CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

M3 or 111g


Does anyone have any thoughts on whether an M3 is a better buy than a 111g? I have been thinking of buying either one or the other. I want to use the camera not collect dust with it. I already have an M2, M4P and M6TTL. I'm tempted to go LTM but I'm not sure about how user friendly they are and also how much useful working life they have. If anyone out there has experience of both I'd appreciate hearing from them.


> The IIIg is certainly a wonderful camera and the best of the screw mount cameras. But the compatable lenses are not as good and camera operation is not as practical. The M3 has a wonderfully large viewfinder and is compatable with all including the newest m-mount lenses. From a user only aspect the M3 in my opinion is the only way to go. Also, when the digital rangefinders come out, the m-mount cameras and lenses are going to go up in value because one will be able to have both film and digital with the same lenses. I can't wait!!!


New Member
>Several points here. First, the screwmounts are a joy to use once you get >used to them. The loading is not nearly as bad as everyone says. Second, >the ergonomics of the screwmount are far better than the M series. They >are smaller and seem to fit in the hand much more comfortably. Third, as >for longevity, I believe that they are every bit as well built as the M >series if not better. My main camera is a Leica II from 1932, I had it >completely overhauled and it works like a charm. A mechanical jewel. >Fourth, lens. There are plenty of excellent lenses out there for the >screwmounts, both by Leica and from other manufacturers. Personally I have >an Elmar 50mm f3,5 uncoated, made in 1932, that just glows. In addition, I >have a Heliar 50mm f3,5 that is simply fantastic. An amazing unique >signature, loads of character (Pop. Photography ranked it as one of the >best three lens ever made). Leica even released screwmount versions of the >Summicron 50mm f2, Suimmilux 50mm f1,4 and Summicron 35mm f2 in 1999 on a >limited edition basis (2,000 in total I believe). Whilst not the cheapest >lenses out there, they are identical to the modern M glass. Here in Japan >I have seen the Summicron 50mm f2 for about US$900. There are also >excellent lens from Konica, especially the Hexanon 50mm f2,4. All >screwmount lens can be used on a M series camera, including any possible >new digital M, with the appropriate adapter which is relatively >inexpensive. Finally, a Leica IIIg is just so much cooler than an M3. >M's, and especially M3's are plentiful, a screwmount, particularly a IIIg >is a work of art in itself.


Active Member
The IIIg can easily be a newer camera then the M3 the M3 cam out in 1955 ( I think) the IIIg I had was made in 1959 and sold as new in 1960.


Just thought I let you know that in the end I bought a IIIf red dial. It was a lot cheaper than the IIIg and I actually think it looks better, the IIIg's additional two windows give it a rather cluttered look. Anyway, I agree with Richard, the camera is a delight to use, fits into my hand really well and well yes loading the film is a bit fiddly but I'm sure practice will make perfect. At about 50 years old it's a pleasure to find something that still works as well as on the day it was made, and does the job to the same standard as a comtemporary model. Now how many other devices can you think of which do that?


Well-Known Member
I now have three Leicas - an MP, M5 and IIIg black dial. The black dial was an impulse buy on Ebay, and when I arrived I regretted it. For one thing, the shutter button kept falling off! (I've since screwed it on, tightly.

Anyway, the other day i put a test film through it. I love the Leica MP, but thought that, having spent quite a bit of money on the IIIg, it ought to be used. I put a Neopan 400 B/W film through it. No meter, of course, so I used sunny 16 to guess the exposure, and set the focusing on the 5cm Summitar to hyperfocal distance. I didn't develop it carefully (Xtol, not too fussy about the time), then scanned the negs using the transparency setting - black and white film scanning is best done this way. Of course, as it was only a test film on a camera I had already regretted buying, I didn't worry about dust when drying it.

I no longer regret buying it! Expecting failure, I guessed exposure modifications and went around and clicked. A picture is below.

I think the IIIf is great, and next time I will take more care with processing. Note that there was no lens hood used with the (coated) lens.


Well-Known Member
Michael, congrats on the IIIf I have a IIIf red dial and it gets just as much use as the M3,M2 and M6 - lovely cameras and the IIIf has a special "joy of mechanical engeneering design" to it - can not help smiling when I pick it up from the bag !


Well-Known Member
Andrew, Great candid picture.
I hope with all the "stupidity" going on in the UK these days, regarding taking pictures of children, you had the parents' permission?
Just kidding!


Well-Known Member
It is fine.

1) School anonymous
2) Boys not named
3) Parents already allow them on the school website.

PS I still prefer the MP, but tend to meter too much!