Early versions of Leica M3 double strokes Models in sequential year of produce order - MIR Image Library

 

Leica M3 w/ S/N 700000 Kruckenhauser

The famous presentation camera M3 no. 700000 was presented to Austrian, Professor Kruckenhauser, a ski and mountain photographer in 1955. The camera, with the first serial number of all M cameras, is well noted in many publications and was bought by Michael von Rosen from the original owner in 1970. It was kept in his private museum until 2001, then it was displayed in WestLicht Camera Museum. It comes with all documentation(copy of the Leitz delivery book), books of Prof. Kruckenhauser, a letter from Michael von Rosen. The camera is in beautiful and perfect working condition with its original lens, an Elmar 3.5/5cm, very rare presentation box. Year: 1955 Serial Number:- 700000 There are also quite a few other illustrative photos of early, rare versions of Leica M3 bodies appeared in page 172 onwards on a good reference book,
An Illustrated History of Leica Camera Vol. 1 by James L. Lager. The author had suggested there were approx. 65 units of M3 prototypes were being produced between 1952~53.

Credit: Image/content courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Other info: Leica president and CEO recently presented Czechoslovakia president Vaclav Havel with a Leica M6 with serial number 2,500,000. Some other recipients include Leica number 150,000 to Leopold Godowksy and number 175,000 to Leopold Mannes, the inventors of Kodachrome (1935) ; Leica 300,000 to Gustav Wilmanns and number 350,000 to Wilhelm Schneider, the inventors of Agfacolor film. Dr. Ernest Leitz received number 500,000 in 1950 and in 1955 Henri-Cartier Bresson got number 750,000 on the occasion of the Biennale de Photographie in Paris. In 1960 Dr. Ludwig Leitz got number 1,000,000 and Alfred Eisenstaedt got number 1,000,001. Ref: Krugersdorp Camera Club, South Africa




Leica M3 double strokes camera models

Basically, other than the prototypes and variations. Leica M3 can be separated by the early double strokes and single stroke models introduced at later stage. May sounds technical to non-Leica collectors, but it is just referring to the lever wind for winding on and tensioning of the shutter before an exposure. Original design of the M3 has two strokes in enabling the mechanism to prepare for an exposure. Model(s) appearing after 1958 use only a single stroke. Please take note Leica offered factory converting services to convert older M3 to single stroke. To double acted as a visual references to this, the shutter speed scales engraved on the shutter speed dial has a few odd settings from later models. i.e. the speed scales were marked B, 1 sec. 1/2, 1/
5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50 (maximum synchronization speed for flash/bulb), 1/100, 1/200, 1/500 & 1/1000sec. whereas units produced after 1957 usually carried normalized geometric sequential order and it has a top 1/60sec. maximum sync speed and a colored indicator. Other noticeable improvements that affect shooting and/or camera handling were addition of viewfinder pre-selector lever on the bottom right hand section next to the lens mount (view from camera front). This feature provides quick preview of 90/135mm for composition The other add-on was occurred after 1958 with in-finder depth of field indicator. Some minor enhancements which include design of eyelet, number of exposed/concealed screws used, smooth curves, added covering on viewfinder, extended ASA indexes on film speed reminder disc at the back etc. and all these were generally collectors-level kind of features which help for authentication of models. However, very early Leica M3 film track section different from the double rails designed as used on later M3s. If you want to find out more in absolute details on these changes and modifications done over the early years, BUY a BOOK (refer below for a good reference book). | Nomenclature |

"... Production Serial Number for Leica M3:- 700,000~1,164,865 ..first approx. 450 units use different film track design at the back ... ". Ref: Leica Collectors Guide, by DENNIS Laney.

One of he earliest Leica M3 camera models around s/n 700131, within the first few hundred in its swerial number with all early M3 features

PROFILE ONE:- Here is one of the Original Leica M3 with an early Serial Number M3-700131 that has been arranged for online auction by Hong Kong/China-based Digifan@Ebay® it was matched with a Leica/Leitz Elmar 1:2.8 /50mm. The lens might not be original matching lens as the Elmar 50/2.8 was introduced in 1957/8. But still it has a lens as companion set. CLICK for Separate Profile on this very rare, early Leica M3.

Another profile on early LEICA M3 Chrome Double Stroke body with series of good illustrative photos as identification guide. | PROFILE TWO | based on a Leica M3 chrome, DS w/S/N 70017x

 

One of he earliest Leica M3 camera models around, within the first few hundred in its swerial number with all early M3 features

One of the earliest batch of Leica M3 chrome double stroke model, 1954 model. Here is a lovely illustrative photo of how a typical early Leica M3 camera body looks like. It has slightly cornered top-plate, all early M3 features. Note the lack of viewfinder frame pre-selector lever near the lens mount. Year: 1954 w/Serial No. 70031x. Expected to be pricey in such a condition - to satisfy your curiosity, true enough this unit had an auction price approaching EUR10K !

