selected a novel strap that is both a neck strap and a wrist strap in one that hangs the camera vertically. I use a wrist strap on the Tower 45/46, and utilize the neck/wrist strap on my SL2-MOT.

My serial number is 151002. Inside the camera if I remove the base plate I see Nicca Camera LTD. From the Nicca link in this thread my camera dates back to 1956 and is older than me. I own a very clean sample. Pretty much does not get better than this.

I think I will be mostly using mt silver Pentax-L 43/1.9 and 45/2.8 Supper Rokkor on this camera. The Pentax-L VF has framelines for 43/50, but if you use the entire window it also provides framing for 35mm. The Pentax-L VF'er has a built in diopter and this "all at once view" of a wide.

I feel very lucky. Thanks Gordon.

Cal
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Old 10-15-2018   #33
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That's great Cal. Yours was made 312 cameras before the one I had. Mine was in absolute pristine condition also. Wonder if they were just REALLY WELL MADE, or maybe they just DIDN'T GET USED MUCH.

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-Tim
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Old 10-15-2018   #34
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That's great Cal. Yours was made 312 cameras before the one I had. Mine was in absolute pristine condition also. Wonder if they were just REALLY WELL MADE, or maybe they just DIDN'T GET USED MUCH.

Best,
-Tim
Tim,

I think mine did not get used much. Pretty much like a time capsule.

I would even say that compared with the III G's and the black paint Leica II I have owned that the Tower is not as smooth or quiet, but it might be that the camera still has not been broken in.

I can't believe no one sniped it off the classified before I bough it.

Cal
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Old 10-20-2018   #35
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I took my lever wind Tower on a Wyoming trip a few weeks ago, and it worked very well. Have never had it CLA'd, it seems to be fine without it. The SIII is similarly working fine.
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