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jc_braconi 25.03.2009, 04:40 The Leica M3 was introduced in 1954, Code name is IGEMO catalog number 10680E, The first production model being number 700 000, last number 1 158 995 when general production ceased in 1956. The M3 was the first production model using a bayonet type lens mount, a 30° turn locking the lens in position. Viewfinder / range finder system sharing a common eyepiece with brightline frames for 50,90 and135mm focal lengths, each with automatic parallax adjustment. A rapid wind lever which with two short strokes wound on the film and tensioned the shutter. On changing the film the counter reset automaticly to -2 and the camera back was hinged to provide acces for ilm loading. Flash syncronisation is automatic, separate contacts for expendable and electronics flash units The shutter speeds from B to 1/1000 of a second are incorporated in a single dial.

There were some variations during the production run and I would like to illustrate them in the same time as the 35mm focal lengths and coupled Leicameters.

First model from 700 000 to 785 890 have no manual frame selector incorporated, back door with glass plate film pressure. Long lever rewind lever sided by a screw. Rewind knob with sloted and red painted axe. The Summaron 3.5/35 lens bayonet mount first model, SOONC-M, 1954 issued, red painted dot on the flange, with UVa filter, cap and ITDOO sunshade, SBLOO reflecting mirror viewfinder, second model, And German catalog.

Second model, manual frame selector incorporated with the serial number 785 891. Rewind knob with cocked eye, one dot, red painted axe. The Summaron 3.5/35 lens with removable ocular attachment, glossy black painted, SOONC-MW, 1956 issued, Leicameter M, with booster cell attached, antic red box, And German lens catalog.

Third model 1957, pressure plate changed from glass to metal from number 844 001 and shutter speeds changed to mathematical progression from number 854001. The Summaron 3.5/35 lens with removable ocular attachment, crackled black painted, SOMWO, 1958 issued, with UVa filter, cap and IROOA/12571J sunshade. Leicameter MC with incident light screen , cell booster with respectives leather bags, Leicameter MC instructions for use booklet, English printed. Leica M3 short instructions for use leaflet, English printed. jc_braconi