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Chris Crawford I am pleased to announced a long time member has agreed to help and mentor others in photographic technique. As he has long done so, perhaps this forum is a bit overdue. Christopher Crawford has been a professional artist and photographer for 20 years, most of that time spent documenting life in northern Indiana with his photographs and the stories that he writes to accompany them. In addition, Chris also creates tutorials where he teaches photography techniques, film processing, digital editing, film scanning, and printing. Ask Chris your technical questions, or to critique your photos. You can see more of his tutorials at http://crawfordphotoschool.com

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Just got a Barnack Leica!
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Chriscrawfordphoto
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Just got a Barnack Leica!











Last week, RFF member O.C. Garza (VictoriaPio) asked me if I was interested in some old Leica gear. He had a Leica IIIc that had been converted to a IIIf, a Leica 3.5cm f3.5 Elmar, a Leica 50mm f2 Summitar, and a 135mm f4 Canon lens for it. He had sent all of it to DAG, who CLA'd it all and installed new curtains and RF beamsplitter in the camera.


O.C. Told me that I could have it all, free, if I wanted it. Of course I did!!


It arrived yesterday and I've shot a couple rolls in it that I am going to develop tonight. Its taken some getting used to the idiosyncrasies of the Barnack, but I'm finally getting the hang of it.


I need to get a finder for the 35mm lens, so I haven't tried it yet. The 135 had the original Canon finder with it. I'm excited, I need to develop the film tonight and see what I've got, but I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this!


Thanks again, O.C. I'll post pics here once I get them developed and scanned.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
CharlesDAMorgan
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How exciting! What a beauty, and how kind of Victoria Pio! I have the Summitar and the Elmar, both sharp and very good lenses.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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That is really cool Chris. I've got a iiic and love it. And those are sweet lenses.

Have fun with it.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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That is nice, have fun Chris and let us see some results when you get them!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Very nice. I hope we will see something on film from you.
O.C. let me use his article about Winogrand.
He is generous!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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You should had said you got the kit for a bunch of cash, otherwise I wouldn't feel to envious

Seriously, both Summitar and Elmar 3.5 give a very particular mood, so I'm sure you will have serious fun exploring their characters.

Of course, really hope you share some pictures using the kit.

Congratz and have fun.

Marcelo
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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The first pics I have probably won't be great art; the light has been really harsh, ugly bright sun. I couldn't wait to try the camera though, and better to learn how to use it on unimportant photos. I'll post some anyway once I get them developed and scanned. Going to develop tonight and will scan tomorrow.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Chris, I've had my IIIf since 1964 and it has been great. Someone once said, I don't know where I got this, that the Barnack was a great camera for holding the film flat against the pressure plate. I'm not into micro analysis but I feel my negatives are sharper with my Barnack than my Bessa R (using the same lenses). Let me know how you think your Leica stands up against other 35mm cameras.

I have the 100mm Serenar f4 lens and it is really a great lens, but I don't use short teles very much. Here is my Serenar at f4 but on a digital camera.

100mm Serenar at f4 by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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You’ll really want a SBOOI 50 finder as well. That makes it really efficient to use and only when you load the next film does it seem in any way out of date design. You’ll have seen the thread about whether users prefer their LTM to their M: many do. What a marvellous gift you’ve received.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Very nice, I love my Leica II. Something special about shooting these, they feel more fluid/intimate than an M mount body. The tiny VF tends to make me cognizant more of the moment than the framing of it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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A CLA'd IIIf and three lenses - you're a lucky man. I'm sure that they will be put to good use. As mentioned, if you wear glasses, a SBOOI finder really will make composition with the 50 much easier.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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The first 35mm camera I got to use, long ago, was my father's IIIf with a 50/3.5 Elmar and a 35/3.5 Summaron. I inherited it and still use it -- a fine compact outfit.
I never had trouble loading it with current film that has short leaders, but after reading warnings about this from Roger Hicks (probably on this forum) I've been cutting long leaders, figuring he knows a lot better than I!
I think you'll have fun with it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Beautiful eye candy setup! In particular nice to see No ‘everready’ case. I’d suggest you get an uncoated Summar to compliment the kit. Your lenses will make great pictures. The Summar will make great Leica pictures ;-).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Oh that is so nice on so many levels! I changed Coelho's quote a bit ...'Often the universe conspires in helping you to achieve something you had not thought of until then.' I wonder what you'll show us. And please tell O.C. that there is a standing invite for al fresco dinner in Melbourne's Lygon Street!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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With new curtains and RF beamsplitter in the camera by DAG, the camera is good for another 30 years...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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That's a great starter kit, Chris. You just need a 90 to round it out. Have lots of fun with it.


