As much as I love my Canon IVSb2 sometimes I feel like it has a bit more onboard than I really need, namely the whole viewfinder/rangefinder assembly. The lenses I shoot the most are my Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm lenses and they both require their own viewfinders. The 15mm isn’t even rangefinder coupled and I use zone focusing on both as they both have remarkable depth of field.
I’ve been somewhat longing for a Leica Standard (Model E) for a while now, I love the simplicity of them, but even the standard has a tiny viewfinder that for me, would be essentially vestigial. That, and the Standards I’ve seen that seem to be in decent shape and are from reputable dealers, often cost an arm and a leg that I just don’t have to spare.
After watching Matt Osborne’s excellent video extolling the virtues of the Leica Ic(not the Leica 1 model C, the Ic is a stripped down Leica IIIc) I was pretty much sold on one. The Ic is newer then the Standard (maybe meaning less wear on it?), has no tiny (and to me, pretty useless) viewfinder, and has not one but two cold shoes. The only real downside to this model that I can see is that it doesn’t have any slow speeds, which just means I need to chose the right film for the occasion. It seemed like just the ticket for me, if I could find a nice one at a fair price.
I checked a few places and turned up several nice standards that I couldn’t afford, so I checked Ebay and immediately stumbled upon a CLA’d (cleaned, lubed and adjusted) 1949 Ic at a nice price from a camera store with a good reputation, Elkins Park Camera.
It arrived yesterday, and it’s a beauty. Everything functions smoothly and the shutter curtains appear new. I was amazed at how much lighter it is than the Canon. Apparently the viewfinder/rangefinder assembly is a fair amount of the weight in a Barnack style camera. It does have a fair amount of pitting in the chrome, but I could care less. I guess that was a fairly common problem with some post war Leicas.
I shot a roll of Cinestill XX with it this morning and everything seems good. No holes in the shutter curtains and the speeds all seem right on. I always forget how much I enjoy XX. It’s got great contrast and tonal range and is quite forgiving exposure wise, it can be shot at a wide range of speeds. Today I shot it at 200 but I’ve used speeds as high as 800 with XX. I used the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm lens with a No.16 orange filter and developed it in Cinestill Df96 monobath.
These shots are from a morning walk around Midtown Reno.