2 comments on “Leica IIIc: The First Roll

  1. Would be interested in your perspective comparing this with a comparable Russian (Fed, Zorki). The photos look great. Thanks for sharing.

    • The only Soviet rangefinder I have to compare is my FED-2, which is similar, but not as close as a FED-1 or Zorki-1; it is, however, in similarly good condition to the Leica. Everything on the Leica feels like the tolerances are considerably closer than on the FED, and as a result the controls feel more precise. Finish quality on the FED really isn’t bad, but it’s not quite up to the Leica standard. Much of the difference is in the accumulation of little details: for example, the cold shoe on the FED is a single piece of bent sheet metal that relies on its shape for friction, while on the Leica it is machined and has two springs to exert upward pressure; the take-up spool on the FED uses a hook to hold the film, whereas on the Leica a precisely-fitted clip holds the film by clamping pressure so as not to rip the leader when rewinding. The Leica is designed to be very, very good; the FED is designed to be good enough.

      If you get good examples of each, I’d say the Soviet cameras will take photos just as good as the Leica – if that’s what you care about, the Soviet copies and derivatives are far cheaper to buy. The Leica wins hands-down in tactile sensation and mechanical precision, however, which for me are among the satisfactions of using old film cameras.

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