The Leica IIIC was introduced in 1939 and succeeded the Leica IIIB. The Leica IIIC differed from its’ predecessor the Leica IIIB in many ways. With a baseplate length of 13,7 cm it was 3mm longer than the Leica IIIB. The Leica IIIC has a die-cast aluminium body and the shutter release button is marked with a black dot. The Leica IIIC was both produced during and after the second World War. Due to innovations and production difficultes, the Leica IIIC exists with various variations. The War Leicas are therefore a favourite among Leica collectors.
The Leic IIIC was introduced in 1939 and was largelly affected by the turmoils of the Second World War.
Leica Code: LOOOA (LOOHW after the Second World War)
Weight: 428 g
Baseplate length: 13.7 cm
Total Production: 134 624 (including about 33 000 during the second World War)
Shutter range: 1; 1/2; 1/4; 1/10; 1/15; 1/20; 1/30; 1/40; 1/60; 1/100; 1/200; 1/500; 1/1000 and B
Previous Leica Model: Leica IIIB
Following Leica Model: Leica IIID
Leica IIIC Variations
War time Leica IIIC – red curtain
The Leica IIIC was introduced with black shutter blings in 1939. Due to shortages during the war, red Kodak shutter blings were introduced in late 1939. Red curtain shutters were used for cameras ranging from #362 401 and #379 226.
War time Leica IIIC – parachute curtain
As the supply of Kodak shutter curtains ran out, Leica introduced black shutter curtains again. These were fabricated from german parachute cloth.
The K in Leica IIIcK stands for the German word ‘Kugellanger’, meaning ball bearing. Instead of the standard shutter, the Leica IIIcK was equipped with a ball bearing shutter enabling to shoot at low temperatures. These cameras were introduced in 1942 and are marked with a capital K after the serial number and on the second shutter blind.
Leica IIIc service cameras (military cameras)
Both Leica IIIC and Leica cK cameras were manufactured for the german military. These cameras are normally gray and have special engravings such as ‘Heer’ (army), ‘Marine’ (navy), or ‘Luftwaffen Eigentum’ (Air Force). These cameras belong to the most collectible Leica cameras.
Buying a Leica IIIC
Leica IIIC cameras, especially war time models, are very saught after as they are pretty rare. A good way to be on the safe side is to double check the serial number. A lot of russian copies exist often with a gold finish and unusual decoration – make sure to pay attention before buying one of these cameras.