Leica M3 brochure

Every time I pick these brochures up for a quick read I can't believe that I've so far managed to resist the Leica lure. That's not strictly true as I had an M2, M3, 35mm Summaron, 50mm Elmar and 90mm Elmar about 30 years ago but I can remember so little about actually using them that it's as if I'm still a Leica virgin.

I recall the owner of my favourite camera store, Blair Russell, warning me then not to give up SLRs as, big a rangefinder fan as he was, I'd find the Leica outfit too restrictive. Of course, being in my early twenties, I knew better. Only a year or so later, I sold the Leica stuff and returned to SLRs.

It's no secret to readers of this blog that I don't get on with rangefinders and this has been reinforced lately by my shooting experiences with the Voigtlander Vitessa. I've been persevering with it (pics to follow in a few days) but it's not getting any easier. For me, rangefinders get in the way of the type of photography I do and the way I do it. Echoing the classic break-up line, I keep finding myself saying to the lovely Vitessa "it's not you, it's me" but we're probably equally to blame.

A Leica M3 would be more user friendly than the Vitessa but still not as conducive to good photography as my OM2. Still, look at this brochure. Look at that M3. What a camera.


  1. Magnificent. That dual range Summicron with the close up attachment is a gorgeous piece of equipment. I've used it close up on my M9 and Monochrom. I hesitate to mention him here, but Ralph Gibson was a great fan of the close up range and uses it now on the Monochrom.

  2. One thing you don't hear much is how heavy the M3 is. Add a 35mm f3.5 Summaron with goggles and you have a good sea anchor around your neck.

    Shouldn't complain, having hiked with 2 Nikon F4s' at one time.

  3. I used a single-stroke M3 for over two decades. I really liked the viewfinder. But mine once developed the infamous blackout when the Canada balsam in part of the rangefinder failed and the rangefinder spot went black. I had it repaired years ago at Professional Camera Repair in New York, but that shop closed in the early 2000s, and Marty Forscher passed away in 2009. So anyone thinking of buying an M3, check the finder and look for the crazed, crinkled pattern that indicates that the balsam is failing. I read that newer M cameras (not sure which ones) used a synthetic balsam and are not subject to the blackout.