The Leica IIIF was introduced in 1950 to replace the Leica IIIC. In total 184 000 Leica IIIF cameras were manufactured between 1950 and 1957. The Leica IIIF was the first Leica that was equiped with a built in flash-synchronisation. The flash could be adjusted using the ring situated around the shutter speed dial. There are three distinctive variations when it comes to the Leica IIIF which include the early black dial version, the later red dial version and finally the red dial version with a built in delayed action mechanism.
The Leica IIIF was the first Leica with a built in flash-synchronisation.
Leica Code: LOOHW
Weight: 395 g
Baseplate length: 13.7 cm
Total Production: 184 000
Previous Leica Model: Leica IIIC
Following Leica Model: Leica IIIG
Leica IIIF Variations
Leica IIIF – Black Dial (Leica IIIF BD)
The first version of the Leica IIIF is the Leica IIIF Black Dial. As the name suggests, unlike the later models, the Leica IIIF Black Dial has black dial flash-synchronisation ring. In total 71 000 Black Dial Leica IIIF cameras were manufactured between 1951 and 1952, with serial numbers ranging between #525 001 – #611 000. Besides the black dials, this version is also different from the red dial cameras as it has different shutter speeds: T; 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.
Leica IIIF – Red Dial (Leica IIIF RD)
The Leica IIIF Red Dial replaced the black dial verion in 1952 and was produced until 1954, with a total production of 54 000 units. The serial numbers range between #615 001 and #685 000. Compared to the previous model one main difference is the new range of shutter speeds: T; 1; 1/2; 1/5; 1/10; 1/15; 1/25; 1/50; 1/75; 1/100; 1/200; 1/500; 1/1000 and B.
Leica IIIF – Red Dial (Leica IIIF RD) with delayed action machanism
The Leica IIIF Red Dial with delayed action-mechanism was introduced in 1954. A total of 59 000 units were produced. The serial numbers range between #685 001 and #825 000.
Leica IIIF – Midland Ontario
The Leica IIIF was also maufactured in the new Leitz factory in Midland Ontario. About 5000 cameras were assembled in Canada in 1953 with some having a ‘Midland Ontario’ branding. These cameras are very rare and collectible.
Leica IIIF – Kältefest
100 Leica IIIF were manufactured for arctic expeditions of the Swedish Army in 1956. These winterized cameras have a black enamel finish and are extremely collectible and expensive. The engravings are filled with white paint. Serial numbers range between 822 901 and 823 000.
Buying a Leica IIIF
The Leica IIIF offers all you need from a srewmount Leica. As one of the last models maufactured it does offer most technical advancements that the Leica Screwmount system had to offer at the time.
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.