The old type film tracking design used in the earliest Leica M3 model, 1954

Leica M3 rangefinder camera with early serial number 7003xx

Early Leica M3 with serial number just above 1,000 units, 1954 model

Leica M3 chrome double stroke, 1954 with S/N7011xx. It is still considered to be an early M3 body w/early features & matching ERC. But the price had dropped from EURO 10K back to approx. less than EURO 3,000-00.




Case study on fluctuation of prices of Leica M3 as compare to the earlier featured models in the Collector's market:-

In a different scenario, here is another Leica M3 chrome Double Stroke model, with approx. year of produce in 1954. It has an auction Buy Now price of EURO1,100-00. S/N 7048xx. It is an early Leica M3 body from the first year of production with all original features in fine and perfect working condition, clean finder and shutter, cap, eveready case, instructions of 1954, CLA. Condition rated as B+ by Leicashop®

Leica M3 rangefinder camera body with S/N lbelow 5000 units produced, 1954
Rear view with color film speed reminder in a an early Leica M3 rangefinder camera body with S/N lbelow 5000 units produced, 1954

Leica M3 chrome, Double Stroke. With S/N 7355xx. Approx. Year: 1954. It was also an early Leica M3 body which has perfect working condition. It came with some accessories such as cap, Leicameter MR (not working), instructions, ER case; but price has dropped significantly down to approx. EURO 1,000 a few years ago.



Leica M3 chrome, Double Stroke. With S/N 7355xx. Approx. Year: 1954. It was also an early leica M3 body which has perfect working condition. It came with some accesssories such as cap, Leicameter MR (not working), instructions, ER case; but price has drop

Early Leica M3 with s/n 735xxx front view, 1954 model

A companion Leica MC meter

Early Leica M3 with s/n 735xxx rear section view, 1954 model

Early Leica M3 with s/n 735xxx top view showing various old M3 fearures, 1954 model

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more double stroke models featured until changes to single stroke

Visual Library on Leica M3 Prototype, 1952; Leica M3 Test model, 1953/4 | A photo showcase on early series of Leica M3 DS bodies:- Leica M3-700131 / M3-700170 / M3-700000/M3-70031x/M3-70051x | M3 double stroke chrome 1954~1957 bodies:- Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4; Leica M3 Single Stroke 1957~60/1961~66 | Leica M3 Black Paint:-1955/1958/1962~1964/66 / Case study on Prices | Leica M3 ELC, 1955/56

Other Leica M3 Variants:- Leica M3 chrome Leica-Technik 57 1954; Leica M3 GOLD Edition, 1956 | Leica M3 DS United Nation Edition, 1957 | Leica M3 Olive Bundeseigentum outfit 1957/ Olive Green Bundeseigentum outfit, 1959 (2 Parts) w/info on high quality M3 Olive Conversion | Leica M3 Betriebskamera/ Betriebsk 1960 | Leica M3 Royal Dutch Marine Periscope Model, 1966 | Leica M3 Dummies / Riesen-Mode (Giant scale Model); Leica M3 Cutaway Display Unit , 1954

Recommended External Link: Leica FAQ | Leica M3 Instruction Manual 1) Location 1 (1.35mb PDF) by Joe Chan; Location 2 (1.2mb PDF) by M.Butkus < Mike@bukus.org>; Leica FAQ | Serial Number Ref. (Cameraquest): LSM lenses 1923/1965 | Leica M 1954/1999/Leica M/R-mount RF/SLRs Serial Number ; Leica M-lens coding PDF (84k) download (Leica, AG); Leica Camera/Leitz Lenses S/N check (requires registration) at Owners Support@LEICA camera, AG

LEICA MP-Specific models/variants - Visual Profiles on selective Leica bodies:- Leica MP Prototype, 1955 | MP Betriebsk w/Electric Motor, 1956 | Leica MP-88/MP-150 Black paint, 1957 | Leica MP-167; Leica MP-171/MP-313/old/new Leicavit visual, 1957 | Leica MP 367 & 368 Dual, 1957 | Leica MP-375, MP-368 & MP-386 | Leica MP 'Edition Hermès', 2003 | Leica MP Betriebsk 0.72x | Evential production model MP 0.72x Black paint, 2002 | Leica MP classic Kit Set 1 / Set 2 | Leica MP chrome 0.58X(2 parts) | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.58x | Leica MP Black Lacquer 0.72x Standard | Leica MP 0.85x Finder Mag. model | Leica MP Anthracite* Limited Edition Set | Leica MP LHSA 1968~2003 Special Edition Grey Hammertone Finish (3 parts) | Brief Introduction on Leica à la carte:- Leica MP Red Leather 0.85 / Nappa racing Green Leather 0.58X | Others:- Visual case study on counterfeit LEICA MP ; Leica MP Prototype w/Prototype Leicavit-M; Leica MP-3 LHSA; Leica MP TITAN, 2007

| Leica MP Nomenclature | Leica MP Instruction manual (1MB PDF) | Technical Specification (96k PDF) |

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Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. * NOTE;- Indicative price here in this site were based original prices published on previous auction literature/references. Prices may vary according to gradual yearly premium, supply/demand equations, and/or other renewed valuation methods.