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Photography/Value of a Leica IIIg 35mm rangefinder camera

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My aunt gave me her Leica IIIg screw mount rangefinder.  I also have an Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Summicron f-5cm 1:2 Nr 1255527 lens and an Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Elmar f=9cm 1:4  Nr 961132  with both lens caps & leather case. I was wondering  what kind of value their would be on the camera.
 I still have my old Argus 35mm rangefinder with an excellent lens that I used in my photography classes in college.
 Thank you for any information you can give me.  I'm sure my aunt would enjoy hearing the value of the camera.  She got me hooked on photography with all the slides of her trips around the world.
Kathleen Glielmi

Answer


Hello Kathleen,

The Leica IIIg was the last and arguably the best of the 35mm coupled rangefinder cameras produced by Leitz of Germany for screw mount lenses.  There's no lack of them out there, they appear on eBay week after week, and such a ready supply makes them difficult to sell sometimes, but they maintain relatively high value for their high quality.  A truly excellent fully functional Leica IIIg with proper matching Leitz 5cm normal lens (such as that Summicron) should go somewhere in the $700-$900 range in today's collectible camera market.  The Elmar 9cm portrait lens is exceedingly common I'm afraid, and probably only represents an additional $100 in value if it's in excellent shape.  If you can still use an Argus, then a Leica IIIg will seem like heaven!  Have fun!

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization

silver@photographyhistory.com  

Photography

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David Silver

Expertise

I'm an expert on all types of antique, classic, and contemporary cameras, as well as the general history of photography. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm. I can identify and appraise them, explain how they work, and offer insights on their restoration and care. I can also provide historical background on vintage cameras and equipment, and guidelines on their purchase and sale.

Experience

I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for nearly 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

http://www.photographyhistory.com


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