The Leica IIF was introduced in 1951 to replace the Leica IIC. In total 23 648 Leica IIF cameras were manufactured between 1951 and 1956. The Leica IIF was intrduced one year after its’ bigger brother the Leica IIIF. The Leica IIF essentially has the same technical attributes as the Leica IIIF except that it does not have a slow speed dial, and the accessory shoe is fixed with only two screws (the Leica IIIF has 4 screws). There are three distinctive variations when it comes to the Leica IIF which include the Red Dial version, the Black Dial version and the Red dial version with a faster shutter speed.
The Leica IIF was introduced in 1951 to replace the Leica IIC. In total 23 648 Leica IIF cameras were manufactured between 1951 and 1956.
Leica Code: LOOOSE
Weight: 395 g
Baseplate length: 13.7 cm
Total Production: 23 648 (8400 Black dial, 15 243 red dial)
Previous Leica Model: Leica IIC
Leica IIF Variations
Leica IIF – Black Dial (Leica IIF BD)
The first version of the Leica IIF is the Leica IIF Black Dial. As the name suggests, unlike the later models, the Leica IIF Black Dial has black speed dials. In total 8 400 Black Dial Leica IIF cameras were manufactured, making it rarer than the later models. The Black Dial verion was manufactured in 1951 and 1952 with serial numbers ranging between #451 001 – #455 000 and #570 001 – #574 400. Besides the black dials, this version is also different from the red dial cameras as it has different shutter speeds: 1/30; 1/40; 1/60; 1/100; 1/200; 1/500 and B.
Leica IIF – Red Dial (Leica IIF RD)
The Leica IIF Red Dial replaced the black dial verion in 1952 and was produced until 1954. With a total production of 12 348 units this is the most common Leica IIF version. The serial numbers range between #574 401 and #678 398. Compared to the previous model one main difference is the new range of shutter speeds: 1/25; 1/50; 1/75; 1/100; 1/200; 1/500 and B.
Leica IIF – Red Dial (Leica IIF RD) with faster shutter speed
The Leica IIF RD models manufactured after 1954 have an additional faster shutter speed of 1/1000. This version was discontinued in 1956. The serial numbers range between #676 564 and #822 000. In total only 2 893 Leica IIF RD cameras were manufactured with the faster shutter speed.
Leica IIF sample images
The following images were shot with a Leica IIF, an Elmar 50mm f3.5 lens and Ilford 100 film.
Buying a Leica IIF
On a personal note I would like to point out that my first ever Leica was a Leica IIF. This camera gave me the Leica bug and it is still the screwmount Leica that I use the most today. The Leica IIF is among the most affordable Leicas that you can get. Yet it is also one of the most reliable. Besides the slow speeds (that you will not require that often) if offers everything that you need in a camera. If you are new to Leicas and want an affordable shooter I would highly recommend getting a IIF.
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. A good way to be on the safe side is to double check the serial number.