Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lens Test

Today I loaded up my two Leica M cameras with Kodak T400CN, the MP that sports the new style 50/f2.8 Elmar-M, and the M3 with the recently aquired 1958 original 50/f2.8 Elmar. These are two shots from that beautiful 51 year-old piece of German glass. Our greyhound, Zoomer, provided his talents as model.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ain't she sweet!

I've been looking and looking, and losing and losing. Everytime I find an original 50/2.8 Elmar M-mount, it's either full of cleaning marks, haze, fungus, or oily aperture blades. Or when I found the one I wanted, someone's highest bid was higher than I wanted to pay.

Finally, a few days ago, I found one. But I was feeling a bit uneasy about the whole deal, as the seller wasn't providing any more than a couple of pics that gave no impression of the glass's condition. He said he didn't have a camera to take anymore pictures, but he assured me the lens was in excellent shape. He wouldn't provide a serial number. But through all this, he assured me the lens was in excellent shape. Well, I was getting a bit nervous, since I had already placed my highest bid. And I won. It came today, a few days earlier than I expected. And the lens...well, it's truly "in excelllent shape".

The glass is immaculate. Not a bit of haze. Not a bit of cleaning marks. Not a bit of oil on the aperture blades. In fact, the blades look hardly worn from use. The lens barrel onto which the lens collapses, is like brand new. I wanted one of these original Elmars for two reasons. First, this one was manufactured the same year as my M3 (1958), where it will live day and night. But I wanted it mostly because it has FIFTEEN aperture blades! The newer Elmars, of which I have one for my MP, have six blades. This lens is a real beauty. It even came with the original bubble case and Leitz UVa filter. And the funny thing is, I paid WAY less than any other one I've seen around. It was certainly worth the wait. Now I'm going to play with some light. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Naked M3

I just got all the old vulcanite off my 1958 Leica M3. Yesterday the new skin arrived from cameraleather. After getting a few tips from my local Wisconsin Leica guru, Don Goldberg (DAG), I should have this thing looking totally unrecognizable in a couple days. And next week my original 50/2.8 Elmar (M mount) should arrive to join in the unveiling.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NIMSLO 3D Camera

A co-worker brought in a camera last week that he picked up at a garage sale for $3. He said he had been camera shopping for me. It's a "NIMSLO 3D" camera with 4 lenses. Apparently there are two ways to view in 3D. One is the traditional way requiring a 3D viewer. The other way is via the specially made prints, that only one place in North America can still do. I have the original owners manual and flash. Apparently the flash, having both direct and bounch capabilities, aid in producing the 3D effect.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Photographers will often talk about the unique signature of a particular lens. One that I've been having fun with lately is my 1946 50/2 Leica Summitar. It's not as sharp as some of the newer Leica glass. But there are design characteristics that produce that legendary "glow" that Leica is known for.

Last Friday, I had my second chance to shoot the Christian rock group, "Saved by Grace". I met with them beforehand to discuss what I was trying to accomplish. They are a great bunch of guys that made the exchange a very pleasurable one. One camera was equipped with the Summilux 50/1.4, and the other with the Summitar 50/2. Here are a few pictures taken with the Summitar, that 63 year-old piece of forgotten glass.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More new "old"

Zoomer helped me test my dad's old 50 year-old lightmeter with my 50 year-old Leica M3 and 63 year-old Leica 50/2 Summitar lens. Everything went as well as could be, as the exposure was spot on. I was even using some expired 25 cent Walgreens house brand film.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spring Tulips

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Rangefinder Corral

Left side: - Leica M3 with 50/2.8 Elmar-M; IIIf RD with 50/2.0 Summitar and VIOOH

Right side: - Leica MP with 50/1.4 Summilux (pre-asph); Canon IIIA with 50/1.8 Serenar; Zorki 1e with 50/3.5 Industar-22

Monday, May 4, 2009

The M3 is a winner!

This Leica M3 was built about the time I was born, 1958. It still has all the original parts. So do I.

This morning I ran my first roll of film through the camera, some expired Walgreen's "Studio 35" 200 ASA house brand film I acquired off ebay last year. It cost me 25 cents a roll. I would say this 50 year old camera and the 25 cent film did pretty well together.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Leica M3

Today I attended a camera collector show in Skokie, IL. I sold my beloved M6 TTL, the first Leica I ever owned. Shortly after I picked up this M3.

Friday, May 1, 2009