Friday Fotos! – Naked Leica

Happy Friday all! Today’s featured camera the Leica IIIg with attached Leicavit winder. This camera was built in 1956 according to its serial number and typical for these Leica IIIg bodies, the leatherette (vulcanite) becomes brittle with age and extreme dryness. Although the dry air inhibits corrosion it does dry out internal lubrication so a complete CLA is in order.

I’ve deskinned (crude) the body of its failed covering reveling a rather industrial looking Leica in its place.

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I could get used to this look.

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Before the covering was removed. It looked good until you handled it and then bits of old leather just fell off in small crumbles.

It’s headed off for some much-needed service. I’ll keep you posted when I get it back and run a test roll of film through it. I’m still up in the air about what to recover it with.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

My camera shop is always open at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Chasing Classic Cameras – Nicca 3-S

Nicca 3-S 35mm rangefinder camera from the mid-1950s. Here it’s mated with a rather rare Nippon Kogaku W-Nikkor C 28mm f/3.5 wide-angle lens and matching Nippon Kogaku optical 2.8 viewfinder.

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The Nicca is a solid camera in its own right. Many call this type of camera a Leica copy or clone but I prefer to say it was inspired by Leica’s design.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! – Chris

My camera shop can be visited at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Leica IIIg – 1956

Hello all! Happy Saturday.

Today’s spotlight camera is the Leica IIIg which was the last Leica rangefinder camera that used L39 (LTM) screw-in lenses. This lovely camera set is from 1956.

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The camera’s serial number indicates that it was in production in the latter half of 1956 while the lens looks to be from 1955. The Leicavit winder is appropriate for the models IIIf and IIIg so I believe it’s original to this camera.

Typical to cameras that are over 60-years-old, this one will need a complete CLA (cleaning internally, lubricating, and adjustment) professionally. The shutter is way out of adjustment so the shutter curtains are not operating properly and the speeds are off. The winder will need internal cleaning (mostly removing old lubricants) and installing fresh lubricant. Hopefully, that will enable it to operate as designed at about two frames per second (a stretch).

The lens works as it should and appears to have escaped the dreaded fungus and mold. The front and rear optics are clean and scratch-free but internally it does suffer from haze on all the elements. This appears to be typical with Leitz lenses from this era.

This camera set has a wonderful history and it would be nice to be able to shoot with it again. Here’s hoping.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! Please feel free to visit my camera shop hosted by Etsy at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Leotax ‘Silhouette’ – a French Connection?

Here’s an advertisement that appeared in the Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958.

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Leotax TV advertisement from Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958. Other than this ad, I haven’t seen any other mention that the TV was also known as the Silhouette. Leotax went on to name two other cameras – Merite and Elite.

It’s important to point out that Leotax, for the most part, did not engrave the names of their cameras on the top plates so you won’t find cameras that have Silhouette, Merite, or Elite on them. So far I’ve seen these names in advertisements, in a sales brochure, and on a box.

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My box with the name Merite vice Merit as it is incorrectly known.

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Flyer from 1959 clearly shows the camera as being the Merite.

If you’d like to know more about the Leotax Camera Company please visit my good friend Paul Sokk’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com/Leotax.html. Paul’s done an excellent job at compiling some of the best information anywhere about Leotax (and a bunch of other things too).

Thanks for stopping by and if you have anything you’d like to share with me about Leotax please do so in the comments. I would especially like to see more examples of Leotax boxes and advertisements (and brochures). – Chris

Be sure to visit my camera shop hosted by Etsy at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Zeiss Ikon IIIa with Box – 1951

We were lucky enough to collect this wonderful Contax with an original box (we love old cameras and their boxes)!

The Contax IIIa (and IIa) are interchangable lens 35mm rangefinder cameras.

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The Contax IIIa was made by Zeiss Ikon AG. Stuttgart, West Germany.

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We haven’t run a roll of film through it yet but we hope to soon. The lens is a Carl Zeiss 50mm f/ 1.5 and the exposure meter (top) appears to be working after all these years.

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Exposure meter flap in the open position. The meter has selenium cells that are powered by light – no batteries necessary. The only downside is that over time they do give out and they can be a bit fragile after nearly 70-years-old.

The Carl Zeiss f/ 1.5 lens is considered to be fast even by today’s standards.

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Here’s the Contax IIa – same features but without the built-in exposure meter.

Here’s another camera in our collection that’s available to purchase. From 1955, the Minolta A2 (or A-2) 35mm non-interchangeable lens rangefinder camera.

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The Minolta is available in our Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Friday Fotos! – Classic Rangefinders

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Image courtesy of Paul Sokk www.yashicatlr.com

Recently my good friend Paul Sokk added this wonderful Leica IIIc to his collection of 35mm rangefinder cameras from the late 1940s and 1950s. The Leica is an original design made in Germany and the Nicca and Leotax are considered copies or clones made in Japan.

The Leica IIIc (front) is from 1946-47, the Nicca 3-F (middle) is from 1956, and the Leotax K is from 1955-58. These cameras use what is known as L39 (LTM) screw mount lenses of which literally thousands were made and thousands are still available today in a wide range of focal lengths.

If you’re looking to get into film photography with a totally manual camera then these should be on your list to take a closer look at.

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On the left, the Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa and on the right the Nicca built Tower Type-3.