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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Good onya Chris. You've given a lot to this forum so it's good knowing someone has given something back to you.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Nice set, Chris!

Hours of fun guaranteed, unless you don't like the squinty optics

I just spent a week touring through Belgium for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation carrying my trusty Leica IIIc.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Just got done developing the negs. They're still drying down in the basement, but I looked at some of the pics with a magnifier and they look very sharp.

Preliminary verdict is the lenses are awesome, but I need to get used to the viewfinder. Many of them were framed more closely than what I saw in the finder. I don't mean framing error caused by parallax at close distances; even some shot at longer distances (10 feet or so) seem like there is less on the film than I saw, like all four sides were cropped a bit. I need to look at the film more closely after it dries so I can get an idea of how I should compensate. I'm spoiled by my long use of SLRs and digital mirrorless cameras that have precise finders. I had a couple of Leica M cameras years ago, but they seemed to give more on the film than the finder showed, which was ok because I could crop in printing. My IIIf seems the opposite.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Cris, that is awesome. Happy for you and the generosity RFF member O.C. Garza. Look forward to seeing your results. Hopefully, there's maybe some "Leica" cat pics of Sneaky in the bunch .

Agree on the SBOOI (although they are expensive). Makes the whole shooting experience more enjoyable. I have one on each IIIf.

Youxin showed me a Barnack film loading technique where you take the lens off, place the shutter on "T", and load/guide the film through the lens opening.

I haven't tried it yet preferring to torture myself with the leader cutting ritual!

Enjoy!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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So cool! For sure you'll make a good use of this kit!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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Enjoy! make great exposures.. Nice set of lenses.
Strangely those early lenses seem to make images from the past..
There is a nice way of loading(with correct leader) and a business card..
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Of the external finders, one of Leica's least expensive is the one for the 50. One of the most expensive is the finder for the 35. Apparently a bright line finder made for one of the Olympus digitals is very close to the 35 frame. Although it is plastic, it sells used for under $100. I hope you enjoy the camera and lenses and your health allows you to do the darkroom work. As said above, thanks for sharing your photos and knowledge over the years.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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At the risk of telling my grandmother how to suck eggs....when using the built in finder don't move your eye around and don't hold your eye too close to the finder. I know it is tiny but try and look through it 'normally'.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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The viewfinder is accurately framed at one specific distance I seem to recall.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
At the risk of telling my grandmother how to suck eggs....when using the built in finder don't move your eye around and don't hold your eye too close to the finder. I know it is tiny but try and look through it 'normally'.



