Leica IIIc

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The Leica IIIc is a 35mm rangefinder camera introduced by Leica in 1940. It was made of aluminum, with chrome-plated brass top plate, base plate and knobs. Some had grey paint finish due to the lack of chrome during the war.

The Leica IIIc was built from 1940 to 1951 (serial numbers 360,101-525,001), with approx. 131,000 units produced.

The Leica IIc (1948-1951, 440,001-451,000) was a IIIc without the slow speeds dial. The Leica Ic (1949-1951, 455,001-562,800) was also based on the IIIc chassis, without the rangefinder and the slow speeds dial.

As an upgrade of the Leica IIIb, the Leica IIIc had important changes:

  • One piece die-cast body, instead of an assembly of small parts. The cover of the rangefinder is no longer a separate piece.
  • Improved internal mechanism.
  • 3mm longer than the previous cameras.
  • Larger release button.
  • New exposure counter mechanism.

Leica IIId

A rare variant of the Leica IIIc with self timer was called Leica IIId and made between 1939 and 1947. The self timer mechanism was developed before WWII and it is different form the updated mechanism found in the Leica IIIf-RD-ST. This camera was made in small numbers (427 units), and it can be distinguished from counterfeits by an extra circle in the timer arm.[1]


  • Black and red shutter curtains (362,401-379,226).
  • Military engravings in some cameras produced during the war, such as "Luftwaffen-Eigentum" (Luftwaffe property), "Heer" (Army), "W.H." (Wehrmacht Heer) or "M" (Marine). Naval Leicas are the only type that may have had the Reichsadler (swastika and eagle).
  • Blind rollers with ball bearings on cameras with the letter K next to the serial number (for Kugellager, ball bearings).
  • Postwar Leica IIIc (serial number over 400,000): no step under the reverse lever, no knob in the focusing lever for the rangefinder.


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