1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

One that got away! a IIIC (K)

Discussion in 'Leica Camera Chat' started by William Parker, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. William Parker

    William Parker Well-Known Member

    back in bout 1974 I decided to buy a Pentax Spotmatic which by this time had developed into the Spotmatic II. I was single and fancy free at this time and had a good disposable income and I found disposing of it quite a simple task. I still have the camera and I think it cost just over £100 and I paid an extra five pounds for the black finish. Over the weeks I spent more on additional lenses and bits and bobs, these bits and bobs were all purchased from Reids Photgraphic in the fair city of Birmingham and a trip into the second city became a regular pass time on a Saturday afternoon.
    Then one day I was looking in the used camera display they had and I caught glance of this Leica, I had no intention of doing this when i entered the shop in fact I'm not even sure I had seen this display before but I suppose I just had to have it after all it was a Leica! I was told it was a 1942 IIIC, this was light years before something called the internet so gleaning information about such niceties was nothing like as easy as it is now Oh! it came with an F2 Summitar and it had clearly seen some use and by no stretch of the imagination could it be described as 'mint' but it worked.
    It wasn't without problems, it tended to leave an odd light pattern on the right hand side of the frame, not always visible and I assume this was caused by a small pinhole in one of the blinds, this could be overcome by either not winding on or immediately winding on, I cant remember which blind it was or by the immediate replacement of the lens cap, on reflection i suppose I should have returned it and now knowing a lot more about such maters I would like to bet a small sum that the careful application of some Humbrol modelling gloss paint would have sorted the problem. I used it quite a lot and it was a totally different animal to the Spotmatic. getting married later put my photography on the back burner and after about ten years I sold it, my wife could never see the sense in selling it and it was hardly taking up much space but I had developed another interest and this interest was funded by the house keeping and the cash was put back into the general household fund and my conscience was a little lighter but a few years down the line and I was already missing it.
    After retiring in 2010 I started putting small amounts of cash away each month and after a few years I formed my camera fund, my first vintage machine had to be another IIIC and I got hold of one via a well known internet auction sight, to be honest when it arrived I was amazed how good it's condition looked far shinier than the older one but the 'new' one was a post war, 1950, model and it might have looked extremely good but to get in working properly it needed a CLA and a replacement Summitar but I won't go into all that. Now the problem was I was starting to develop a real interest in old Barnack type Leicas, I seem to think calling them 'Barnacks' is an Americanism (or is that just me? but I have deliberately done this in praise of the man who invented 35mm still photography.
    So why am I rabbiting on about all this? well if your still with me I was reading about those early IIICs that had the 'K' stamped after the body number referring to the fact they had ball bearing shutters which apparently operate more efficiently in sub zero temperatures, this set me thinking and fortunately I had a photo, taken with the Pentax, of my first IIIC and low and behold it had the 'K' after the serial number. P Leica 3c.JPG eter Loy has one in stock now at about £995 !
    Craig20264 likes this.
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    £995 is not bad for a K-model. Did yours have a red blind? My last IIIC K was in field grey, engraved Luftwaffen Eigentum, matching engraving on lens, matching stamp on field-grey leather case. I bought it in the late 70s for £125...

    Just to wind up a mini-lab owner in San Francisco I handed it to him with the film and said, "Can you reload it for me please?"

    To his eternal credit he didn't offer me $25 for it.


    William Parker likes this.
  3. William Parker

    William Parker Well-Known Member

    Roger, it didn't have the red blind but from memory it wasn't the same material that's normally used it was a sort of rubber like material. The one I had was finished in the usual silver and I think the onePeter Loy is selling is the same finish. The one you had would be worth a considerable amount now with the military markings as I'm sure you know. Interestingly I was researching the IIIC (K) models on the Net recently and I found a website that covered them in some detail including showing an example that had some amateurish looking engraving on it , I seem to remember the author of the article suggested these engravings were unofficial but often done by the camera's keepers in the form of army officers. Mine has a couple of S.S lightning flashes near to the viewfinders on the back, I wish I had photographed them now. I always assumed someone had scratched or maybe engraved it as a sort of bad joke but now I'm not so sure as the markings shown on the website were not unlike the ones on mine but by no means identical. Unfortunately I have never been able to find the site again. I wish that camera could have talked it might have had an interesting story to tell.

Share This Page