The Leitz company offered its customers from about 1930 the conversion of an existing Leica to the latest technical model, which often led to the fact that early Leica I models were converted in Leica II or Leica III, for example. As a result, many early cameras have lost their historical importance and are often also of considerable value.
Nevertheless, early factory extensions are a popular specialty for some collectors, as they show how much Leitz was inspired by the customers’ wishes and how unique the technical concept of Leica was.
The Leica III was introduced in May 1933 and produced until 1939. It was the first model with long shutter speeds and dioptric correction for the viewfinder. Furthermore, the housing had two strap lugs for fastening a carrying strap. In the course of the production time, 27,366 pieces were made in black lacquer and 49.091 pieces in silver chrome.
Offered is a Leica III No. 60961 with black lacquered housing and nickel-plated elements. The camera is equipped with a nickel-plated Hektor 2.5 / 5cm lens without a serial number.
Originally built as Leica I (Model C) in 1931, it is a very early factory conversion to a Leica III. Probably the conversion took place after July 1933, since the Leica III offered here already has the large pin for hanging the base plate. Such early conversions are very unusual and rare. Often, a camera has not only been converted once, but has undergone various modifications at the factory.
The overall condition is very good and especially the cap is above-average beautifully preserved. The engravings designed with bismuth are still almost perfect!
total production: 27.366 units in black paint finish, the number of factory conversions is not known!
Rarity forecast: R4