Range Finders

Leica IIIa

A lucky find, I couldn't resist this 1936 body!

As the name that started the whole 35mm film thing this camera has long been on my 'I want one' list, now I have one.

The first thing you notice when you pick a Leica up is the weight, tipping the scales at 640 grams it's not a lightweight! the next thing is the lack of a rear loading door. Film is loaded through the bottom, yes I did say bottom, of the body.

To do this the film leader needs cutting to a pre-determined length (about 20 sprocket holes) and all sharp corners need smoothing out. If this isn't right the body rips the film to shreds and there is a chance of damaging the shutter curtains.

When you have a film in the camera it's a joy to use, I love the process of manual,film photography, adjusting this and that before the shot, developing and finally printing the image. The range finder on the 'III is easy to adjust and clear, once you get used to the small eyepiece. Once focused you use the second (right) eyepiece to frame the image then take the shot.

As my camera came with out a lens, but with a genuine case I've been using my collapsible Russian lens on it, the results so far are good, it's just me that's not.