Leica IIIf 35mm rangefinder with Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8 (Refurbished)


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Overall condition: 8/10 MINT! Refurbished and serviced (CLA'd )

Body s/n: 583017

Lens s/n: 1626105



 The screw-mount LEICA IIIf is significantly smaller and lighter than any Leica M camera. It's so light that I often forget it's with me.

The LEICA IIIf is often quieter than LEICA M cameras, so in other words, it does what they do best, but even better. It is many times quieter than the noisy digital LEICA M9.

The IIIf weighs only two-thirds as much as a typical LEICA M. It weighs only half as much as most DSLRs, and less than one-third what a pro DSLR weighs, and delivers better image quality.

It is the same shape as LEICA M cameras, but is it slightly smaller in every dimension. LEICA M cameras are bigger than screw-mount cameras, and digital M cameras have gotten even slightly bigger.

The LEICA IIIf is an excellent sixty-year old camera. It sold for the equivalent of $3,500 in its day.

Facts, like "1/1,000 second shutter speed" or "longer rangefinder base length," are facts, but subjective observations, like "easy to use" must be taken from your own point of view.




0.5x magnification.

Soft-edged image displayed against black.

Leica has made diopters for the combined rangefinder and viewfinder eyepiece.

Clean image, no framelines, no focus patches, no nothing except your image.

Covers 50mm (5cm) lens, only.

For other lenses, use the LEICA VIOOH Imarect finder (1940-1964), which gives more precise framing than even today's LEICA M9's finder. The VIOOH's sharp-edged image is adjustable both for parallax, and also for magnification changes with distance. The VIOOH Imarect finder is so good that I also suggest it for use with LEICA M cameras for more precise results.


Horizontal rubberized cloth focal plane.

1 - 1/1,000, also Time and Bulb.

Different models have different sets of intermediate speeds.

The latest models have a self-timer.

Cable release: requires the same screwy nipple adapter as the Nikon F and Nikon F2. I have no idea why Nikon copied the cable release of the screw-mount Leicas in the 1950s, when Leica had already moved to the current cable release socket with the M3 of 1954.



empty: 14.465 oz. (410.0g).

mit 36-exp film 15.230 oz. (431.8g).

mit collapsible LEICA SUMMICRON 50mm f/2: 22.855 oz. (647.9g).


Leica 50mm f3.5 Elmar lens


The LEICA ELMAR 50/3.5 was so good that it allowed 35mm cameras to make big prints as sharp as the popular 8 x 10" cameras of the era.

This is the lens that was so good that it established 35mm as the world's most popular format, a format which both lives today and which spawned the 24 x 36mm "full-frame" digital format.

Even the ancient, uncoated 1934 version I tested here works great. It's not as sharp under the microscope as the SUMMICRON, but nothing else is, either.



4 elements in 3 groups.

Not a Tessar; claimed to be a Cooke triplet variant.

Uncoated 1925-1944, then coated from 1946-1961.

The 1934 sample seen here is uncoated.

 Focal Length      


If used on the failed half-frame LEICA M8, it sees only an angle of view similar to what a 66mm lens sees on a real camera.

Close Focus

1 meter (3.3 feet).



The early versions use A36 (36mm push-on) filters. Use the SOOGZ adapter to use modern E39 filters with these original lenses.

Later versions use standard 39 x 0.5mm (E39) filters.


Size (measured)         


47.15 mm (1.856") maximum diameter of focus scale and mount, measured.

36mm (1.417") front outer mount diameter.


Length, Extended

31.64mm (1.246") extension from flange.

39.25mm (1.545") overall.


Length, Collapsed

9.40mm (0.370") extension from flange.

31.63mm (1.245") overall.




Photo credits:

  1. danyipky
  2. oh412
  3. danyipky
  4. sazinzibb_officialdanyipky

Collections: All 35mm Cameras, Rangefinder

Type: 35mm Rangefinder

Vendor: Leica

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