After a bitter-sweet break up in 2007, I went back to my ex. I started shooting on film again. About 6 months back I got myself a Large Format and a Medium Format Camera. I loved the whole experience of shooting film again and was quite satisfied with the output. One of the Large Format pictures was even featured in Ilford’s website along with my notes on how I shot the picture.
Now, the problem with Large Format and Medium Format is the portability. Carrying and shooting with a Wista Field or a Hasselblad 500 CM is not something one can do everyday. So, for casual shooting I needed a portable camera, which would not be too expensive either. I am a Leica lover and very comfortable with Rangefinders. Plus, I also have lenses for them, so my first thought was the M3 or M6. But then even used M3s and M6s come at around $1000 or more (one reason for investing in Leica, their resale values hold up almost forever).
While I was looking for options I came across a Leica IIIg in immaculate condition and affordable. Looking at the serial number I found out it was from a batch of 500 produced in 1958 so that made the age of the camera 60 years but it still worked. I paired it with a 28mm f2.8 Ricoh lens and was ready to shoot.
The Leica III series is also known as the Barnack Leicas after its designer Oskar Barnack. The III series was introduced in 1933. The IIIg came around 1957 and approximately 41,500 pieces were produced. This was succeeded by the Leica M3 which had major design changes. The III series had two different windows, one for focusing and one for framing and the IIIg has a 50mm equivalent frame at its widest. This necessitates an external optical viewfinder to go into the flash mount if framing needs to be done for wider lenses.
For a 1958 camera it works like a charm. The aluminum body with chrome plated brass top housing, base plate and knobs feels absolutely solid but can easily slip into a coat pocket and is highly portable. The camera does not have in built metering so one must be knowledgeable and experienced in the ‘sunny 16’ rule or carry an incident meter. I use a phone app called ‘Lightmeter’ which works fine. For black and white film it is imperative to use color filters to increase contrast but my first roll was without filters.
I just shot my first roll of Ilford HP5 400 on this camera followed with a roll of CineStill 800T. The negatives were scanned with an Epson V800. Enjoy the pictures, comment, like, share J
Film is not dead, film is alive and kicking!
I created a couple of videos to talk about this camera. Here are the links