Operations carried out

Cameras and lenses


Leica M3 - 1955

It's seen better days

This box arrived in very poor condition.

Black viewfinder which only reveals the frames, blocked rangefinder coupling arm, blocked cocking and many external traces of abuse.

This model is from the first series, recognizable by the screws for fixing the cover, a legacy of previous screw models.

Subsequently, these screws were removed by different fasteners under the cocking lever and the rewind button.

This camera had already been disassembled, seeing the marks on the screws and even the trigger cup had two holes….

Removing the hood revealed that many points had been lubricated unnecessarily, in particular the frame block. 🙁

The frame selector was stuck with frozen grease and the limiter was out of alignment.

Of course, the viewfinder had both prisms detached and, for some reason, a few splinters. (who knows why)

The rangefinder was partially dismantled, the fixed parts degreased, which restored flexibility of movement.

Both prisms have been cleaned, freed of old bonding.

They were positioned correctly using a very thin double-sided tape and I made a dental silicone position mold.

This well hardened, the prisms were removed, separated, cleaned again. The main prism was placed back into the mold.

A drop of optical UV glue was placed in the center of the main prism and the second part positioned under pressure so that the glue diffused.

The assembly was held in place before curing with a UV lamp.

Upon removal, the two bonded prisms have regained their normal functions, the aim is clear and the semi-transparent mirror correctly reflects

Light polishing of the surfaces further improved the result.

Of course, the chipped parts are still there, no miracle for that. 🙁

But, for this rangefinder, this is only the beginning.
Now you have to clean the frames.
This is a delicate operation, as disassembly requires the removal of tiny springs.

Next will come a complete CLA of the camera which greatly needs it.

The frame module now needs to be cleaned.

This is a delicate operation, as dismantling it requires the removal of two tiny springs.

The 4 components then need to be separated.

1/ The main support, which is screwed onto the rangefinder.
2/ The support for the backlit frames.
3/ The backlit frames.
4/ The cut-out for the moving frames, which correspond to the selected frames and correct the parallax.
This last part was a bit bent (again, who knows why?), which made it difficult to move.

The 1/2/4 metal parts were difficult to clean, as the grease was thick and sticky.
Two baths in Zippo spirit and isopropyl alcohol got rid of it.

The backlit frames were cleaned on the glass side with a little alcohol, very gently with a cotton bud.

The other side, the one that delimits the frames, is very fragile and already sufficiently damaged to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

C L A (Control, Lubrication, Adjustment)

Mechanisms must be lubricated very sparingly.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of lubricant.

Fine oil for the axles.

Light, non-sticky grease for the armature gears.

Slightly thicker grease for friction parts.

The slow-speed block should be cleaned in an isopropyl alcohol bath, dried thoroughly and lubricated only on the axle bearings, never on the gears.

Another very important point is to check that the anti-veil device on the top of the lens mount is present and complete.

If it is damaged, it must be replaced.

I use a very thin gummed cloth, but it is possible to use old curtains or material for new ones

When reassembled, this part is placed and glued to the top of the lens mount.

Don’t forget to re-glue the sails protectors at the back of the darkroom and renew the seals on each side if necessary. Originally it was a simple string, but I use jade thread.

A yellow patsh has been added to the rangefinder to improve readability and contrast.

You can find this information on the ” Repar’gentique ” YouTube channel.”

LEICA the legendary brand

I decline all responsibility if you damage your toys !!! There are professionals to do this work !

The team is preparing new information for you

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