Pictured above are a couple of contenders from 1951. The Contax is an original design from the 1930s and was manufactured in Germany. The Tower branded camera was made by Nicca in Japan and features a Nippon Kogaku Nikkor f/ 2 5cm lens. The Contax sports a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens. The Contax also has an attached selenium cell exposure meter that can be useful for setting the correct aperture and shutter speed. A word of caution about these 70-year-old meters, if they are working (responding to light) then assume that it’s not accurate until you can check it against a modern meter. Most of these types of meters have long since failed.

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Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa with selenium meter (top center) flap opened.

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Paul’s beautiful Leica IIIc

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Paul’s gorgeous Leotax F with Topcor f/ 3.5 5cm lens.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope my post stirs some interest in these wonderful cameras. I do have a Tower (Nicca) set available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com if you care to take a look at it, pop on over.

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Take care and stay safe! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Contax IIIa – 1951

My Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa is a 35mm rangefinder camera that was first introduced in March 1951. What differentiates the IIIa from the IIa is the addition of an exposure meter.

Here’s my Contax.

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By the serial number of the body, this camera appears like it was made in the early part of 1951. It features the black dial and non-synced flash connection typical of the first models. This one works perfectly and the only cosmetic issue is a slight dent on the lens filter ring. Just above the Contax name is the selenium cells for the exposure meter shown with the flap open.

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The camera features interchangeable lenses in a simple but sturdy bayonet mount. Exposure meter flap in the closed position.

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The lens is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 50mm.

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A camera shop provided cleaning cloth featuring the Contax IIIa.

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It may be a bit hard to tell from this scan but here’s a view of the camera from the instruction manual. The camera’s serial number is T 36017 and mine is T 36625. Pretty close so I’m thinking that mine is an early production model.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have much more about this camera soon. – Chris

http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Rare Tower Type-3 35mm Rangefinder Camera made by Nicca

Made by Nicca for the Sears, Roebuck and Company for sale in the United States and Canada under the Tower brand. This beautiful camera set is from 1951.

Collectors “Dream Set”.

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The Tower Type-3 is a 35mm rangefinder camera made by Nicca in 1951. The design is based on the original camera from Leica Many people call these types of cameras “Leica Clones or Leica Copies” but I like to refer to them as Leica inspired as many of the cameras made by Nicca were equal to if not superior to the Leica.

The camera is fully working at all speeds and the rangefinder is bright and accurate. There’s no dents, no marks, and no corrosion. It’s nearly perfect even after all these years.

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The camera body accepts all M39 / L39 screw-in mount lenses. This camera is fitted with its original Nikkor-H.C f/ 2 5cm lens made by Nippon Kogaku.

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The camera features a clean simple design on the top plate. The shutter’s top speed is 1/500th of a second.

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Cameras made in Japan prior to April 1952 were required to be marked “Made In Occupied Japan” somewhere on the baseplate. This camera is properly marked.

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Not many presentation boxes from the early 1950s still exist and few exist in such good condition as this one. A nice find and its the proper box for the camera.

Below is another amazing survivor from the early 1950s – the original leather camera case and strap. I can’t begin to explain just how rare it is to find an intact leather case from Japan made over 65 years ago. Usually, they come apart at the stitching and the leather separates at the joints. This case looks as though it was just made. A beauty.

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The original instruction booklet and guarantee-registration card are included with this amazing set. 

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The aperture blades look great – they function smoothly and show little wear. The optics are also free of distracting marks such as scratches or cleaning marks. The rear element does have some whitish fungus which means the lens would need to be cleaned in order to use it fully.

Below is a test picture that I took using the lens on my Fujifilm mirrorless digital camera. You can clearly see the “haze” from the fungus but you can see that it’s not a total loss either. I believe the fungus can be cleaned if you know how to service these types of lenses or if a professional camera repair facility does the work.

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Test image taken with the Nikkor lens mounted on my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless digital camera.

Thanks for stopping by! If you’re interested in my set it’s available in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com which is hosted by Etsy. – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Nicca Type 33 Brochure – 1958

One of the last cameras made by Nicca just before the takeover by Yashica was this simple 35mm rangefinder camera – the Nicca Type 33

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The Nicca Type 33. Released around May 1958 just as Yashica was taking over the company. As best as I can tell, Yashica had no part in the design of this camera or the first-ever Nicca lens.

Although the top plate isn’t engraved “Type 33” there are markings inside on the bottom plate that identifies it as the Type 33. If you look closely at the lens pictured it’s marked as a Nicca f/2.8 50mm lens with an interesting serial number of No. 8002. The first-ever Nicca branded lens of any type. Origins of this lens are not known as Nicca had never produced a lens on their own.

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The front and back covers of this rather rare brochure.

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The inside of the brochure showing the available accessories.

The Nicca Type 33 is a worthy addition to any collection that features Japanese made 35mm rangefinder cameras – it’s not often available for sale outside of Japan and it can be rather hard to find (in good condition) on Japanese online auctions. Finding one in collector condition and with its original Nicca lens and box would be an interesting challenge and would test your collecting skills.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

Nicca Camera Box – 1953

Most of our camera collection revolves around, no surprise, cameras and lenses. However, collecting camera boxes can be just as fun (and infinitely more difficult). Here’s a rather rare box from Nicca for the Type 3-S and Type 4 35mm rangefinder cameras.

Nicca Type 3-S Box

From 1953 – the top design on the box is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens elements and groups.

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The inside of the box is lined with fabric.

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The camera (Type 3-S) safely tucked inside.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.