I'll try that, thanks. I was holding my eye close to it. I compared it last night to the view through an SLR fitted with a 50mm lens, and the Leica IIIf finder showed quite a bit that the SLR finder did not. I'll redo that comparison with my eye further back and see how it goes.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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For those who haven't experienced a IIIf, the rangefinder viewport is 1.5x magnification.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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The 35 elmar is a very special lens. Ask our member Erik. I foolishly passed an opportunity to get one I had borrowed and knew was good. Such a nice lens for that "look"!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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Chris, I might have a 3.5cm screw mount finder (genuine Leitz) for you in a week or two cheapish. It's in pieces, literally, down to the last screw, housing, spacer, lens and piece of bare glass. I have had to de-cement all the optics due to some separation, in order to rejoin them. But I'm hoping to save it. I'd let you have it gratis, if it was mine—but not being the owner (it's a consignment item) I'm obligated to achieve a modest return for its owner. If I can make it good again you're welcome to it. Being in Australia doesn't help matters but it's very compact so postage would not be anywhere near as nasty as the cost of shifting a camera body across the Pacific. And the exchange rate works in your favour here.
Cheers,
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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There is also the option of the plastic (3-D printed) 35mm VF made using the plastic viewfinder from an inexpensive Canon "Owl" P&S camera (readily available for a few dollars on Ebay). It won't have the magical ambiance of a real Leica but on the other hand, its a big and bright viewfinder and it has frame lines and close-framing marks.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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I have tried the 3-D printed viewfinder that uses the Owl plastic viewfinder. It works but there is not much silver surface to back reflect the brightlines so they are rather faint and sometimes can't be seen. I also have the very expensive plastic Leica 35mm viewfinder. Its superb! Finally I have the Zeiss 35mm viewfinder for the Sony RX1. It has slightly bigger magnification than the Leica and the brightlines are really bright. Also it takes 19mm correction lenses e.g. the ones that fit old Nikon SLRs. I have to use a +1 dioptre to correct negative power of the finder optics. With the benefit of hindsight I would just have bought the Zeiss viewfinder.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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Nothing beats a VIDOM finder, that, despite the reversed image, gives fully adjustable framing 35mm to 135mm, plus parallax correction. Appearance wise it screams “Leica”. Personally I’d be repulsed sticking some 3D printed gizmo onto that beautiful camera. A lot of people love careful framing....but with my UR Leica I just use the “shoe” as a basic centering device (as I’ll bet Oskar done too),
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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambro51 View Post
Personally I’d be repulsed sticking some 3D printed gizmo onto that beautiful camera.

LOL My "Barnacks" are Canon and Nicca/Tower clones, so all the beautiful Leicas are safe from my VF (even though the cameras look pretty much the same).
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
Chris, I might have a 3.5cm screw mount finder (genuine Leitz) for you in a week or two cheapish. It's in pieces, literally, down to the last screw, housing, spacer, lens and piece of bare glass. I have had to de-cement all the optics due to some separation, in order to rejoin them. But I'm hoping to save it. I'd let you have it gratis, if it was mine—but not being the owner (it's a consignment item) I'm obligated to achieve a modest return for its owner. If I can make it good again you're welcome to it. Being in Australia doesn't help matters but it's very compact so postage would not be anywhere near as nasty as the cost of shifting a camera body across the Pacific. And the exchange rate works in your favour here.
Cheers,
Brett



How much does your customer want for it? I've been thinking of getting one of the Leica VIOOH universal finders once I find some money, but the 3.5cm one might be nice.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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Vey cool. I have a IIIf that I have never used... it sits as decoration and inspiration at the moment. I've been meaning to send it out for CLA but things just got busy and I have put it off.

Maybe I should get a move on and see what the fuss is all about. It sure feels good in the hand...and looks cool. But it seems odd to use two different finders for focus and comp.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
How much does your customer want for it? I've been thinking of getting one of the Leica VIOOH universal finders once I find some money, but the 3.5cm one might be nice.
Hi Chris,
It's basically up to me to set a price as it is a part of a lot—but that will depend on how the repair turns out. But if it succeeds as a repaired example it would be well under normal market value. I'd have to "buy" it myself to pass it on but if it's usable and you want it, I'd do for you at cost. I'm away next few days so won't be able to work on it until late next week. Can update you.
Cheers
Brett
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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Congrats, Chris. That's nice little camera and lenses that you have there.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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I scanned some photos last night!







Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The building in the middle is Hyde Brothers Books, the best book store in Indiana. I've bought nearly 1000 books there over the last 25 years.


This was shot on Ilford HP-5 using the 50mm Summitar.








This house is in my neighborhood in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne. They just got the glider chair, which is a modern reproduction of the classic "metal "Motel Chairs" that I like to photograph.


I photographed it on Tri-X with the 50mm Summitar.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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To the OP. A suggestion. If you are new to ltm Leicas forget about all the various bits you could have and go out just with camera and 50mm lens.
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