My Leica IIc


Beautiful to look at, very classy but still not perfect – that’s my Leica IIc. Read here why I like it nonetheless.

The Leica IIc is a more simplified version of the Leica IIIc. The only difference is that the IIc doesn’t have a dial for slow speeds. It was produced between 1949 and 1951 at a total of 11,000 cameras.
My own Leica IIc is right from 1949 and used to belong to my grand father. I got it about 3 years ago.
Viewed from the outside, the camera is in a fairly good condition. The range finder should probably be cleaned and the lens’ aperture needs to be oiled.

I thought that the overall impression was pretty promising and decided to pop in a film in order to test the camera for functionality.

The Leica IIc is easy to use and a lot of fun. It uses an M39 screw mount which allows for interchangeable lenses. However the viewfinder is designed for a 50mm lens so if you’re using any other focal length you’ll need an optional viewfinder.

According to its age the IIc doesn’t have a built in light meter, but I find that even with little practice it’s not too hard to guess the right exposure.

When I got the prints, there were a few surprises. What came to attention first was the fact that the shutter doesn’t work properly. Apparently the curtains are not light proof anymore, but somewhat worn and holey. Also, the shutter doesn’t always seem to open properly. That’s why most of the pictures looked like this:

Credits: cornborn

The quality of the lens however was a pleasant surprise. It’s an Elmar 3,5/5cm and I had already read about its sharpeness. My pictures confirmed this, even though I could not use the range finder and I had to guess the correct distance for each shot.

Credits: cornborn

I guess I’ll have to get the shutter fixed, although I actually like the effect the holes produce on some pictures.

written by cornborn on 2011-03-23 in #reviews #vintage #german-camera #camera-review #leica #rangefinder #user-review #film-camera #lomography


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    A gem... too bad for the leaks though... Or it could become your light-painting camera ? : )

  2. lislisdotnet
    lislisdotnet ·

    I just inherited my grandfather's Leica IIIF - can't wait to test it out and see how it compares!

  3. awesomesther
    awesomesther ·

    wow.. the "holey" curtain made ur photos sparkle!! hehe

  4. yumepony
    yumepony ·

    If I was you, I wouldn't even think about bringing the camera to repair, the leaks look so sweet and magical!

    All your pictures look lovely!

  5. di
    di ·

    i use Leica minilux) and understand your happiness)))))

  6. plyshbel
    plyshbel ·

    Classy camera! The curtains should be changed I suppose:)

  7. pettingparty
    pettingparty ·

    The leaks are beautiful. Please don't get it fixed :)

  8. chethong
    chethong ·

    Yes magical!

  9. rzmaulana
    rzmaulana ·

    what do you mean u cant use the RF?

  10. lokified
    lokified ·

    I love the leaks. I just picked up a Leica If without a built-in viewfinder (only the add-on) and I'm having difficulty guessing the distance (especially when <3m is in 0.1m increments).

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