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Leica IIIc K

Wartime Camera for Cold Weather

W.W. II camera production was not easy for Leica.  One of the wartime shortages was chromium. As a result some IIIc were painted gray to conserve the precious stuff long enough to get cameras finished while those pesky American and British bombers did their best to bomb the Leica factory.  Some of the gray cameras had special ball bearing shutter bearings for low temperature use.  Marked "K" on the top plate and on the shutter curtain, these special cameras were intended primarily for the German Air Force or Luftwaffe.  This particular IIIc K camera survives in much better than average condition.   Like most of the other rare Leica cameras, beware of cameras being in like new condition.  While a large K was most likely on the original shutter, this camera has replacement shutter curtains without the K.   The vulcanite body covering is grey to match the top and bottom plates.  The grey paint did not wear all that wear.  While you might be tempted to have a worn grey or black Leica repainted, I strongly advise against it.  Your camera is only original once.  Repaint it, and to most collectors you will have destroyed its collectible value.   Grey IIIc variations include the IIIc with no marking, IIIc K and the IIIc K Luftwaffen.


Modern Voigtlander Screw Mount 12/5.6 lens and new improved version 12mm viewfinder mounted on 1945 Leica IIIc K.  If you want modern lenses for your screw mount Leica camera, Voigtlander lenses are almost your only choice!


Leica IIIc K  Chrome without the K on top plate

While most IIIc K cameras are grey, they exist in chrome too. There is a lot of variation in Leica wartime production.  Those pesky allied bombers probably had something to do with it. This IIIc has the the ball bearing shutter and K marked shutter curtains, yet NO K on the top plate!  It is still a IIIc K -- an unmarked IIIc K.  Likewise there are marked chrome IIIc K cameras.  Other wartime variations include unmarked K cameras with ball bearing shutters without K curtains and chrome cameras with grey painted vulcanite coverings originally made for grey cameras.   Some unmarked wartime K cameras are never discovered until they are dismantled for a CLA.  




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Revised: March 06, 2015 Copyright  2005-2014  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.