Leica IIIf Black Dial 1951-52
The top plate of the Black Dial differed from that of the later Red Dial models. This transistional camera still retained the older "D.R.P." as well as the black numerals on the synch progression. About the time of this camera's production, German Law began to require that the "Gmbh" be added to the engraving which generally appeared on Red Dial models built in 1952-57.
The f/2 5cm Summitar shown is #90164 built in 1952 and has the curved blades and hexagonal opening. It is made with a flat groove to accept the spring loaded SOOPD, and the later E39 ITDOO and IROOA hoods similar to the Summicron. The threads for a 36mm screw-in filter are located on a retaining ring very close to the front element and not on the inner 39mm diameter front ring as on the Summicron. These threads have a slight taper and are unique to the Summitar filters.
Shown above with a Hektor 13.5cm f/4.5 which was produced from 1933 until 1960. This example (no. 1,440,700) was built in 1956 and has a minimum aperture of f/36 and focuses down to 1.5 meters. The Hektor was more expensive than the 13.5cm Elmar and it was often preferred for cinematography because of its sharpness and hign contrast. It was eventually replaced by a newly designed Elmar.
The camera shown has the early shutter speed progression indicating that it is not the light weight shutter that was introduced in both Black Dial and Red Dial variations beginning in 1952.
Also shown is the VIOOH straight-sided viewfinder that was introduced in 1940. Many variations appeared over the 23 years of of production. This example is #85598 which is engraved with the 8.5cm instead of the 7.3cm focal length. The nose of this example is threaded to accept the TUVOO 2.8cm adapter (see other Leica pages from the Home Page).
This camera is one of the more unusual acquisitions because it arrived in the original box with the original inspection tags (above). However, as can be seen below, it was also accompanied by the original blue-star tissue paper and the original Leitz Wetzlar brown shipping wrapper. Leica owners are a meticulous lot, thankfully.
Note that the box is labeled with the code LOOPN, the code for the model IIIf body with the 5 cm f/3.5 Elmar lens (shown to the left mounted on a Leica If). In addition, both the body serial number as well as that of the lens were clearly marked on both the box as well as the shipping wrapper.