The Leica is a dream to shoot. Many writers have sung its praises; I won’t try to outdo them. It’s solidly built but not too heavy; nothing feels plastic or cheap because nothing is plastic or cheap. It’s over 50 years old yet still functions like the day it left the factory. I defy any modern camera, film or digital, to do that.
Beth, Cricket and I went for a late winter’s walk in a few of our favorite spots.
Welcome to 52 Cameras, in which I take a weekly stroll through the wonders of film photography.
Produced from 1953 to 1967, the M3 defined the shape of classic Leicas to follow. It introduced a beautiful combined rangefinder/viewfinder window and the M series bayonet mount lenses. Descendants of the M3 are still in production today.
My example dates from about 1955. It has single-stroke film advance and a Summilux 1.4/50mm lens. I have a Leicameter MR add-on light meter for it, but I usually shoot without it. The meter works well and provides a nice semi-automatic exposure function, but I feel it degrades both the ergonomics and the appearance of the camera. It’s just a preference.
I have loaded a roll of Portra 400, so I should be able to handle whatever light the weekend throws at me. (Edit: results)
Edit 3/2: Want one of your own? You could try a dealer like KEH Camera or Adorama, or try your luck on eBay.